By Bryony Wardell
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is pleased to announce the latest winners of the Spare the Air Awards. The annual awards honor individuals, businesses, schools, communities and organizations who have made a voluntary contribution to the improvement of air quality in South Carolina.
“Clean, healthy air is an important natural resource that benefits everyone,” said Myra Reece, DHEC’s director of environmental affairs. “This award program celebrates the collaborative efforts of our partners and neighbors who are helping to drive continuous improvement of air quality across the state.”
Congratulations to the Spare The Air Award recipients!
Forest Lake Presbyterian Church
Outstanding Community Improvement Campaign Award
Forest Lake Presbyterian Church was awarded for their efforts to reduce vehicle emissions. The church established an organic garden and collaborated with Harvest Food Bank to distribute locally grown produce to communities, minimizing the need for large trucks on the highway.
Dr. Reverend Ellen Skidmore accepting the award for Forest Lake Presbyterian Church.
Rock Hill School District Three of York County
Outstanding School District Award
The district’s Energy Management Program saves an estimated $2 million a year. It features outreach activities including a door decal and light switch design contest, an energy shutdown contest and a web-based energy tracking tool.
L-R: Eddie Robinson, facilities trades manager; Kim Melander, district energy manager; Robbie Brown, division director, DHEC; and Brian Vaughan, facilities director.
The University of South Carolina
Outstanding University Award
The University of South Carolina was awarded for developing strategies to reduce vehicle and facility emissions; improve bicycle, pedestrian and mass transit options; and provide sustainable education opportunities for its campus community.
- L-R Michael Koman, director of USC’s Office of Sustainability; Rhonda Thompson, interim chief, DHEC Bureau of Air; Dr. Harris Pastides, president of USC; Tom Syfert, director of USC’s Environmental Health Safety.
The City of Seneca/Clemson Area Transit
Outstanding Local Government
The City of Seneca received a Spare the Air Award for becoming the first municipality in the country to run an all-electric mass transit system. The electric fleet was manufactured by Greenville-based Proterra Inc. and is part of the Clemson Area Transit system. These actions reduced harmful emissions and saved money on fuel cost.
City of Clemson Mayor J.C. Cook, DHEC Environmental Affairs Director Myra Reece and Seneca Mayor Don Alexander at the Spare The Air Award ceremony for Outstanding Local Government.
Enter the Spare The Air Awards!
Have you worked on a voluntary initiative or idea in 2015 that helped improve air quality in South Carolina? Apply for the 2016 Spare the Air Awards for a chance to be recognized by the state for your work! Entries must be received by February 1, 2016. Click here to apply!