News Releases from Region 9
U.S. EPA honors 37 environmental heroes at Earth Day ceremony
Release Date: 4/22/2005
Contact Information: Laura Gentile (email@example.com) - 415/947-4227 (desk) or 415/760-9161 (cell)
EPA hosts seventh annual environmental awards ceremony in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO – Yesterday, U.S. EPA’s regional administrator Wayne Nastri presented awards to 37 individuals and organizations for their efforts to protect and preserve the environment during 2004.
“The EPA applauds the outstanding achievements of these environmental heroes,” said Nastri. "Thanks to their efforts, our air, water and land will be cleaner and safer for generations to come.”
The winners included a University of Calif. recycling program, two young brothers from Phoenix, several tribal environmental programs, a Las Vegas high school teacher, a Hawaii business and a Bay Area rock star, Neil Young.
The winners were selected from a pool of more than 175 nominees.
More than 150 people attended yesterday’s ceremony held in San Francisco. Guests included the Honorable Pedro A. Tenorio, Resident Representative for the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Congressional staff from the offices of California Representatives Tom Lantos, Barbara Lee and Senator Barbara Boxer.
The EPA presented the awards to businesses, government officials, tribes, environmental organizations and citizen activists from California, Arizona, Nevada and the Pacific Islands. The winners are listed below:
LOCAL, STATE, TRIBAL or FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
- Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Works, Watersheds Division, 900 S Fremont Ave, 11th Floor, Alhambra, CA 91803. Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Watersheds Division is being honored for its work in Sun Valley, an environmental justice area known for frequent, serious flooding, which results in a host of community and pollution problems. The Watersheds Division worked closely with a diverse group of community stakeholders, including the City of Los Angeles and the Tree People, to develop its Watershed Management Plan. The plan calls for the design and construction of an innovative multi-purpose water quality project at the Sun Valley Park and Recreation. Along with much needed flood relief, stormwater pollution control, groundwater recharge and monitoring, the project provides a new soccer field with lighting, new bleachers, turf and irrigation for baseball fields and a native plant swale. BegBeggBegan an in 2004 and completed this spring, the project is the first of its in Southern California’s intensely urbanized area employs innovative approaches, provides multiple benefits as it addresses water quality problems, and serves as a prototype for water quality control projects throughout Los Angeles County.
- Nellis Air Force Base, Recycling Program, Environmental Mgt Office, 4349 Duffer Dr., Suite 1601, 99 CES/CEVP, Nellis AFB, NV 89191. In 2004 Team Nellis’s Qualified Recycling Program efforts resulted in a cost savings of over $815,000 from recycling and waste reduction activities. The team’s recycling programs averaged a 67 percent solid waste diversion rate for 2004, exceeding Air Force diversion goals of 40 percent. Last year, the Defense Logistics Agency fuel-recycling program recovered 8,000 gallons of fuel which was then used to power portable generators, providing a savings of over $10,000 in fuel purchases and avoided roughly $32,000 in hazardous waste disposal costs. Another unique project Team Nellis pursued reduced waste from blasting media, a routine maintenance process for aircrafts. Excess blasting media, which would have been handled as hazardous waste, is given back to the supplier. The supplier then converts the material into recycled plastic lumber. Three tons of plastic media was distributed to the supplier and Team Nellis saved an estimated $2,000 in hazardous waste costs.
- California Integrated Waste Management Board, Executive Director, Mark Leary, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95812. In 2004, the California Integrated Waste Management Board was able to divert waste from landfills through waste reduction programs, public education and outreach, assist local governments and businesses in waste reduction and fostering market development for recyclable materials. The board has made impressive strides in improving California’s environment, especially in last year’s tight economic times. The board worked on the implementation of the Electronic Waste Recycling Act, which was in place in early 2005. They also played a critical role on the state’s Sustainable Building Task Force and supported the Executive Order requiring state buildings to meet the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification. The Board also hosts the “Food Waste Diversion at Large Public Venues” workshop, an informative, interactive forum to share information about successful large waste food diversion programs and highlight opportunities to reduce waste. From encouraging used oil recycling to cleaning up abandoned and illegal dump sites, the Waste Board fulfills its mission to reduce waste and promote environmentally friendly management of all materials.
