Harrisburg, Pa. -The Pennsylvania Environmental Council announced today that the award ceremonies for this year’s recipients of the 2010 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence will take place at a gala dinner on April 20, 2010 in Harrisburg.
The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence are presented each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to highlight the best in environmental innovation and expertise throughout the Commonwealth. The awards are the highest statewide honor bestowed upon businesses and organizations for environmental performance and innovation from cleaning up watersheds, saving energy, and eliminating pollution, to reducing waste and more.
The recipients will be honored at a dinner on April 20 at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel located on Lindle Road in Harrisburg. John Hanger, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event and Kathleen Pavelko, President and CEO for WITF, Inc. will be the program emcee.
“The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is honored to create a gala event around the 2010 Governor’s Awards,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of PEC. “It is our hope that by showcasing the outstanding efforts of organizations, businesses and individuals throughout the Commonwealth, that we can inspire new generations of environmental stewards.”
Sponsors for this year’s event include: FirstEnergy as the Silver sponsor; and Bronze benefactor sponsors are Crayola, LLC, Dominion, Gannett Fleming, Groundwater Sciences Corporation, a combined sponsorship with Crisci Associates and Pennsylvania Beverage Association.
This year’s award winners are:
- Aqua PA Inc. – Chester County (SE)
- Babb Creek Watershed Association – Lycoming County (NC)
- BigBelly Solar Trash Collection – Philadelphia (SW)
- Brubaker Farms, Mount Joy – Lancaster County (SC)
- Buckman’s Inc. — Montgomery County (SE)
- Carlisle Area School District – Cumberland County (SC)
- Crayola, LLC — Northampton County (NE)
- Earth Conservancy – Huber III Mine Rec. Project — Luzerne Co (NE)
- Jerry Feldman / Jerry’s Car Wash-Allegheny & Butler Counties (SW)
- Giant Eagle Supermarkets – Western PA & Eastern OH (SW / NW)
- Keystone Industrial Port Complex — Bucks County (SE)
- Lycoming County Community Gas Exploration Task Force (NC)
- Lancaster Co. Conservation District – Lancaster Co (SC)
- Tom Murphy – PSU Cooperative Extension – Lycoming County (NC)
- Penn National Racecourse & Hollywood Casino -Dauphin County (SC)
- Voith Hydro — York County (SC)
A summary of the winners is pasted below this release. You can also view the winner summaries by visitingwww.pecpa.org/harrisburgdinner.
Tickets for the event are available from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council ($100/ticket, $60 non-profit rate). Contact Cynthia Stofko to reserve your seat: 800-322-9214, ext. 15; [email protected], or visit: https://pecpa.org//harrisburgdinner
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council brings people, government and business together to find real world solutions for environmental challenges. These solutions bring about sustainable communities, protect our water resources, and address energy and climate issues. The Council was founded in 1970 and serves the entire state through offices in Meadville, Luzerne, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia. For more information visithttps://pecpa.org/ or call 717-230-8044.
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2010 Governor Award Winners for Environmental Excellence
Summary of Projects
Aqua PA Inc. – Chester County
On December 23, 2009, Aqua Pennsylvania’s 1.04 MW solar farm in East Bradford Township was commissioned – just 56 days after construction commenced and despite many days of rain and record snowfall. The solar array is comprised of 4,400 photovoltaic modules on a former sedimentation basin behind Aqua’s Ingram’s Mill Water Treatment Plant along the Brandywine Creek. The 4.5 acre tract was available for this “green” project due to previous upgrading efforts to a more efficient water treatment process at the plant. Aqua was awarded a $1 million Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) grant to assist with the project’s financing. The PEDA grant was derived from American Reinvestment and Recovery (ARRA) funds. Aqua complemented the grant with $4.8 million in matching funds. The solar farm is expected to generate 30,000,000 kWh over its 25-year projected life, thereby providing Aqua and its customers with economical and environmentally-friendly electricity. On bright sunny days the solar farm will provide 100% of the treatment plant’s electricity requirements and a small amount of excess will be sold to PECO. The project’s considerable environmental benefits are the carbon equivalent of reducing car miles driven by approximately 2,500,000 per year.
