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EPA recognizes SD leaders in environmental protection

Release Date: 7/27/2001
Contact Information:
800 227-8917 x6331,

Release Date: 7/27/2001
Contact Information:
800 227-8917 x6314,

Release Date: 7/27/2001
Contact Information:
800 227-8917 x7814

      Denver -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized today a statewide cleanup program that achieves voluntary participation in all 66 counties and nine tribal reservations, and a community-based initiative that has taken regional environmental protection efforts on the Missouri River to extraordinary new levels.

      Agency officials will present the awards in person at yet-to-be-determined events. Achievement awards went to:

      Governor Janklow's Spruce Up South Dakota project, which targeted six major cleanup areas. Three areas -- waste tires and vehicle batteries, abandoned underground fuel tanks and pesticides -- are being cleaned up through State programs. The other three -- abandoned buildings, junked vehicles and white goods -- are cleaned up primarily through local, volunteer efforts.

      Cleanup results so far: over 2.7 million waste tires, 6,214 batteries, 699 abandoned storage tanks at 448 sites identified, 24,000 tons of petroleum product and contaminated water removed from 158 tanks, 2,908 tons of appliances and metals cleaned up and recycled, 194 buildings torn down, 46,333 empty pesticide containers recycled and 30,889 pounds of old pesticides collected for proper disposal. A Spruce Up South Dakota website provides coordinators, news media and the general public information about the program and receives over 2,700 hits per month.

      The Spruce Up South Dakota project team includes Dana Nelson, Les Cummings, John Phelan, Ron Earley, Ellen Killey, Steve Cournoyer, David Templeton, Vonni Kallemeyn, Keith Gestring, Kristi Honeywell, Kim Smith, Tim Hagen, Jennifer Hegg and Kay Miller.

      Joby Timm, Coordinator of the North Central RC&D and the Missouri River Corridor Partnership, for leveraging some EPA grant money intended as seed for small projects into a multi-million dollar grant. The grant pays for work on conservation easements, creation and restoration of wetlands, grazying system management and other solutions to environmental problems faced in 21 eastern SD counties. For his big picture approach to regional problems along the Missouri River, Timm received the Friend of EPA Award. Due to his leadership, partnership building and creativity, long-standing issues on the river will enjoy the benefit of more collaborative and effective political and technical approaches. Partners include key producer groups, farmers, ranchers, and local, state and federal agency players.

      The Montanans were among 65 groups and/or individuals EPA recognized its six-state region that includes CO, MT, ND, SD, UT and WY.,

      "These individuals represent the kind of environmental commitment and partnership EPA recognizes as crucial to protecting our land, water and air," Jack McGraw, EPA's Acting Regional Administrator in Denver said.

      Editors: For details on an awardee, please contact his/her nominator:

      Steve Pirner, SD Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources 605 773-5559
      Deborah Lebow, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 800 277-8917 x6223