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November 18, 2003

Contact: Elaine Makatura


Excellence Awards Recognize Significant Environmental Achievements in New Jersey

(03/166) ATLANTIC CITY - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell will honor environmental leaders at a ceremony tonight handing out the annual Environmental Excellence Awards to winners in eight categories. The awards recognize individuals, businesses, and communities who have made significant contributions to environmental protection in New Jersey. The awards ceremony and reception will begin at 5:15 p.m. in room 319, Atlantic City Convention Center.

"These awards recognize the environmental leaders in New Jersey's towns, companies, authorities, and military bases who are achieving superior environmental performance," said Commissioner Campbell. "These leaders are setting the standard for innovation and commitment, while reminding us that some of the best ideas in environmental protection emerge from local problem solving rather than traditional regulation."

Winners were selected from a record number of nominations and were judged on the basis of the documented environmental benefits, innovation, and long-term impact of their work to the environment. DEP received nominations in eight categories: Clean Air, Clean and Plentiful Water, Safe and Healthy Communities, Open Space Protection and Preservation, Healthy Ecosystems, Innovative Technology, Environmental Stewardship and Environmental Leadership.

This is the fourth year the awards, co-sponsored by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology (NJCAT), have been bestowed on state environmental leaders. This year, DEP received so many nominations that it awarded Honorable Mentions for the first time.

The New Jersey State League of Municipalities is a voluntary association created to help communities do a better job of self-government by pooling information resources. The association has been serving local officials for more than 80 years.

NJCAT is a public-private partnership that pools the resources of business and industry, entrepreneurs, university research centers, utilities and government to promote New Jersey's emerging environmental technologies.

Below is a list of this year's winners and honorable mentions:

  • Clean Air Winner - Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst
    The Naval Air Engineering Station at Lakehurst provides engineering support to all naval air platforms and has more than 600 major sources of air emissions, consisting primarily of utility boilers. This award recognizes the station's efforts to reduce emissions by initiating several projects to convert all fuel oil fired boilers at the facility to cleaner burning natural gas.

  • Clean Air Honorable Mention - Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority
    The Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority (CMCMUA) provides solid waste management services for all 16 municipalities within Cape May County. This honorable mention recognizes the use of landfill gas from the CMCMUA's Sanitary Landfill as a replacement fuel for the boilers at the Woodbine Development Center. This fuel switch provides a significant reduction in the emissions from the WDC's boiler facilities.

  • Clean and Plentiful Water Winner - Pequannock River Coalition
    The Pequannock River Coalition, founded in 1994 as a grassroots watershed association, promotes the "preservation of the Pequannock River as a natural, recreational, aesthetic and water supply resource." This award recognizes the Coalition's intensive temperature monitoring program using electronic data loggers at targeted sites throughout the watershed.

  • Clean and Plentiful Water Honorable Mention - Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners
    Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners (PVSC) is a 330 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant located in Newark that serves 1.3 million people in parts of Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic Counties. In 1998, PVSC created the Passaic River/Newark Bay Restoration Program to clean the shoreline and remove debris along the banks of the Passaic River. The PVSC also created a Pollution Prevention Educational Outreach Program that visits local grammar schools to discuss point and non-point source pollution and household waste disposal. This honorable mention recognizes these efforts.

  • Clean and Plentiful Water Honorable Mention - Ten Towns Great Swamp Watershed Management
    The Ten Towns Great Swamp Watershed Management Committee is an inter-municipal organization that was formed to prepare and to implement a Great Swamp Watershed Management Plan. Since its formation, the Ten Towns Committee has become a model for the entire state for effective partnership, not only among all four levels of government (municipal, county, state and federal), but also with private organizations. This honorable mention recognizes the Committee's ongoing work in watershed management planning and protection

  • Clean and Plentiful Water Honorable Mention - Raritan Basin Watershed Management Project
    The Raritan Basin Watershed Management Project was a four-year effort funded by DEP and the NJ Water Supply Authority (NJWSA), and implemented by NJWSA. The Project involved hundreds of stakeholders in the development of nine Characterization and Assessment Technical Reports as well as the Raritan Basin Watershed Management Plan. The Raritan Plan provides strategies for management of six critical issues highlighted by the technical reports: water supply, surface water quality, stormwater management, ground water, stream ecosystem health and riparian ecosystems integrity. This honorable mention recognizes the ongoing work of the Project and the Alliance to implement the Raritan Basin Watershed Management Plan.

