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Recognizing the critical role that local governments play in protecting our nation's waters, EPA Administrator Christie Whitman and Assistant Administrator for Water G. Tracy Mehan III honored local water pollution control agencies from across the United States with the Clean Water Partners for the 21st Century Award.
As part of the celebration of the Year of Clean Water proclaimed by President George W. Bush, EPA recognized extraordinary actions taken by local governments to protect watersheds beyond the requirements of the Clean Water Act--actions such as protecting and restoring rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands and initiating innovative local pollution prevention programs.
"The Year of Clean Water provides us with a tremendous opportunity to recognize the hard work, sacrifice, and leadership of local agencies from across the country," Whitman said. "These award-winners have set a strong example for future clean water efforts, and we look forward to working with our partners toward our shared goals to reduce water pollution and ensure cleaner, purer water for all Americans."
"We received about 200 applications from across the U.S. and, after careful review, 79 were chosen as Clean Water Partners," Mehan said. "It is our belief that clean water begins at the local level. We applaud the efforts of all Clean Water Partners to improve the environment in the communities they serve."
Applications for the Clean Water Partners Awards were announced in the Federal Register in April 2002. Each applicant completed a compliance screen and demonstrated a good compliance record. Applications were reviewed by a panel including EPA, the Water Environment Federation and Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies and the National League of Cities.
For more information, visit EPA's Year of Clean Water Web site www.epa.gov/water/yearofcleanwater and Clean Water Partners for the 21st Century Recognition Program.
This site contains a complete listing of the awardees www.cleanwaterpartners.org.