Sustainable Jersey™ Wins U.S. EPA Environmental Quality Award
331 Sustainable Jersey Participating Towns Represent Half of NJ’s Municipalities and 75% of Its Population
(from left to right): Art Ondish, Mayor of Mount Arlington; Member of the NJLM Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future; Chair, The NJLM Educational Foundation;
Pam Mount, Councilperson, Lawrence Township; Chair of the NJLM Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future; Donna Drewes, Co-Director, Institute for Sustainability Planning & Governance; Kristy Ranieri, Communications and Outreach Consultant for Sustainable Jersey; Randall Solomon, Co-Director, Institute for Sustainability Planning & Governance
Contact: Kristy Ranieri, (973) 762-1510; firstname.lastname@example.org
Trenton, NJ (May 2, 2011) – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Sustainable Jersey a 2011 Environmental Quality Award. The award, given to those who demonstrate outstanding achievement in protecting the environment, was presented by EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez at an awards ceremony in New York City on Friday, April 29. The award is the highest recognition presented to the public by the EPA.
“The honorees work tirelessly to protect the environment and to ensure that all of us can look forward to a cleaner, healthier world,” said Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “We can all be proud of what they have accomplished and the example they set.”
With this award, the Sustainable Jersey municipal certification program continues to attract national recognition; the program also won the national Ashoka/Community Matters Changemakers competition in October 2010. And for good reason--Sustainable Jersey has 331 registered towns working on accomplishing a long list of sustainable actions to become certified. This represents over half the state's municipalities and nearly 75% of its population. “As green efforts across the nation struggle to find traction with communities, the two year-old Sustainable Jersey program is delivering measurable results and changing behaviors,” said Donna Drewes of the Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey (MLUC@TCNJ), one of the Sustainable Jersey founding partners.
Pam Mount, Chair of the New Jersey League of Municipalities’ Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future, a Sustainable Jersey partner, added “Sustainable Jersey is the most successful statewide municipal sustainability certification program in the country. We are pleased to be recognized by EPA because Sustainable Jersey has truly empowered our towns and citizens to work together for a more sustainable future.”
Environmental Quality Award recipients come from within Region 2, which includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands and seven federally-recognized Indian Nations. The award winners span a wide range of environmental achievements, but each proves exemplary determination and success. The EPA’s regional office receives nominations for the awards from both inside and outside the Agency. For information about the Environmental Quality Awards in EPA Region 2, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/eqa/.
About Sustainable Jersey
Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to have a comprehensive sustainability program for communities that links certification with strong state and private financial incentives, and a fully resourced program of technical support and training. As of May 2, 2011, 330 of New Jersey’s towns and cities (59%-or 331 towns across all 21 counties) have registered to become Sustainable Jersey certified. By supporting community efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental equity, Sustainable Jersey is empowering New Jersey towns to build a better world for future generations. Over 6,700 people in New Jersey participated in statewide training and outreach events in 2010. The program has distributed over half a million dollars to New Jersey communities to support an estimated 1,500 actions taken "on the ground" to make communities more livable, environmentally friendly and prosperous. Nearly 75% of the New Jersey’s population lives in registered/certified Sustainable Jersey communities.
Sustainable Jersey is a collaborative effort between the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future and the Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey, in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The policies and other substantive contents of the program are developed though a transparent participatory process involving NGOs, academics, government, and the business community. Program sponsors include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, PSEG Foundation, New Jersey Natural Gas, Church and Dwight, Covanta Energy, Elizabethtown Gas, United Water, Verizon and Atlantic City Electric.