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Midwest Clean Diesel Leadership Recognition Program

The Midwest Clean Diesel Leadership Recognition Program raises awareness and recognizes individuals or organizations that have made significant, measurable improvements in air quality through the development and/or implementation of clean diesel actions (i.e. retrofits, replacements, fuels, education, leveraged funding, etc.)

The Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative is a collaborative effort to reduce emissions from the on-road and non-road diesel vehicles in the Midwest (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI). In order to help us achieve our goals, there need to be leaders across the Midwest to take actions that make a real, lasting impact on air quality. So we use the Midwest Clean Diesel Leadership Recognition Program to recognize these leaders, and make sure that their efforts can be seen, learned, and replicated across the Midwest and the nation.

There are many ways to demonstrate leadership. This may include bringing organizations together to identify and implement emissions reduction projects, education and outreach, leveraging of funding, technology development, innovative financing, and other efforts that demonstrate leadership. These awards signify the recipients' commitment to air quality improvement and clean diesel actions.

About the Awards

Who is eligible? When are entries due?

How do I submit my entry?

Who reviews the entries?

How will the entries be judged?

Each entry is reviewed on the following general criteria: How many awards will be given?

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2011/2012 Awards

There will not be MCDI Leadership Awards given out in 2011 because we have restructured the Initiative and moved our annual meeting ahead to the spring of 2012. After we award the recipients at the 2012 Annual Meeting, we will post the winners here.

2010 Award Winners

In 2010, four Midwest Clean Diesel Leadership Awards were presented to organizations who have taken outstanding measures or actions to reduce diesel emissions. We also awarded an individual with a Special Recognition Award to recognize his contributions to the Initiative since its inception.

2010 MCDI LG Award Winners

Respiratory Health Association Of Metropolitan Chicago
Joel J. Africk, President and CEO

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Brandy Toft, Air Quality Specialist

The Interlake Steamship Company
Mark Barker, President

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Randy Blankenhorn, Executive Director

Special Individual Recognition by the MCDI Leadership Group

Brian Mormino, Cummins, Inc.

Brian Mormino is an individual who has made a significant contribution to not just the Midwest Clean Diesel initiative, but to the nation-wide push for voluntary diesel actions. In fact, without his work, there might not even be a Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative! Mr. Mormino, who is now with Cummins, was a founding co-chair for the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative and also on the National level, one of the people responsible for the existence of a national program to reduce diesel emissions.

On the national level he helped create the National program that we see today through his role in Senator Voinovich’s administration. The language he helped craft ultimately became the Diesel Emissions Reduction provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, or DERA. This action created a central funding source at the federal level to support competitive programs and a state allocation to create programs at the state level across the country.

As EPA had created a National Clean Diesel Campaign, the EPA regional offices were beginning for form their own coalitions and create a structure and network to focus on clean diesel actions. Mr. Mormino served as the private sector co-chair from his new role at Cummins. It was through his efforts that private industry became such a strong part of the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative. He got them on board and convinced them to sign on to collaborative principles to set the direction of MCDI.

He continues as a co-chair of MCDI and provides overall program direction and insight into how we can make improvements to grow the network and implement meaningful projects that support larger goals.

Without his efforts, the National and Regional campaigns to reduce diesel emissions would not have flourished so we thank him or all his work and for getting us all, nationally, to this level of accomplishment.

2009 Award Winners2009 Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative Award winners with MCDI Co-Chairs, September 17, 2009

In 2009, two Midwest Clean Diesel Leadership Awards were presented to organizations who have taken outstanding measures or actions to reduce diesel emissions.

Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI): Project Green Fleet

Bill Droessler, Director

Wisconsin Department of Commerce (WDoC): Idle Reduction Grant Program

Jean Beckwith, Grants Specialist, and Thomas Coogen, Program Manager

MCDI "High Horsepower" Award For Individual Excellence

This year, the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative Leadership Group presented the "High Horsepower" Award for Individual Excellence to a person who demonstrated outstanding leadership and has made an appreciable difference for cleaner air in the Midwest.

Darwin Burkhart, Illinois EPA:

2008 Award Winners

Roehl Transport: Wisconsin-based Roehl Transport is a truck carrier with over 4,000 trailers and 1,650 power units, placing them among the top 100 trucking companies in the nation. Roehl Transport is committed to improving their environmental performance, and has done so by incentivizing clean diesel activities and through participation in EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership. To date, 15% of Roehl’s fleet is equipped with auxiliary power units (APUs), and the company anticipates that their entire fleet will be APU-equipped by 2010. Additionally, Roehl’s trucks have been governed to a maximum speed of 63 mph, with a maximum cruise control speed of 61 mph (these speeds were reduced from 65 mph). Roehl creates an incentive for its drivers to reduce idling by setting an idle standard for them each month. Top drivers receive an additional bonus from the company. Through these actions, Roehl drivers have reduced unnecessary idling by 41% over the last year.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency: In 2005, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency sought legislative authority to collect civil penalties for pollution violators, and use that money to fund grants to school districts for reducing diesel emissions. The Ohio Clean Diesel School Bus Fund has since awarded $1,643,813 to install pollution control equipment on 642 school buses in 33 districts across Ohio. Priority is given to school districts in PM2.5 nonattainment areas and to school districts that have an idle-reduction policy in place. Schools can choose to install diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs), diesel particulate filters (DPFs), closed crankcase filtration systems, or any other technology that is on EPA’s or CARB’s verified technology lists. Ohio EPA partnered with multiple organizations to secure legislative approval and implement the program. Partner organizations include local air and regional planning agencies, fuel and equipment vendors, the Ohio Environmental Council, and the Ohio Department of Education’s Pupil Transportation Division. The City of Broadview Heights, Columbus Public Schools, Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services, and the Ohio Department of Transportation hosted information sessions to roll out the program. EPA Region 5 and the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative provided benchmarking assistance, while the Ohio State Highway Patrol helped ensure that retrofits did not interfere with mandatory school bus inspections each summer. Finally, the University of Cincinnati’s Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study served as a resource for related health issues. The program was so successful that the Ohio General Assembly voted to reauthorize the program at a funding level of $600,000 each year through 2009. Ohio EPA seeks to increase funding and continue the program for the foreseeable future.

