From the community

Environmental Merit Awards given to four Maine recipients

Posted April 23, 2014, at 9:45 a.m.

 AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho presented the federal Environmental Protection Agency EPA’s annual Environmental Merit Awards to four Maine recipients.

“I’m delighted to celebrate Earth Day by recognizing and congratulating Maine’s leaders in environmental stewardship. Maine was well-represented at the EPA’s annual award ceremony this year reflecting the importance our State places on environmental protection,” said Gov. Paul R. LePage in congratulating the winners in a press release.

Scott Williams of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program was nominated by Commissioner Aho and received an award for his unwavering dedication to protecting Maine’s lakes. 

“When I met with Scott earlier this year, I could tell immediately that he was deeply committed to providing a needed service to the State of Maine. Scott ensures that the hundreds of volunteers who have taken an interest in their lake are properly trained and thoroughly engaged. Their eagerness to assist each year – some of whom count their service in decades – is a reflection of Scott’s passionate leadership,” said Commissioner Aho, in the press release.

“DEP has estimated that it has saved over $350,000 in staff time alone to gather the same amount of data. VLMP was specifically designed to provide the most cost-effective means of collecting statewide lake data. DEP would not have the information we need to make informed decisions on lakes without Scott’s dedication to leading VLMP.”

The ‘Save Your Pipes: Don’t Flush Baby Wipes’ campaign by the Maine Waste Water Control Association, the Portland Water District and the INDA, the national association of non-woven fabrics, was nominated by Commissioner Aho and received an award for their efforts to combat a serious economic and environmental problem facing Maine.

“I was delighted to participate in the kick-off of the ‘Save Your Pipes: Don’t Flush Baby Wipes’ campaign in January. Treatment operators have told the Maine DEP that with the sales of wipes and new products growing exponentially, consumers can be confused by which ones can be flushed or not, leading to clogs. Our waste water treatment operators who are truly on the front lines of environmental protection are facing more and more of these challenges every day,” said Commissioner Aho. “INDA, MWWCA and the Portland Water District came together to fund a creative and innovative solution to a national problem. Maine is leading the way seeking solutions and fortunately for the rest of the country, the results and the promotional materials can be shared with them.”

Dr. Samuel Merrill formerly of the University of Southern Maine and now the head of the Catalysis Adaptation Partners received an award for his 12 years of service to the New England Environmental Finance Center at the University of Southern Maine and the New England Communities and the Environment. 

“Dr. Merrill’s public service, commitment to protecting natural resources, and the development of a useful tool as we prepare for climate change, are vital to helping Maine’s environment. Dr. Merrill has been an entrepreneurial leader in preparing for climate adaptation,” said Commissioner Aho. 

The Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) received an award for its strong public and private sector collaborations to accelerate the clean technology economy in Maine.

“E2 Tech is a valuable service to the environment and energy sector in Maine. It holds forums with balanced perspectives on high profile issues facing the industry. These events are well respected throughout the State for having objective analysis and speakers. It’s an effective platform for hosting events that otherwise might not be discussed,” said Commissioner Aho. “It is not just about networking, although that’s important for the ideas its generates, E2Tech undertakes initiatives related to renewable energy such as the Brunswick Landing project and the Clean Tech corridor concept.”

For more than thirty years, EPA New England has honored those who have made outstanding contributions on behalf of our region’s environment with Environmental Merit Awards.

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