PHILADELPHIA -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mid-Atlantic region announced 11 winners of its annual environmental achievement awards including three awardees from Virginia: Virginia Beach Public Schools; the Transportation Security Administration from Arlington; and Green DMV in Alexandria.
“People and organizations throughout our region are making great strides in environmental protection, and these awards recognize some of the shining stars who are doing more than their share to keep our planet healthy and inspiring others to do the same,” said Shawn M. Garvin, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.
The Mid-Atlantic Environmental Achievement Awards recognize groups, agencies, individuals and businesses making extraordinary contributions to improving the environment in the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The winning entries were selected from among more than 30 nominations. The Virginia winners include:
Virginia Beach Public Schools for numerous sustainability achievements that include having the district’s Hermitage Elementary School become the first LEED certified elementary school in Virginia. Its sustainable features include using a rainwater harvesting system to flush the toilets and a solar-heated hot water system for the cafeteria. The 85-school district also had great recycling success by recycling more than 1,236 tons between September 2009 and June 2010. Other highlights include: a school bus no idle policy which resulted in an estimated $50,000 in savings last year and adjusting temperature controls at all buildings, which resulted in $500,000 in savings.
The Transportation Security Administration in Arlington. As a component for the Department of Homeland Security, TSA has established environmental management programs at its 39 facilities in the mid-Atlantic region. Environmental achievements include recycling programs at nearly all its facilities, with airport locations having recycled about 222 tons. TSA continues to strive for a fuel efficient fleet and has increased the number of hybrid vehicles in its mid-Atlantic fleet from 25 to 91 in the past year. Energy efficiency upgrades at TSA Headquarters in Arlington include: motion sensors for lights in the parking garage and stairwells; motion sensor lighting in building work spaces; energy efficient windows and weather-stripping.
Green DMV, a non-profit organization based in Alexandria, for promoting green jobs in low-income communities as a pathway out of poverty. (DMV is a colloquialism used by Washington metropolitan area residents for District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia) Notable projects include developing the leading job corps training program in the Greater Washington region and the “Retro-Rescue” project, which retrofitted Gospel Rescue Ministries, a Washington, D.C. homeless shelter, to reduce its energy costs and to expose a disadvantaged population to green jobs.
EPA presents awards in three categories: non-profit or volunteer organization; business and industry; and state, local or other federal government agency. For a full list winners and more information on the awards, visit: