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South Shore Clean Cities honors those who reduce, reuse, innovate

Updated: March 16, 2012 8:13AM



Local efforts to improve air quality and reduce dependence on foreign oil were highlighted Tuesday during the 13th annual South Shores Clean Cities meeting.

“We really had a great year in 2011,” said Carl Lisek, the group’s executive director.

Actions taken by the group’s members have replaced 340,000 gallons of gasoline and reduced greenhouse gases in Northwest Indiana by 4,000 pounds in 2011.

“Our goal this year, we want to quadruple that,” Lisek said.

Ken Stoermann from Fair Oaks Farm said his business has been able to convert cow manure into an energy source to not only run the electrical needs at the dairy but fuel the trucks that transport the milk through its supply chain.

Kelly Carmichael from Northern Indiana Public Service Co. provided an update on the company’s efforts to bring electric fueling stations to the region and other initiatives for homeowners and businesses to reduce their energy consumption.

More than 150 people attended the annual meeting and for the first time award-ceremony as SSCC took time to honor five local innovators in alternative energy that have helped move the agency’s mission forward.

Michigan City was honored for outstanding support of alternative fuels. In 2011 the city used more than 147,500 gallons of biodiesel in more than 135 pieces of municipal equipment — from fire engines and ambulances to off-road heavy equipment and generators.

The city also reduced over 261,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and more than 106 tons of particulate matter.

U.S. Steel was recognized for its outstanding achievement in its corporate leadership for using alternative fuels and reducing diesel emissions.

“Every day we talk about the two core values that are important to our company, safety and environmental stewardship,” said Jill Ritchie from U.S. Steel.

The steel maker has been using biodiesel blends since 2007, which equates to millions of gallons of foreign petroleum reduction and air quality benefits.

Cindy Lundquist was honored for outstanding achievement in leadership and dedication to the SSCC program.

The Lundquists have been involved with the agency since it began in 1997. They are ardent supporters of compressed natural gas and promote the agency’s mission by racing two CNG cars on the National Hot Rod Association circuit.

Tube City IMS received the SSCC Innovation Award for its efforts bringing the second hybrid locomotive in the nation to Northwest Indiana.

The agency also recognized the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission for its efforts in promoting alternative fuels and diesel emission reductions.



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