- Baca/Dlo'ay azhi Community School, Principal Jacque Mangham, PO Box 509, Prewitt, NM 87045. Baca/Dlo'ay azhi[R91] Community School is a K-6 school of approximately 400 students located in a rural area on the Navajo Nation in Prewitt, NM. The school opened in August 2003, and is the first Bureau of Indian Affairs School to receive the U.S Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification that recognizes environmental friendly designs and performances in buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is one of approximately 100 buildings in the world to receive this certification and sets an example of conservation and the importance of caring for the environment. The school uses natural lighting devices such as skylights and windows in hallways, and after hours, the complex switches to an energy automation system. The Green Building Council is a coalition promoting buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
- Arizona Department of Agriculture, Environmental Services Division, Jack Peterson, Brenda Ball, Oscar Salcedo, Donna Fairchild, Jennifer Weber, 1688 West Adams Street Phoenix, AZ 86007. The Arizona Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Services Division has demonstrated exceptional leadership through their role in strengthening implementation and enforcement of pesticide safety program both within Arizona and nationwide. The division has worked to promote increased compliance with worker protection standards through policy development, education, and state enforcement. The leadership standards have paid off – state inspectors have documented an 18 percent increase in compliance in the last three years. The division has worked with State and tribal partners to respond to the reality that agricultural employers and workers are highly mobile-- growers, farm labor contractors, and commercial applicators operate in multiple states, on tribal lands and across the border in Mexico. The Arizona Department of Agriculture led California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation Program bi-lingual certification workshops with employers throughout the Pacific Southwest, saving time and money. Finally, the division’s work with tribes, which make up 30 percent of the land in Arizona, has been monumental by providing direct assistance in investigations, conducting safety trainings and certification exams.
- Navajo Nation EPA Underground Storage Tank Program Office Arlene Luther, Henry Haven, Charleen Leuppe, Marie Claude and Warren Roan P.O. Box 339, Window Rock, AZ 86515. The Navajo Nation EPA Underground Storage Tank Program Office has developed a strong and sustainable inspection and corrective action program. Last year, the office assumed the lead role in a joint effort with EPA inspectors in the planning and implementation of 47 facility inspections, which resulted in a total of 11 on-the-spot field citations. The office has played a key role in the Intertribal Council of Arizona Underground Storage Tank owner/operator workshops that were held across the Navajo Nation. These on-site workshops allowed the regulated community to understand the intent of compliance inspections: to educate and enforce the importance of leak detection and prevention equipment for Underground Storage Tank facilities. The workshops provided a forum for regulators and the regulated to gain a better understanding of one another. Last year, the program removed over 30 tanks from 21 former abandoned gasoline service stations. As a result of this effort, many former abandoned properties are on their way to being cleaned up and restored for a more productive land reuse opportunity.
- Arizona Department of Weights and Measures, Duane Yantorno, 4425 W. Olive Ave, Suite 134, Glendale, AZ 85302. Arizona’s Cleaner Burning Gasoline program is an instrumental part of the Phoenix area’s air quality plans for carbon monoxide and ozone. The program provides an estimated 10 times as many reductions as any other measure for Carbon Monoxide, and six to 18 times as many reductions as any other measure for Volatile Organic Compounds and Nitrogen Oxide. For 2 ½ years Duane Yantorno has been Air/Fuel Quality Program Manager for the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures. His work has greatly contributed to this program. His innovative projects and programs have led to improved fuel quality and reduced toxic air emissions throughout the Phoenix metro area thus providing healthier air for over three million people. He has ensured compliance at refineries, storage terminals, pipelines, distribution terminals and gas stations. Throughout the state, he has worked to ensure that the cleaner burning gasoline program is being complied with, often identifying areas for improvement within the program for increased efficiency and compliance. He continues to find ways to improve Arizona’s air quality–his next project will further reduce toxic air emissions by working with gas stations to achieve increased efficiency in recovering gasoline vapors.
- Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Cultural and Environmental Services Division, 10005 E. Osborn Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community's Cultural and Environmental Services Division has enhanced the quality of life for Community members. The Division has worked tirelessly to safeguard human health and welfare while preserving and protecting its natural and cultural resources. To improve air quality, the Division has joined with other tribes and cities within Maricopa County to address toxic air emissions by monitoring ozone and particulate matter. To improve water quality, the division is completing a feasibility study to restore the ecosystem of a 14-mile stretch of the dry Salt River bed. In protecting the land, the Division has removed tons of waste and initiated a Brownfields program at a former landfill. It has initiated a program to limit childhood exposure to pesticides and introduced organic farming to the community. These accomplishments and others demonstrate the division’s commitment to environmental protection.
- Hualapai Tribe Department of Natural Resources, Don Bay, PO Box 300, Peach Springs, AZ 86434. Don Bay, Director of the Hualapai Tribe Department of Natural Resources, is recognized for his inventive work, leadership and long-term accomplishments in tribal environmental protection. During his 15 years of service, he has assisted the Tribe in developing many environmental programs to protect its water, land and air. In 2003, the Hualapai Tribe became the third tribe in the region to have approved water quality standards. Don is also an active participant in the Regional Tribal Operations Committee, which among other accomplishments, resulted in a unique pilot project on a national rule. His work on this Committee demonstrated that tribes are willing to be an integral part of rulemaking activities, when given the opportunity. Don and his staff have been leaders in working with other agencies in collaborative partnerships such as working with the National Park Service to develop an environmental management plan for the Grand Canyon. Don has consistently been willing to help others, often reaching out to other tribes to share environmental information. Don speaks quietly and listens to the concerns of others; this style of leadership has allowed others at the Hualapai Tribe to thrive. Despite breaking a leg, Don continues to work tirelessly from home and the office.
- U.S. Postal Service, Ray Levinson, 2650 Bayshore Blvd, PO Box 130056, Daly City, CA 94013. The U.S. Postal Service's Pacific Area Energy Program Committee, under the leadership of Ray Levinson, has developed one of the leading environmental energy management programs in the country. Ray’s innovative efforts have enabled postal facilities to implement significant clean energy projects throughout the Pacific Area. In 2004 energy efficiency projects were implemented at 139 postal facilities in the Pacific region, which accounts for a reduction of 40 millions kilo-watts/hour annually, reducing 7,300 tons of Carbon Dioxide and 98 tons of Nitrogen Oxide. Postal Service distributed generation projects account for an additional reduction of 14 million kilo-watts/hour in utilities, 2,500 tons of Carbon Dioxide and 3 tons of Nitrogen Oxide annually. Additionally, the Postal Service has replaced chillers that will eliminate 1,700 pounds of ozone depleting substances. Using cutting-edge green technologies, the postal service has been able to reduce energy costs and replace conventional power generation with clean, efficient technologies. This program not only provides long-term benefits to the community and the environment, but is now being used as a model for other postal service areas.
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Division of Environmental Quality P.O. Box 501304, Saipan, MP 96950. The Department of Environmental Quality in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands protects and preserves the islands’ environment. Despite limited resources, the department has the most extensive marine monitoring program in the Pacific Region. It collects and tests marine waters year round, working with local and federal agencies. It has also assisted American Samoa in establishing a marine monitoring program. Its monthly volunteer beach cleanup program, the “Clean-Up Brigade,” continues to be a great community success. Each year, it also marks Earth Day with an environmental symposium. The department is an active force that continues to work in partnership with local and federal agencies to accomplish its mission of protecting the environment and public.
