Showcasing Community Efforts to Clean the Air and Safeguard Health

What do the following projects have in common: A solar photovoltaic system built by a small community in Tennessee; indoor air quality training for 200 tribes in the Northwest; cleaner buses for 115 school districts across North Carolina; and incentives for ocean-going vessels to use low-sulfur fuels at the Port of Seattle? The answer is that all of them are making a difference in air quality across the country … and they are just a few of the winners of EPA’s 2014 Clean Air Excellence Awards.

“Clean School Bus NC: Kids Breathe Here” program has significantly improved air quality through retrofits, reducing idling, and other steps, benefiting the 800,000 children who travel by bus across the state.

“Clean School Bus NC: Kids Breathe Here” program has significantly improved air quality through retrofits, reducing idling, and other steps, benefiting the 800,000 children who travel by bus across the state.

 

The Clean Air Excellence Awards Program, started in 2000, honors outstanding and innovative efforts to help make progress in achieving cleaner air. On April 2, I had the pleasure of recognizing one individual and twelve different organizations for their commitment and on-the-ground results in improving the air we breathe.

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The Port of Seattle was recognized for its comprehensive Seaport Air Quality Program, which has reduced particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions through low-sulfur fuels, reducing emissions from drayage trucks, and an awards program for cleaner ships.

The Port of Seattle was recognized for its comprehensive Seaport Air Quality Program, which has reduced particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions through low-sulfur fuels, reducing emissions from drayage trucks, and an awards program for cleaner ships.

 

It was inspiring to hear how much these winners have accomplished – by developing new technologies to reduce nitrogen oxides; working with diverse stakeholders on measures to lower ozone; educating the public on idling, electric vehicles, and wood-burning practices; and so much more.

By giving these awards, we at EPA have a chance to highlight excellent environmental work around the country and to say thanks to those working creatively and day after day to make our air cleaner.

Richard A. Valentinetti of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, retiring after a 40-year career in environmental protection, and winner of the Thomas W. Zosel Outstanding Individual Achievement Award, with Office of Air and Radiation Acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe.

Richard A. Valentinetti of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, retiring after a 40-year career in environmental protection, and winner of the Thomas W. Zosel Outstanding Individual Achievement Award, with Office of Air and Radiation Acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe.

 

For more information about the winners of this year’s awards as well as past recipients, see www.epa.gov/air/cleanairawards.

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