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Ohio EPA Introduces New Environmental Recognition Program for Schools
(NEWARK, Ohio) – Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson introduced the Encouraging Environmental Excellence in Education (E4) program today at Heritage Middle School in Newark as part of an Earth Day celebration with Governor Mike DeWine.
“It’s great to see students learning practical skills to help take care of our planet,” said Governor DeWine. “We must all make a commitment to protecting our environment, and we appreciate the efforts of Ohio’s schools in getting students involved.”
Heritage Middle School was recognized for demonstrating its students’ commitment to environmental stewardship and developing education curriculum through its in-vessel composting, greenhouse, and STEM-team projects. Director Stevenson also recognized Newark High School and Carson Elementary in Newark.
The E4 program recognizes any K-12 public or private school for its achievements in environmental stewardship and efforts to educate students on environmental topics. The program has three recognition levels: root, branch, and leaf, which are based on how many of the “three R” environmental principles (reduce, reuse, and recycle) the school is incorporating in its curriculum or school activities. Schools can apply at any time through an online application.
“We want to provide an opportunity for schools to receive recognition for incorporating environmental principles into their curriculum or as part of extra activities, and we wanted to make it easy for schools to apply,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson. “We have taken the success of our Encouraging Environmental Excellence program and adapted it to schools.”
The new recognition program is based on the Encouraging Environmental Excellence program, which recognizes businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies for going above and beyond compliance with requirements while demonstrating environmental excellence.
To learn more about the E4 program, go to www.epa.ohio.gov/ohioe3.aspx and click on the “Education” tab or contact the Ohio EPA Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention at 1-800-329-7518.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.