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EPA applauds America’s new green culture on the 37th Earth Day - Utah successes cited

Release Date: 04/20/2007
Contact Information: Frank Montarelli, 303-312-6780, montarelli.frank@epa.gov General Inquiries 800 227-8917

By Robert E. Roberts, Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region 8

Thirty-seven years have passed since the first Earth Day, in 1970, when 20 million Americans joined in one of the largest demonstrations of public opinion in the history of our country. Today, one of Earth Day’s highlights is taking stock of the great progress we have made. That progress is real – on this Earth Day we celebrate the cleanest environment in a generation. But our job is not done. We still face environmental and public health challenges.


The U.S Environmental Protection Agency strives to meet those challenges, but we do not do it alone. That’s because something very important and extremely positive is happening in this country. Environmental protection in America for years largely had been the exclusive responsibility of governmental agencies. That is no longer the case. Increasingly, the EPA, along with state and local departments, finds itself being joined in its mission by a growing citizen army – a new green culture. That culture includes people from towns and cities and suburbs and farms. It includes both small and large businesses. But what unites them all is a decision to assume increased responsibility to help ensure cleaner air, water and land.


Environmental business is everybody’s business. EPA looks forward to a future where material and energy is used efficiently in every business, in every community, and every home. By encouraging our partners to make smart use of our resources, we are continuing to accelerate environmental protection in America. The benefits of such collaboration have been amazing. By promoting the recycling of scrapped automobiles, 12,000 companies have been created in the United States to dismantle cars. In addition to generating an estimated $8.2 billion in sales annually, this new industry is protecting our environment. When manufacturers use scrap metal during the manufacturing process, they reduce air and water pollution by more than half – once again proving that doing what’s good for the environment is good for the bottom line.


An example of this collaboration occurred the EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and other public officials and business leaders announced the redevelopment of the Daly West mine site in Park City -- the first Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse (ER3) pilot in the nation, to be redeveloped by DV Luxury Resort, LLC, as the Montage Resort and Spa, a state-of-the-art sustainable hotel and resort facility.


Another example is EPA and a number of Utah partners, working through one of EPA’s premier public-private voluntary programs, joined to launch an innovative clean-energy project that will bring power to more than 2,500 homes in Utah.


Yet another example is EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program, which joined forces with Salt Lake City-area partners to launch the Salt Lake Valley Landfill Gas Energy Project. Officials from EPA, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Murray City, Murray City Power, DTE Biomass Energy, Landfill Energy Systems and the Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management Facility marked the grand opening of this ground-breaking energy project.

EPA’s collaboration with the General Services Administration and the architects, builders and engineers who worked on Region 8’s new Denver Headquarters green building at 1595 Wynkoop Street led to a high-performance structure that offers considerable benefits in terms of reduced pollution and resource conservation. The building well-represents EPA’s mission and the public EPA serves, featuring numerous environmentally friendly designs and systems, including a green roof, recycled building materials and a level of energy efficiency that makes it a green leader among buildings in the Region.

As you can see, Region 8 is doing its part but knows that it can succeed only as part of a team that includes other government entities, including state and local governments, Tribes and countless civic-minded and environmentally concerned organizations and citizens. We believe our environmental future is bright. We applaud America shifting today to a green culture where all citizens embrace the awareness that environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility. And we want to ensure that this vital movement continues -- instead of having 17,000 EPA employees working to help us protect the environment, we are welcoming 300 million Americans as our environmental partners.

Earth Day reminds us that much progress has occurred through our nation’s landmark environmental laws and their enforcement by local, state and federal agencies. Those laws remain in effect, are vigilantly enforced and will continue to produce important results. But the next generation of environmental gains will come in part through the good work of millions of citizens and thousands of businesses who have assumed an individual sense of environmental responsibility. This Earth Day, 2007, is an excellent time to pledge a commitment to America’s new green culture.