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April 7, 2000

DEC announces pollution-prevention awards

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will accept applications for the seventh annual Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention through June 30.

These awards recognize businesses and organizations that go beyond minimum requirements of environmental compliance laws and regulations to reduce pollution at its source, according to DEC.

"Each year New York State recognizes businesses and organizations that have found new innovative ways to reduce pollution at its source," said DEC Commissioner John P. Cahill said. "Award recipients have shown a superior commitment to finding new, more efficient and cost-effective methods to reduce emissions of pollutants and protect our air, land and water."

To be eligible, applicants must be in compliance with their permits and in good standing with all provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law. The awards recognize specific technologies or processes that go beyond regulatory requirements in reducing or eliminating the generation of pollutants.

This year, emphasis will be given to projects that reduce or eliminate persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Projects submitted for consideration must have been completed or in progress by December 31, 1999.

Awards will be presented Sept. 20 at the 13th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference held at the Radisson Plaza, The Hotel Syracuse.

The 1999 awards were given for six projects deemed to represent outstanding efforts toward preventing the release of pollutants. DEC estimated that the 1999 award winners represented a combined total annual reduction of more than 1 million pounds in hazardous waste, over 110 million pounds of atmospheric gases, and over 11 million pounds of solid waste. DEC said this represented a combined total savings of almost $3 million.

To date, DEC said, this awards program has recognized 45 companies that, combined, have reduced over 15.4 million pounds of hazardous waste, over 24.1 million pounds of solid waste and 107.5 million pounds of atmospheric gases.