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For Release: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

DEC Announces Agency is Accepting Applications for 17th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards

Annual Award Recognizes Businesses, Institutions, Municipalities, Indian Nations, and Organizations for Outstanding Sustainable Actions

Applications Accepted through April 17

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that DEC is now accepting applications for the 17th annual Environmental Excellence Awards program. The Environmental Excellence Awards recognize businesses, institutions, municipalities, and organizations for outstanding commitments to environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and economic viability. To date, New York has honored 96 entities that are leading by example and inspiring their industries and communities.

"Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is bolstering the State's commitment to environmental protections with all New Yorkers and the business community," Commissioner Seggos said. "Our proud partnerships with the state's 'green' businesses and organizations is a testament to hardworking New Yorkers paving the way for environmental sustainability and economic vitality."

Businesses (small, medium, and large, manufacturing, power generation, retail, agri-business, renewable energy, hospitality, sports, etc.); not-for-profit organizations; academic, health care, and recreational facilities; and local, state, federal, and Indian Nation government agencies are eligible. Entities that implement innovative technologies, advance sustainable practices, generate economic growth, harness the power of creative partnerships, and achieve extraordinary outcomes are encouraged to apply. Competitive applications will focus on projects or programs resulting in significant environmental benefits by:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  • helping adapt to or mitigate climate change;
  • reducing food waste or encouraging recycling and composting programs;
  • developing "green tech" solutions;
  • supporting clean energy and green infrastructure projects;
  • developing vital natural resource/habitat protection or restoration efforts;
  • improving energy efficiency;
  • implementing sustainable education and training programs;
  • creating greener chemistries and least-toxic products;
  • improving manufacturing processes; and
  • supporting creative urban forestry or farming practices, including programs to advance "farm to table."

Completed applications must be submitted by Friday, April 17, 2020. An award ceremony will honor winners and give them an opportunity to present on their project. Benefits of receiving an award include visibility as a sector leader and advancing an organization's mission through networking and marketing opportunities.

To be recognized as an Environmental Excellence Award winner, applicants must be in good standing with DEC and in full compliance with the Environmental Conservation Law currently and for the previous three years. Applicants shall not be involved in any litigation against DEC or with the State of New York within the past seven years. Information about the award program and the application can be found on the DEC website, or email a request to, or in writing to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Pollution Prevention Unit, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, Albany, New York 12233-7253 or by phone to DEC's Pollution Prevention Unit at (518) 402-8706. Applications accepted through April 17, 2020.

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