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In The Works

In the Works

Volume 20, Issues 6 – 7, June and July 2019


EPA Administrator Wheeler and White House CEQ Chairman Neumayr Honor over 200 U.S. Teachers and Students at Presidential Environmental Youth Awards Ceremony

WASHINGTON – In July, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chairman Mary Neumayr announced the 2019 awardees of the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) and the President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) during an awards ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

“The Presidential Environmental Education Awards Ceremony is a day I look forward to each year because it is a time when we honor some of the best and brightest in environmental education and stewardship,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This year, CEQ Chairman Mary Neumayr joined me in celebrating our 200 student and teacher winners who represent excellence in environmental protection. Congratulations and thank you to all our winners for their dedication to protecting human health and the environment.”

“It was a pleasure to join Administrator Wheeler today as we recognized the achievements of students and teachers from across the country who are promoting environmental stewardship and furthering environmental education in their communities and schools,” said CEQ Chairman Neumayr. “These students are our nation’s next generation of leaders and are doing outstanding work.”

From across the country, 19 educators and 200 students were recognized for their remarkable efforts that promote environmental education and stewardship. Eleven educators received the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, and eight educators were recognized with an honorable mention distinction. Additionally, the 200 student award recipients – who worked as a team or individually on 17 projects – received the President’s Environmental Youth Award.  Altogether, EPA received 162 project applications from 26 states.

Teacher and student awardees presented their projects at a poster session for attendees and EPA leadership, and EPA program offices hosted the “EPA Student Information Fair,” during which students and teachers interacted with staff to learn more about the agency’s work.

Established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, the PEYA program promotes local environmental awareness among our nation’s youth and encourages positive community involvement. EPA Headquarters works with staff located in EPA’s 10 regional offices in the selection of award recipients across the country.

Also established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, PIAEE supports, encourages and nationally honors outstanding kindergarten through high school educators who integrate environmental and place-based, experiential learning into school curricula and school facility management across the country. Under the act, the White House CEQ assists EPA in administering the awards program.

The PIAEE program seeks to recognize, support and bring public attention to the outstanding environmental projects performed by these innovative teachers who go beyond textbook instruction to incorporate methods and materials that utilize creative experiences and enrich student learning. The program recognizes up to 20 elementary and secondary (K-12) education teachers, school administrators, and their local education agencies and provides funding to help support those educators in their environmental education work.

PIAEE Winners:

Region 2

Aaron Baker
High Point Regional High School
Sussex, New Jersey

AnnMarie Mills
Islip Middle School
Islip, New York

Region 3

Brittany L. Bauer
Wyoming County East High School
New Richmond, West Virginia

Jared Fritzinger
Old Donation School
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Region 4

Nancy Platt
James B. Edwards Elementary School
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Carrie Settles Livers
Brookwood High School
Snellville, Georgia

Region 5

Jennifer A. Heyer
Cedar Ridge Elementary School
Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Region 6

Ryan D. Beeler
Spring Woods High School
Houston, Texas

Region 8

Amy R. Williams
Polson Middle School
Polson, Montana

Region 9

Amy R. Williams
Polson Middle School
Polson, Montana

Region 10

Anne K. McHugh
Franklin High School
Portland, Oregon

The following teachers were recognized as PIAEE honorable mention recipients:

Region 3

Matthew Sturdivant
Odyssey Charter School
Wilmington, Delaware

Region 4

Missy Eason
Pine Grove Elementary School
Valdosta, Georgia

Elaine Fiore
Beachside Montessori Village
Hollywood, Florida

Region 6

Isabel Anaya
Charles L. Kuentz, Jr. Elementary School
Helotes, Texas

Allison Adkinson
Tarver-Rendon Elementary School
Burleson, Texas

Region 8

Caitlin Webb
Dixon School
Dixon, Montana

Region 9

Rachna Nath
Arizona College Preparatory – Erie Campus
Chandler, Arizona

Kelly Porter
Edison High School
Huntington Beach, California

Learn more about the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) Winners

PEYA Winners:

Region 1

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Generation Growers

Team Members: Ava, Ella, Lila, Claire, Amelia, Madeleine, Beckett, Teaghan, Colby, Isabelle, Teddy, Lydia, Michael, Keigan, Annie, Carina, Emma, Sinead, Evan, Spencer, Lucy, Addison, Joey, Melanie, Gabby, Stella, Brooke, Ellie, Natalie, Olivia, and Nell

Region 2

Award Category: Grade 6-12
Light and Hope for Puerto Rico
by Salvador
Puerto Rico

Region 3

Award Category: Grade 6-12
Friends of the Earth
Team Members: Sebastian, Hannaha, Destany, Zoe, Myranda, Emily, Hailey, Taylor, David, Nathan, Hailey, Brenda, Amy, Angela, and Bryce
West Virginia

Region 4

Award Category: Grade K-5 
Bobcat Up! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Team Members: Ben, Kayla, Eva, Gabriela, and Sabrina

