Governor LePage, DEP Commissioner To Bestow Environmental Excellence Awards Thursday

April 12, 2012

CONTACT: Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Spokesperson/Director of Communications / 287-5842 (office) or 592-0427 (cell)

-The April 19 awards will spotlight stewards of sustainability from Cumberland, Lincoln, Oxford, Waldo, Washington and York counties and also showcase Jotul North America’s manufacturing facility-

GORHAM – Governor Paul LePage will join Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho next Thursday, April 19 to announce the winners of the first state-sponsored environmental excellence awards given out in nearly a decade.

The 2012 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence will be presented by the Governor and Commissioner in a ceremony at Jotul North America’s headquarters in Gorham to businesses in four workforce size categories as well as a nonprofit collaborative and a public entity that have gone beyond regulatory requirements to creatively initiate innovation and environmentally sustainable practices.

Winners come from Cumberland, Lincoln, Oxford, Waldo, Washington and York counties.

The Governor and Commissioner will also each speak about the interdependence of stewardship of Maine’s natural resources and a sustainable state economy.

Following the formal awards presentation, Jotul North America President Bret Watson will lead a tour of that company’s lean manufacturing production line and R & D lab, highlighting his company’s commitment to creating leading quality clean-burning wood and gas stoves and inserts through innovation, employee engagement and environmental leadership right here in Gorham, Maine. Jotul North America employs approximately 90 Mainers in their 130,000 square-foot facility, and has plans to grow due to the success of their operations here.

A similar environmental excellence awards program was discontinued by the department in 2005. Commissioner Aho said the decision to relaunch the annual awards this year was to recognize the many environmental leaders who are modeling the department’s vision of a mutually healthy environment and economy but who often go unrecognized.

The media is encouraged to attend and Commissioner Aho and representatives of each of the winning organizations as well as host Jotul will be available to speak to the press following the awards presentations.

WHO: Governor Paul LePage, Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho and agency senior managers, representatives from the six winning organizations, members of the Maine Legislature, members of the Board of Environmental Protection and Jotul North America President Bret Watson and staff

WHERE: Jotul North America (in the Gorham Industrial Park) 55 Hutcherson Drive, Gorham

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Thursday, April 19