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EPA Region 2 Administrator Jane M. Kenny Honors Environmental Achievements in New Jersey

Release Date: 04/30/2002
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(#02030) New York, New York -- As part of the celebration of Earth Day, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 Administrator Jane M. Kenny presented 12 awards today to New Jerseyans for their outstanding contributions to a better environment and the protection of human health. Region 2 Administrator Kenny presented EPA’s Environmental Quality Awards at a ceremony held today at EPA’s offices in Manhattan. Robert D. Yaro, President of the Regional Plan Association also spoke at today’s event.

“When you get right down to it, protecting the environment is a job for everybody. And it is a job for every day,” said EPA Region 2 Administrator Jane M. Kenny. “Whether it is a recycling paper or taking public transit or keeping the thermostat low in the winter, each of us makes decisions every day that have a direct impact on our environment.”

The Environmental Quality Awards are EPA’s way of taking its hat off to those who work the hardest to preserve and protect our environment and public health. EPA Region 2 presents the Environmental Quality Awards annually to individuals, nonprofit groups, educators, business representatives, government officials and media representatives from New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of the environment in the region. Winners are chosen by a panel of EPA employees who review nominations submitted from inside and outside the Agency.

The 2002 Environmental Quality Award Winners in New Jersey are:

INDIVIDUALS

Frank Hartman

Bordentown Sewerage Authority

Rocco Maiellano

Evesham Municipal Utilities Authority

These representatives from the New Jersey Water Environment Association went to the U.S. Virgin Islands to train wastewater treatment workers so they could improve their operations and administrative responsibilities. The two-man team helped the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works optimize the recently completed Cruz Bay facility and suggested ways to improve its recordkeeping and reporting. Operators from other Virgin Island facilities also met with the NJWEA team so they could improve their operations knowledge. The team donated a set of printed operation plans for their Virgin Islands counterparts to study. The two men also made a number of recommendations for operational improvements at other island facilities.

Joshua Barth

Riverside, New Jersey

Eagle Scout Joshua Barth thought globally and acted locally by working to clean and restore the Taylor Wildlife Preserve in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, along the Delaware River. Joshua first surveyed the 89-acre preserve, which was created in 1975, then organized fellow scouts as well as friends and family members to restore it. Working on weekends over a year and a half period, he and the other volunteers cleared overgrowth from trails and removed debris. He then organized scouts from several troops to design and build bird and bat houses for the preserve. The last phase of the project was to research the preserve’s flora and fauna and design an educational nature trail and guide. Having done all of that, Joshua now organizes annual cleanups of the trail.

Phil Reynolds

Long Valley, New Jersey

Taking advantage of the internet’s ability to spread information, Mr. Reynolds created the Garden State EnviroNet, a free environmental news service for New Jersey. Donating his time and money, he created GSENET ten years ago and today it has about 1,000 regular subscribers and about 17,000 users each month. Subscribers get a daily email listing newspaper articles pertaining to New Jersey’s environment. The postings also include newsletters, press releases, legislative alerts and event listings. The GSENET website archives these articles and now has over 22,000 pages of text that can be easily accessed via a search engine. GSENET has also organized newsgroups where activists can meet online and discuss issues of concern. To date, the Garden State EnviroNet has been used over half a million times by people around the world to learn about New Jersey’s environment.

Robert Shinn, Jr.

Hainesport, New Jersey

New Jersey’s longest-serving Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, Robert Shinn, Jr. led the agency with a vision that influenced environmental policy throughout the Northeast. He was a leader in the formation of ECOS, the Environmental Council of States, and the multi-state Ozone Transport Assessment Group (OTAG). At ECOS and at DEP, he was a strong advocate for basing government’s environmental efforts on real-world results. With OTAG, he helped bring together the Northeastern states to assess and address their ozone problems as a group. He has even worked to address ozone issues worldwide, serving with the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone and the Center for Clean Air Policy. Although he has retired from the DEP, he continues to work to better the environment through his consulting firm, S2 Concepts, which specializes in sustainability and stewardship projects.

NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, ENVIRONMENTAL OR COMMUNITY GROUP

Pediatric Asthma Coalition of New Jersey

Union, New Jersey

In the past two years, the PACNJ has become the driving force for improving asthma management among New Jersey’s children. The group coordinated 80 organizations to form five task forces for schools, physicians, communities, the managed care industry and the environment. The work of the coalition has improved the life of virtually every child with asthma in New Jersey. Its work has included a satellite downlink broadcast that was seen by hundreds of school nurses. It also created a diagnostic worksheet for doctors and a standardized action plan for schools and parents to address asthma triggers.

