DEP’s Air Division Director to Receive National Environmental Award

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Air Resource Management Director will be awarded the Distinguished Environmental Advocates Award for his contribution to the development of law, policy and programs in the areas of energy and the environment this week.

Brian Accardo, 36, is one of 12 young lawyers chosen from around the country by the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment and Energy Resources for the award.

“There are many programs to recognize legal achievement later in an attorney’s career,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. “We crafted this program to emphasize the importance of recognizing individuals in our field of practice who are standing out early on by virtue of their ideas, commitment and professionalism.”

In his role at the Department, Accardo leads the State of Florida’s efforts to ensure Florida meets state and federal air quality standards. In addition to developing and implementing statewide regulatory policy, he oversees the monitoring of ambient air quality, permitting and compliance of emission sources and licensing of power plants.

In the last two years under his tenure, emissions of air pollutants have declined statewide and regulatory processes have improved. Time to process air permit applications has decreased by 42 percent and internal process improvements have led to lowered fees.

Late last year, the Division also achieved a successful collaboration with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency under Accardo’s management. EPA proposed full approval of Florida’s state plan to address visibility-impairing haze, making it the only state plan in the Southeast region that has achieved this level of scientific support from the EPA.

“Brian is an example of the type of young, hard-working employees within the Department who are dedicated to protecting Florida’s environment,” said DEP Chief of Staff Jennifer Fitzwater. “Floridians can be assured that our air quality is among the best in the nation, thanks, in part, to the efforts of this Division’s staff.”

The American Bar Association Distinguished Environmental Advocates Award will be presented to Brian Accardo during its 42nd Spring Conference in Salt Lake City on Friday.

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