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WNC Air Quality News

Standing Ovation Awards - 2003

Local Air Agency To Recognize Business and Industry Leaders For Outstanding Efforts To Improve Air Quality

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

The four companies being recognized are Lifestyle Homes of Distinction, Eaton Cutler-Hammer, Hedrick Industries, and Shorewood Packaging. Each submitted a self-nomination detailing their voluntary activities to reduce pollution.

Lifestyle Homes of Distinction, a real estate development company, is currently developing a sixteen-acre subdivision in Swannanoa. As a result of the development, the company has had to clear approximately eight acres of trees and brush. Although the most economically way to dispose of the land-cleared debris would have been to burn it, the developer has decided to absorb the estimated $10,400 additional cost to chip the debris into mulch. At least forty tons less pollution will be emitted into the region as a result of Lifestyle Homes of Distinction’s leadership.

During the past year, the Eaton Cutler-Hammer facility located on Heywood Road in Arden has developed energy-efficient practices to reduce natural gas consumption and subsequent air emissions by approximately 44%. Eaton has also made process-level changes that have reduced the amount of solvent-laden materials being used at the facility.

Hedrick Industries, which operates the North Buncombe and Grove Stone and Sand Quarries, has employed measures to reduce energy consumption at both facilities by as much as 10%. They have also instituted an engine and tire maintenance program on their heavy machinery, which will improve efficiency and reduce air emissions from the large trucks and equipment used at both facilities.

Finally, Shorewood Packaging’s Weaverville facility has implemented several measures to reduce pollution from their manufacturing process. They have reformulated their process chemicals to reduce hazardous air pollutant emissions, and have changed their inks to be soybean-based as opposed to solvent-based, which further reduces air emissions. Shorewood Packaging has also replaced a propane-fueled forklift with an electric-powered vehicle, which not only reduces air emissions but also improves the indoor air quality for their employees.

The Regional Air Quality Agency is responsible for air quality permitting and enforcement in Asheville and Buncombe County. It is presenting these first annual awards to highlight the voluntary efforts undertaken by business and industry leaders to improve air quality in Western North Carolina. Each of these companies deserve a “Standing Ovation” from the community 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 12, 2004 at 5pm. For more information, call 250-6777.