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Spare the Air Awards - 2013 Winners

Outstanding Business - Midlands Biofuels, LLC

Midlands Biofuels earned recognition as Outstanding Business for its partnership with Lexington and Richland County School District Five and local restaurants in an initiative to collect used cooking oil and turn it into biofuel. This effort successfully increased environmental awareness among students, parents, faculty and staff, as well as local businesses in Lexington and Richland Counties, and reduced harmful emissions of pollutants such as air toxics, particulates and sulfur dioxide up to 80%.

Outstanding Community Campaign - Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee

The Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee earned recognition for Outstanding Community Campaign for their actions and leadership in the Upstate to keep the skies in South Carolina clear and beautiful.  This committee is comprised of business, community, and public service representatives from entities including BMW, Michelin, Duke Energy, Upstate SC Alliance, Upstate Forever, Ten at the Top, in addition to state and county governments. This diverse group of environmental leaders exemplifies community partnership at its best.

Through community projects, the committee reduced harmful emissions and successfully accomplished the following:

  • Developed and implemented a  Regional Air Quality Pledge, which encourages groups and individuals to adopt and implement actionable strategies designed to improve air quality.
  • Promoted the Breathe Better Project, an idling/clean air campaign, on school campuses. Participating schools from the Upstate were qualified to receive funding from Ten at the Top grant initiative. As a result, schools participating in this region increased from 14 to 29.
  • Expanded the anti-idling campaign beyond school grounds into the communities by posting signs in shopping centers and other parking facilities to remind drivers that idling is harmful to our health and the environment.
  • Created a Clean Air Toolkit that includes a series of practical, easy to implement clean air tips. Messages were disseminated through promotional materials (fans and magnets), social media (Facebook) and electronic media (public service announcements).

The Upstate Air Quality Advisory Committee's actions created a healthier and more efficient environment. Their efforts now serve as an excellent model for clean air efforts for other communities and organizations across our state and beyond.

Outstanding Local Government - South Carolina State Ports Authority

The South Carolina State Ports Authority earned its recognition as Outstanding Local Government by developing and implementing emission reduction strategies that successfully led to positive behavior changes by truck drivers, port employees, shippers, and local/regional businesses.

These efforts have resulted in approximately a 50% reduction in total criteria pollution emissions since 2005 and successfully accomplished the following:

  • Implemented a truck replacement and registration incentive, in which drivers were encouraged to upgrade and purchase a cleaner, more efficient trucks (approximately 84 trucks have been replaced).
  • Established the SC Inland Port, which took approximately 100,000 trucks off the road and reduced supply chain emissions from 40% to 95%.
  • Committed to and developed a clean construction policy on-site.
  • Posted anti-idling signs at all facilities.
  • Developed the shortest turn times on the east coast and the most efficient crane operations, which in turn reduced idling and fuel consumption.
  • Developed a program to ensure that a minimal number of empty containers are transported around town which reduced the total number of truck trips and emissions.
  • Partnered with EPA to develop a Ports Emissions Model Toolkit.

The residents of Charleston, Georgetown and Greer have directly benefitted from the diminished truck traffic, reduced harmful emissions, increased awareness regarding more efficient truck fleets and improved air quality. These practices have also indirectly benefitted residents and travelers throughout South Carolina, as well as all over the country.