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For Release: Monday, April 7, 2014

DEC Accepting Applications for 11th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is accepting applications for the 2014 Environmental Excellence Awards program, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The Environmental Excellence Awards program recognizes and gives visibility to outstanding, innovative and sustainable projects or programs.

"Year after year, we see phenomenal, environmentally-beneficial innovations coming from entities and individuals from around the state," Commissioner Martens said. "I encourage others to submit applications this year to showcase advances in a green technology and other ways to improve and protect the environment."

Eligible applicants include businesses of all sizes (i.e. manufacturing, power generation, retail, agri-business, hospitality etc.); not-for-profit organizations and education, health care and recreational facilities. Individuals and local, state, federal or Indian Nation government agencies implementing innovative, sustainable actions or working in creative partnership to improve and protect New York's environmental resources and contribute to a viable economy are also eligible.

DEC is especially interested in showcasing projects that achieve significant environmental benefits through: green infrastructure projects; initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; cutting-edge pollution prevention technologies; initiatives to "green" businesses, farms, schools, recreational, health care and hospitality facilities; innovative wind, solar and biomass projects; creative natural resource/habitat protection or restoration efforts; energy efficiency improvements; innovative education and training programs; waste reduction and recycling efforts; manufacturing process improvements; creative approaches to urban forestry or farming and programs advancing "grown locally."

Completed applications for the 2014 awards must be postmarked no later than Friday, May 9, 2014. Award winners will be honored at an awards ceremony held in early winter 2014. Winners will have an opportunity to present and display information about their award-winning project or program.

Over the past decade, previous award winners have helped improve New York's environment through initiatives that have reduced more than 25,000 tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions; eliminated more than two million pounds of hazardous waste; reduced the use of heating oil or other petroleum products by at least one million gallons; saved at least 37 million kilowatt hours of electricity; reduced water consumption by more than 35 million gallons; captured at least six million gallons of stormwater; diverted 7,300 tons of waste from landfills; eliminated the use of at least 110,000 single-use plastic shopping bags; preserved more than 150,000 acres of open space and have involved thousands of students in environmental education activities.

Information about the award program and the 2014 application materials are available on the DEC website; by writing to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Pollution Prevention Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1750; by calling DEC's Pollution Prevention Unit at (518) 402-9469 or by e-mail eeawards@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

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