EPA New England Celebrates Earth Day by Opening Nomination Period for Annual Environmental Merit Awards | U.S. EPA News Releases

News Releases from Region 01


BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) New England Office is accepting nominations for New England based individuals, organizations, government entities or businesses whose environmental achievements during the past year deserve recognition. Nominations for the 2021 Environmental Merit Awards are due by the end of the day on Monday, May 17, 2021.

These regional awards have been given out annually since EPA was created in 1970. Past recipients have included scientists, community activists, nonprofits, business representatives and public officials committed to preserving the environment. An independent EPA panel will select the winners based on the environmental issue being addressed, the actions taken to address this environmental issue, and the degree to which positive results of the actions can be measured and sustained.

EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment. Nominations should explain how work connects to EPA’s mission of reducing waste, air, water, or land pollution. EPA is also looking for innovative projects or activities that can be replicated or widely shared.

The Environmental Merit Awards, which will be presented at a ceremony in September, are traditionally given in five categories:

  • individual;
  • business, industry, trade, and professional organization;
  • local, state or federal government;
  • environmental, community or non-profit organization, academia; and
  • lifetime achievement.

Lifetime Achievement Awards are given to people who have demonstrated sustained commitment toward improving New England’s environment during their career or over their lifetime.

For the fifth year in a row, EPA will also be awarding the Children’s Environmental Health Award to an individual or group whose work stands out for their efforts to protect children from environmental health risks.

The final award category is the Ira Leighton “In Service to States” Environmental Merit Award. This award recognizes an individual or organization for success in furthering state and federal partnerships to address environmental challenges in New England. This award is chosen through a collective, collaborative decision by the following entities: NEIWPCC, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association, and New England State Environmental Commissioners.

Nominations are accepted online.

More information on award categories, evaluation criteria and how to submit nominations: www.epa.gov/environmental-merit-awards-new-england.

Contact Kristen Conroy at [email protected] with comments or questions. 

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