Take Me Out to the "Green" Ballpark

About the author: Alan J. Steinberg is the Regional Administrator for the New York Regional Office.

I might just be the biggest baseball fan in the world, and, you might say, I am also a major fan of the planet Earth. This year, I had the chance to truly combine business and pleasure, and I’m proud to share my story as the first contributor to a new Agency-wide blog.

Alan Steinberg holds up a baseballAs a baseball “nut,” I’ve been blessed. I grew up outside of Pittsburgh and rooted for the Pirates of Roberto Clemente. I also had great affection for a bunch of “Bums” from Brooklyn, including the courageous Jackie Roosevelt Robinson. In my adult years, I became a New York Mets fan. All’s right in my world when baseball is being played at Shea.

Next year, Shea Stadium will give way to the new Citi Field. Recently, I had the pleasure of announcing that our “green team,” a multi-discipline group of EPA staffers focused on pollution prevention, had hit a virtual homerun with the signing of an agreement with the Mets calling for many outstanding green practices at their new ballpark.

The agreement underscores the team’s innovative and comprehensive commitment to sustainable development, spelling out design, construction and operational principles that will ensure that the stadium meets the highest environmental standards. The Mets are building the new ballpark with 95% recycled steel. They’re installing a green roof to decrease energy needs. Water conserving measures, such as hands-free faucets and automated flush valves, will save millions of gallons of water every year.

When Citi Field is fully operational, the Mets plan to join EPA’s WasteWise program and Energy Star. And, that just scratches the surface of the many planned, environmentally friendly features of the new ballpark. Citi Field will be a model for other sports arenas (hint, hint…Yankees).

As I announced the agreement from Shea Stadium, I couldn’t help but think that the New York Mets had hit a grand slam, converting a “field of dreams” into a “field of green.”

And, what better time is there to be green than the start of baseball season and the Earth Day celebration? I hope you all do right by the planet, and I encourage you to keep reading this blog as staffers from across the Agency share their stories. Happy Earth Day everyone!