TRENTON, NJ – The Christie Administration has honored the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory as the state’s top environmental steward in a Department of Environmental Protection program that encourages companies and facilities to go above and beyond regulatory requirements to protect and enhance New Jersey’s environment.
“The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, long a leader in the area of fusion energy research, is also a leader in the area of being a good steward of the environment,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said today. “I commend their efforts at making sound environmental practices that benefit their staff, their community and their state an integral part of the facility’s daily operations.”
The collaborative national center for fusion energy research, managed by Princeton University, has met 20 of the 21 stewardship categories established by the DEP, most in the state. Among the stewardship areas the facility excels at are environmental policy, environmental management, green buildings, hazardous materials reduction, environmental purchasing, water use reduction and renewable energy use.
“We are committed to protecting the environment; our mission, for example, to enable fusion energy – a clean, green, safe and nearly inexhaustible source of power – illustrates that commitment,” said Dr. Adam Cohen, Deputy Director of Operations at PPPL. “This commitment extends to the operations of our facilities and the dedication of our employees.
“We have worked hard over many years to reduce our energy use and carbon emissions, convert our vehicles to more environmentally friendly fuels, compost our waste, and in general, implement a broad-based sustainability program, Dr. Cohen said. “This recognition by New Jersey is a great honor and a tribute to our commitment to the environment.”
The DEP’s Environmental Stewardship Program encourages businesses and other institutions to better protect the environment by providing public acknowledgement showcasing their achievements as incentive for others to follow. Princeton Plasma Laboratories and other top environmental stewards were honored during a ceremony Monday.
The DEP also recognized Colgate Palmolive Co. in Piscataway, Bristol Myers Squibb Co. in Hopewell, LP Thebault Division of Earthcolor in Parsippany-Troy Hills, Mannington Mills Inc. in Mannington, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. in Kenilworth, Windham Worldwide in Parsippany, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority in Camden, the Duke Farms Foundation in Hillsborough, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. in Summit, and Raritan Valley Community College in North Branch.
These facilities demonstrated strong overall environmental policies, are committed to community outreach, participate in federal stewardship programs, and carry out programs to enhance the environment.
The DEP has verified more than 760 businesses and other entities as implementing various environmental stewardship practices. They include manufacturers, chemical companies, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, utilities authorities, medical facilities, and educational institutions.
“Under the Environmental Stewardship Program, voluntary stewardship evaluations have become a core component of our routine inspections of facilities,” said Wolf Skacel, the DEP’s Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement. “This provides us with a complete, on-the-ground perspective of steps businesses and other members of the regulated community are taking to enhance environmental protection.”
DEP inspectors ask facility operators a series of questions about their operations. The inspectors are asking facility operators whether they maintain a comprehensive written environmental policy, whether they operate under an Environmental Management System designed to reduce environmental impacts, and whether they publish an annual environmental report.
The facilities are also assessed on a variety of other factors such as having programs to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, conserving energy and water, reducing generation of hazardous waste, encouraging green-building construction, requiring vendors to utilize environmentally friendly practices, and encouraging employees to car-pool and use mass transit.
For more information on the initiative and a list of facilities the DEP is recognizing as environmental stewards, visit: www.stewardship.nj.gov