  • Healthy Ecosystems Winner - Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc.
    The Hackensack Riverkeeper represents the interests of the natural, living, and recreational resources of the Hackensack River through environmental advocacy, education, and conservation programs. The Hackensack Riverkeeper carries out its mission through a combination of both formal and informal environmental education projects focused on raising the level of awareness and sensitivity of the people of the Hackensack River watershed. The group also advocates for the responsible restoration and conservation of the various fish and wildlife habitats that exist within the Hackensack River watershed. By assuming the role of citizen steward for the watershed, the Hackensack Riverkeeper participates proactively to promote sustainable development. This award recognizes the ongoing work of the Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc. to protect this valuable ecosystem.

  • Healthy Ecosystems Honorable Mention - Warren Grove
    The Warren Grove Air National Guard Range (WGR) is located in the heart of the Pinelands National Reserve and consists of approximately 9,400 acres, most of which are undeveloped and serve as a buffer to weapons range operations. The safety buffer, as well as parts of the impact zone where gunnery training occurs, is dominated by pygmy pine forests with occasional wetlands including Atlantic white cedar swamps, hardwood swamps, savannas and lowland forests. To maintain a healthy ecosystem, the base developed an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan that includes priority goals that support ecosystem and watershed management, threatened and endangered species management, and outreach and education. This honorable mention recognizes the implementation of the WGR Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan.

  • Innovative Technology Winner - RangeSafe Technology Demonstration Initiative
    The RangeSafe Technology Demonstration Initiative (RTDI) was established at Picatinny Arsenal in 1998 to speed the development and commercialization of innovative technology solutions to environmental challenges associated with the life-cycle management of the Army's weapons and munitions. RTDI demonstrates new technologies for the remediation of existing contaminated sites, develops innovative technologies to reduce the future environmental impact of Department of Defense (DoD) operations on natural resources and develops improved mechanisms for the transfer of technologies from the DoD to commercial applications nationwide. This award recognizes the overall RangeSafe program as well as the recently completed soil clean up and stabilization demonstration at firing range 25 on Fort Dix.

  • Innovative Technology Honorable Mention - Janssen Pharmaceutica
    Janssen Pharmaceutica is a Johnson & Johnson company that produces and manufactures prescription medications for central nervous system disorders and pain management, among others. With the support of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Janssen invested in solar energy to meet Johnson & Johnson's Next Generation Pollution Prevention Goals to reduce harmful emissions such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. Janssen's solar system generates enough electricity during the daytime to power over 600 homes. In addition to generating clean electricity, the system insulates the building, reducing the cost of heating and air conditioning while extending the life of the roof. This honorable mention recognizes Janssen's solar program and emissions reductions.

  • Open Space Protection and Preservation Winner - Chesterfield Township
    The Township of Chesterfield is a sparsely developed agricultural community situated in the northwest portion of Burlington County. The Township covers 21.61 square miles and the entire land area of the Township is designated in the New Jersey State Plan as Planning Area 4 - rural. The Township has made farmland preservation a priority, permanently preserving approximately 3,300 acres of farmland to date under a variety of local, county and state programs. The Township has spent many years planning for a transfer of development credits program to direct future growth to a designated "receiving area" while limiting development in the rural environs of Chesterfield. This planning effort culminated in the vision of a neo-traditional town to be developed in the receiving area that would incorporate a variety of housing types, neighborhood commercial facilities, civic uses, and active and passive open space areas. This award recognizes Chesterfield's farmland preservation efforts and visionary planning.