- Detective Mark Mahre, Santa Rosa Police Department, 965 Sonoma Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. Since 1992 Santa Rosa Detective Mark Mahre has specialized in environmental crimes against auto body shops, dry cleaners, metal and plating shops, gas stations and even a water agency. Currently, Mark has a case pending against an auto dismantler. Along with his police work, Mark is also the President of the California Hazardous Materials Investigation Association. Mark does not play favorites; if you are illegally disposing of a hazardous waste, then you are breaking the law. He levels the playing field by ensuring that bad players are not making monetary gains when they fail to comply with environmental regulations. Mark worked closely with the Industrial Waste Inspectors, local district attorneys and others to bring felony charges against a plating shop for illegal discharge. His reputation for not being afraid to “dumpster dive” has surely led to more businesses of Santa Rosa handling their wastes properly. It takes a special police officer to commit to environmental work. Mark is that dedicated and talented officer of the law.
- Justin Rudd, 30-Minute Beach Cleanup, 5209 E. The Toledo, Suite 1, Long Beach, CA 90803. Justin Rudd, a Long Beach resident and grassroots organizer, is the driving force behind the 30-minute beach cleanup. Since June 1999, he has organized more than 75 beach cleanups, and coordinated over 8,500 volunteers who have collected thousands of bags of debris, including glass, plastic, Styrofoam, packaging materials and countless cigarette butts. Consistent scheduling, incentives and networking have made this project a huge success. As all California cities are grappling with the challenges of budget shortfalls, the 30-Minute Beach Cleanup offers a unique community improvement model that can be developed and sustained with minimal financial impact. After five successful years and through Justin’s commitment and tireless efforts, the 30-Minute Beach Cleanup helps make the city’s beaches clean, beautiful and safe for residents, visitors, and marine animals, too.
- Zach Bjornson-Hooper, c/o Las Lomas High School, 1460 South Main St., Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Zach Bjornson-Hooper, a then freshman at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek and formerly a home-schooled student, is a seasoned flier who has traveled many places with his family. After watching a flight attendant pour water for passengers on a trip to New Zealand in 2004, the 13-year-old science prodigy raised questions that launched an investigation into the safety of airplane tap water. With his small thermal cooler packed with Petri dishes, filters, agar, vials and a syringe, Zach took samples of water from nine flights and found seven contaminated with E. coli, fecal coliform or salmonella. In one, he found insect eggs. The Wall Street Journal found similar findings in their investigation. Zach doesn't know why he likes science so much. Recently, Zach grew an E. coli colony in the refrigerator to explore the possibility of a micro fuel cell that would power a car. Zach hopes to study biotechnology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Larry Matz, Cal/EPA, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95812. As manager of California EPA’s Unified Program Office, Larry Matz assures that all counties maintain consistent quality in their implementation of hazardous materials, hazardous waste and emergency management programs. Last year, Larry formed the Unified Program Inspection subcommittee to improve the litigation value of inspection reports and enhance the possibility of using past inspection reports as evidence of chronic environmental noncompliance. He strives to see that inspection priorities focus on the riskiest businesses. Larry makes things happen by assuring that vision statements are crystallized into action. His brand of leadership begins with treating all points of view with respect. He has continuously sought to resolve conflict and harmonize federal, state and local needs in a way that benefits all parties. His work ethic and unyielding commitment to environmental protection has positively affected thousands of environmental regulators. Larry is a catalytic environmental regulator; he leads, many follow.
- Juan and Luis Hidalgo, Phoenix, AZ. Brothers Juan, age 10, and Luis Hidalgo, age 12, live on one of the few remaining residential blocks in downtown Phoenix. Because surrounding industrial and commercial businesses did not participate in the city’s recycling program, the Hidalgos’ community could not recycle. Residents could only join the program individually – not a popular option in the community. The brothers learned how to petition the city, created a petition in Spanish, and got 100 percent of the residents to sign it. The City of Phoenix accepted the petition, and implemented the program. The recycling barrels were delivered in September 2003, and Juan and Luis distributed literature (in Spanish) to all the residences. Over 20 percent of the solid waste generated by the community is now diverted from Phoenix landfills. As of July 2004, this amounts to about six tons of paper, plastic, metal and glass that had already been recycled. The Hidalgo brothers’ project shows what can happen without a lot of money, but with a lot of determination, hard work and commitment.
