By Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg
Every day, EPA employees work in offices, laboratories, regions, and communities across the country to protect public health and the environment we all share. Whether they are investigating pollution issues at the community level, conducting cutting-edge research on environmental health impacts, working behind the scenes on the legal aspects of rulemakings, advancing environmental justice, or carrying out activities that support all of these efforts – these public servants are on the front lines of environmental protection.
This week is Public Service Recognition Week, and there is no better time to congratulate our extraordinary colleagues whose efforts above and beyond the call of duty are being recognized and honored by entities beyond the agency.
This week, two members of the EPA family were named as “Sammie Award” finalists and are in the running for prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. These awards, also known as the “Oscars of government service,” are a highly respected honor bestowed to individuals through a very rigorous selection process.
David Hindin, a Senior Policy Director in OECA, is a finalist in the “Science and Environment” category. David leads EPA’s Next Generation Compliance initiative to modernize EPA’s enforcement program and take advantage of the latest technologies and innovations to more effectively find and fix pollution problems.
Jessica Zomer, an Attorney-Advisor in EPA’s Office of General Counsel, is a finalist in the “Call to Serve” category. Jessica is nominated for her exceptional work as the lead attorney supporting a regulation under the Clean Water Act that will reduce the amount of toxic pollution discharged by power plants into our nation’s waterways by over 1.4 billion pounds annually.
In addition, two of our EPA colleagues are receiving the prestigious Arthur S. Flemming Award, which honors outstanding federal employees who have between three and fifteen years of government service. The award is presented by the Arthur S. Flemming Commission and the George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, in cooperation with the National Academy of Public Administration.
Dr. Gayle Hagler, an Environmental Engineer in EPA’s Office of Research and Development is being awarded for her leadership as an environmental engineer on the Village Green Project. Her project team developed an efficient, solar-powered monitoring platform that incorporates research-grade environmental sensors into a park bench structure that can be located anywhere – filling important data gaps in air monitoring and raising public awareness about air quality.
And Elliott B. Zenick, an Attorney Advisor in the Office of the General Counsel is being recognized for his leadership in managing the EPA legal team that developed the Clean Power Plan’s innovative approach of providing states with wide latitude y in developing their own emissions reduction plans for carbon pollution from power plants.
These members of the EPA family have earned our warmest congratulations. All of them would say that their recognition is a symbol of the work done by all EPA employees to fulfill our mission of making our country healthier, stronger, and safer. Kudos to David, Jessica, Gayle and Elliott for their great work!