Jan 12, 2016

EPA Opens Nominations for Annual Environmental Merit Awards in New England

Nominations are due by Feb. 12

EPA is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Environmental Merit Awards, which will recognize environmental achievements during the past year. Award categories are available for individuals, businesses, governmental entities and other organizations. Awards are also given under a lifetime achievement category.

These regional awards have been given out annually since EPA was created in 1970. Past recipients have included scientists, community activists, business representatives, public officials and other individuals committed to preserving the environment. An independent EPA panel will select the winners based on the following criteria: long-term effects on the environment; ability to address an environmental problem or need; collaboration with others; ability of the program or accomplishments to be widely shared; clarity and effectiveness of the presentation; and promotion of innovative ideas or techniques.

Awards are traditionally given in four categories: individual; business, industry, trade and professional organization; local, state or federal government; and environmental, community or non-profit organization.

This year, EPA will also be awarding the Children’s Environmental Health Award for an individual or group that has made significant progress, contribution and leadership toward protecting children from environmental health risks in schools, homes and childcare environments in New England. Criteria for the Children’s Environmental Health Awards are:

  • innovative efforts to increase awareness of children's unique vulnerabilities to pollutants and other environmental hazards through research, education, outreach or capacity-building activities; and/or
  • development of activities or programs that have produced tangible reductions in risk to children from environmental health hazards where they live, learn and play.

A final award category is available. For a third year, EPA will be awarding the Ira Leighton “In Service to States” Environmental Merit Award. This award recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant strides in facilitating state and federal partnerships through innovative sustainable solutions addressing critical environmental challenges in New England. The successful candidate will have actively demonstrated conviction and leadership in protecting the environment and promoting sustainable practices, and it will be determined by a collaborations among the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA), in coordination with the New England state Environmental Commissioners.

The deadline for nominations is Feb. 12, 2016. Awards winners will be invited to a ceremony in May in Boston. Nominations are only accepted online.