Babb Creek Watershed Association – Lycoming County
Acid Mine Drainage Abatement
Babb Creek Restoration Project – In 1990, Bob McCullough and friends noted that acid mine drainage (AMD) impacts to Babb Creek and Pine Creek below Babb had gotten worse. The challenges were large and complex. Babb Creek had been polluted by AMD for over 100 years. They formed the Babb Creek Watershed Association and through partnering with DEP, DCNR, the Arnot Sportsmen, and many other supporting organizations, undertook numerous projects to restore the watershed. After McCullough’s passing, leadership of the Watershed Association was passed to Bill Beacom, retired from the Tioga State Forest District. Through Beacom’s continued leadership, the watershed association saw through to completion 18 separate projects with a combined budget of nearly $8 million. Further, the BCWA has, through an agreement with DEP, managed operations of a large one-of-a-kind water treatment facility which uses a byproduct from limemaking to treat a very large volume abandoned mine discharge. Through their efforts five miles of Pine Creek was deleted from Pennsylvania’s 303(d) list of impaired waters in the late 1990’s. Finally, in 2009, the 14 impaired miles of Babb Creek were also removed from the list. The rebirth of Babb Creek was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, noting that trout now swim in Babb Creek for the first time in over a century. The watershed association, a small but dedicated and hard-working group, continue to actively monitor and manage all of the acid mine drainage treatment projects in the watershed to ensure the continued success of the restoration effort.
BigBelly Solar Trash Collection – Philadelphia
Waste Reduction and Recycling
BigBelly produces trash cans with solar-powered compactors for use in municipal/college situations. The City of Philadelphia installed 500 of the streetside trash compactors and intends to purchase 260 more with (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds from the Department of Energy. The cans are completely enclosed, eliminating vermin and birds that feed on trash, and can hold up to five traditional cans full of trash before being emptied. This reduces fuel use and collection costs by 80 percent and will save the city $13 million over the next 10 years.
Brubaker Farms, Mount Joy – Lancaster County
Agricultural Preservation / Alternative Energy / Nutrient Trading
Brubaker Farms is a third-generation family-owned farm and has become a leader in agricultural preservation and education. Recently, this farm participated in a number of conservation activities to help maintain and promote a sustainable business. For example: they are part of Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation Program; they participated in American Farmland Trust’s BMP Challenge; they installed an anaerobic methane digester to generate energy and reduce odors; and were a party to one of the first nutrient trading program contracts. By partnering with Mount Joy Borough Authority this trading contract demonstrated how agriculture and municipalities can work together to benefit the environment and sustain productive agriculture. They are viewed by many in the agricultural community as leaders for their continued participation in conservation programs, educational outreach and policy discussions. As outlined in an Intelligencer Journal Lancaster New Era press release, Brubaker Farms has made significant personal contribution to the agricultural community and exemplifies outstanding dedication and commitment to preserving and enhancing agriculture in Lancaster County.
Buckman’s Inc. — Montgomery County
Solar & Wind Energy Deployment
Buckman’s received $520,000 in PEDA ARRA funding to execute a three-phase plan to cut costs, reduce energy usage and environmental impact, and ensure the long-term success of the organization in August 2009. This grant will fund the first phase, which will consist of a 620 kW solar energy system and targeted energy efficiency. The second phase will include the installation of a solar hot water system, with the final phase adding a wind energy system. The solar energy system is expected to generate 17,384,125 kWh of electricity over its lifetime. This project will create 14 temporary, full-time jobs. Matching funds – $3,867,340.
Carlisle Area School District – Cumberland County
Solar Energy Deployment
The Carlisle Area School District is installing a 1000 kW photovoltaic array system. This represents about 15% of the annual power used by the school district. This will save about $105,000 per year considering the sale of renewable energy credits of $0.25 kWh. The school district received a $1 million PEDA-ARRA award in August 2010 and a $950,000 CFA-Solar Energy Program award.
