EPA recognizes environmental efforts by Amgen, community leaders

Written by  //  November 14, 2011  //  Environment  //  No comments

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Amgen's Juncos campus.

Amgen Manufacturing Limited in Juncos is one of a handful of Puerto Rico businesses and individuals that received Environmental Quality Awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this year for their achievements in protecting public health and the environment.

In a ceremony held earlier this year, but announced Monday, Amgen was recognized for the environmental sustainability program it established in 2010 “to further its commitment to improve the environment.”

As part of the program, Amgen launched a number of efforts to protect and save natural resources, including reducing waste, sustaining a best-in-class recycling program, establishing energy and water conservation programs, and promoting practices to reduce emissions into the atmosphere.

EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck presented the awards to this year’s recipients at a ceremony at EPA’s offices in San Juan.

“These honorees work tirelessly to protect the environment and to ensure that all of us can look forward to a cleaner, healthier world,” Enck said. “We can all be proud of what they have accomplished and the example they have set.”

EPA presents Environmental Quality Awards annually in conjunction with Earth Day to individuals, businesses and organizations in EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally recognized Indian Nations.

Local winners also include individuals who have made a difference on their own, or through an organization they represent.

The list is headed by Father Efraín Rodríguez, who in 1998 started his own radio show called “Hablando Claro,” a program that serves as an open forum for environmental issues and health and safety themes in Puerto Rico.

Also honored was Lyvia Rodriguez Del Valle, an urban and regional planner who currently serves as the executive director of the Corporación Del Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña, a redevelopment authority that brings together the organized communities, the private sector and government around an agenda for an inclusive city.

“Over the last 10 years, she has worked together with an interdisciplinary team to create innovative and highly participatory mechanisms to overcome poverty and address environmental degradation,” the EPA said in a release issued Monday.

Rounding out the list of honorees are Ana Margarita Pérez Mejías and Carmen Febres, who head the “Martín Peña Recicla,” organization, which has become a model for community involvement and education through teaching residents of Barrio Obrero Marina about recycling, solid waste reuse, and other environmental issues.

“The project recovers approximately four tons of recyclable newsprint, paper and cardboard each month, reducing the community’s daily waste load. The work is performed entirely by community volunteers, who have no specialized equipment or tools,” the EPA said. “The materials are separated and stored temporarily before being sold to a major recycling corporation on the island. Any proceeds are reinvested in community projects such as youth programs.”

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