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Vermonters Receive Earth Day Honors with Prestigious Regional EPA Environmental Award

Release Date: 04/21/2009
Contact Information: Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – April 21, 2009) – One individual and oneVermont group will be honored on Earth Day in Boston’s Faneuil Hall as EPA presents its annual Environmental Merit Awards for 2009. Recognizing significant contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving, the Vermont awardees included one lifetime achievement recipient and one state federal government award winner.

Given out by EPA since 1970, the merit awards honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts to preserve the region's environment. This year's competition drew approximately 49 nominations from across New England.

The winners from Vermont were among 31 from across New England. Awards were given in the categories of individual; business (including professional organizations); local, state or federal government; and environmental, community, academia or nonprofit organization. Also, each year EPA may present lifetime achievement awards for individuals. Environmental Merit Award Winners from Vermont are:

Lifetime Achievement Environmental Merit Award:

Robert Paquin
A leader in protecting Vermont’s environment since 1977, Robert Paquin has been Senator Leahy’s “go-to” guy on environmental issues for more than three decades. In this role, he has shaped environmental policy and brought many parties together for the good of his state’s environment. Bob helped write legislation to form the Lake Champlain Management Conference. This legislation, which brought together government, university and local partners, was key to the growth of the Lake Champlain Basin Program. In addition, Bob’s support for farmers was central to farm legislation he drafted, always keeping in mind a balance of politics, policy, finances and the environment. He has also been a champion of environmental education for youth, and hired young interns in his office to give them experience with environmental issues. A great problem-solver with great people skills, Bob reaches out to make sure whatever issue he is involved in has a successful outcome.

Local, State or Federal Governmental Environmental Merit Award:

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Team – VT ANR; VT PBS
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Team has set up innovative measures to control greenhouse gases, including the first-in-the-nation auction of CO2 emissions allowances. The six New England states are among 10 states pioneering this first mandatory cap and trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and states have committed to cap and then reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by power plants in their region, limiting the total regional contribution to greenhouse gases. A September auction brought in $28 million for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Maryland and two more auctions have been held since. New England states have made more than $80 million in revenues from the auctions, which can be used for future energy cutting and efficiency programs.

More Information: Environmental Merit Awards (www.epa.gov/ne/ra/ema)

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