- Maria Luz Torre, Parent Voices, Children's Council, 445 Church St., San Francisco, CA 94114. Maria Luz Torres has been a community organizer for Parent Voices in San Francisco for almost ten years. In the last four years, she organized a team of parents of asthmatic children to work on policy changes to clean diesel emissions from about 250 school buses serving 10,000 children in the San Francisco Unified School District. Her team collaborated with agencies, the bus drivers’ union, parent groups and community based organizations to incorporate language into the district’s request for proposals requiring the next contractors to meet clean air standards. Through committees, hours of organizing parents and making sure “experts” were on hand to support them; Maria was successful in having the full School Board pass the resolution. Her Asthma Relief for Kids, or ARK, team is an example for other school districts. Maria Luz, her team, and others will continue to improve the lives of children through creative grassroots campaigns.
ENVIRONMENTAL, COMMUNITY OR NON-PROFIT
- Friends of the Dunes, P.O. Box 186, Arcata, CA 95518. Since 1982, Friends of the Dunes has been involving the community in the conservation of coastal environments. Trained volunteer docents guide nature walks every weekend covering topics like coastal dune ecology, botany, geology, and natural history. The group’s Dune Ecosystem Restoration Team and community members participate in regularly scheduled restoration days to promote native plants by removing non-native invasive plants and assisting with vegetation monitoring. Since 1997, over 1,600 schoolchildren annually discover first-hand the beauty and significance of bay and coastal dune environments. The Friends of the Dunes Land Trust Committee is currently working with the California Coastal Conservancy and a private landowner to protect 108 acres of maritime forest on the North Spit. Friends of the Dunes partners with the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the Humboldt Bay Stewards, Manila Community Services District and other agencies to pool resources to promote coastal bay and dune conservation.
- Audubon Center, 4700 N. Griffin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90031. The Audubon Center at Debs Park in Los Angeles is the greenest building in the City of Los Angeles. Opened in 2003, it is also the first the U.S Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certified building in the country. The center, which gives families and youngsters an opportunity to connect with nature, hosts 50,000 visitors annually. It is 100 percent solar powered and off the electric grid. Photovoltaic crystalline panels power all building systems including heating, cooling, lighting, office equipment, and water fountains. The Center uses 65 percent less water than a conventional building its size and 100 percent of its wastewater is treated on site, with no connection to the public sewer. The building is made of 95 percent recycled materials, ranging from steel rebar to carpet and ceramic tiles. Landscaping at the 17-acre site includes 100 percent native and adaptive plants requiring no permanent irrigation.
- Malama Maha`ulepu, P. O. Box 1434, Kilauea, HI 96754. Malama Maha`ulepu has built on three decades of grassroots activism to protect and preserve the unique natural, cultural, and recreational resources of 2600 acres on the spectacular south shore of Kauai, Hawaii. Geologically, Maha`ulepu exhibits 5 million years of change from the oldest lava formations to substantial limestone deposits to sand dunes. Maha`ulepu is the island’s last accessible, undeveloped, coastal area and home to rare fauna and endangered Hawaiian birds. Malama Maha`ulepu works to conserve this unique landscape. The organization has participated in Hawaiian Monk Seal watches to guard endangered seal pups, and conducted winter humpback whale counts as well as reef check ocean surveys. At the beach, dunes and headlands, it organized beach cleanups, tree plantings and maintenance projects as well as led educational tours of the area. Malama Mahaulepu continues to work with environmental and government officials on several levels to protect and preserve this precious wilderness area, which Hawaii Governor Cayetano added to the “string of pearls” wilderness coastal parks in 2002.
- California Stormwater Quality Association, P.O. Box 2105, Menlo Park, CA 94026-2105. California is a nationally recognized leader in stormwater quality management thanks to the California Stormwater Quality Association, a nonprofit organization formed in 1989 to implement the stormwater permit program in California. The association works on a variety of issues including public education, stormwater science, permitting and policy, legislation and watershed management. Participants include representatives from cities, counties, environmental groups, government, industry and consultants. The association provides comment letters to the state and EPA on important water quality issues, speakers for major conferences, and advisory committee representatives. It hosts four meetings a year, attended by over 300 stormwater professionals. Over the years, California municipalities have won a large number of national awards for excellence in stormwater management, attributable in no small measure to the outstanding work of the California Stormwater Quality Association.
