EPA honors isle
A Manoa Valley environmental awareness campaign and a state Department of Health mercury cleanup project have been given U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards.
A ceremony recognizing the Hawaii winners was held yesterday at Manoa District Park.
>> Helen Nakano, Malama O Manoa, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply and Manoa Valley educators were recognized for their Kuleana Project, which taught water conservation to Manoa schoolchildren and residents.
With a grant from the Board of Water Supply, 12 public and private schools taught water quality and conservation at school -- and took what they learned to Manoa Valley residents with a door-to-door education program.
Students stenciled no-dumping messages on storm drains, delivered educational bro-chures to homes, produced an informational video, hosted a watershed model-building contest and sponsored tours of water recycling and treatment facilities.
>> The state Department of Health's Hazardous Waste Section was recognized for its Mercury Clean-out project, which removed sources of mercury from the community and educated people about the health and environmental hazards of mercury.
More than 625 households, 70 schools and several neighbor island dentists collected more than 1,460 pounds of mercury at a cost of $172,000.
The preventive approach cost about $118 a pound to remove mercury, compared with the $18,500-a-pound cost of cleaning up 35 pounds of mercury found in an abandoned building by children.
"The EPA is pleased and honored to acknowledge the innovative and far-reaching environmental work achieved by this impressive group of organizations and individuals," EPA regional administrator Wayne Nastri said.
Thirty-six groups and individuals were selected from more than 150 nominees in EPA Region 9 -- California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, the Pacific islands and tribal lands.