Northwest District Environmental Stewardship Award Winners

City of Tallahassee

The City of Tallahassee’s wide range of operations have a direct impact on the quality and health of our environment and the community. The city employs conservative and sustainable practices, and environmental considerations are factored into their daily operations. The city’s remediation work at Cascades Park is a shining example of site reuse. The city continues to have one of the most successful brownfields programs in the state of Florida, utilizing brownfields grant funding for the assessment and remediation of properties contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum so those sites can be redeveloped. In August 2016, the city’s underground utilities and public infrastructure department became the first public utility in the world to achieve certification to the new standards by NSF-ISR. ISO 14001 Environmental Management System is an international standard designed to maintain regulatory compliance, protect the environment and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Gulf Power

Gulf Power has invested more than $1.9 billion in pioneering clean air systems and gave drastically reduced emissions from plants in Northwest Florida. Gulf Power is also bringing large-scale solar to Northwest Florida through a partnership with local military bases. Gulf Power’s Plant Crist has surpassed the 10-billion-gallon milestone for the use of reclaimed water from the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s Central Water Reclamation Facility. The plant uses the advanced treated wastewater as a coolant during electricity production and to run a scrubber that reduces air emissions. By using the reclaimed water, Gulf Power avoids taking millions of gallons of water out of the Escambia River. Reclaimed water will soon also be used in Gulf Power’s Plant Smith in Panama City. The Bay County project will greatly reduce the amount of water Gulf Power currently uses from St. Andrews Bay as well as the wastewater being discharged by other entities. In addition, Gulf Power employees have volunteered more than 1,200 hours in 2016 to projects such as tree planting, trimming trails in conservation areas, building oyster reefs, monitoring shorebird nesting sites, cleaning up shorelines and clearing invasive trees and plants.

Naval Air Station Whiting Field

Naval Air Station Whiting Field actively promotes a variety of environmentally sound operations. Environmental management training is performed on a weekly basis to new student naval aviators and as of August 2016, 2,192 students have completed the training. The training emphasizes the military mission with regards to the Environmental Management System, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, EMS 14001, National Environmental Policy Act, Hazardous Materials Management and Natural Resources. The purpose of the training is to provide young military officers an education in environmental awareness as well as highlight their responsibilities in contributing to a safe and clean environment – a lesson that is meant to build a foundation that can be carried forward throughout their personal and military careers. NAS Whiting Field also recently finalized an agreement with Gulf Power to construct a 305-acre photovoltaic energy production facility to be located on NOLF Holley, which is expected to provide 52 megawatts of electricity.

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