- Don M. Curry, Silverado High School's Global Environmental Studies Program, Silverado High School, 1650 Silver Hawk, Las Vegas, NV 89123. Students of the Global Environmental Studies Program have designed and implemented innovative projects that contribute to a greater understanding of environmental issues. Partnering with the Clark County Air Quality and Environmental Management Department, they have created a video and CD program with entertaining skits and songs and visited schools (K-5) to provide students with interactive presentations on particulates and air quality in the Las Vegas Valley. They also partnered with the Conservation District of Southern Nevada and local agencies to create a video and CD promoting greater community awareness of invasive weed control. The students have established networks with schools in six other states for investigations of water and air quality, presented their research at regional conferences in California, and also write and publish a newsletter distributed to approximately 300 other schools, agencies and network sites. Deron Beal, The Freecycle™ Network, Post Office Box 294, Tucson, AZ 85702
- Deron Beal started The Freecycle Network in Tucson, Arizona in May 2003. Members of Freestyle use the internet and email to offer up perfectly good things they no longer want - be it furniture, computers or roofing tiles. Subscribers can also request items they need. Over 951,000 people belong to 2,400 locally run groups around the globe, with new groups being formed daily. Freecycle members communicate by email, and arrange for convenient pick-ups for Freecycle exchanges. There's only one rule: everything has to be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages. It is estimated that Deron Beal and The Freecycle Network of almost a million people are keeping over 42 tons a day out of landfills by finding new homes for items that would have been put out for brush and bulky trash pickup.
- Kemba Shakur, Urban ReLeaf, 835 57th Street, Oakland, CA 94608. Kemba Shakur founded Urban ReLeaf in 1998 to provide underserved urban communities of the East Bay with trees, environmental education and an awareness of ecological sustainability. In 2004, the organization planted 800 trees in Richmond, with the help of young people. From that effort grew a year-round on-the-job training program in tree planting and care. Thanks to a CALFED Watershed Research Grant, 600 trees were also planted annually throughout West Oakland from 2002-2005. Kemba has also helped at-risk teens hone their academic and computer skills by working on the tree projects, and started an Urban Forestry Program for elementary schools and day care centers. She has spread national awareness of urban forestry education, serving on the Alliance for Community Trees and the 7th American Congress, as well as co-chairing the Bay Area Urban Forestry Council.
- Zero Waste Project, R4 Recycling Program at UC Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616. Begun last May, the Zero Waste Project works to eliminate waste generated at large social functions. Working with event coordinators, Zero Waste ensures that everything from decorations to utensils are reused, recycled or composted; they even provide dishwashing at no cost. The group composts uneaten food scraps and napkins are composted in biodegradable bags. Zero Waste also encourages the use of individual bottles and cans, eliminating the need for paper cups; for hot drinks, biodegradable paper cups are used. The program even encourages purchasing items with that have less packaging and are recyclable. The program has helped 9 events become zero waste events and has diverted 93.4 percent of waste produced at zero waste events.
- Steven Moss, San Francisco Community Power Cooperative, 1307 Evans Ave., San Francisco, Calif. SF Power assists low-income families and small businesses reduce their electricity use as a means to lower utility bills. Since its inception in 2001, SF Power has saved 0.5 megawatts of electricity, enrolled nearly 2,000 businesses and residences and provided energy saving devices for even more. In 2004, SF Power purchased and distributed nearly $500,000 in energy-saving equipment to Bayview, Hunters Point and Potrero residences and businesses. Through collaborating with the Department of Energy, Smart Grocer Program, and the California Public Utility Commission they were able to leverage resources and call attention to Bayview, Hunters Point and Potrero communities. SF Power administered a job training program for Bayview-Hunters Point residents with a 70 percent graduation rate. Twelve graduates became energy efficiency auditors employed by SF Power as a part of their audit / installation programs.
