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Boston Group Receives EPA Clean Air Award

Release Date: 05/14/2009
Contact Information: EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – May 14, 2009) – A group committed to reducing the environmental costs of transportation and construction in the Boston area has been recognized by EPA for its environmental achievements.

The group, Greater Boston Breathes Better, is a partnership of government, non-profit, industry and educational groups, and was one of 15 organizations across the nation honored with a 2008 Clean Air Excellence Award at a ceremony this week in Washington D.C.

This is the ninth year EPA has recognized outstanding innovative efforts that help achieve cleaner air. Greater Boston Breathes Better, also known as GB3, was recognized for reducing emissions from transportation and construction and fostering strong relationships between business, non-profits and the government.

“EPA New England is extremely proud to see the hard work and dedicated efforts of the Greater Boston Breathes Better partnership recognized at a national level,” said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator for EPA New England. “The commitment of the group has meant cleaner air for the people of Boston and a stronger collaboration between public and private entities.”

GB3 brings together organizations from diverse sectors to voluntarily work towards new technologies and strategies for reducing air pollution caused by transportation and construction. The results of these efforts include:

- More than 1,000 school bus drivers have been trained in ways to reduce idling;
- Construction contracts at several large construction projects now require retrofits and cleaner fuels;
- University fleets have begun using biodiesel and private shuttle buses;
- Tourist trolleys have been retrofit; and
- The City of Boston’s entire fleet of diesel school buses has been fit with advanced pollution control technology.

The GB3 partnership shows the success of collaboration in tackling local environmental issues. The partnership has begun to share its experiences and tools with other communities and has promoted similar partnerships in Manchester, N.H., and Providence, R.I. GB3 was chosen for the award from a pool of 125 applicants.

"GB3 Working Group members have jointly worked through the barriers to implementation of new technologies and strategies. They have collaborated to help each other understand the benefits of new approaches to reducing air emissions and to get to the stage of on-the-ground implementation,” said said Ona Ferguson, Senior Associate at the Consensus Building Institute. “By building relationships, GB3 partners have been able to serve as a resource for each other. Their innovative, first-in-the-nation pilot projects serve as a model for communities, institutions, and local governments across the country."

Award-winning entries in the Clean Air Excellence Award must directly or indirectly reduce pollutant emissions, demonstrate innovation, offer sustainable outcomes, and provide a model for others to follow.

More information:

- Greater Boston Breathes Better (http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/gb3/index.html)
- Clean Air Excellence award winner (http://www.epa.gov/air/caaac/clean_award.html)

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