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ARTICLE: ACI-NA Announces 2012 Environmental Achievement Award Winners


Everyone supports initiatives that enhance the environment, but all too often the actions taken are mundane “fixes” to problems identified in the Environmental Impact Statement or Environmental Assessment process. While even the most prosaic solution is a good thing, the experts and local activists, who think outside of the box and design environmental advances while addressing the problem, merit special consideration.

ACI-NA has instituted annual awards which identify creative solutions to these problems. The attached association press release announces the 2012 winners.

From a technical, environmental standpoint, ACI-NA gave the Environmental Management Award to the Portland International Jetport for its geothermal system to provide its energy needs. They no longer use a fossil fuel for heating and cooling, but now use ground water to heat and cool the airport’s buildings. The new system will reduce emissions by 1,000 tons of CO2 and over 1 ton of Nitrous Oxide per year. The airport management also earned extra points for financial expertise by qualifying for a FAA Voluntary Airport Low Emission program grant. That additional funding means that the airport’s investment will show a return within 4 to 5 years, good for the bottom line and great for the environment!

The Outreach, Education and Community Involvement Award is a great example of creativity, and certainly a buzz, for the Chicago Department of Aviation. They partnered with the Chicago Department of Family Support Services and the North Lawndale Employment Network to install beehives on the grounds of O’Hare International (hopefully they will avoid the problems experienced at Pittsburgh International). The ORD project created an aviary colony, and the bees’ honey create income for the workers, formerly incarcerated individuals (love the PC vocabulary).

The Mitigation Award and the Special/Innovative Projects Award also involve interesting projects to address environmental actions.

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