Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
2013 Environmental Award Winners
The 2013 awardees will continue to be honored at individual presentations in various locations in the Pacific Southwest region. The press releases are included below for the awards that have been presented.
- Stardust Non-Profit Building Supplies
Stardust Non-Profit Building Supplies encourages reuse and repurposing in its community through innovation, education and partnerships. It provides a resource for reuse and repurposing by preventing construction and demolition waste from entering the landfills and presenting a sustainable alternative to conventional demolition via deconstruction services. Stardust's deconstruction services remove usable building materials from homes and businesses at no cost to the owner for the donation of the items. Donated items are sold out of Stardust Non-Profit Building Supplies retail warehouse locations in the Phoenix metropolitan area, providing affordable salvaged building materials to the public through commerce. The deconstruction and resale processes divert over 650 tons of usable materials from local area landfills each year, saving area taxpayers thousands of dollars in reclamation costs and thus enhancing the quality of our environment by reducing waste and the byproducts of waste removal. EPA press event
- Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA)
To overcome ever-increasing regulatory, environmental and economic challenges to organics waste management in Southern California, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) and the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts formed a regional partnership, creating the Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA) and developing a state-of-the art composting facility. The facility, known as the Inland Empire Regional Composting Facility (IERCF), has been operating since 2007 and has been effectively processing 200,000 wet tons per year organic materials such as greenwaste, woodwaste, manure and biosolids. The facility operates under some of the most stringent regulations in the country and has been 100% compliant since startup. The project allows hundreds of thousands of tons of waste materials to be recycled locally instead of requiring the material to be transported out of the region. The material is processed into high-quality compost for local reuse at a cost that is competitive with alternative recycling options. Over 240,000 cubic yards of compost are produced each year and tested under the Seal of Testing Assurance program and sold into local markets. EPA press event 3/24/14
- Jeffrey Betcher and Quesada Gardens Initiative
Betcher is the Co-Founder and first Executive Director of the Quesada Gardens Initiative, an 11-year-old community-emergent organization in San Francisco's historically underserved and environmentally challenged Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. He is also a resident of that neighborhood. After spending much of his career in the national violence prevention movement, Betcher was so inspired by work he and his neighbors conceived and led—work that quickly transformed a place notorious for environmental blight and social isolation into a model of beauty and community unity—that he quit his job and plunged into the uncharted waters of community building. Under Betcher's leadership, the Quesada Gardens Initiative has grown small acts of courage into gardens, public art and gathering spaces that thrive on diverse grassroots involvement, all at little cost to the public. Betcher is respected for connecting research about social cohesion to old-school organizing that honors grassroots wisdom and a community's right to define its own environment.
- Curtimade Dairy
Curtimade Dairy is a leader in California's agricultural renewable energy sector. The dairy, located in Tulare, Calif., has embraced renewable energy production in a big way, while most other dairies have been slow to adopt the technology. Looking to reduce their overall energy use and related costs, Curtimade dairy used underutilized land that could not be used for feed production or to house animals. On three and a half acres of this land, they installed a 719 kW, $2.9 million system, among the biggest of just a handful of dairy solar units in the U.S. The solar installation produces enough electricity to power 130 average American homes per year and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 27,000 tons over the 25 year warranted life of the solar panels, which is the equivalent to removing 192 cars from the road yearly. In addition to offsetting fossil fuel use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the dairy also sees a savings of approximately $18,000 per month in energy costs.
- John Clements and Kings Canyon Unified School District
John Clements recently retired as the Director of Transportation at the Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD) located in California's San Joaquin Valley. In his 39 years as a school transportation professional, John has been a strong advocate for clean school bus technologies and operational techniques as a strategy for protecting children's health. In recent years, John has proven to be a true pioneer in the school transportation sector by demonstrating the feasibility of zero-emission, battery-electric school buses and refrigerated lunch delivery trucks in KCUSD fleet operations. In addition, Clements has actively engaged in numerous clean transportation stakeholder groups, including the U.S. EPA West Coast Collaborative Public Fleets Workgroup, and the California Air Resources Board's Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project Workgroup. John's fleet operations expertise and passionate advocacy has helped bolster federal, state and local efforts to accelerate the deployment of cleaner vehicle technologies in some our nation's most polluted air basins. EPA press event 3/14/14
- Dr. Bob Holland and Carol Witham and Vernalpools.org
In the community of wetlands scientists, Holland and Witham are almost trademarks for vernal pool science and protection; they are the quintessential champions for vernal pool protection in California. After decades of service to a wide spectrum of Californians—from ranchers and farmers to elementary and college students to agency staff—these two stalwarts of wetland protection deserve recognition for their talented, dedicated and tenacious protection of vernal pools and their service to all citizens of California. EPA press event held 3/4/14
- Kim Johnson and The Kokua Hawaii Foundation
The Kokua Hawaii Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii. Their mission is to provide students with experiences that will enhance their appreciation for and understanding of their environment so they will be lifelong stewards of the earth. Kokua Hawaii Foundation's Plastic Free Schools program provides resources, tools and trainings to educate school communities on the environmental and health benefits of going plastic free to minimize the consumption and pollution of plastics in our schools and islands.
- Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway
The Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway is a vision of following the Truckee River by foot or by bicycle from its source at forested Lake Tahoe to its desert terminus, Pyramid Lake. The route will descend over 2,000 feet in 116 miles, using a combination of existing dirt and paved roads, plus some sections of new trail and bridges. The first Bikeway-government partnership was with the City of Reno and Nevada Department of Transportation. Other trail collaborators include the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District, Bureau of Land Management, the State of Nevada, Bureau of Reclamation, The Nature Conservancy, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and two counties.
Environmental Awards (R9EnvironmentalAwards@epa.gov)