Arthur Pierfy

Bloomfield, New Jersey

As Secretary of the New Jersey Association of Designated Persons and as Director of Buildings and Grounds for Bloomfield College, Arthur Pierfy has been a strong and effective advocate for school- based environmental issues. He gave invaluable assistance to the outreach effort among school personnel for implementing the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act. He was also one of the first school facility directors to realize the importance of addressing indoor environmental issues. Speaking in various venues, he has used his experience to convince other school personnel across New Jersey of the feasibility and necessity of implementing environmental measures, including EPA’s Indoor Air Quality “Tools for Schools” program.

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

Wilmington, Delaware

The Partnership, the education and outreach arm of the Delaware Estuary Program, has fostered a sense of stewardship in the areas of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware that border the estuary. The group has touched thousands of residents with its activities, including a quarterly newsletter, a website, eco-tourism brochures, a mini-grant program and a teachers’ institute. The Partnership also works with corporations that want to restore wetlands, plant trees, protect wildlife and preserve open space. The Partnership has also created two workshops using a “build-out analysis” to educate government officials and the private sector about the impacts of land-use decisions.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Middletown Township Environmental Commission

Middletown, New Jersey

To make residents of Middletown Township, New Jersey, more aware of the township’s ecological diversity, the commission created 11 education kiosks. Made of recycled materials, the kiosks were located in different types of ecosystems. The commission designed the kiosks to be used as bases for students and others to explore and learn about the township’s ecosystems. The commission also developed a field guide that enables teachers to lead half-day or full-day class trips.

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

RPM Development Group

Montclair, New Jersey

In New Jersey, the country’s most densely populated state, there is an acute need for development that makes as much sense environmentally as economically. RPM Development has created affordable housing with just those needs in mind. In 1998, RPM was the first builder to restore a multi-family building under PSE&G’s 5-Star Program, which encouraged energy-efficient construction. To qualify for the PSE&G program, buildings had to be at least 30 percent more energy efficient than a typical new one. One RPM development used 45 percent less energy for heating, cooling and water heating.

FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL GOVERNMENT OR AGENCY

Michael Quinlan

Rutgers University Environmental Health & Safety

Piscataway, New Jersey

As Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Mr. Quinlan led Rutgers to become the first university in the nation to agree to a comprehensive environmental audit under EPA’s self-audit policy. To ensure that the university’s five campuses comply with environmental regulations, he has worked with professors, staff and students. In addition, Mr. Quinlan has shared the lessons he has learned at Rutgers with colleagues from other universities in New Jersey, New York and New England.

Rockaway River Watershed Cabinet

Cedar Knolls, New Jersey

This coalition, whose goal is to protect and restore the Rockaway River watershed, is composed of 13 Morris County municipalities, Jersey City, the Rockaway Valley Regional Sewerage Authority and the county government. The Cabinet has developed a watershed management plan, set up chemical and biological water-monitoring programs and conducted educational activities. In addition, the Cabinet has analyzed current environmental ordinances, created model ordinances and developed best management practices to improve water quality.

Ten Towns Great Swamp Watershed Management Committee

Cedar Knolls, New Jersey

This inter-municipal partnership was formed in 1995 to develop a regional management program for the Great Swamp watershed. While other efforts have failed in the past, the committee brought the various agencies together and has had tangible results. The committee has created education programs, model ordinances, water-monitoring programs and technical analyses, and has completed a roster of best management practices. The committee has made a particular effort to increase public involvement in protecting the Great Swamp by, among other actions, creating a “stream team” of volunteers who monitor water quality.

Bergen County Utilities Authority

Little Ferry, New Jersey

Recognizing the need to dispose of discarded computer equipment in an environmentally benign way, the Authority held three one-day collection events in 2000. The program was so successful, collecting 50,000 pounds of equipment, that the Authority created a permanent electronics collection depot in 2001. The result was the collection and recycling of more than 105,000 pounds of computer and electronics equipment. The depot has collected equipment from 15 public agencies, from residents in most of the county’s 70 municipalities, and from several private companies that paid a nominal fee.