Winners Announced for the 2019 ADEQ Environmental Awards
NORTH LITTLE ROCK—Today the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced the winners of the 2019 ADEQ Environmental Awards at the Arkansas State Capitol. Director Becky W. Keogh announced the winners who were presented their award by Governor Asa Hutchinson. Finalists for each of the awards as well as state and local officials were in attendance.
ADEQ Director Becky W. Keogh:
“We are fortunate to see the increasing number of leaders who are committed to transforming Arkansas’s energy and environment future. Arkansas communities are the true winners from these amazing successes.”
Clearwater Paper—Cypress Bend was chosen as the winner of the fifteenth annual Arkansas Environmental Stewardship (ENVY) Award. Clearwater Paper is the country's largest provider of private label tissue and a world-class manufacturer of high-quality bleached paperboard. The Cypress Bend facility formed sustainability improvement teams to identify and implement innovative ways to improve the mill’s performance. Over a six-year period, the Cypress Bend plant has achieved a total savings of $5.6 million per year from the projects it implemented. Solid waste was reduced by seventy-three percent or 67,000 tons per year. Water was reduced by twenty-five percent or $390,000 per year. Natural gas was reduced by twenty-two percent, and electricity was reduced by eight percent or 23,500,000 kilowatt hours per year.
The fourth annual Arkansas Environmental Technology (TECHe) Award was presented to the Husqvarna Group. The Husqvarna Group is the world’s largest producer of outdoor power products. The Group operates a Plastic Injection Molding Manufacturing Operation in Nashville. In 2015, the manufacturer launched “Sustainovate,” an innovation-based initiative to make sustainability a real competitive advantage for the Group and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one third before the end of 2035. As a result, in 2017, Husqvarna installed a 1.4 megawatt solar array at the Nashville facility in partnership with Today’s Power, Inc.. The array, estimated to have a full twenty-year life benefit, generates approximately thirty percent of the facility’s annual electricity, saving $137,762 over the last twelve-month period, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 33,189 metric tons per year.
Entergy Arkansas, LLC was named the recipient of the third Energy Excellence (E2) Award. Entergy Arkansas’s Home Energy Solutions program works with local trade allies to install ecobee Wi’Fi-connected thermostats in customers’ homes. The advanced thermostats help reduce the electric bill for customers when they are not home, and reduce demand on the electric grid through the demand response program. Since 2016, more than 4,000 advanced thermostats have been installed in Arkansas, and 1,500 are planned to be installed in 2019. Collectively, Entergy customers have saved over 3,332,051 kilowatt hours of electricity—that’s equal to 2,356 metric tons of carbon dioxide—and over $170,000. Entergy Arkansas and other utilities in Arkansas, working with the Arkansas Public Service Commission and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, have led the nation in creating regulatory required action in energy efficiency to benefit the economics to the consumer while maintaining the reliability and security of the electricity market.
Anusha Bhattacharyya is a student at Little Rock Central High School and is the recipient of the ADEQuest Science Award. In her project, she pioneered a completely new, inexpensive, and eco-friendly solution to economically and efficiently remove oil from waters using Hot Water Treatment, which allows for easily formed nanostructures to help separate oil contaminants in water. Central High School will receive an award of $500.00 to the school science program and Anusha will receive $500.00 to use for educational purposes.