Do you know somebody in your community or workplace who has made great contributions to protecting New England's environment?

According to an agency press release, EPA’s New England Office is now accepting nominations for Environmental Merit Awards. Notable environmental achievements in New England during the past year — or over the course of a career — are eligible for recognition by EPA. Award categories are for individuals, businesses, state and local governments, and other organizations. Awards are also given under a "lifetime achievement" category.

The awards have been given out annually in New England since EPA was created in 1970. Past recipients have included scientists, community activists, business representatives, public officials and other individuals committed to preserving the environment. Nominations can be submitted by anybody, and individuals or organizations are allowed to submit self-nominations. The deadline for nominations is March 6, 2009.

An independent EPA panel will select the winners based on the following criteria: long-term effects on the environment; ability to address an environmental problem or need; collaboration with others; ability of the program or accomplishments to be widely shared; clarity and effectiveness of the presentation; and promotion of innovative ideas or techniques.

Awards are given in four categories:
  • individual;
  • business, industry, trade, and professional organization;
  • local, state or federal government; and
  • environmental, community or non-profit organization.
Awards winners will be invited to a ceremony this spring in Boston. For nomination forms and more information on Environmental Merit Awards, visit