The following is a press release from DEQ:
Today, the Department of Environmental Quality recognized the achievements of industry, local governments, non-governmental organizations, schools and universities, and an individual during the 2010 Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) Awards ceremony, held today in the DEQ Conference Center. New and existing members of ELP were commended for their voluntary pollution prevention efforts, community environmental education and outreach initiatives and environmental ordinance. The ceremony highlighted projects that went above and beyond regulatory compliance to substantially improve the quality of the environment. In 2009-2010, the ELP enrolled 18 new members.
Collectively, the efforts of ELP members in 2009-2010 removed 3,499,548 pounds of pollutants from the environment, including NOx emissions, acrylamide, nitrates, solid waste, used oil, etc. Additionally, 172,034 kWh in energy usage were reduced through the UNPLUG Campaign. Also, 1,199,144 pounds of materials were recycled, including electronic waste and household hazardous materials. Through an environmental ordinance, a Litter Court was established to increase accountability, establish uniform penalties and streamline enforcement. A complete list of projects and honorees can be viewed on the DEQ Web site, www.deq.louisiana.gov/elp.
Senator Jody Amedee, Chairman of the Louisiana Senate Environmental Committee and Representative Gordon Dove, Chairman of the House Natural Resource and Environment Committee joined DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch to present the 2010 ELP Awards. Secretary Hatch commended the voluntary efforts made by the honorees in protecting and preserving Louisiana's environment.
"The Environmental Leadership Program is a great way to recognize those who have worked tirelessly to spearhead community outreach efforts, combat pollution or present educational programs that make a positive difference in the quality of Louisiana's environment," said DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch. "With the addition of 18 new members, we hope to spread the word and enlist others to join us in continuing along the path of preserving and protecting our state's natural resources for future generations."
The ELP began in 1995 as a cooperative effort between DEQ and participating companies in the state. Today, any company, federal entity, municipality, school or university or individual committed to improving the quality of the state's environment is eligible to join the program.