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May 5, 2006

Department of Environmental Conservation accepting applications for excellence award

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is accepting applications for the third annual Environmental Excellence awards.

The department said the awards recognize New York businesses, government, non-for-profit organizations, education institutions and individuals “that are achieving environmental excellence through innovation, sustainable practices or creative partnerships.”

"The Environmental Excellence Awards program enhances our ability to recognize outstanding performance by those who are making great strides in improving the environment and contributing to the economic progress in New York State," DEC Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said. "We hope that the example set by our previous award winners will inspire others to use these models of exceptional environmental stewardship in their operations and programs."

Eligible applications from businesses, not-for-profit organizations, governments, educational institutions and individuals, may be submitted through June 16. Award winners will be announced this fall.

Projects considered for the award will show demonstrate an environmental benefit achieved by using “innovative or sustainable practices or creative partnerships.” Projects must produce environmental benefits beyond what can be gained from standard techniques or meeting regulatory compliance requirements.

DEC is especially interested in projects that emphasize sustainable use of natural resrouces and education programs that advance sustainability and innovation and positively contribute to a trained workforce, DEC said. Projects will be considered in a range of areas, including pollution prevention, manufacturing-process improvements, energy efficiency, environmental justice, waste reduction and recycling, storm water management, watershed planning, natural resource and habitat protection and restoration, and land conservation.

More information about the award, including criteria and application information, is available at www.dec.state.ny.us/website/ppu/eea/index.html.