Award Category: Grade 6-12 
The Fishes Wishes
by Ryan

Region 5

Award Category: Grade K-5
Recycling Trailblazer by Lane

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Aquatic Robotics/Invasive Species Education
Team Members: Robert, Zakari, Brooklyn, James, Jack, Arnold, Ernest, Kevin, Carly, and Kirby

Region 6

Award Category: Grade K-5

Harveyville Recycling Team
Team Members: Ahmad, Reyna, Marley, Jayleen, Jamie, Sophia, Evelyn, Aiden, Mario, Zevin, Kaitlyn, and Estrella

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Northern Bobwhite Quail Reintroduction Project by Trevor

Region 7

Award Category: Grade K-5

Getting Markers Out of Landfills by Joslyn

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Pollinator Paradise

Team Members: Drake, Evan, Zachary, Peyton, Abigail, Riley, Katherine, Wyatt, Carlei, Elaine, Lucas, Makayla, Calvin, Zoe, Grant, Lindy, Alexander, Elijah, Zachariah, Carson, Evan, Madison, Cohen, Katie, Alexandria, Haley, Josephine, Joseph, Cale, Rose, William, Chase, Eliana, Peyton, Ashton, Alexander, James, Gwendolyn, Gavin, Caiden, Colby, Jack, Elsa, Jane, James, Hope, Liam, Landry, Sawyer, Sierra, Katelyn, Jackson, Karter, William, Bryson, Alex, Will, Henry, Audri, Abigail, Isaac, Dakota, Jillian, Vincent, Lilian, Landon, Kyah, Joshua, Hallie, Henry, Noah, Cohen, Emma, Gage, Cason, Liliana, Caiden, Kalie, Gracie, Annabelle, Mason, and Connor

Region 8

Award Category: Grade K-5

Green Team Superheroes
Team Members: Aiden, Brady, Henry, Jackson, Alyssa, Madison, Annikah, Reagan, Samuel, Campbell, Julianne, Dillon, Genevieve

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Development of a Novel Tool for Monitoring Soil Health and Contamination by Kylan

Region 9

Award Category: Grade K-5

Whalemanji: Welcome to the Ocean – an integrated project to help support the Humpback Whale
Team Members: Electra, Luke, Rocco, Robert, Tej, Kinsey, Samantha, Kadence, Emilia, Luc, Isabelle, Izaak, Madison, Cisco, Cavan, Elyse, and Nash

Award Category: Grade 6-12

The Healthy Freedom Campaign
Team Members: Lila, Zion, Felix, Kohana, and Nikita

Region 10

Award Category: Grade K-5

Worm Soup and Growing Green
Team Members: Kamryn, Samantha, Aaron, and Emelyn

Award Category: Grade 6-12

Restoration and Preservation of Deer Creek in the Aftermath of the Beaver Creek Fire by Hunter

Learn more about the President’s Environmental Youth Award


Governor Lamont Signs Legislation Authorizing the Development of Offshore Wind in Connecticut

State Readying to Begin Procurement Process

Governor Ned Lamont recently announced that he has signed legislation his administration introduced with the support of legislative advocates that authorizes the development of offshore wind in Connecticut.

The legislation, which was approved in May in the House of Representatives, was given final legislative approval recently in the State Senate, and the rules were suspended so that the bill could be immediately transmitted to the governor. Now that it has received his signature, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) plans to promptly begin the RFP process, followed by an opportunity for public comment and the incorporation of the findings of the Commission of Environmental Standards. The statute calls for the commission to recommend for inclusion in each RFP best practices on minimizing environmental and fisheries impact.

“Connecticut should be the central hub of the offshore wind industry in New England,” Governor Lamont said. “This emerging industry has the potential to create hundreds of good paying jobs for the residents of our state and drive economic growth in towns along our shoreline. And by delivering zero carbon renewable energy, we can increase our region’s fuel security while also making significant progress toward meeting our climate goals. By adopting this new law, we are sending a clear message – Connecticut is serious about becoming a major player in the clean energy economy.”

Governor Lamont thanked the Energy and Technology Committee’s co-chairs and ranking members – Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex), Representative David Arconti (D-Danbury), Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme), and Representative Charles Ferraro (R-West Haven) – for their leadership in working together in a bipartisan manner with his administration to draft the legislation and achieve its approval.

“It is my priority to see that Connecticut reaps the maximum benefit from this historic commitment to renewable energy,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “We have initiated the RFP process and are committed to advancing this clean energy technology in ways that address impacts to our environment and fisheries.”

