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Leaders Lauded During 'Partners for Clean Air' Ceremony
Indiana Ag Connection - 08/11/2020

Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air honored the Region's top air quality leaders at the organization's 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony.

"Partners for Clean Air congratulates the award recipients and encourages others to follow their example by taking voluntary action to support clean air," said Charles Breitenfeldt, Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air coordinator for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Four awards were presented for voluntary actions taken to improve air quality during 2019. The winners were selected from among nominations submitted to the Partners for Clean Air Steering Committee earlier this year.

Family Express Corp. of Valparaiso received the Business Award for its support of clean, domestic fuels that support the Hoosier economy and national energy security. Family Express was an early adopter and advocate for higher ethanol blend fuels and invested $1 million in energy efficient lighting at its convenience stores and offices.

Praxair, Inc. of East Chicago received the Industrial Award. Praxair planted 60 native trees at its East Chicago facility in April 2019 and organized an annual volunteer day in conjunction with Earth Day at Indiana Dunes National Park's Chellberg Farm.

The Municipal Award was presented to the City of Hammond for its expansion of multi-use paths and bikeways. The city has added more than 10 miles of dedicated trail and seven pedestrian bridges, giving Hammond more miles of trails per capita than any other city in Indiana.

The Mark Siminski Bicycle Award was presented to Dave Stokoski of Crown Point, who has worked tirelessly for more than 20 years to promote bicycling in Northwest Indiana by organizing the Crown Point Wednesday Night Ride.

The winners of the first ever Partners for Clean Air scholarships were also recognized during the virtual event. Abigail Glover of Valparaiso High School and Taryn Schermer of La Lumiere School in La Porte were each selected to receive $2,500 scholarships from among the participants in the competitive essay contest judged by members of the Partners for Clean Air Steering Committee this spring.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Bruno Pigott served as the virtual event's keynote speaker and provided an update on Northwest Indiana air quality.

The recording of the virtual event can be viewed online at:

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