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United States Environmental Protection Agency

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2005 National Notable Achievement Awards
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Resource Conservation Challenge Award Recipients

Outstanding Individual Achievement of the Year
Pam Swingle, Region 4

Pam Swingle has played a critical role in the development of resource conservation challenge (RCC) goals for scrap tires and has established an international reputation for outstanding work in this area since coming to EPA. Her approach has been to work closely with the states while bringing industry, academia, and non-governmental organizations together to solve common issues. Her pioneering leadership on scrap tires now extends overseas. Last year she spent 90 days in Greece on an Embassy Science Fellowship from the State Department to assist Greece with its new recycling legislation that includes scrap tires.

While the leads of other RCC tire clusters were developing strategic plans internal to EPA and identifying stakeholders, Pam took the bold approach of inviting all parties interested in scrap tire management to meet with EPA headquarters and regions at the RCRA National Meeting. She knew cooperation would be a monumental task because many of the parties involved have adversarial relationships, but the result has been a very diverse group that includes representatives from 18 state scrap tire programs, 10 industry groups, three non-governmental organizations, and three federal agencies. Since the start of this RCC tire cluster, Pam has pushed the stakeholders to develop goals and objectives, and she has succeeded. The adoption of two major goals was significant due to the diversity of the RCC tire cluster stakeholders. She managed to create a true partnership in an environment of cooperation within an industry that has typically been divisive.

She also organized a meeting for the Region 4 state scrap tire regulators to help the states establish a unique communication network. This meeting, which has now become an annual event and is attended by states in Regions 6 and 7 as well, spawned the creation of a regional scrap tire listserve that quickly became a national listserv with 90 members representing 39 states, all EPA regions, and EPA headquarters.

Outstanding Team Achievement of the Year
School Chemical Clean Out Team, Region 4
Delores Rodgers-Smith, Dan Ahern, and Wayne Garfinkel

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Poor hazardous chemical management in schools is a serious issue, and this team has provided outstanding pollution prevention leadership through the School Chemical Clean Out Campaign (SC3). The SC3 program provides seed money to: (1) promote school-based programs for removing existing stocks of outdated, unknown, excessive, or unnecessarily hazardous chemicals from secondary schools; (2) promote safe chemical management and other prevention activities in these schools; and (3) raise national awareness of the problem.

The Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response and Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxic Substances made the SC3 program a national priority and requested immediate results by summer 2004. With a short deadline, the team took on the challenge of finding the right combination of partners in Region 4 to participate in one of only two SC3 programs in the country that met the summer 2004 deadline. As a result of the team’s diligent work to solicit and evaluate projects from states and universities, a partnership was formed between Region 4 and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to make Region 4’s SC3 a success. TDEC and EPA teamed to identify low-income and in-need schools requiring immediate assistance to clean out the old chemicals. Through the team’s collaboration with TDEC, the SC3 program has raised public awareness about these issues and has received attention at national meetings and in publications.

The team developed a partnership with the Waste Division, Air Division, and the Pollution Prevention Program in Region 4’s Office of Program Management to implement the SC3 program. With representatives from all the media programs, the team coordinates education and outreach activities and implements initiatives with all states and other federal agencies in the Southeast to reduce environmental hazards to children and the elderly. Removing the majority of hazardous chemicals from secondary schools is reducing priority chemicals in hazardous waste and helping EPA achieve its resource conservation challenge goals.

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Page Last Modified: May 17, 2005