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It's Time Graphic
July 3, 2002

The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that BASF Corporation in Freeport, Texas, will receive a third place Gulf Guardian Award for 2002 in the Business Category. The award will be presented to owner representatives of BASF at the Clean Gulf Conference scheduled for Nov. 5-7, in Galveston, Texas.

Three years ago the Gulf of Mexico Program developed the Gulf Guardian awards as a method of recognizing and honoring the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. The Gulf of Mexico Program began in 1988 to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. Award entries were received from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. A first, second, and third place award are given each year in six categories individual, business, youth and education, nonprofit organizations, government, and partnership efforts.

The Gulf Guardian Awards take on special significance in 2002 as we celebrate 30 years since the passage of the Clean Water Act, said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. The efforts of those being recognized as Gulf Guardians are key to our success as we address water issues. These award winners accepted the challenge and have joined us as we restore and protect our nation's waters for future generations."

"BASF is committed to the protection of our natural resources and regards it as an ongoing responsibility, said Art Colwell, Vice President and General Manager of the Freeport Site. We are willing to set and meet standards which exceed governmental regulations. The Nitric Acid Recovery Project is a continuation of the environmental stewardship that we voluntarily demonstrate as part of our participation in the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care® Program and the Texas Clean Industry Leaders program, he added.

On January 1, 2001, the Freeport, Texas, site of BASF Corporation completed construction of a $9 million recovery process to reduce the quantity of nitrate compounds discharged to the environment. A sister site in Louisiana uses the recovered nitrates stream as a raw material in their manufacturing process. The new process was put into service April 1, 2001. Based on the 1999 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data, the site was ranked number one in Texas for both total releases and nitrate compounds releases. The new process is expected to reduce the site's total TRI releases and nitrate compounds releases by 75 and 85 percent, respectively.

Gulf of Mexico Program Office Director Jim Giattina said, The Gulf Guardian Award exemplifies what the Gulf of Mexico Program is all about ‑‑ innovative solutions that come about when we pool resources and look for creative ways to positively impact our quality of life and economic well-being. We are all one Gulf community and have only one Gulf of Mexico. Projects like these are helping to protect our local coastal waters, which significantly contributes to the Gulf's beauty and value, said Giattina.

For a list of all the Gulf Guardian Award winners for 2002, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program web site at https://www.epa.gov/gmpo and click on the Gulf Guardian Award button on the left.

The Gulf of Mexico Program is underwritten by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders from all five Gulf States. The Gulf Program seeks to improve the environmental health of the Gulf in concert with economic development.

Editor's Note: For more information about the Gulf Guardian Awards and the Gulf of Mexico Program, call Terry Hines Smith at 228-688-1159. For more information about BASF's Nitric Acid Recovery Project, call Steve Baxter at 979-415-8126.

Gulf of Mexico Program Office
Mail Code: EPA/GMPO
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
FAX: 228-688-2709

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