New Hampshire Organizations and Residents Receive Prestigious EPA Environmental Award
Release Date: 06/26/2013
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
(Boston, Mass. – June 26, 2013) – Five organizations and individuals in New Hampshire were honored today at the 2013 Environmental Merit Awards ceremony of the US Environmental Protection Agency. They were among 28 recipients across New England recognized for their significant contributions to environmental awareness and problem-solving.
The merit awards allow EPA to recognize individuals and groups whose work has protected or improved the region’s environment in distinct ways. Given out by EPA annually since 1970, the merit awards honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts.
“The people, communities and businesses being recognized today are leaders in helping create a cleaner environment and healthier communities across New England,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA New England.
The Environmental Merit Awards, which are given to people who have already taken action, are awarded 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 presents lifetime achievement awards for individuals. The Environmental Merit Award Winners from New Hampshire listed here by category are:
Business, Industry, Trade or Professional
Monadnock Paper Mills
Monadnock Paper Mills of Bennington, NH, the longest continuously operating paper manufacturer in the country, worked for the environment long before environmentalism became fashionable. From its practices conserving energy and water to its focus on how raw material is harvested, Monadnock has taken responsibility for its environmental impact. Monadnock generates up to half of its renewable energy through waterpower, and is looking for ways to expand this resource. The company also supports development of other clean sources of renewable energy by buying renewable energy credits. One hundred percent of the plant’s electricity comes from “green” sources, making Monadnock a leader in green energy use.
Monadnock has also instituted energy savings projects, including some that recently saved the company more than a million kilowatt hours a year of power. A member of EPA’s WasteWise Program, Monadnock voluntarily made a commitment to waste reductions and pollution prevention. All of the company’s reclaimed short paper fiber, a byproduct of the papermaking process, is reused for animal bedding and compost. Recycling has cut Monadnock’s landfill wastes by more than 600,000 pounds a year. The company’s commitment to the environment reaches every corner of the business. Monadnock truckers must commit to burning cleaner diesel fuels and practicing anti-idling polices. The company uses groundwater for processing of papers and it has an on-site water conservation team. Monadnock also runs environmental and energy fairs. Finally, the company makes sure its raw materials come from responsible sources.
Berkeley W. Cue, Jr.
Berkeley Cue has accomplished a great deal in the industrial application of green chemistry over the last 12 years. Cue’s work was based in Ledyard, Conn., before he moved in 2012 to Nottingham, NH, changing his focus to New England. Cue got involved in green chemistry in the late 1990s, when the pharmaceutical industry had only isolated pockets of green chemistry practitioners at a few companies. As an employee of Pfizer and a member of the scientific advisory board at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, Cue and another professor discussed the need for green chemistry to become a major initiative at Pfizer’s Groton, Conn., laboratories. A formal program began in 2000, which rapidly infected all aspects of chemistry at Pfizer. Between 2000 and 2003 this initiative spread to major research & development and manufacturing sites around the world. By the time Cue retired from Pfizer in 2004, the company was recognized globally as a green chemistry leader.
After retiring, Cue became a governing board member of the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute. He used the Pfizer program as a model and, collaborating with the institute’s director, established and led the institute’s Pharmaceutical Roundtable. From a core group of three companies in 2005, including Lilly, Merck and Pfizer, this roundtable has grown to 18 companies representing two-thirds of the global pharmaceutical sales. Cue also was a founding member of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council based in the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. Most recently Cue has focused his green chemistry efforts in New England in three areas. He was appointed adjunct professor in the UMass-Boston Chemistry Department where he co-edited a green chemistry reference book, “Green Techniques for Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry.” He is advisor to UMass-Boston’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness. And finally, Cue has helped EPA New England’s green chemistry programs through his involvement in business and by helping design a K-12 green chemistry program.
NH Department of Environmental Services, Concord, NH
Steve Landry, who has worked for the NH Department of Environmental Services for more than 20 years, has succeeded because of his dedication and tenacity, but also because of his talents in making people feel heard and creating a positive atmosphere. Landry, whose current position is Merrimack Watershed Supervisor, worked countless hours, for instance, to educate the city officials and the public on issues related to the Maxwell Pond Dam removal. His calm approach and well-organized thoughts, mixed with just the perfect amount of wit, create a conversation. His presentations target a specific audience and address almost every concern. He gives listeners a better understanding of issues and lets them feel heard. According to the manager of the states’ Dam Removal and River Restoration Program, the Maxwell Pond Dam removal is still referenced as a case study for future projects. This site was featured in the American Rivers most recent DVD titled, “Restoring America’s Rivers: Preparing for the Future,” which has helped individuals and dam owners contemplating dam removal.
During 2012, Steve worked on several dam removals as well as removing three dams in Manchester that don’t meet the state dam definition but are barriers to fish and impair water quality. Landry’s leadership, tenacity and dedication are apparent in every project he is associated with. His commitment to the environment extends outside of the workplace because he genuinely believes in the protection of our environment for this generation and future generations.
UNH Technology Transfer Center, Durham, NH
More than 40 New Hampshire waters are listed as impaired by chlorides from salt put on roads and parking lots. About half of the salt loading is from private parking lots and driveways. In the past, state and municipal road crews have had access to training programs, but there was nothing available to help private entities. The University of New Hampshire, led by Patrick Santoso of the UNH Technology Transfer Center, stepped into this void and created a voluntary training and certification program, called Green SnowPro. After participating in the I-93 Salt Reduction Work Group to learn about problems, Santoso designed the program. Since the first courses were offered in 2011, more than 300 people have been certified as Green SnowPros. Salt applicators have said that they made changes to their practices based on the training and that they are using less salt as a result. To quantify salt reduction, Santoso and his colleagues at UNH developed a web-based salt accounting system, the first of its kind in the nation. Santoso was also key in developing salt reduction plans for the four municipalities in the I-93 watersheds. His leadership has directly led to less salt use by these towns.
Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance, Union, NH
Linda Schier brings people together with a persistence and devotion to water quality protection and restoration that are inspirational to those who work with her. Under Schier’s direction, the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance was founded in 2005 at the headwaters of the Salmon Falls River, which is the source of drinking water for 47,000 people in Maine and New Hampshire. One of Schier’s first projects was to create the Youth Conservation Corps, which hires local students to install erosion controls and reduce impacts from stormwater pollution. These controls are installed on shoreland properties of cooperating land owners. The Corps has installed close to 800 Best Management Practices, while providing green jobs and work experience for 10 youths each summer. In 2012 alone, the group installed 125 erosion controls which stopped 48 tons of sediment and 40 pounds of phosphorus from going into local waterways. This success was based on Schier’s efforts from 2008 to 2010 when she secured funds and directed development of the Salmon Falls Headwater Lakes Management Plan. This plan created a water quality picture of the five lakes and ponds that are approaching critical thresholds of phosphorous. Schier inspired more than 100 citizens to help identify 491 sites that contribute excess phosphorus to the project waterways. Schier works with local schools and lake associations in Maine and New Hampshire to protect local waterways. Communities and their water resources have benefited from her devotion and persistence.
More information on EPA New England Environmental Merit Awards (http://www.epa.gov/region1/ra/ema/index.html)
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