The U.S. Environmental Protections Agency announced the 2012 honorees for
the group’s annual Environmental Quality Awards for Region 2 were the Island Green Building Association of St. John and Beyond Visions Foundation of St. Croix.
EPA officials hosted an official ceremony at their offices in Manhattan and plan to travel to the territory to personally present the awards later in the year. Speaking at the Manhattan ceremony, EPA regional administrator Judith Enck hailed both groups as setting a high bar for environmental excellence in the territory. “Change that will create a healthier and more sustainable future begins with people like those the EPA is honoring today,” said Enck. “They give of themselves and set a high bar in their actions to protect public health and the environment.”
EPA presents Environmental Quality Awards each year to individuals, businesses, government agencies, environmental and community based organizations and members of the media in EPA Region 2 — which includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally-recognized Indian Nations. “The awards recognize significant contributions to improving the environment and public health in the previous calendar year,” according to a prepared statement by EPA.
On St. John, IGBA officials were thrilled with the news of their EPA award. “We’re very excited about being honored by EPA,” said Karen Vahling. “We’ve been hearing from so many people in the environmental community and the larger community who have been calling us and congratulating us. It’s really nice to be recognized this way.”