About this Event
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2022
Local leaders lauded during Partners for Clean Air
Scholarships announced for three Region teens furthering air quality efforts
VALPARAISO – Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air honored the Region’s top air quality leaders and winners of three college scholarships at the organization’s 2022 Awards Luncheon on Friday.
“On behalf of Partners for Clean Air, we congratulate all of the recipients on your awards and scholarships,” said Cathy Csatari, director of the Northwest Regional Office of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). “We encourage others to follow the award winners’ example by taking voluntary actions to support clean air and look forward to seeing what the future holds for the scholarship winners.”
Four recipients received awards for voluntary actions taken to improve air quality in 2021. The winners were selected from nominations submitted to the Partners for Clean Air Steering Committee earlier this year.
Homewood Disposal Services received the Business Award for its commitment to alternative fuels through the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks and fueling stations. The company has more than 80 refuse vehicles that run on CNG, each of which is wrapped in highly visible facts to educate the public on the alternative fuel’s many benefits. In 2021, Homewood Disposal Service pledged to add six new CNG trucks, which will keep an estimated 30,328 gallons of diesel fuel from being consumed each year. Homewood Disposal, headquartered in Homewood, Illinois, is the only private waste hauler operating on CNG in Northwest Indiana.
Feralloy Corporation received the Industrial Award for its work with Partners for Clean Air member Drive Clean Indiana. Feralloy Corporation replaced two diesel-fueled freight switchers with cleaner models through the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Dieselwise grant program. The company also replaced one pneumatic fork truck used to move steel coils with a cleaner Tier 4 equivalent. Feralloy Corporation is located at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.
The Town of Highland’s Redevelopment Commission received the Municipal Award for its proactive steps in supporting clean air. The city installed two electric vehicle charging stations in partnership with Drive Clean Indiana, NIPSCO and the Drive Clean Indiana/Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission’s Green Fleet Program. The stations were funded in part through the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund grant program. Downtown Highland also retrofitted its streetlights to LED lights through a grant from the Indiana Office of Energy Innovation.
Trek Bicycle of Schererville received the Mark Siminski Bicycle Award for its longstanding commitment to supporting cycling in the Region. For decades, Trek Bicycle has organized regular bicycle rides to local businesses and farmers markets by utilizing the Region’s bicycle trails. The efforts support cycling as an alternative to driving passenger vehicles, promote the Region’s trails and support the local economy by patronizing local businesses.
Partners for Clean Air scholarship winners were announced during the luncheon.
The three scholarship winners were each selected to receive $2,500 scholarships from among the participants in the competitive essay contest judged by members of the Partners for Clean Air Scholarship Committee earlier this year. Since 2020, Partners for Clean Air has awarded a total of $20,000 to eight local students to help support their post-secondary educational efforts.
Matthew Stuckey, IDEM's Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Air Quality, served as the keynote speaker and provided an update on air quality in Northwest Indiana. Anthony Maietta, a life scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air and Radiation Division, provided details on air quality funding programs and successes.
Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air presented awards to air quality leaders at its annual awards luncheon on Earth Day. Pictured are (l-r) Feralloy Corporation Plant Manager Erik Alsman, Feralloy Corporation Plant Manager Jason Hudson, Highland Redevelopment Commission President Sean Conley, Homewood Disposal Service Marketing Director Peter Clevering, Partners for Clean Air Program Coordinator Charles Breitenfeldt and accepting for Trek Bicycle Schererville, Telamon Energy Director of Business Development and Partners for Clean Air Steering Committee Member Scott Nelson.
Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air presented scholarships to three high school seniors at its annual awards luncheon on Earth Day. Pictured are (l-r) Scholarship Committee Member Lauri Keagle, communications director for Drive Clean Indiana; Partners for Clean Air Program Coordinator Charles Breitenfeldt; Nathan Osborn of Chesterton High School; Greyson Lemmons of Morgan Township High School; Miranda Bognar of Valparaiso High School and Scholarship Committee Chairman Scott Nelson, director of business development for Telamon Energy.
About Partners for Clean Air
Partners for Clean Air is a coalition of northwest Indiana businesses, industries, local governments, community groups and individuals committed to improving overall air quality and public health through voluntary actions. Members of the Partners for Clean Air Program develop Air Quality Action Plans designed to be implemented on Air Quality Action Days as a way of reducing harmful pollutants.
About Air Quality Action Days
Air Quality Action Days (AQAD) are days when ground-level ozone pollution or fine particulate matter could build to unhealthy levels in the outdoor air. IDEM issues AQAD advisories for ozone and PM2.5 based on air quality forecasts, air quality standards, and Air Quality Index (AQI) categories. When AQADs are predicted, Hoosiers can take action to protect their health and protect air quality. For more information and to subscribe to alerts, please visit www.smogwatch.IN.gov.
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