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Environmental Protection & Preservation

PA Governor Rendell Announces 12 Winners of 2007 Award for Environmental Excellence

Governor Edward G Rendell today honored United States Steel Mon Valley Works and 11 other winners of the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence. Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A McGinty announced the winners during a ceremony with US Steel officials at its Clairton plant site.

"Pennsylvania is working with businesses and residents to advance innovative measures that encourage new investment in the commonwealth, enhance our energy independence and ensure the highest standards of environmental protection and public health," Governor Rendell said. "As one of Pennsylvania's largest consumers of energy, US Steel is committed to making strategic investments in energy conservation and is clearly building a foundation for what we hope to achieve through the Energy Independence Strategy."

US Steel's efforts to reduce energy costs through conservation, better environmental controls and use of alternative fuels highlight many of the benefits of Governor Rendell's Energy Independence Strategy. The plan will invest $850 million to cut consumer energy costs by $10 billion over the next decade, stabilize electricity rates for businesses, significantly expand Pennsylvania's alternative fuel and clean energy industries and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

"From innovations in clean energy to community revitalization, each of this year's winners is making invaluable contributions to improve the health of Pennsylvania's natural resources." McGinty said. "US Steel Mon Valley Works is an example of a Pennsylvania company capitalizing on environmental protection as an opportunity for technological innovation, enhanced efficiency and increased productivity."

US Steel Mon Valley Works is comprised of four operating plants, all in Pennsylvania. The Clairton plant, located along the Monongahela River, is the largest coke plant in North America. In addition to producing approximately 12,000-tons-per-day of metallurgical grade coke, the by-products recovery plant produces coke oven gas for use as a fuel, coal tar, light oil, anhydrous ammonia and elemental sulfur.

Through plant infrastructure modernization, US Steel took measures to reduce plant steam consumption. Reducing coke oven gas consumption on the boilers allows for the coke oven gas to be used at other US Steel facilities that were consuming natural gas. Therefore, the total amount of gaseous fuel used for combustion is reduced.

With these measures in place, US Steel has reduced greenhouse gases and improved air quality with a reduction of nearly 13,000-tons-per-year of carbon dioxide, 13.7-tons-per-year of nitrogen oxide and 1.2-tons-per-year of sulfur dioxide emissions. Total steam reduction achieved plant-wide was 18,000- pounds-per-hour, which is saving the company $1.5 million each year.

"The connection between protecting our natural resources and creating a better quality of life in Pennsylvania is evident in each one of the projects honored by this award," McGinty said.

The Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence honors Pennsylvania businesses and organizations that put in place projects that tackle environmental problems and help build new businesses, enhance the bottom line and engage residents in a renewed commitment to investing in their communities.

Winners of the 2007 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence receive a commemorative plaque and an outdoor flag to acknowledge their commitment to environmental quality. Each recipient will be presented with these exclusive awards during events at the winner's location.

Aside from US Steel Mon Valley Works, the other 11 winners of the 2007 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence include:

Borough of Media, Media, Delaware County: Solar Energy for Media installed 5kW on each of four buildings in the borough: Media Elementary School, Media Upper Providence Library, Media Theatre and the Media Fire House. This brings the total amount of kilowatts produced in the borough to 25 and eliminates 32,892 pounds of carbon dioxide, 84 pounds of nitrogen oxides and 176 pounds of sulfur oxide.

CARDONE Industries Inc., Philadelphia: In June 2006, CARDONE installed RigMaster Auxiliary Power Units on 23 of its long-haul tractors. An annual net savings of 12,000 idling hours, which the company expects to meet or exceed, means a savings of 9,600 gallons ($28,128 @ 2.93/gal) of fuel with a nitrogen-oxides-emission reduction of 3,703 pounds and a carbon dioxide reduction of 216,931 pounds per year.

Earth Conservancy, Ashley, Luzerne County: The reclamation of the Cleveland Landfill plays a critical role in the environmental restoration of the Warrior Creek Watershed and the economic revitalization of the Wyoming Valley. By properly closing the landfill, Earth Conservancy turned a brownfield site into a usable economic asset for the Lower Wyoming Valley.

Earth Force, multiple counties: Earth Force engaged 4,000 young Pennsylvanians in environmental problem-solving, generated 84 youth-driven environmental action projects and prepared 350 Pennsylvania teachers to raise environmental literacy in 70 schools and after school sites across the commonwealth from Philadelphia to Erie.

Greater Erie Industrial Development Corporation, Erie: The Greater Erie Industrial Development Corporation remediated the former Cohen/A-1 Auto Property site creating nine industrial lots ranging from 1.5 acres to 4 acres. Through brownfield redevelopment, the Joyce A. Savocchio Business Park will bring more jobs and annual tax benefits to the local community.

Green Woods Charter School, Philadelphia: At Green Woods Charter School, the 4th grade students are immersed in a yearlong study focusing on the local watershed. Throughout the year, concepts outlined in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards relating to history, social studies, language arts, science and sustainable projects are incorporated into this study.

Huntingdon Farm, Alexandria, Huntingdon County: Huntingdon Farm has a strong foundation in conservation planning and sets the example for farms interested in demonstrating sustainable energy practices. The 300-acre farm is home to a sustainable cabin constructed with certified sustainable wood and powered by a 10kW wind turbine, and uses rotational grazing strategies, fencing and solar operated drinking troughs for the livestock.

Nalco Company, Ellwood City, Beaver County: The Nalco Company brought together a cross functional team to implement a waste minimization and water reduction project that would realize both environmental and financial benefits to the company. Through this project, Nalco reduced plant waste volumes by 692,000 gallons-per-year, improved material recycling by 1.32-million-pounds- per-year and will reduce city water usage by more than 10 million gallons annually.

Resilite Sports Products Inc., Sunbury, Northumberland County: Resilite implemented an energy efficiency project that has already reduced the company's fuel oil consumption by approximately 20,100 gallons and has saved the company $39,960 per year. Resilite's success demonstrates there are cost- effective ways to make capital improvements that reduce energy consumption and harmful air emissions.

Schuylkill Conservation District, Pottsville, Schuylkill County: The Schuylkill Conservation District worked with a contractor on the Audenreid Mine Tunnel Acid Mine Drainage Remediation Project, the largest passive AMD treatment system of its kind ever undertaken and successfully completed in Pennsylvania. Now, native brook trout are being caught along Catawissa Creek in places that have historically never before shown signs of aquatic life.

Southwest Pennsylvania Household Hazardous Waste Task Force, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County: Through the task force's efforts, 19 household hazardous waste events have been successfully organized and completed in eight western Pennsylvania counties. In addition, a consumer education program encourages participation in collection events, as well as recognizing HHW, purchase less toxic or non-toxic alternatives, purchasing only what is needed and using those products safely. The Southwest Pennsylvania HHW Task Force is overseeing a sustainable effort that brings collection events and educational opportunities to both urban and rural communities in the western Pennsylvania region.

To view a more detailed summary of the 12 winning projects, visit the department's Web site at and click on "2007 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence."

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