A gardening tool that runs on propane, a climate education program that engages students and teachers in strategies for reducing carbon dioxide emissions at school, and a tribe’s smoke management program are just three of the winners of EPA’s Clean Air Excellence Awards, according to an EPA press release.

For the ninth year, EPA is honoring 15 recipients from across the United States for their environmental achievements in community action, education, and science and technology. These innovative air quality programs provide environmental benefits and create green products and jobs.

“Each year, our Clean Air Excellence Award winners offer amazing new examples of how we keep our air safe and clean,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This year’s winners have built on that tradition of innovation to show what is possible in protecting human health and the environment.”

This year’s award recipients were selected from 125 applicants and represent achievements in five categories: clean air technology, community action, education/outreach, regulatory policy innovations, and outstanding individual achievement.

The awards program, established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, annually recognizes and honors outstanding innovative efforts to help make progress in achieving cleaner air. Award-winning entries must directly or indirectly reduce pollutant emissions, demonstrate innovation, offer sustainable outcomes, and provide a model for others to follow.

Information on all award winners: www.epa.gov/air/caaac/clean_award.html .