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EPA to Honor Three Nevada Environmental Heros

Release Date: 4/21/2003
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307; or Leo Kay (415) 947-4306

SAN FRANCISCO -- During the agency's fifth annual Environmental Awards Ceremony in San Francisco tomorrow, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri will present plaques to three Nevada projects in recognition of their efforts to protect and preserve the environment in 2002.

"These groups and individuals have applied creativity, teamwork and leadership in addressing many of the Nevada's most pressing and complex environmental problems," Nastri said. "Thanks to their efforts, our air, water and land will be cleaner and safer for generations to come. The winners set an example for all of us to follow."

The EPA Region 9 Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Guam and tribal lands. Forty four groups and individuals were selected from more than 200 nominees received this year from businesses, media, local, state and federal government officials, tribes, environmental organizations and citizen activists.

The winners and basis for recognition are:

Clark County Parks and Community Services
Las Vegas
In conjunction with thousands of local volunteers from the Las Vegas community, the Clark County Department of Parks and Community Services established the Las Vegas Wash Wetlands Park. The Wetlands Park is the largest open space in the Las Vegas Valley, covering a 2900-acre, seven- by one- mile strip of land bordering both sides of the Las Vegas Wash. Clark County Parks has designed a Park which protects and enhances wetlands for wildlife habitat, environmental education, and recreation. The Park's focal point, a 130-acre Nature Preserve, includes parking facilities, trails, ponds, amphitheaters and a bird viewing blind. Clark County Parks deserves recognition for their creative and effective use of both local volunteers and available funding in creating an invaluable, unique refuge in Las Vegas which provides valuable lessons on this area's natural resources.

Isao Kobashi
Isao Kobashi is one of the nation's pioneers in pollution prevention. He helped shape the pollution prevention movement in the west and nationwide -- leading ultimately to the passage of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. He's worked tirelessly to reduce, reuse and recycle by leading the Western Regional P2 Network, and as Santa Clara County's pollution prevention program manager. Kobashi also established two national P2 networks and is widely credited with the creation of California=s Pollution Prevention week and as an advocate to making a P2 week nationwide. He is known for his innovative business to business mentoring and his work helping printers adopt greener technologies and business practices. Kobashi's life work has focused on reducing toxics, conserving water and energy and preventing further environmental degradation.

Voluntary Mercury Air Emission Reduction Program
Nevada Four Nevada gold mines, Newmont Mining Corporation, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc., Anglogold/Jerritt Canyon Corporation and Placer Dome America as well as the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection are being recognized for their work to reduce mercury air emissions. These Nevada mines have been working to voluntarily reduce mercury air emissions from a baseline amount of over 16,000 lbs of mercury a year. Over the last year, the mines have successfully installed new air pollution control devices or made process changes that have reduced mercury air emissions by over 75 per cent, surpassing the goal of the voluntary program to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2005. This is the most significant reduction of a major bioaccumulative pollutant ever made. These companies have shown leadership and cooperation in working with one another and with EPA and Nevada's Department of Environmental Protection. They have also encouraged other Nevada mines to join the voluntary