Governor LePage Highlights DEP Improvements, Environmental Leadership of Maine Employers In Earth Day Radio Address

April 22, 2012

CONTACT:

"Hello. This is your Governor Paul LePage.

This weekend, many Mainers will head outdoors and celebrate Earth Day.

For many Maine employers, Earth Day isn’t just one day a year, but a constant commitment to our natural resources and ensuring a sustainable economy.

This past week, I was proud to join Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho to present my Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence to six such stewards.

The re-launching of the first state-sponsored environmental awards given out in nearly a decade is one of many ways DEP is enhancing its culture of cooperation while still preserving the pristine quality of our environment that makes Maine the place where so many people want to live, work and play. Whether it is improving the timeliness of its permit processing, providing expanded technical assistance or enacting common sense regulatory reform, DEP is now better serving those it regulates.

This is critical, because while the State can be a source of support, it is Maine employers and people initiating the innovation that is improving our environment and our economy.

Our award recipients are reminders that profitability is not the enemy of the environment. By cutting energy costs through efficiency efforts and use of alternatives, and reducing, reusing and recycling, Maine employers are growing their bottom line so they can instead invest in infrastructure, create jobs and develop our economy.

One Governor’s Award winner, Idexx Laboratories, has committed to considering sustainability in every business decision they make. As a result, their operating costs per square foot are actually less than they were five years ago, they now landfill less than six percent of all their waste, and their employees have grown hundreds of pounds of produce in gardens planted on their Westbrook campus, all of which is donated to local food pantries.

The success stories of each entity we honored this week illustrate the interdependence of Maine’s economy and the environment.

Maine Energy Systems, which sells wood pellets and boilers, has helped hundreds of Maine homes, businesses and municipal facilities – including Waterville High School and Mt. Abram Ski Resort – transition to a cleaner, less costly fuel, sustainably-harvested from Maine’s forests.

Other winners are the Alfred-based George Roberts Company, South Portland's CLYNK, The Washington County Council of Government’s Brownfield’s Program, and The Environmental Living & Learning for Maine Students.

Finally, I would like to thank this year’s host of the Governor’s Awards, Jotul North America.

As we commemorate Earth Day, Maine people should be proud our state is home to so many employers who understand, as I do, that a healthy environment and a strong economy support one another. The choice between our environment and our economy should never be “either or” because it is always both.

Thank you for listening. Ann and I hope you enjoy the weekend."

-END-