Service to America

By Bob Perciasepe

The mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—to safeguard the natural environment and protect human health—is one that I find easy to embrace. And as you might expect in a workplace like EPA, I’m not alone.

Everyday (and sometimes late into the evenings), I’m surrounded by colleagues who have devoted themselves to public service in pursuit of clean air, safe and sustainable water, vibrant ecosystems, and healthy communities.

And even in that atmosphere, there are still a handful of individuals who manage to inspire us all: true leaders who blaze career paths marked by sustained achievement and tireless advocacy on behalf of the American people.

I am thrilled to share the news that three such exemplary EPA employees have been selected by the Partnership for Public Service as finalists for 2014 Service to America Medals. Those three are Ramona Trovato, Bill Charmley, and Doug Norton.

Here is a little bit about each of them and their nominations:

  • Ramona Trovato
    Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development

Ramona Trovato is a finalist for the Career Achievement Category in recognition of her outstanding dedication to protecting human health and the environment. Her many accomplishments as a career executive include designing and implementing an impactful children’s environmental health program; instituting a rapid-response strategy for environmental laboratories to follow following natural and man-made disasters; and strategically restructuring EPA’s major research programs to be more relevant, nimble, and responsive while still providing the solutions the Agency needs for meeting the nation’s most pressing environmental and public health challenges.

  • Bill Charmley
    Director of the Assessment and Standards Division, Office of Air and Radiation’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality

Along with his National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration counterpart, Bill Charmley is nominated for leading a team that developed and began to implement fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards that will raise fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon in 2025, saving Americans more than $1.7 trillion. This is also the first and most significant federal action ever taken to control greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles, and is a critical step in helping to protect the health and welfare of current and future generations of Americans from the risks of climate change.

  • Doug Norton
    Senior Environmental Scientist in the Watershed Branch, Office of Water

Doug Norton is a finalist for Citizen Services. He is nominated for leading projects to protect the nation’s rivers, streams and lakes; working with states to improve water quality; and, finding ways to make information available to educate and engage citizens about the condition of their local waterways. Most recently, Norton led the creation and implementation of “How’s My Waterway?”—a website and downloadable application that provides public access to data on thousands of waterways and on the health of watersheds across the country. Norton also developed the Watershed Academy, an online EPA website that provides training and live webcasts conducted by expert instructors on a range of watershed topics.

Each of these outstanding public servants has been selected as finalists for an award that pays tribute to America’s dedicated federal workforce and highlights those who have made significant contributions to our country. As EPA employees, they represent a spirit of achievement I know we all aspire to, and I am proud to share in the accomplishments they have made on our behalf of our Agency and the country.

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