NYU was honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—at its 11th Annual Clean Air Excellence Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C—for a Climate Action Plan that directly reduces pollutant emissions, demonstrates innovation, offers sustainable outcomes, and provides a model for others to follow.

NYU Wins an EPA Clean Air Excellence Award

11th Annual Clean Air Excellence Awards Recognize Public and Private Sector Achievements; Winners’ efforts help environment, education, and economy

On June 7, 2011, New York University was honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its 11th Annual Clean Air Excellence Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.  NYU was recognized in the Community Action category for its Climate Action Plan which directly reduces pollutant emissions, demonstrates innovation, offers sustainable outcomes, and provides a model for others to follow.

”It is an honor to be nationally recognized for our efforts to reduce energy use and emissions”, said Cecil Scheib, NYU Director of Energy and Sustainability. “It’s a great example of ‘think globally and act locally’ because emitting less helps both reduce the risk of climate change, and childhood asthma, in our New York City neighborhoods.”

NYU’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), released in March 2010, is a comprehensive approach to reducing the University’s carbon footprint and enhancing its overall sustainability.  NYU’s CAP detailed the University’s greenhouse gas inventory, laid out specific and effective projects to mitigate these emissions using fiscally sound technologies while maintaining NYU’s vital teaching, learning, and research missions.

The full report can be found here: http://www.nyu.edu/sustainability/climateaction

The development of NYU’s CAP was spurred on by the signing of two separate commitments to mitigate climate change: Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC Climate Challenge, which calls on NYU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2017, and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which commits NYU to achieving climate neutrality by 2040.

Highlights of NYU’s CAP include:

•    Reduce Energy Intensity--NYU is reducing the amount of energy used in buildings through conservation, “green” construction and renovation, retrofits and upgrades, and operational innovations to run buildings more effectively. To date, efforts have resulted in more than 30% emissions cuts;

•    Generate and Use Cleaner Energy--NYU generates cleaner energy on-site with a new cogeneration power plant, which when operationalized in January 2011, mitigated an additional 23% of NYU’s baseline FY 2006 emissions and 68% of its baseline EPA criteria pollutants.  NYU is also actively minimizing the use of fuel oil to heat buildings, replacing it with cleaner, more efficient energy sources;

•    Generate Renewable Energy--NYU is exploring options to develop on-site distributed renewable energy generation projects on its buildings, including wind and solar technologies.

The awards were presented on June 7, 2011 at Almas Temple in Washington, D.C..  The EPA honored 12 programs from across the United States for innovative efforts in achieving cleaner air to protect the health of Americans. The recipients included organizations from both the public and private sector who have demonstrated a commitment to creating new green infrastructure and jobs in the United States. Organizations were also recognized for planning and education efforts that help citizens make better informed environmental decisions.

"EPA's history is marked by innovations that have made our communities cleaner, healthier and more prosperous. This year's Clean Air Excellence Award winners are continuing that tradition," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. "From educating our families and inspiring them to take action to developing new environmental plans and strategies to creating cutting-edge clean air and transportation innovations, the winners of this award are helping to make our air cleaner and our communities more sustainable. They are proving that American ingenuity is more than a match for the challenges we face as we move toward cleaner air, healthier families and a stronger economy."

The awards program, established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, annually recognizes entries that reduce air pollution, demonstrate innovative models for others to follow, and offer sustainable outcomes.

This year’s award recipients were selected from 75 applicants and represent achievements in four categories: clean air technology, community action, education/outreach, and regulatory policy innovations. Award winners are

Clean Air Technology
Union Pacific Railroad Company, Melrose Park, Ill.
Project: Genset Ultra Low Emitting Locomotive

California Cartage Company, LLC, Santa Monica, Calif.
Project: Liquefied Natural Gas Port Truck Project

Community Action
Placer County Air Pollution Control District, Auburn, Calif.
Project: Forest Resource Sustainability in Placer County, Calif.

New York University, N.Y.
Project: New York University Climate Action Plan

Education Outreach
City of Bellevue Utilities, Bellevue, Wash.
Project: Community greenhouse gas reduction program.

Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, Texas
Project: Commuter traffic reduction program

Maricopa County Air Quality Department, Phoenix, Ariz.
Project: Particulate matter reduction handbook

Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission, Springvale, Maine
Project: Air quality and transportation educational program

Regulation/Policy Innovations
The Cape Cod Commission, Barnstable, Mass.
Project: Energy Performance Standards for Developments of Regional Impact

North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington, Texas
Project: Regional Emissions Enforcement Program

Eglin Air Force Base, 96 CEG/CEV (Environment Management Division), Fla.
Project: Air Quality Compliance Assistance Program

Transportation Efficiency Innovations
Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Francisco, Calif.
Project: Advancing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

More information: http://www.epa.gov/air/cleanairawards/index.html
EPA Contact Information: Stacy Kika, kika.stacy@epa.gov, 202-564-0906, 202-564-4355

Cecil Scheib, Director of Sustainability and Energy

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