4/23/21
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Seven Ohio Communities Earn Ohio EPA’s First Encouraging Environmental Excellence for Communities Award

Bradford, Cincinnati, Dublin, Northwestern Water and Sewer District, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Willard Recognized

Seven Ohio communities have received the first community environmental stewardship awards from Ohio EPA.

Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson recognized the city of Dublin and Westerville Energy Division at the Stewardship level. Bradford Wastewater, Greater Cincinnati Water Works, Northwestern Water and Sewer District, city of Upper Arlington, Willard Wastewater Treatment Plant were recognized at the Implementation level of the new Encouraging Environmental Excellence for Communities awards.

“Local projects can have the greatest impacts on protecting and improving our environment,” Director Stevenson said. “These communities deserve recognition for going beyond what regulations require and setting a standard for other communities to follow.”

The Encouraging Environmental Excellence for Communities (E3C) program recognizes communities for implementing environmental stewardship initiatives through environmental, economic, and social programs and activities. The program’s three levels include Implementation Level, which requires completion of one environmental activity; Stewardship Level, requiring completion of activities in two environmental, one economic, and one social activity; and Sustainable Level, requiring completion of four environmental, two economic, and two social activities.

Stewardship Level awards:

  • City of Dublin: Dublin implemented a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program to support energy efficiency and renewable projects, created a community sustainability team, a program to reduce the number of commuters driving alone, and a program to encourage recycling. The city also implemented energy efficiency upgrades in community facilities, purchased compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and vehicles with anti-idling devices, developed a community composting program, and is implementing green infrastructure in capital improvement projects.
  • Westerville Energy Division: The division implemented an energy efficiency program for the community and programs to encourage recycling and waste reduction and encourage renewable energy projects. The division also hosts a hazardous waste day for hard-to-recycle products. The city is investing in energy efficiency upgrades for community facilities, purchasing electric vehicles, and installing electric vehicle charging stations.

Implementation Level awards:

  • Bradford Wastewater: The village’s wastewater division applied corrective maintenance and tuned up the wastewater treatment plant’s blower, resulting in improved energy efficiency and reduced chemical use and saving about $1,200 a month for the operation of the plant.
  • Greater Cincinnati Water Works: The city’s regional drinking water division installed renewable energy projects, reduced natural gas use, installed solar cells and more energy efficient pumps, upgraded lighting, and started a Green Team to suggest and implement additional improvements.
  • Northwestern Water and Sewer District (Bowling Green): The district implemented energy efficiency upgrades in community facilities and replaced local government traffic signals, street lighting, and/or parking space illumination with energy efficient lighting. The district also replaced lead service lines, reduced infiltration and inflow of storm water into the sewer system to reduce overflows, and implemented a system at remote monitoring sites, which reduces energy use and wastewater generation.
  • City of Upper Arlington: The city implemented and encourages the use of bike paths and bicycle rights-of-way, began a program to encourage recycling or waste reduction, and replaced local government traffic signals, street lighting and/or parking space illumination with energy efficient lighting. The city also made energy efficiency upgrades in community facilities, requires every project going through public review process to be eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The city also has an ordinance allowing rain barrels and rain gardens resulting in the largest installation of rain gardens in Central Ohio, has used permeable pavers, and created a renewable energy ordinance or zoning overlay districts
  • Willard Wastewater Treatment Plant: The city implemented a program to encourage recycling and waste reduction, installed energy efficient motors and lighting in facilities, modernized the lab which reduced energy use and waste, is beneficially reusing land-applied biosolids, and is conducting community outreach about recycling and to highlight the upgrades.

E3C awardees at each level receive a plaque, an E3C decal and a flag commemorating their achievements. More information about the E3C program is available online or by calling Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention at 1-800-329-7518.

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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.

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