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News Releases from Region 05

Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont Receives Multiple EPA Federal Green Challenge Awards

Contact Information: 
Ben Weiss (


Lemont, Ill. – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Argonne National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center located in Lemont has won multiple Federal Green Challenge awards.  Argonne is one of only seven federal facilities nationwide to receive a national recognition for efforts to reduce environmental impacts.  It is also receiving regional awards from EPA Region 5, which covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

“Congratulations to Argonne National Laboratory on its national and regional recognition in this year’s Federal Green Challenge,” said Regional Administrator Kurt Thiede.  “Argonne once again has shown great leadership and innovation in saving resources and reducing impacts to the environment.”

“Argonne is similar to a small city, so we take a campus-wide approach to reducing our environmental impact,” said Catherine Hurley, Argonne’s Sustainability Program Manager. “Our annual activities are focused on supporting world class science and engineering research by modernizing facilities and engaging our community. These efforts support our goal of a smart campus that is a living example of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.”

EPA’s Federal Green Challenge recognizes federal facilities for applying practical cost-effective measures to conserve money and resources.  The challenge is a national effort under the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program which encourages federal agencies to reduce the federal government's environmental impact. 

In fiscal year 2019, national Federal Green Challenge participants reduced their environmental impact throughout the waste stream, including:

  • Sending nearly 180 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers.
  • Diverting more than 600,000 tons of waste from landfills.
  • Adding nearly 5,000 electric, hybrid, and alternative fuel vehicles to their fleets.
  • Recycling 180 million gallons of water.

EPA is recognizing Argonne with National and Regional Federal Green Challenge awards for its efforts to improve the efficiency of their facilities:

Additionally, Argonne has won the Regional Narrative Award for Innovation for work on the Coal Yard Restoration Project.  The use of coal at the facility was eliminated in 2011, and in FY19, Argonne completed the multiyear restoration project that required innovative approaches and the cooperation of various departments at the lab.  The project revitalized the former coal storage yard, increasing the amount of green infrastructure by building rain gardens and restoring native prairie grasses.  This work has and reduced the amount of stormwater going to the treatment plant, saving energy and money in the five-acre area.

For more information on the Federal Green Challenge and this year’s winners, visit

For more information on the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, visit