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Office of the Secretary
April 19, 2007
Joan Moody 202-208-6416

Department of the Interior Names Alaskans as Earth Day Role Models

Photos Available Upon Request

WASHINGTON –Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett today honored eight recipients of the 2006 Department of the Interior Environmental Achievement Awards in a ceremony at the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The Secretary said the recipients are “role models for all Americans who want to celebrate Earth Day this week.”

Teams of Alaskans won two of the eight national awards. One was presented to a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) -assembled team, the JW Dalton Legacy Well Cleanup Project Team at the National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska. The other was presented to Doyon/ARAMARK, the concessioner at Denali National Park and Preserve, NPS.

The awards convey high-level recognition to DOI employees and partners for DOI projects in the following areas: Waste/Pollution Prevention, Recycling, Green Purchasing, Environmental Management Systems, Sustainable Design/Green Building, and Alternative Fuel and Fuel Conservation in Transportation. A panel of experts from each Interior bureau recommended the awardees to their agency heads. More information on the awards can be found at http://www.doi.gov/greening/awards/env2006N.html.

The eight awardees are:

  • Dr. John Portnoy, Ecologist - Herring River Salt Marsh Restoration, Cape Cod National Seashore, NPS.
  • Students Against Global Abuse at Herndon High School (SAGA) Partnership with MMS.
  • The California BLM Abandoned Mine Lands Team - Boston Placer Mine Sluice Tunnel Remediation Project, Red Dog, California.
  • JW Dalton Legacy Well Cleanup Project Team, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska, BLM.
  • Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge "Green" Headquarters and Visitor Contact Station Team, Swanton, Vermont, FWS.
  • Northeast Regional Office “Green” Team Hadley, Massachusetts, FWS.
  • Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture, Planet EVERgreen: Protecting and Preserving "The Last Frontier," Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, NPS.
  • Yellowstone National Park Employees, Xanterra Yellowstone Employees, Montana and Wyoming Departments of Environmental Quality, and Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Environmental Stewardship at Yellowstone National Park and the greater Yellowstone area, Wyoming.
Additional information on the Alaska winners:

JW Dalton Legacy Well Cleanup Project Team at the National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska: In 2005 accelerated shoreline erosion of the Beaufort Sea exposed a well casing. BLM staff specialists predicted that without timely action, the well and associated reserve pit, which together contained more than 9,000 gallons of diesel fuel and up to 15,000 cubic yards of drilling wastes, would be washed into the ocean during the summer of 2005.The waters off the coast of NPR-A are extremely important to local communities for subsistence activities including whaling, seal hunting and fishing. After securing emergency funding, BLM assembled a team of specialists to develop and implement an ambitious plan to remove environmental hazards from the site. Field work was complicated by the site's remote location and extreme daily temperatures, averaging 30 degrees below zero. Despite these obstacles, during the course of five weeks the team removed 9,870 gallons of diesel fuel from the well, plugged the well bore, and excavated, transported and stored 3,000 cubic yards of reserve pit waste. BLM received formal acceptance and closure of the reserve pit from the State of Alaska in August, 2005. Within six months of the cleanup, summer storms had washed the project site into the sea. From start to finish, the project took five months to plan and implement. Members of the team included:
Bob Schneider, Field Manager, Northern District Office

Debbie Hollen, Special Projects Manager, BLM-Alaska State Office

Herb Brownell, Arctic Team Manager, BLM-Alaska Arctic Field Office

Mike Worley, Realty Specialist, BLM-Alaska Arctic Field Office

Susan Flora, Environmental Scientist, BLM-Alaska Arctic Field Office

Mike Kunz, Archaeologist, BLM-Alaska Arctic Field Office

Stacie McIntosh, Anthropologist, BLM-Alaska Arctic Field Office

Greg Noble, Petroleum Engineer, BLM-Alaska State Office

Stan Porhola, Petroleum Engineer, BLM-Alaska State Office

Leslie Torrence, Program Analyst, BLM-Alaska State Office

Wayne Svejnoha, Environmental Scientist, BLM-Alaska State Office

Tom Morris, Environmental Specialist, National Science & Technology Center, Denver

Elaine Flick, Contracting Officer, National Business Center, Denver

Doyon/ARAMARK, Denali National Park and Preserve: As the concessioner at Denali National Park and Preserve, Doyon/ARAMARK implemented the Planet EVERgreen Environmental Management System to help protect and preserve one of America's great natural landscapes. Under this system, visitors participate in recycling on tour buses and there is a recycling bin in each employee housing unit. These two initiatives alone diverted more than 250,000 lbs. of material from the landfill. Doyon/ARAMARK subscribes to Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program highlighting the sustainable Alaskan fisheries of salmon and halibut, as well as providing 100 percent grass fed beef and organic produce. By establishing an environmentally preferable purchasing policy Doyon/ARAMARK reduces the rate of consumption of raw materials by purchasing recycled and remanufactured vehicle parts. Other programs demonstrate energy and resource conservation, solid waste reduction, and reduced harmful emissions by 70 percent.

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