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Kicking Off Earth Week, EPA Honors U.S. Virgin Islands Environmental Leaders

Release Date: 04/19/2013
Contact Information: Jennifer May, (212) 637-3658, 646-369-0039 may.jennifer@epa.gov

      (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has honored three individuals and organizations from across the U.S. Virgin Islands with Environmental Quality Awards for their achievements in protecting public health and the environment. EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck was joined by Linda Cox, Executive Director of the Bronx River Alliance to present the awards to this year’s recipients at a ceremony at EPA’s offices in Manhattan.
      “EPA is thrilled to honor the work of these environmental trailblazers,” said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “These Virgin Islanders have had a major impact on protecting the environment in their communities and inspire us all to work for a cleaner, healthier environment.”

      EPA presents Environmental Quality Awards annually during Earth Week to individuals, businesses, government agencies, environmental and community-based organizations and members of the media in EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally-recognized Indian Nations. The awards recognize significant contributions to improving the environment and public health in the previous calendar year. For information about the Environmental Quality Awards in EPA Region 2, visit
      http://www.epa.gov/region02/eqa/.

      Attached is a list of the award winners.

      2013 ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AWARD WINNERS
      FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, OR TRIBAL GOVERNMENT OR AGENCY

      Harold Mark
      Harold Mark has been improving drinking water quality for Virgin Islanders as a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources since the early ‘90s. Mr. Mark has gone above and beyond his duties as Environmental Manager of the Drinking Water Program, frequently serving as an advisor to small, isolated communities across the islands. Mr. Mark has been particularly successful at making use of federal funds used to help improve public and private water systems throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.

      INDIVIDUAL CITIZEN

      Marcia Taylor
      For the last three years, Marcia Taylor has volunteered 30 to 40 hours of her time every month to implement a grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Her work has resulted in reducing the sediment pollution in three bays in the U.S. Virgin Islands by approximately 124 tons per year. In addition, Ms. Taylor works as an outreach specialist and coordinates Coastweeks, a program that gets Virgin Islanders involved in cleaning coastal areas.

      ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

      Virgin Islands Montessori School and International Academy
      The Virgin Islands Montessori School and International Academy has been a leader in protecting the environment. Since 2008, the school has installed solar systems that have decreased its electric bill from $84,000 a year to $0. It has also established a student-run recycling program and made teaching about sustainable energy alternatives part of its curriculum.
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