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U.S. EPA honors leadership in emergency prevention and preparedness

Release Date: 12/9/2004
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today honored two recipients of its second annual regional Emergency Prevention and Preparedness Leadership Awards during a ceremony at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services near Sacramento.

     Awards were presented to Danielle Stefani, chair and representative for the California Certified Unified Program Agencies Forum for exceptional leadership and Dr. Fred Lercari, OES toxicologist will receive the Regional Emergency Prevention and Preparedness Lifetime Achievement award.

     "The EPA is pleased to honor regional leaders who have developed strong prevention and preparedness programs.  We live in an era of shrinking budgets and the leaders we are recognizing  have shown a true commitment to protect human health and the environment," said Dan Meer, chief of the Emergency Planning and Preparedness for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region .  "We recognize and appreciate the enormous efforts and creativity of our partners who exemplify the leadership qualities necessary to meet these ambitious objectives."

     The Regional Emergency Prevention Leadership Award 2004 was presented to Danielle Stefani of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, who serves as chair for the California Certified Unified Program Agency forum board on behalf of the statewide board.

     The California CUPA forum was formed to provide a statewide organization consolidating and coordinating unified implementation of six regulatory environmental programs.  A CUPA is typically a city or county.  The CUPA forum provides training, an information exchange among cities and counties.

     The six CUPA programs include the hazardous materials business plan with emergency response plan; hazardous waste/tiered permitting; spill prevention for underground and above-ground storage tanks; the accidental release program; and the uniform fire code hazardous materials management plan.

     The Regional Emergency Prevention and Preparedness Lifetime Achievement Award 2004 was presented to Dr. Fred Lercari, a toxicologist with the Hazardous Materials Unit at the California Office of Emergency Services in Sacramento.  
   
     Dr. Lercari, who received the lifetime achievement award, has provided 27 years of service to California, and was instrumental in the development and implementation of policies and procedures for local area emergency response plans within the state.  He was the primary author of numerous guidance documents with an emphasis on chemical accident prevention.  

     He represented the U.S. EPA at an international symposium on the world's control of hazardous materials and also served as a member of a subcommittee for the federal Science Advisory Board.  Dr. Lercari obtained his science degree in zoology from San Francisco State University and his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of California, Davis.

     Today's ceremony was held as part of the statewide Unified Program Administration and Advisory Group meeting.  These EPA leadership award winners were announced at the HazMat Explo conference in Las Vegas last month.
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