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Greenville County, South Carolina honored in EPA's Eighth Annual Clean Air Excellence Awards

Release Date: 06/04/2008
Contact Information: Dawn Harris Young, EPA Media Relations, (404)562-8421

(Atlanta, Ga. - May June 4, 2008) What do two California ports, a company that produced the first diesel electric hybrid tugboat, and Greenville County have in common? All are dedicated to excellence in achieving clean air, and they are among the 11 winners of the eighth annual Clean Air Excellence Awards. This year's award winners will be recognized by EPA for their outstanding accomplishments in improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

There are four categories of awards: clean air technology, community action, education/outreach, and regulatory policy innovations, with one additional special award for individual achievement.

This year’s winner in South Carolina for education/outreach is Greenville County, S.C. Greenville County's Improving Air Quality Public Awareness Campaign focused on dispersing information to the public about improving air quality.

Greenville County began implementing an aggressive program in July 2006 called the Improving Air Quality Public Awareness Campaign. Using radio, TV, newspapers, websites, brochures, and billboards, the campaign disperses information to the public about improving air quality. They are also active in community outreach. In addition to discussing air quality at festivals and community events, they also offer educational presentations to organizations, such as municipalities’ planning commissions and city councils.

The County has partnered with public and private entities to host campaign activities such as the “Gas Can Exchange” in April 2007, and a “Car Care Clinic” in May 2007. At these events, residents trade in old cans for new no-spill plastic containers, and drivers get their car tire pressure, air filters, fluids, batteries, and emissions checked.

The Awareness Campaign has also encouraged student participation through the Breathe Better Air at School Program at Fountain Elementary School. The program works to educate students, parents, and staff about the importance of not idling vehicles on campus. Because of these improvements, this program is now being expanded to other schools.

The Clean Air Excellence Awards recognize and honor outstanding, innovative efforts that make progress in achieving cleaner air. The awards were established in 2000, at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC), a senior-level policy group that advises EPA on implementing the Clean Air Act.

For more information about this year's awards ceremony, visit: epa.gov/air/caaac/recipients.html