2013 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence

Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho speaks at the 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony at Mid-State Machine in Winslow

Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho and Senior Natural Resources Policy Advisor to Governor LePage Carlisle McLean honored five stewards of sustainability on May 22, 2013 with State-sponsored environmental achievement awards.

The 2013 Environmental Excellence awards, administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, were presented by Commissioner Aho and Carlisle McLean in a ceremony at Mid-State Machine Products, a leading precision manufacturer located in Winslow.

Senior staff from the Governor’s office and from Maine DEP, representatives from each of the winning organizations, members of the Board of Environmental Protection and leaders from Maine’s environment and business community attended the awards.

Recipients were recognized for voluntarily going beyond regulatory requirements for innovation in environmental sustainability.

Commissioner Aho said it was important for the State to acknowledge Maine’s many environmental leaders who are modeling her department’s vision of a mutually healthy environment and economy.

“Maine has long been a national leader when it comes to environmental excellence and our 2013 Governor’s Awards recipients are carrying on that legacy,” Aho said. “As Maine’s foremost environmental organization, it has great meaning when we respect and recognize these leaders and that the innovation improving our environment and our economy comes directly from Maine employers and people, understanding that a healthy environment and a strong economy support one another and where stewardship of our natural resources ensures a vibrant economy.”

Edwards-United Technologies, known for their production of life safety devices, based in Pittsfield, won in the “Businesses Over 100 Employees” category for their efforts in reducing annual water usage from 13 million gallons to 1.2 million gallons; installing a closed loop system for their paint line; reduced propane usage by 28 percent; replacing chemicals with less harmful alternatives, including reduction of 37 tons/yr of VOC emissions, 6.5 tons/yr of hazardous waste, and incorporated recycling, waste reduction for a decrease in waste of 40 percent and 91 percent recycle rate.

The Meadowmere Resort, a family run business for 30 years located in Ogunquit, won in the “Businesses with 20-99 Employees” category. The Meadowmere is one of first DEP certified Environmental Leaders recognized for installing a 48 panel solar hot water system which at peak provides 70 percent of their energy needed. The Meadowmere has also implemented property-wide recycling and no longer has trash bins at the front desk because only recyclables are produced.

Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho with award winners representing Exeter Agri-Energy, Travis Fogler, Dairy Operations Manager, Stonyvale Farm; and Adam Wintle, Managing Partner, Biogas Energy Partners

Exeter Agri-Energy, of Exeter won in the “Businesses with Less than 19 Employees” category. Agri-Energy is recognized for incorporating a 1 MW anaerobic digestion system at Stonyvale Farm to treat 150 wet tons of 75 percent cow manure daily produced by 1000 dairy cows combined with 25 percent food waste from other Maine institutions including hospitals and schools. Agri-Energy’s process has the methane destruction equivalent to taking 3,000 cars off the road all while producing 5.2 million kilowatt hours for the grid and greatly reducing odors in the community.

Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho with Cary Medical Center’s Kris Doody, RN, CEO, and Lisa Prescott, RN

Cary Medical Center, of Caribou won in the “Not-For-Profit” category. Cary is recognized for launching the Cary Medical Center Safe Sharps Disposal Program with a vision to provide community options for disposal of household medical sharps. This is especially critical since Aroostook County has one of Maine’s highest rates of diabetes. In 2012, a total of 86 boxes or 4,300 pounds of community medical sharps had been collected at six partnering community sites. Cary’s program was inspiration for DEP’s own sharps education campaign in 2012.

WindowDressers, of Rockport won in the “New Venture” category. WindowDressers is an all-volunteer organization that is being recognized for manufacturing insulating window inserts built using Maine pine that cuts home heating fuel use by 20 percent or more. Inserts have been installed in more than 300 homes 42 Maine communities, saving customers a projected $4,400 over the next decade and reducing nearly 3,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2020. Many inserts are provided to low income families at reduced rate.

Based on the success of the awards, Maine DEP intends to continue the annual recognition program, with nominations for the 2014 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence opening in late 2013.

For more information contact Chris Swain at 207-287-7811.