Crayola, LLC — Northampton County
Solar Energy Deployment
Crayola received $1.5 million in PEDA ARRA funding to develop a 1.9 MW solar powered facility at its headquarters and manufacturing site, in partnership with UGI Development Company and PPL Renewable Energy. The project represents 10 percent of the power consumed by the entire plant and one-third of the energy consumed for crayon manufacturing. The project will consist of 26,200 photovoltaic panels and produce more than 61,988,500 kWh of electricity over its lifetime, helping to offset electricity costs and preserve jobs at Crayola’s manufacturing facilities. A solar power exhibit will be constructed at The Crayola Factory, a hands-on visitors center, educating more than 320,000 visitors per year. The solar project is scheduled to begin producing power in August 2010.
Earth Conservancy – Huber III Mine Rec. Project
Abandoned Mine Reclamation / AMD / Economic Development
Earth Conservancy’s reclamation of Huber III Bank Area served as an important component of the environmental restoration of the Solomon Creek Watershed and the economic revitalization of the Wyoming Valley. The project area is located in the Solomon Creek Watershed, which is currently the focus of a Growing Greener grant application sponsored by Luzerne County to specifically address mine drainage impacts further downstream in the watershed. Due to the significant amount of environmentally degraded land, total reclamation of the site will play a major role in improving the water quality in each watershed. Equally important, because Huber III is situated in close proximity to SR 29 and I-81 as well as its location at one of two main entrances to Hanover Industrial Estates, which is developed to capacity, reclamation of the project area has provided much needed land for economic expansion. Prior to reclamation the site was, very simply, an eyesore to any person passing by or entering the park. The black mountains of waste material covered by scrub vegetation were a visual reminder of the damage done to the area from pre-regulation mining. The site was a hindrance to positive things happening as part of EC’s other reclamation projects occurring nearby. Those projects include the 65-acre Greater Hanover Area Recreation Park, a planned residential development, and a new business park under development by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry. The project addressed reclamation of the 82-acre site, with a resulting 50-acre building pad-ready site.
Jerry Feldman — Jerry’s Car Wash
Allegheny & Butler Counties
Water Conservation / Statewide Water Resources Committee
Jerry Feldman, owner of Jerry’s Car Wash along with his business partner and son, Mark Feldman, has been in the car wash business in Allegheny and Butler counties for over 25 years. Jerry has been an advocate and an industry model in the area of water conservation and water planning. He implemented water conservation measures at Jerry’s Carwashes in 2004 resulting in an approximate 60 percent reduction of water consumption. He has also volunteered his time serving on the Board of Directors for the PA Car Wash Association, and as a member of both the Pennsylvania Statewide Water Resources Committee and the Ohio River Basin Regional Water Resources Committees since their inception in 2002. In addition, he has enthusiastically led the committee formed to guide the development of the PA Water Resources Technical Assistance Center. He was instrumental in working to develop and award the contract for the statewide effort to development.
Giant Eagle Supermarkets
Western PA & Eastern OH
Giant Eagle supermarkets has been awarded the ENERGY STAR® Award for Sustained Excellence in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. In addition, the company was awarded the Partner of the Year award for 2004 and 2005. Giant Eagle is under contract to purchase 17 million kWh / year of wind energy through 2012.
Keystone Industrial Port Complex — Bucks County
Land Reclamation / Energy Jobs / Alternative Energy Use
Keystone Industrial Port Complex (formerly US Steel – Fairless Works) is one of the country’s most successful brownfield sites. The site has been transformed into an eco-industrial park with tenants involved in renewable energy manufacturing, metals and coal recycling, soil reuse, and electrical power production from landfill gas. Gamesa (wind blade manufacturing), AE Polysilicon (solar panel manufacturing), and Osstem (dental implant manufacturing) are currently tenants at the facility. KIPC recently signed a Sustainability Partnership with EPA to to enhance environmental opportunities for current and future KIPC tenants. There are also solar panels on an adjacent landfill owned by Waste Management. All of the electricity generated at the PECO/Exelon plant within the KIPC, which runs on landfill gas from the WMI landfills, goes to the KIPC system; the electricity which is not consumed at the KIPC is sent to the grid. The electricity generated at the Epuron / Conergy solar field located on WMI property (on-line about a year ago) goes directly to PECO, outside the KIPC.
