Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) will award their 7th Annual PEP Environmental Stewardship Awards to 5 member companies and a Community Partner during PEPs Annual Membership Meeting, this evening at 5 Rivers Delta Center.
PEP Member Awards are presented to member companies that have made a significant and positive contribution to the Mobile/Baldwin regions triple bottom line, economically, environmentally and socially. The 2011 PEP Member Award recipients are:
Aerostar Environmental Services
Aerostars biologist Angie Rangel manages a 380-acre Gopher Tortoise preserve near Citronelle owned by South Alabama Utilities, (SAU). Federally threatened gopher tortoises are relocated from road right of ways where waterline maintenance and installation occur in Mobile County. Gopher tortoise habitats were identified and mapped along the proposed and existing SAU waterline routes, allowing SAU to determine the need for a tortoise survey and relocation prior to construction or maintenance.
The gopher tortoise has a disproportionate impact on the environment relative to its size. It is critical in maintaining the structure of an ecological community by affecting and determining other species in the community. As many as 80 animal species utilize the gopher tortoise burrow, proving this animal is critically important to the ecosystem.
In 2009-2010, Arkema focused on reducing energy consumption at its Axis plant to reduce both operating costs and its environmental impact on the community. In 2009, more sophisticated operating controls were installed to provide the operating control needed to reduce natural gas consumption while maintaining compliance with air permit requirements. In 2010, variable frequency drives were installed on several large horsepower motors to operate more efficiently.
These two projects resulted in about 50,000 MMBTU per year natural gas savings, which was a 10% reduction in the sites overall natural gas usage. The reduction in natural gas consumption also reduced carbon dioxide emissions (greenhouse gases) by about 3,000 tons per year. The carbon dioxide emissions reduction is equivalent to about 515 cars driving 12,000 miles per year.
Collaborating with EPA, ADEM and a stakeholder group that included U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA and U.S. Geological Survey, BASF implemented a successful remediation of historic DDT impacts to floodplain sediments at its facility in McIntosh.
DDT in historical wastewater discharges led to contamination of floodplain soils and sediments along a portion of BASFs property on the Tombigbee River floodplain. The DDT levels do not pose a threat to humans, but fish exposed to contaminated surface sediments may pose a threat to wading birds. Following EPAs recommendations and collaborating with the stakeholder group, BASF developed and, in 2008, implemented a plan to rapidly implement remediation to reduce ecological exposures to DDT while maintaining the habitat and integrity of the sites bottomland hardwood forest. A sand cover was placed over 50 acres of floodplain sediments as a barrier between aquatic organisms and the contaminated soils. By 2010, collected fish samples had 90% lower DDT levels and returning native vegetation is providing stability to the cover and improving the ecosystem.
E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Co.
With new processes, DuPont has improved environmental and safety risks, minimized waste, and reduced energy usage. Historically, the Mobile site has used sulfuric acid to neutralize effluent. To address risks associated with any unexpected leak in the pipe rack, threatening personnel and the environment, the plant is installing a new liquid CO2 neutralization technology to replace the existing sulfuric acid neutralization for the effluent system. The new CO2 system will provide a much lower risk to the environment, reduce transportation requirements, reduce the potential for personnel exposure and reduce operating costs.
The Mobile site has also turned a former waste into a valuable raw material. The largest contributor to their waste expenditures is from RynaxypyrTM 4 million pounds per year. A local team discovered that a significant component of the waste was a key raw material, (3-Picoline). A method was designed to recover the material and re-use it on-site, rather than dispose of it. This project reduces the sites environmental carbon footprint with lower air emissions and a 45% decreased energy usage. In addition, the company is able to reduce waste incineration costs and realize raw material purchase savings.
White-Spunner Construction constructed the shrimp and crab waste processing plant in Bayou La Batre for the Gulf Coast Agricultural Seafood Co-Op (the Co-Op). The plants goal is to redirect from area landfills the 5,900 tons of shrimp and crab waste collected annually from Co-Op members processing plants and recycle it into a beneficial sellable product. It was designed to provide the greatest environmental benefit possible to the Co-Op and local community. It includes systems for geothermal comfort heating and cooling, heat recovery from process equipment for plant comfort heating, solar panels, primary anaerobic wastewater treatment to generate biogas collected for use as process fuel and a process to prevent wastewater discharges and beneficial use of gray water. It will likely to qualify for the first Gold LEED Certification for an industrial project in Alabama.
As part of this Award, PEP extends special recognition to the Gulf Coast Agricultural Seafood Co-Op for its creativity and initiative in developing this plant.
Community Partner Awards are given to individuals or organizations that dedicate their time and resources to improve the sustainability and resiliency of Coastal Alabama.
Downtown Mobile Alliance
The PEP Board of Directors has selected Downtown Mobile Alliance as its 2011 Community Partner in recognition of its work to create a more sustainable urban community.
The PEP Community Partner Award is granted each year to an organization or individual that has made a lasting impact on Coastal Alabamas sustainability and resiliency. The PEP Board
recognizes the Downtown Mobile Alliances initiatives to foster a clean, safe, welcoming and beautiful downtown experience for business and visitors that is more walkable and livable.
The Board applauds the Alliances management of the Business Improvement District and the
economic development programs that have been instrumental in advertising commercial property and offering incentives to attract more retail store fronts, restaurants, office space, art galleries and night spots. This has resulted in 41 new businesses in the past year, increased property values and thriving community events such as Brown Bag Jazz in Bienville, Royal Street North Poll Stroll, Easter in the Square, Downtown Art Walks and Saturday Market in the Square.
The Alliance has encouraged the adoption of Smart Code resulting in more walkable mixed use neighborhoods, worked to make the I-10 Wallace Tunnel Interchange safer and participated in the Green Streets Initiative with Auburn University to help manage storm water runoff through innovative redevelopment of downtown parks and green spaces. These are key examples of their work to make Mobile more sustainable; environmentally, economically and socially.
PEP was founded on the guiding principle of promoting business growth while enhancing the environment and overall quality of life in the Mobile-Baldwin area. Downtown Mobile Alliance exemplifies the values of PEP and we are proud to stand with them as Community Partners.
Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) is a non-profit organization of more than 180 area businesses that promotes economic sustainable development and environmental stewardship. PEP members believe that A Clean Environment is Good for Business.