City of Chicago Department of Fleet Management: The City of Chicago’s Department of Fleet Management (DFM) has implemented an array of clean diesel actions under its Diesel Vehicle Emissions Reduction Program. The program takes a multi-pronged approach to address its legacy diesel fleet which includes the purchase of pollution control retrofit technologies (including DOCs and DPFs), idle reduction technologies and policies, purchase and use of alternatively-fueled vehicles, creation of alternative fuel stations, and the purchase of hybrid vehicles. Through this combination of approaches, the City of Chicago DFM has, to date:

The City of Chicago DFM has utilized multiple funding sources to augment the costs of these activities. Funding sources include EPA and state supplemental environmental projects, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds, MCDI funding, and local matches.

MCDI "High Horsepower" Awards for Individual Excellence

Jessica Lawent, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources/Wisconsin Clean Diesel Coalition: Jessica Lawent has been an active participant in EPA's Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative representing the State of Wisconsin on clean diesel efforts for many years. Over the past year, Jessica was responsible for the creation of the Wisconsin Clean Diesel Coalition (WiCDC) and for guiding this effort into a cohesive, effective multi-stakeholder group that has, as one of its goals, an ambitious target of affecting 50,000 legacy diesel engines in Wisconsin by 2010. The WiCDC is primarily focused on educational outreach and the development of funding mechanisms to accelerate emission reductions from diesel fleets. The group meets regularly in Madison, and has its own web site (to visit the Wisconsin Clean Diesel Coalition web site, click hereExit EPA Disclaimer). MCDI staff and EPA management certainly recognize the effort and dedication needed to create a State coalition from the ground up. It takes a person to direct the effort with dedication, leadership, organizational skills, and a drive to make it happen. Jessica exhibited all these skills and more by building the WiCDC to what it is today.

Joe Koncelik, Frantz Ward LLP: Joe Koncelik has been an integral part of Ohio’s clean diesel activities. First, as Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Joe created the Ohio Clean Diesel School Bus Fund by focussing the efforts of the Agency's enforcement program to create a sustained program to reduce pollution impacting children and targeting particulate matter hot spots. Later, Joe brought a diverse group of stakeholders together and demonstrated the need for in-state funding for clean diesel activities. As a result, Ohio’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG) program was developed and funded at $20 million. Joe continues to push for the full implementation of DERG and future, sustainable funding sources to address Ohio's air quality concerns. He has been instrumental not only in clean diesel actions but also in making strides to find practical solutions to Ohio's air quality issues.

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2007 Award Winners

In 2007, three Midwest Clean Diesel Leadership Awards were presented to groups who represent diverse backgrounds and interests. In no particular order, here are this year's winners:

Hamilton County, Ohio, Department of Environmental Services serves as a model for what local communities can do to affect voluntary emission reductions and clean the air in their communities. The department started the Southwest Ohio Clean Diesel Campaign in 2003, which continues today. It has partnered with public and private sector organizations, and since 2004 the department has retrofitted 265 buses and is on its way to meeting its goal of retrofitting 800 school buses.

South Shore Clean Cities, Inc. was recognized for demonstrating leadership by creating and implementing clean diesel programs in Northwest Indiana and beyond. SSCC is a nonprofit organization that has forged many partnerships in the area. It has organized and contributed to more than 30 outreach events, retrofitted 35 school buses and seven other locally owned vehicles, and created a Web site and an anti-idling print, radio, and Web campaign that reached thousands of Indiana residents.

Marten Transport, Ltd. is a trucking company with a fleet of about 2,200 vehicles. The company's goal is to retrofit its entire fleet with auxiliary power units to reduce whole-engine idling in 18 months starting in June 2007. The project will save more than four million gallons of fuel a year and cut air pollution. So far, 800 vehicles have been retrofitted.

Special Recognition Award:

The Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative Leadership Group also presented a special recognition award to the Ohio Environmental Council, a founding member of the MCDI Leadership Group, for its efforts in helping to create the group as well as its leadership in reducing diesel emissions in Ohio. Across the state, OEC is working with school districts to secure funding and to implement retrofit, refueling, repowering, replacement, and idle-redcution projects. So far OEC has helped bring more than $1.5 million to reduce Ohio school bus emissions. It is working with 17 school districts in the Canton-Massillon areas and with eight school districts in the Columbus area.

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