This news item expired on 2/21/2014, so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.

Agency Accepting Nominations for Clean Air Excellence Awards


Has your company improved air quality in WNC?The Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency (WNCRAQA) is now accepting nominations for our tenth annual air quality awards program.

Beginning in 2003, we began awarding annual "Pat on the Back" awards to facilities that met all WNCRAQA regulatory requirements. The Standing Ovation Awards expanded on this concept by striving to recognize those entities that have truly gone above and beyond regulatory requirements to improve air quality for the citizens of our area.

Past award recipients have included Blue Ridge Biofuels, US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Mountain Mobility; each initiated voluntary efforts that improved air quality in Western North Carolina.

In 2012, new guidelines for these awards were established by our Board's Advisory Committee with input from Agency staff. The awards have a new name, the Clean Air Excellence Awards. The guidelines explain the criteria for the awards and different categories have been created for different types of permitted facilities, organizations, and individuals that would like to nominate themselves or another entity for consideration.

We are now asking that permitted facilities provide some basic data that will help us determine if the voluntary action they have taken will reduce air pollution emissions. Agency staff is available to help with emissions reduction questions.

Nominees for the Clean Air Excellence Award should download the application form online and include a brief summary describing what was done to improve air quality for Western North Carolina. Examples of voluntary pollution prevention measures include: significant energy efficiency upgrades, switching to more environmentally friendly and lower emitting solvents and cleaners, installing renewable energy systems, and upgrading fleet vehicles to more fuel efficient models.

We ask that nominations be submitted to our Agency by February 21, 2014. We encourage you to submit any and all efforts your company has undertaken to reduce emissions. More information and the application form are available here.