- KIDS for the BAY, Executive Director, Mandi Billinge, 1771 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley, Calif. KIDS for the BAY is dedicated to providing elementary school children in low-income areas with environmental education. Using inventive, hands-on techniques, the group promotes stewardship and restoration of local habitats, while also providing long-term, comprehensive experiential teacher training. KIDS for the BAY has educated Bay Area students on local watersheds, wetlands and creek restoration, pollution reduction and implemented environmental justice projects. By integrating environmental education into school curricula, examining local issues and providing a forum in which students meet and interview their elected officials, KIDS for the BAY not only ensures continued commitment to the environment, it empowers students to become educated, aware and involved members of the community.
- Ron Harben, California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, 3823 V Street, Suite 3, Sacramento, CA 95817. Two years ago Ron Harben took on the role of Air Quality Planner and Coordinator for the California Association of Resource Conservation, stationed within the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. Ron was able to win grant funds for eight staff. Ron trained new staff members, while also conducting personal outreach in conjunction with the Farm Bureau, Nisei Farmers League, California Cotton Ginners and Growers, the Air District and farmers in the San Joaquin Valley. From dairy farmers to raisin growers, Ron learned virtually every production aspect of these various agricultural operations to aid in the development of Conservation Management Practices. Ron met personally with farmers to explain the program and assist them in filling out the forms. Ron not only gained the respect of the agricultural community, he enrolled more farms and farmers in the agricultural permit and conservation management plan program than anywhere else in the United States.
BUSINESS, INDUSTRY & TRADE ASSOCIATIONS
- Agriculture Improving Resources, 1941 N Gateway Blvd, Fresno, CA 93727. In September 2003, the California State Senate passed a series of bills which required more stringent controls on agricultural operations. To comply with state law and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s State Implementation Plan, the Agriculture Improving Resources partnership was formed. During 2004, this assembly of commodity groups, regulators, producers and farm bureaus achieved great successes. Agriculture Improving Resources organized four technology development meetings, printed 20,000 Conservation Management Plans and completed 6,400 of these plans covering 3.1 million acres, prepared and distributed 40,000 fliers announcing training seminars for growers, conducted 21 grower seminars, in which over 20,000 growers attended. Due to the efforts of Agriculture Improving Resources, San Joaquin’s Air Pollution Control District was able to meet the agricultural obligation in their State Implementation Plan at a reduced cost to all involved.
- Living Machine at Four Seasons Hualalai, David Chai, Morris Takuchi, Jan Dill, 100 Ka`upulehu Drive, Kona, HI 96740. The Living Machine, an ecologically engineered technology, designed to replicate and boost the natural purification processes of streams, ponds and marshes works by using a host of living creatures that naturally restore and conserve point and nonpoint sources of pollution. The Living Machines harness the natural abilities of living organisms to maintain contained ecosystems; the organisms are able to self-organize, capture solar energy and concentrate nutrients which naturally decrease contaminants in a waterway. This distinctive eco-friendly technology is being used to maintain the 14th hole pond in the Hualalai golf course at the Four Seasons. The system is working so well that the pond is stocked with Pacific White Shrimp, oysters and fish that supply the resort restaurant with seafood.
- Inland Empire Utilities Agency, P.O. Box 9020, Chino Hills, CA 91709. Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s new Administration Headquarters is equivalent in size to 80 homes, but their energy consumption is roughly that of three or four homes. The building received a Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. Construction costs for Inland Utilities headquarters buildings were less than $154 per square-foot, significantly below the industry standard. Recycled water from Inland Utilities treatment facilities is used to meet 100 percent of demands of on-site irrigation, water features, toilets and urinals; additionally, the installation of high efficiency plumbing reduces water consumption by 73 percent. Inland Utilities Board of Directors also adopted a native landscape policy, landscape, consistent with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s “Native Heritage” landscape philosophy of using California-friendly trees and irrigating with recycled water. Improved lighting, water and energy efficiencies result in significant operating cost savings, over $800,000 annually in energy costs alone.
