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News Releases from Region 09

Redding-based Calgren Renewable Fuels/Maas Energy Works selected for prestigious EPA award

Six clean air projects win EPA recognition nationwide

Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (

Redding, Calif. – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Calgren Dairy Fuels Pipeline Project and five other groups and individuals nationwide for their innovative work on clean air projects. The 2019 Clean Air Excellence Awards are given to state, local, tribal, and private sector programs that educate the public in improving air quality or reducing harmful air pollutants that threaten health and the environment.

“Clean air and healthy, prosperous communities go hand in hand,” said Anne Idsal, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “For nearly 20 years, Clean Air Excellence award winners have been making a difference with new technologies, creative collaborations, and inspiring determination, and we applaud our latest winners for continuing to innovate and commit to building cleaner, healthier communities across the country.”  

This year, Redding-based Calgren Renewable Fuels/Maas Energy Works was awarded the Clean Air Technology Award for the Calgren Dairy Fuels Pipeline Project. Calgren Renewable Fuels and Maas Energy Works are pioneering the development of dairy digesters throughout California’s Central Valley, leading to emission reductions of methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and other criteria pollutants by more than 130,000 MT-CO2e each year. The digester at Circle A dairy that came online earlier this year is among more than a dozen facilities clustered together that are transforming biogas from manure lagoons into pipeline quality, renewable natural gas.  

“The Calgren Dairy Fuels Pipeline Project is transforming waste into fuel and reducing thousands of tons of harmful pollutants each year,” said Mike Stoker, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This innovative project can serve as a model nationwide to reduce pollutants and create energy.”

Established in 2000, the Clean Air Excellence awards recognize programs and individuals that serve as pioneers in their fields, advance public understanding of air pollution, and improve air quality. Entries are judged by the EPA and the Clean Air Advisory Committee, and winners will be recognized later today at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Other awardees include:

The Community Action Award was given to Washington State’s Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and Airshed Partners’ Okanogan River Airshed Partnership. The Okanogan River Airshed Partnership is presently engaged with community clean-up events, establishing a community air quality network using PurpleAir sensors, running a woodstove change-out and buyback program, and pursuing creating a community composting facility, among other actions to reduce PM 2.5 in the community.

The Education and Outreach Award was presented to Washington, D.C-based Children’s Environmental Health Network for its Eco-Healthy Child Care® Program. Eco-Healthy Child Care® (EHCC) is a national program, managed by the Children’s Environmental Health Network, that partners with child care professionals to eliminate or reduce environmental health hazards found in and around child care facilities. EHCC offers a two-year endorsement to child care facilities (both center and family child care) that qualify as “Eco-Healthy” by complying with twenty-four of thirty simple, free or low-cost environmental health best practices, including Air Quality, Household Chemicals and Radon, among other environmental hazards.

This year’s Air Quality Policy Award was given to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) for its Hydrocarbon Storage Tank and Vapor Control System Design, Operation and Maintenance Guidelines. On May 4, 2018 the APCD published and began implementation of the Storage Tank and Vapor Control System Guidelines document. Since publication, APCD staff have provided a series of outreach presentations explaining the guidelines to oil and gas operators and encouraging them to review their own programs and adopt storage tank design, operation and maintenance practices consistent with the guidelines. 

The Transportation Efficiency Award went to Richmond, Va.-based RideFinders’ for their Commute Green Summer Challenge. The RideFinders Commute Green Summer Challenge resulted in 6,014 greener trips, 119,028 lbs. of emissions prevented, 125,679 miles not driven, 5,391 reduced car trips, 6,073 gallons of gas saved, 49,638 calories burned, and $68,495 saved. The campaign clearly demonstrated not just the numeric benefits of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs, but also the intangible benefits – education and awareness, public relations and relationship development – that help to make the case for TDM as mobility management and underscore TDM as a cost-effective approach to reducing pollution emissions and helping air quality. 

The Thomas W. Zosel Individual Achievement Award was presented to Ned Sanders for spearheading an initiative that built a coalition of chief elected officials from each county and city in Middle Georgia to develop strategies and methods to improve the region’s air quality. The Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition (MGCAC) he helped create is still operating today.

More information on the award winners:

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