Article - Office of College Advancement

EPA Honors California Environmental Heroes

By Environmental Protection Agency.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008—Reprinted from Imperial Valley News [full article].

San Francisco, California - During the agency's 10th annual Environmental Awards Ceremony in San Francisco today, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri presented plaques to 16 organizations and individuals throughout Northern and Central California in recognition of their efforts to protect and preserve the environment in 2007.

“The EPA is pleased and honored to acknowledge the innovative and far-reaching environmental work achieved by this impressive group of organizations and individuals. They set an example for all of us to follow,” Nastri said. “All of this year's winners - in fact, all of this year's nominees - have made commendable efforts to protect and preserve our air, water and land or increased our awareness of the environmental challenges we face.”

The Region 9 Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Twenty-nine groups and individuals were selected from over 130 nominees received this year from businesses, local, government officials, tribes, media, environmental organizations and citizen activists.

This year's winners include a family farmer growing pumpkins and other crops along the coast in Half Moon Bay who is a leader in promoting sustainable erosion control, water conservation and integrated pest management at the local, state and national level, engineering students who designed and built a self-sufficient, attractive and affordable solar-powered home, which won 3rd place at an international competition, a “no pigs left behind” program where educational outreach and inspections resulted in reducing 11,000 pounds of nitrogen, 4,000 pounds of phosphorus, and 90 percent of bacterial contamination in nearby waterways, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District that developed an innovative, first-in-the-nation $3 million climate protection grant program to encourage Bay area local governments and nonprofits to implement projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and an outreach campaign that aims to educate teens about the chemicals in body care products, such as cosmetics, shampoos and lotions;

The Northern California winners and basis for recognition are:

Federal, Tribal, State or Local Government

Doug Treadway, Leta Stagnaro and David Smith - Ohlone College Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology - Newark, California

Abandoned contaminated property blights the community and discourages development. Ohlone College took the initiative to turn a once blighted area into its new Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology. Using an EPA Brownfields grant and funding from bond measures, Ohlone College created a visionary “College of the Future.” Its Newark campus, the first community college in the nation to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification, offers courses that include an Environmental Studies Program. The college serves as a role model for its 18,000 students, both teaching and practicing environmental leadership.

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