- Northrop Grumman/Newport News/Continental Maritime, Dan Flood, 1995 Bay Front St San Diego, CA 92113. Northrop Grumman/Newport News/Continental Maritime operates a full service ship repair facility on 4 acres of land and 17.8 acres of water. With a corporate commitment to become a zero discharge facility, Continental Maritime, operating under a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, set out to eliminate all point source discharges, including storm water, into San Diego Bay. In the past four years a host of novel technologies were utilized to divert and eliminate discharges. This past year, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board inspected the discharge elimination system and confirmed that all point source discharges were eliminated making Continental Marine the nation’s first zero discharge shipyard.
- Port of Long Beach, 925 Harbor Plaza PO Box 570, Long Beach, CA 90801. The Port of Long Beach is committed to improving the region’s quality of life by implementing programs that reduce the impacts of port activity on public health and the environment. In 2003, over 4.6 million containers and other cargo worth $95.9 billion moved through the Port. Their Healthy Harbor Long Beach initiative, Green Port Policy Resolution, Air Quality Improvement plan and their joint projects with BP are just a few examples of the Port’s on-going commitment to reduce impacts of their operations on the local community. To date, the Port’s Air Quality improvement plan has generated total annual emission reductions of over 14 tons of Diesel Particulate Matter and 43 tons of Nitrogen Oxide.
- Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Thomas Margro, Tian Feng & BART Board, 300 Lakeside Drive, Kaiser Building Room 902, Oakland, CA 94604. BART is one of the largest transit authorities in the nation, with over 100 million riders annually. In partnership with the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, BART developed a construction and demolition waste reduction policy. BART developed specifications for environmentally-preferable purchasing, including EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for recycled content products. BART was able to pilot test a new energy saver unit at their Hayward Station Parking Garage; the equipment cost $12,000 and decreased power consumption in the parking garage by 25 percent, an energy savings of 97,090 kilowatt hours per year. The success of their Sustainability Policy adopted by BART resulted in it’s inclusion in the Facility Standard for all new BART garages.
- Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls, Kevin Shanahan, President, 12775 Wicks Blvd. San Leandro, CA 94577. Cleaire is a business dedicated to cleaning emissions from in-use diesel engines. In 2004, Cleaire has provided emission reduction systems for over 500 Bay Area transit buses, over 200 trash haulers, two Capital Corridor trains and the Blue and Gold Ferry. In carrying out their vision, Cleaire has developed, commercialized and successfully taken their emission control system to a broad market. Cleaire has received EPA and CARB verification for the system and has actively participated in the development of state and federal incentive programs to help reduce the cost of the system to diesel engine owners. Cleaire has successfully demonstrated that a company focused on environmental benefits can also operate as a viable commercial business.
- Neil Young, c/o The Bridge School, 545 Eucalyptus Avenue, Hillsborough, CA 94010. In 2004 Neil Young launched a month-long concert tour to complement the theatrical release of “Greendale.” Young fueled his trucks and buses with biodiesel, a cleaner burning, alternative fuel made from renewable resources. His tour used B20, 20 percent biodiesel mixed with 80 percent diesel, the most common blend. Additionally, Young has 17 diesel vehicles that run on vegetable oil farmed by American farmers. He plans to continue to use this government approved and regulated fuel exclusively to prove that it is possible to deliver goods anywhere in North America without using foreign oil, while being environmentally responsible.
- Herman Miller, Inc., Regional Showroom/Sales Office, 633 West 5th Street, Suite 300 Los Angeles, CA 90071. Herman Miller is a leading global provider of office furniture. In 2004, they conducted approximately $200 million dollars of business in Region 9. Their Design for Environment protocol has resulted in products and programs that respect the natural environment. The company continually works to minimize the environmental impact of its fabrics, materials, and finishes while maximizing product quality. Their commitment is illustrated in the company’s corporate value statement, which states, in part “[Herman Miller] contribute[s] to a better world by pursuing sustainability and environmental wisdom. Environmental advocacy is part of our heritage and a responsibility we gladly bear for future generations.”