  • Open Space Protection and Preservation Honorable Mention - Mount Laurel Township Recreation and Open Space Program
    Mount Laurel Township has prepared a Recreation and Open Space Plan Program to inventory all existing municipally-owned sites that are used for recreation and open space, as well as for parcels of land that could potentially be acquired and added to this list for future open space and recreational purposes. Through the development of this Plan, Mount Laurel discovered its shortage of lands dedicated to recreation and open space when faced with the high demand from its present dense and growing population. The Township has used DEP's Green Acres Planning Incentive Grant Program and the Burlington County's Local Open Space Program as a way to satisfy this high demand by acquiring both more and diverse sites for use as open space and passive and active recreation. This honorable mention recognizes the development and implementation of the Recreation and Open Space Plan.

  • Safe and Healthy Communities Winner - Huntsman
    Huntsman's West Deptford site is one of 48 sites in the US and one of three in New Jersey that has been recognized by both the OSHA Volunteer Protection Program and the EPA Performance Track Program. Performance Track is a voluntary public-private partnership that encourages environmental excellence and continuous improvement through the use of environmental management systems, local community involvement and measurable results. This award recognizes the ongoing Environmental Management System and related programs of Huntsman.

  • Environmental Stewardship Winner - Dr. Christopher C. Obrupta
    Dr. Christopher Obropta was an environmental consultant for 12 years prior to assuming the leadership of the New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station/Rutgers Cooperative Extension's Water Resource Program. During these years, Dr. Obropta had an opportunity to work with municipalities, counties, and watershed associations to implement nonpoint source pollution control projects. Although he worked on over a dozen projects with different project partners, two projects that are highly successful are the restoration of Strawbridge Lake in Moorestown and the urban flood plain restoration project in Rahway. These projects are classic examples of consensus and partnership building, innovative designing and implementation. As the newly hired Rutgers Cooperative Extension Specialist in Water Resources, Dr. Obropta has been given the opportunity to continue to work with groups throughout the State to provide technical support to continue to address water resource problems in New Jersey.

  • Environmental Stewardship Honorable Mention - George Hawkins
    As Executive Director of the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association, George Hawkins is responsible for overseeing the associations' mission to preserve the natural environment in the 285 square mile drainage basin for the Stony Brook and Millstone River. Operations include: a) an education program that offers more than 400 programs a year for 10,000 adults and children, including programs for 120 schools and 200 teachers; b) a watershed management program which includes StreamWatch, the state's largest volunteer monitoring and streambank restoration program; c) a 785 acre nature reserve that includes 10 miles of trails, 17 buildings, an arboretum and a 3 acre pond; d) the Watershed Organic Farm, the largest community supported organic farm in the Northeast; and e) the Natural Lands Network, a group of more than 40 local environmental organizations. Recent additions include an NSF grant to study wetlands, an internet-based environmental curriculum program, and the formation of the Watershed Institute to help citizens' throughout New Jersey to protect the environment. This enterprise has quadrupled in size to a staff of 28 with a budget of $1.6 million.

  • Environmental Leadership Winner - James A. Shissias
    Since 1974, James Shissias has been an environmental leader in New Jersey at PSEG as General Manager - Environmental Affairs. In this job, he has had an important role in shaping PSEG's corporate environmental conscience and image. The importance of his impact outside the company is witnessed by his long standing appointments by several Governors to the NJ Environmental Education Commission, the State Soil Conservation Committee and the Low Level Radioactive Waste Siting Board. He was appointed by the DEP Commissioner to the Endangered and Non-Game Species Advisory Committee and the New Jersey Waterfowl Advisory Committee. Mr. Shissias has led businesses beyond PSEG in his positions as Chairman of the Environmental Affairs Committee of the State Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of the Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin. He is a member of the board of directors for New Jersey Audubon and Crossroads of the American Revolution Association. He is also past president of the Common Wealth of New Jersey, Inc. Mr. Shissias has been a member of the board for the College of New Jersey Foundation and the Center for Analysis of Public Issues.



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