November 14th, 2006 03:40 EST
Denver International Airport recognized as an environmental leader
At a ceremony today attended by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Denver International Airport became the first airport in the nation to be awarded membership into the Environmental Protection Agency's Performance Track, a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that consistently exceed regulatory requirements and excel in protecting human health and the environment.
"DIA is not only one of the busiest aviation facilities in the world, it is one of the greenest," said EPA assistant regional administrator, Steve Tuber. "With a state-of-the-art Environmental Management System that covers everything from alternative fuel vehicles to deicing fluid collection and recycling, the airport is living up to its reputation as an industry leader and a community asset."
To qualify for Performance Track, facilities must adopt and implement an Environmental Management System; demonstrate specific past environmental achievements; record sustained compliance with environmental requirements; and commit to continued environmental improvement, public outreach, and performance reporting.
Denver International Airport, owned and operated by the City of Denver, is the tenth Colorado facility to join the more than 400 Performance Track program members nationwide. The airport is the eleventh busiest airport in the world and, situated on 53 square miles, one of the largest.
DIA has developed an Environmental Management System (EMS) to reinforce environmental programs which outlines a series of guidelines, policies, and processes that address environmental impacts in day-to-day business activities. The Department of Aviation, which operates DIA, is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the City of Denver's environmental goals through participation in the city-wide initiative Greenprint Denver.
DIA's EMS includes comprehensive solid and hazardous waste reduction and recycling, air emissions management, and stormwater management programs. One example of the airport's environmental accomplishments is a more than 75 percent reduction in hazardous waste generation from 2003-2005. This large reduction is the result of product substitution, including the elimination of oil-based paints and thinners. In addition, for the 2005/2006 deicing season, DIA recycled more than 370,000 gallons of aircraft deicing fluid at its onsite glycol recycling facility.
Performance Track members also focus on opportunities for continual improvement. DIA has committed to a one percent annual decrease in gasoline used in its fleet vehicles each year. These reductions will result from the purchase of additional electric/gasoline hybrid or CNG/gasoline vehicles as replacements for older fleet vehicles and employee education regarding the idling of engines. The airport has also set goals of a five percent annual decrease in total disposed solid waste per passenger and reducing total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by more than ten percent by 2008. All of these represent impressive goals in an airport that is projected to handle 4 million more passengers in 2008 than in 2006.
Performance Track members receive a range of incentives such as public recognition and low priority for routine EPA inspections. Facilities are also eligible for several kinds of administrative flexibility and streamlined administrative requirements that reduce costs and enable members to achieve better environmental results. In addition, members benefit from special services, including a learning network composed of top environmental performers that has a mentoring program, tele-seminars, EPA roundtable discussions and newsletters program information, summary of member benefits, application guidelines, and a complete
listing of facilities that are Performance Track members can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/performancetrack/.
Today's ceremony included the presentation of an EPA Performance Track certificate to Turner West, DIA manager of aviation, from Steve Tuber, assistant regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Denver Mayor, John Hickenlooper; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment director, Dennis Ellis; and DIA director of environmental programs, Janell Barrileaux, also shared remarks.
Contact Information: Mary Byrne, USEPA, 303 312-6491; Richard Mylott, USEPA, 303 312-6654; Steve Snyder, Denver International Airport, 303 342-2250