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U.S. EPA honors Clark County Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management for environmental work

Release Date: 04/14/2008
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248, chavez.wendy@epa.gov

(04/14/08) SAN FRANCISCO -- During the agency's 10th annual Environmental Awards Ceremony in San Francisco today, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri presented a plaque to Clark County Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management in recognition of their efforts to protect and preserve the environment in 2007.

“The EPA is pleased and honored to acknowledge the innovative and far-reaching environmental work achieved by this impressive group of organizations and individuals. They set an example for all of us to follow,” Nastri said. “All of this year's winners -- in fact, all of this year's nominees -- have made commendable efforts to protect and preserve our air, water and land or increased our awareness of the environmental challenges we face.”

The Region 9 Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Twenty nine groups and individuals were selected from over 130 nominees received this year from businesses, local, government officials, tribes, media, environmental organizations and citizen activists.

This year's winners include a family farmer growing pumpkins and other crops along the coast in Half Moon Bay who is a leader in promoting sustainable erosion control, water conservation and integrated pest management at the local, state and national level, engineering students who designed and built a self-sufficient, attractive and affordable solar-powered home, which won 3rd place at an international competition, a “no pigs left behind” program where educational outreach and inspections resulted in reducing 11,000 pounds of nitrogen, 4,000 pounds of phosphorus, and 90 percent of bacterial contamination in nearby waterways, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District that developed an innovative, first-in-the-nation $3 million climate protection grant program to encourage Bay area local governments and nonprofits to implement projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and an outreach campaign that aims to educate teens about the chemicals in body care products, such as cosmetics, shampoos and lotions;

The Nevada winner is:

Clark County Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management
Particulate Matter Program
Las Vegas, NV

For many years, the Las Vegas Valley severely violated air quality standards for PM-10 airborne particulate matter. Fugitive dust contributed substantially to this problem, but there were thousands of PM-10 sources spanning an area of over 300,000 acres. In an unprecedented strategy, Clark County adopted fugitive dust rules more stringent than any prior program in the country and employed a team of 28 field compliance officers dedicated to enforce fugitive dust regulations. To make its approach effective, the program targeted large construction sites and conducted an extensive public outreach campaign to educate owners of large expanses of vacant residential land. The department also funded new research in PM-10 paved-road and vacant-land emissions, which provides new techniques with greater accuracy for estimating emissions. Clark County’s advanced dust control program serves as a national model and has been integral in leading the Las Vegas Valley to achieve PM-10 concentrations below the EPA’s standard.

For the complete list of winners, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region09/awards

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