Among its provisions, the legislation:

  • Authorizes the state to purchase up to 2,000 MW (or equivalent to 30 percent of state load) – the largest authorization by load of any state in the region;
  • Ensures swift action – DEEP must initiate a solicitation 14 days after passage;
  • Requires DEEP to set up a future schedule for procurements;
  • Provides for robust competition and selection for best prices while achieving economic development benefits and minimizing environmental/fisheries impacts;
  • Begins a process under which DEEP will work with the Department of Economic and Community Development to ensure selected proposals have positive impacts on the state’s economic development;
  • Requires contract commitments from selected bids that pay the prevailing wage and engage in good faith negotiation of a project labor agreement; and
  • Commits the state and DEEP to develop a commission to develop best management practices for minimizing impacts to wildlife, natural resources, ecosystems, and commercial fishing during the construction and operation of facilities. Bidders will be required to develop mitigation plans that reflect these practices.

The approval of the legislation comes on the heels of a public-private partnership Governor Lamont announced last month between the State of Connecticut, through the Connecticut Port Authority, terminal operator Gateway, and Bay State Wind, a joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource, that includes a plan to redevelop State Pier in New London into a world-class, state-of-the-art port facility. The partnership includes a combined $93 million investment to upgrade State Pier’s infrastructure and heavy-lift capability that will allow it to meet the facility requirements of the offshore wind industry and benefit the port’s long-term growth by increasing its capability to accommodate heavy-lift cargo for years to come.

The legislation is House Bill 7156, An Act Concerning the Procurement of Energy Derived from Offshore Wind.


Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding to Assist Local Water Quality Management Efforts

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Selects Communities of Athol, Braintree Great Barrington, Natick, Palmer and Quincy.

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration recently awarded $208,995 in funding to six projects to assess watershed pollution and plan for work to address water quality impairments. The projects, selected each year by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), are located in Athol, Braintree, Great Barrington, Natick, Palmer and Quincy.

“The protection of our watersheds is vital to our administration’s efforts to improve water quality and better protect public health,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By supporting innovative green infrastructure solutions, these grants will help communities preserve their environmentally sensitive resources.”

“Stormwater runoff pollutes our watersheds and waterways and has an impact on the quality of life in our communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This grant program helps us build partnerships with local communities as they implement projects that protect important natural resources and preserve local ecosystems.”

The grants are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through Section 604b of the federal Clean Water Act. Since 1998, MassDEP has funded 103 projects under the 604b water quality management program, totaling more than $4.8 million to address non-point source pollution problems.

“Comprehensive watershed protection efforts keep communities, residents and natural resources across the Commonwealth safe and healthy,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “These grants will help the communities assess and ultimately protect vital local watershed resources.”

“Communities collect watershed data and develop green infrastructure plans to help them manage their local water sources, and we are pleased to offer this support for their efforts,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “The testing of water bodies and the development of low-impact development plans to manage stormwater are key steps in our overall water resource protection strategy across the Commonwealth.”

The term “non-point source pollution” refers to contaminants that are carried to a waterway as a result of precipitation and stormwater runoff from the land or infiltration into the soil. Common types of non-point source pollution include phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and garden fertilizers, bacteria from pet waste and waterfowl, oil and grease from parking lots and roadways and sediment from construction activities and soil erosion.

Projects selected by the Baker-Polito Administration to receive funding are:

Lake Ellis Watershed Survey – $47,000
Town of Athol

Funding will be used to establish a water quality baseline to serve as a foundation for the development of a watershed-based plan for the control of nuisance aquatic vegetation in Lake Ellis. The project will include consideration of alternative measures for the control of aquatic weeds.

Sub-watershed Assessment and Stormwater Retrofit – $30,623
City of Braintree

Funding will be used to identify and prioritize 10 town-owned parcels suitable for instillation of Low-Impact Development stormwater retrofits and to develop conceptual designs for the use of Best Management Practices at those sites. This effort will include a public engagement program for stakeholders through public meetings, design charrettes and interpretive signage.

Lake Mansfield – Beach Parking Area Stormwater Planning – $25,400
Town of Great Barrington

Funding will help the town prepare preliminary designs and cost estimates to install stormwater Best Management Practices near the Lake Mansfield beach area parking lot, which is one of the last remaining pollution sources contributing to water quality impairment of the lake.

Greening Natick Streets – $27,975
Town of Natick

Funding will be used by the town and the Charles River Watershed Association to develop a Green Street Design program for Pond Street to help reduce phosphorus inputs to Dug Pond, the Charles River and Lake Cochituate. The effort will also include a Green Streets Guide for use in future projects and a public outreach campaign to raise awareness about the importance of the Green Streets program.

Forest Lake Watershed Assessment – $48,119
Town of Palmer

Funding will help the town identify and assess non-point pollution sources to Forest Lake and assist watershed residents and town officials in the development and implementation of a Watershed Based Plan. The plan will help identify opportunities for stormwater remediation.

Stormwater Retrofit Evaluation Project – $29,878
City of Quincy

Funding will help the city and the Neponset Watershed Association (NWA) identify, prioritize and inspect sites suitable for retrofitting with structural stormwater Best Management Practices. The city and NWA will conduct substantial field inspections of potential retrofit locations and select three priority sites.

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