The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has presented the 2022 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence to seven recipients for steps taken to protect the environment. The awards were presented in categories including energy efficiency and renewable resources, environmental education and outreach, as well as greening the government, among others.
The awards are reserved for the most innovative, sustainable, and exemplary programs or projects that positively impact Indiana’s environment and demonstrate measurable environmental, economic, and social benefits. Only one award per category is presented each year.
“Exciting and innovative environmental projects are happening in Indiana. Projects that reduce waste, use alternative energy, and conserve water are happening where we work, play, and go to school,” said IDEM Commissioner Brian Rockensuess. “These award winners are implementing real world examples for us all to strive to achieve.”
The 2022 categories and winners are listed below:
Energy Efficiency/Renewable Resources:
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC contracted PSG Energy Group to design and implement their first ever on-site solar project at its Huntington manufacturing site. The 1.2 megawatt ground mounted solar array has more than 2,600 solar panels and produces 1.5 million kilowatt hours of green electricity. The installation is the largest on-site solar system in Huntington County.
Environmental Education and Outreach:
The Paramount Schools of Excellence STEAM program, which stands for Success Through Education, Agriculture, and Mentoring, teaches sixth through eighth grade students about sustainable farming practices through a summer paid job opportunity at a school farm.
Five Year Continuous Improvement:
AstraZeneca Mount Vernon has invested $13.5 million in infrastructure, as part of its environmental management system, including the installation of a two megawatt solar field, enough to power 300 homes and reduce more than 1,866 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Greening the Government:
Indianapolis Public School partnered with Cenergistic to implement a comprehensive behavioral-based energy conservation program throughout the district. The program reduces energy use and increases energy efficiency of buildings and equipment.
The Big Pine Creek Watershed Project is a water-quality improvement program focused on preventing nutrient and sedimentary run off. The project covers Benton, Warren, Tippecanoe and White counties. Goals include cover crop projects, farmer and landowner education on the impacts they have on the watershed, as well as raising funds to support the work.
Cummins Inc. Mid-Range Engine Plant in Columbus specializes in diesel and alternative fuel engines and generators. The plant has eliminated five resource intensive processes including washing with chemicals, painting and using a dry-off and cure oven, resulting in reductions in air emissions, natural gas usage, and chemical usage, among others.
The city of Monticello Wastewater Utility has developed a rain barrel project to address the cost and concerns of utility customers with the added cost to water their lawns and gardens following the end of allowances for “sprinkler rates.” Partnering with Ball Corp., which provided 55 gallon barrels from food-grade soap, the city provided barrels at no cost to customers to collect rainwater.