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News Releases from Region 01

EPA New England Opens Nomination Period for Annual Environmental Merit Awards

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (
(617) 918-1017

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency office in New England is accepting nominations for New England people, organizations, government entities or businesses whose environmental achievements during the past year deserve recognition. Nominations for the 2020 Environmental Merit Awards are due by Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

"As EPA celebrates our 50th Anniversary this year, we are all very proud and excited to celebrate the continued achievements of New England citizens and organizations who are doing excellent work to protect health and the environment in their communities," said EPA Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel.

These regional awards have been given out annually since EPA was created in 1970. Past recipients have included scientists, business representatives, community advocates, and public officials committed to preserving the environment. An independent EPA panel will select the winners based on the environmental problem being addressed, what actions were taken to address this environmental issue and the degree to which the positive results can be measured and sustained.

EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment and so nominations should explain how work connects to EPA’s mission of reducing waste, air, water, or land pollution. The agency also looks for projects or activities that can be replicated or widely shared and that are innovative.

Awards, which will be presented at a ceremony Boston in May, are traditionally given in five categories:

  • individual;
  • business, industry, trade, and professional organization;
  • local, state or federal government;
  • environmental, community or non-profit organization, academia; and
  • lifetime achievement.

Lifetime Awards are given to people who have demonstrated sustained commitment toward improving New England’s environment during a career or over a lifetime.

Those making nominations are asked to specify which EPA priority their person or group addresses:

  • improving air quality;
  • providing clean and safe water;
  • revitalize land & prevent contamination
  • ensure safety of chemicals in marketplace

EPA will also be awarding the Children's Environmental Health Award for an individual or group whose work stands out for its efforts to protect children from environmental health risks.

A final award category is the Ira Leighton "In Service to States" Environmental Merit Award. This award recognizes an individual or organization for success in furthering state and federal partnerships to address environmental challenges in New England. A collaboration, including the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association and New England State Environmental Commissioners, chooses the winner of this award.

Nominations are only accepted online.

More information on award categories, evaluation criteria and how to submit nominations:

Contact Kristen Conroy at with comments or questions.