KINGSTON, R.I., June 15, 2016 – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has received a Rising Star Award from the University of Rhode Island’s Ocean State Clean Cities Coalition.
DEM was the only Rhode Island organization and one of six in New England to be honored for its efforts in cutting carbon emissions, reducing the use of petroleum, and promoting and using alternative fuels to power its vehicles. The other honorees are: Green Mountain Power of Colchester, Vt.; New Bedford, Mass; Scarborough, Maine; Yale University and the University of New Hampshire.
DEM was commended for its purchase of 10 new Ford plug-in electric cars and the addition of four dual-port electric vehicle charging stations, increasing the total number of fleet plug-ins to 12.
“We are proud to honor DEM for its commitment to reducing fossil fuel use and for providing a wonderful example to other public agencies and private businesses around the state,” said Wendy Lucht, Ocean State Clean Cities coordinator. “The coalition felt highlighting the agency’s efforts would encourage others to take major steps forward in this area. Through American Recovery Act funding, DEM has also shown alternative fuel leadership by hosting 10 electric vehicle charging stations at state parks and beaches. Many of these locations also generate clean solar or wind energy. The agency was a natural choice for the award.”
“We sincerely appreciate Ocean State Clean Cities for recognizing us with this award,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “Under Gov. (Gina) Raimondo’s leadership, state agencies have been charged to lead by example in energy efficiency and clean energy. And DEM is proud to play its part in reducing carbon emissions and promoting alternative fuel vehicles in our fleet and across our facilities. Our success in this work is a credit to the great work of our team at DEM and many other partners who strive every day to preserve our precious natural resources and lessen the impacts of the transportation sector on our environment.”
Lucht added that each New England winner demonstrated a deep commitment to the goals of the Clean Cities program.
The Rising Stars award program is part of the Northern Stars of the Northeast Initiative, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The highest honor is the Northern Star Award, which goes to those motor vehicle fleets that are models for other fleets in their efforts to use alternative fuels, document that use, advance internal policies that support efforts to promote emission reduction technologies, contribute to expansion of alternative fuel infrastructure in their operating areas and support educational and outreach activities. Rising Star award winners demonstrate similar commitment and enterprise, but have not yet risen to the higher level.
The Northern Stars program was developed by the five Northern New England Clean Cities Coalitions and has now expanded to include coalitions and fleets from across the Northeastern states.
There are nearly one hundred Clean Cities Coalitions around the country whose purpose is to help reduce the use of petroleum, cut emissions, and promote alternative fuel options.