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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: May 11, 2011
CONTACT: Jim Martin, 603-271-3710

EPA Honors DES Programs with Prestigious Regional Environmental Merit Awards
Three Individuals Recognized for their Outstanding Contributions

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services’ Small Business Technical Assistance Program and the Brownfields Program were among the five groups and one individual from New Hampshire honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today at Boston’s Faneuil Hall as EPA presented its annual Environmental Merit Awards for 2011.

Given out by EPA since 1970, the merit awards honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts to preserve the region’s environment. The winners from New Hampshire were among 56 from across New England. Awards were given in the categories of individual; business (including professional organizations); local, state or federal government; and environmental, community, academia or nonprofit organization.

This year’s Environmental Merit Award Winners from DES are:

Environmental, Community, Academia, & Non-profit Organizations Environmental Merit Award:

New Hampshire Small Business Technical Assistance Program
Sara Johnson, Concord, New Hampshire

Sara Johnson and the Small Business Technical Assistance Program (SBTAP) have been instrumental in bringing greater awareness and compliance of federal and state environmental regulations to the private sector of auto body facilities in New Hampshire. SBTAP visited over 220 auto body shops to determine current compliance with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources rule and NH Hazardous Waste Rules. Survey results indicated that 87 percent of the shops visited did not know if the coatings they use contain one of the five hazardous air pollutants listed in the Standards and 21 percent of shops do not have exhaust booth filters. In addition, only 33 percent of shops completed the initial notification form in 2010. The form was mailed to every shop in New Hampshire and was distributed to over 415 attendees at 12 workshops hosted by SBTAP throughout the state. In addition to air emissions, hazardous waste management continues to be a concern at auto body shops. Thirty-one percent of shops visited are illegally disposing of waste solvent/thinner into the air, into the trash, or allowing it to evaporate. Thirty percent of the auto body shops that have an on-site thinner recycler are illegally disposing of the “sludge/pucks” in the trash. Over 70 percent of shops have failed to conduct a hazardous waste determination on waste booth filters. Only 54 percent of shops are properly recycling fluorescent lamps, while the remaining shops are illegally tossing the lamps into the trash. SBTAP works closely in partnership with the NH Automobile Dealer Association and the NH Small Business Development Center, and will continue outreach efforts through 2011, including additional site visits, publications on the management of hazardous waste, and collecting outcome metrics for an environmental justice case study.

Governmental:

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Concord, New Hampshire
Keith DuBois and Gary Lynn

Keith DuBois and Gary Lynn, employees of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, are on the cutting edge of providing service and technical support in the brownfields arena. Over three years, with Keith as brownfields coordinator for DES, has made great strides in communicating with communities and nonprofit organizations. One of his most successful efforts has been in Berlin, a city with many brownfields sites left behind from its pulp and papermaking past. The first property moving toward success is Notre Dame High School, which is being redeveloped for elderly housing and is expected to open this next year. While Keith is focused on sites contaminated by hazardous substances, Gary Lynn’s expertise is petroleum. He has details on almost every property in New Hampshire that is contaminated with petroleum. In 2008 and 2009, DES received funding to assess properties contaminated with petroleum. Keith and Gary helped establish the New Hampshire Brownfield Steering Group, a committee of municipal, planning, state, and private investments in brownfield redevelopment efforts, whose effectiveness is unmatched. One example is the Wausau/Groveton Paper Mill, a 103-acre site that was once the economic and geographic heart of Groveton. Gary and Keith worked with the town and regional planning organization to come up with a redevelopment plan. What started off as a daunting project has now resulted in assessment work, cleanup and a serious investment and project plan for commercial agricultural reuse of the site. Working together, Keith and Gary provide solid technical expertise that ensures these properties are assessed, cleaned up and available for redevelopment.

More information on all EPA Environmental Merit Award Winners from this year and past years is available at http://www.epa.gov/region1/ra/ema/index.html. For more information on the DES Small Business Technical Program, the Brownfields Program and other outstanding DES programs, please see www.des.nh.gov.

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