Lycoming County Community
Gas Exploration Task Force
Community Education & Leadership
The Board of Commissioners for Lycoming County and the Williamsport / Lycoming Chamber of Commerce have collaborated to form the Community Gas Exploration Task Force (CGETF). Since early 2008, a number of gas companies began establishing a significant presence in Lycoming County to arrange leases with county landowners to drill the Marcellus Shale. The purpose of the CGETF is to identify key issues, research facts and information, and review and propose public policy regarding the positive, economic impact of gas exploration of the Marcellus Shale in Lycoming County
Lancaster Co. Conservation District
Agricultural Conservation / Water Quality
Don McNutt has provided exceptional leadership and support of practical, on-the-ground solutions for water quality protection in Lancaster County and throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Lancaster County Conservation District’s innovative approaches to agricultural compliance with environmental requirements include Warwick Township’s municipality-wide effort of on-farm conservation planning, staffing an outreach coordinator to assist the Plain-sect community, and fostering a county-wide program of stream bank fencing. Lancaster County Conservation District, and Don in particular, worked diligently with EPA Region 3 and the farm landowners in Watson Run watershed to create an innovative partnership to assess the water quality impacts of agricultural operations on this small watershed. Don’s efforts to bring farm land owners into EPA’s new initiatives on the Chesapeake Bay included Lancaster farm tours for federal officials and congressional representatives and inviting, and then transporting, Lancaster County Plain-Sect leaders to out-of-state meetings so that the needs and opinions of Pennsylvania’s diverse agricultural economy could be represented in EPA public process for the development of EPA’s new Chesapeake Bay program activities.
Tom Murphy – PSU Cooperative Extension
Community Education & Leadership
Tom Murphy works for the Penn State Extension Service. Early in the Marcellus process they understood what was going to happen and began offering meetings with landowners and others to advise them about leasing issues, drilling procedures, how to test their wells before drilling, warning townships about bonding roads and helping them get training to do so. Dozens and dozens of meetings were held all over the counties up here in these two regions. Tom was at the forefront of all of this. Perhaps the most impressive thing about all this is their awareness of what a big deal this was going to be, years before governmental agencies reacted. Then, they figured out what people needed to know. Facts, not fiction or politics or fear, is what they brought to the table. They did this free of charge and with no axe to grind. They made an honest attempt to educate and help people. Tom has been with Penn State Extension for 25 years. He is an Associate Extension Educator, and Co-Director of the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR).
Penn National Racecourse & Hollywood Casino
The Penn National Racing facility of Grantville, Pa. also host to the Hollywood Casino reclaims their wastewater and then reuses it. Starting with an advanced wastewater treatment plant that also filters phosphorus and reduces nutrients prior discharging to a stream, their capabilities are enhanced by the reuse of these waters. Reclaimed water is chlorinated then dyed blue and sent off to the casino for toilet and urinal flushing. Water is also used on the turf and track during racing season. These capabilities may enable Penn National to re-use all of their wastewater during dry periods in the summer when track watering is at its peak. Penn National is one of the first facilities to install reuse technology. One of the first to be permitted under the EPA Reuse and draft DEP Reuse Manuals.
Voith Hydro — York County
Renewable Energy Manufacturing Jobs
Voith Hydro is an outstanding example of how developments and investments in green energy technology can be good for our economy and our energy future. Even during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Voith has continued to invest and create new jobs. With more than 550 employees, a 27 percent increase over the past two years, Voith Hydro is still growing and keeping up with the demand for hydropower. The company hired 194 people in the last 24 months and is investing more than $15.3 million in building renovations, new equipment and upgrades to its existing equipment.