9/10/13
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Fee Oros
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Accepting Nominees for Environmental Excellence Award


Ohio EPA is accepting applications for the new gold-level award in its environmental recognition program.

The Encouraging Environmental Excellence (Ɛ3) program distinguishes Ohio businesses and other organizations with acknowledgement for completing environmentally beneficial activities, and serves as an incentive to commit to ongoing environmental stewardship. Nominations may be submitted at any time since the application cycle is continual. Once at the gold level, membership duration lasts for three years before the business needs to reapply.

The gold level is the most prestigious recognition level of the Ɛ3 program and recognizes businesses and others that exceed regulatory compliance obligations and commit to long term strategies to reduce waste, lower emissions and improve environmental performance. Any Ohio business of any size may apply. It must have a good environmental compliance record and have completed above average environmental stewardship activities. Nominations are evaluated using 15 environmental stewardship criteria developed by Ohio EPA. Nominations may be self-submitted or submitted by a second party.

The goal of environmental stewardship is to reduce the impact business activities have on the environment. Businesses that go beyond measures required by any permit or rule produce a better environment, conserve natural resources and produce an economic benefit in the long-term.

Gold-level recognition includes:
  • Ɛ3 flag to hang at a recipient’s facility;
  • Ohio EPA news release highlighting the entity’s environmental accomplishments;
  • invitation to an awards ceremony and possibly a site visit by the Ohio EPA director;
  • report to highlight each recipient’s proactive approach to environmental stewardship;
  • an opportunity to work with Ohio EPA on regulatory and permitting flexibility options such as expedited permit review, reporting flexibility and reduced inspection frequency; and
  • invitation to the annual member’s meeting with the Ohio EPA director.
To date, six facilities have been recognized at the silver-level and eight have been recognized at the bronze-level.

To learn more about applying for recognition under the Ɛ3 program, visit www.epa.ohio.gov/ohioe3.aspx, or contact the Ohio EPA Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention at 1-800-329-7518. To view a video about the program on Ohio EPA’s YouTube Channel, visit youtu.be/Oo3yymuZI2Q.

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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. In the past 40 years, 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. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.

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