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WNC Air Quality News

Standing Ovation Awards - 2004

Five local leaders are being recognized by the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency for their outstanding efforts to improve air quality in the region. Each have gone above and beyond what is required by air quality rules and regulations to make a real difference in reducing pollution in their communities.

Those being recognized are the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Buncombe County Schools Transportation Department, Haywood County Schools Transportation Department, Madison County Schools Transportation Department, and Transylvania County Schools Transportation Department.

The Transportation Departments of the school systems in Buncombe, Haywood, Madison and Transylvania Counties are being recognized for their innovative efforts to clean up school bus emissions in the region. Thanks to the forward-thinking mindset of each of these Transportation Departments, all yellow school buses in each of these counties are now equipped with pollution controls that reduce emissions by up to 50%, making them some of the cleanest buses in the entire country.

The University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) is being recognized for its campus initiatives to decrease emissions and improve air quality. Along with other efforts, lawn mower and weedeater use has been reduced by planting no mow and low mow grass species, using wildflowers and native grasses in "natural areas", and by reducing the amount of turf area while increasing the use of ground covers and perennials. UNCA has also taken steps to increase the energy efficiency of its buildings through the use of direct digital control systems and implementing the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines at selected buildings.

The Regional Air Quality Agency is responsible for air quality permitting and enforcement in Asheville and Buncombe County. It is presenting these awards to highlight voluntary efforts to improve air quality in Western North Carolina. Each of these organizations deserve a “Standing Ovation” for their hard work and dedication in protecting and strengthening this vital natural resource.

A reception honoring the Standing Ovation Award recipients will take place on January 10, 2005 at 4pm. For more information, call 250-6777.

Melanie Pitrolo
WNC Regional Air Quality Agency
49 Mt. Carmel Road
Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: 250-6777