Congratulations to the 2008 Spare the Air Awards recipients!
The honorees listed below received recognition for their remarkable efforts in successfully
planning and implementing air quality improvements in their categories.
Please click on their links for more information.
Outstanding Business/Industry: Lexington Medical Center
Lexington Medical Center was honored for Outstanding Business. This health facility
established a "Spare the Air" initiative that resulted in a reduction to its carbon
dioxide footprint by approximately 21 percent (July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008).
The initiative included programs such as replacing four 8-cylinder vehicles with
four Hybrid Prius vehicles, implementing a Bike Patrol for Public Safety officers
to help reduce emissions, replacing 90 percent or more of its cleaning products
to green products, and establishing a carpool program. The Medical Record's Department
currently has over 65 employees telecommuting from home (saving approximately 93
Tons of CO2). An Energy Star purchasing program was also implemented to use Energy
Star appliances whenever possible and the facility began using only recycled paper
for printers and copier paper.
Lexington Medical Center also conducted a week long educational program during "Earth
Week" to inform the staff of the impact the hospital has on the environment, with
an emphasis on air quality. They were the first LEED certified healthcare building
in South Carolina, and the first hospital in the state to be a member of the SC Environmental
Outstanding Individual: Synithia Williams
Synithia Williams, Environmental Coordinator with Lexington County Public Works,
was recognized for Outstanding Individual. Mrs. Williams is described as a true
steward of the environment. She has dedicated her time and energy to improve and
maintain air quality in the Midlands. Her excellent guidance and involvement in
Lexington County's outdoor burning ordinance produced noticeable improvements. Her
active participation and leadership in the Richland/Lexington "Lawn Mower Exchange"
resulted in the replacement of 246 gas powered mowers with clean electric mowers
with a potential reduction of 1,400 pounds of hydrocarbon emissions, 31 pounds of
nitrogen oxides, 47 pounds of particulate matter, 5,900 pounds of carbon monoxide or nearly 7,500 pounds of
air pollution yearly.
Outstanding School Administrator/Faculty: Glenn Wile
Glenn Wile, Principal at Fountain Inn Elementary School at Fountain Inn, SC received
recognition as Outstanding School Administrator. Mr. Wile's support and implementation
of several key actions as part of the
B2 Breathe Better at School Program
were essential to the school adopting the following new policies and procedures:
posting of no-idling signs on the school campus, working with parents, staff and
bus drivers on the ill effects of being exposed to vehicle exhaust, establishing
an "Air Quality Patrol" comprised of students who encourage parents and bus drivers
to turn off engines while on campus and collected data for the project. An anti-idling
policy was also included in the school's student handbook.
Outstanding Local Government: Greenville County
Greenville County Government received recognition for Outstanding Local Government.
Greenville County Government has been progressive in implementing an air quality
education and awareness campaign. They are avid supporters of the
B2 Breathe Better at School Program at Fountain Inn Elementary School
and have influenced other schools in the area to participate as well. They have
conducted presentations on air quality in various settings, as well as utilized
media outlets such as billboards, cable television, newspaper, flyers, internet,
and mailers to convey air quality messages. Staff have sponsored and/or participated
with several community events such as gas can exchanges, car care clinics and lawn
mower exchanges. Greenville County has also worked closely with several partners
to promote air quality awareness. Some of their partners include: Fountain Inn Elementary
School, Greenville Technical College, Neuton Lawnmowers, Blossman Propane Gas, Michelin
North America, and the City of Greenville.
Outstanding Volunteer: Tom Falvey
Tom Falvey, was recognized as the Outstanding Volunteer for his contribution to
the 2008 Richland/Lexington County "Lawn Mower Exchange" success. He was instrumental
in securing the location at the State Museum, posting announcements on the State
Museum’s website, helping plan traffic routes that proved to be effective and efficient,
and stored the lawn mowers before the event and moved them with a forklift as needed.
Tom also coordinated the "Lawn Mower Exchange" with other "Earth Day" activities
at the State Museum for a comprehensive environmental opportunity for participants.
Outstanding Air Quality College or University: Furman University
Furman University was recognized as Outstanding University for their "…commitment
to the environment by promoting sustainability through educational programs, campus
operations/construction practices and public awareness initiatives." Furman revamped
its curriculum, requiring all students to take a course entitled "Humans and the
Natural Environment." Their recycling efforts now include furniture, food, and computers.
Students interested in sustainability are given an opportunity to reside in the
Eco Cottage and gain applied knowledge about alternative energy sources, recycling.
All new construction at the university is built to LEED-certification standards
and the Furman's Hipp Hall is the only Gold-certified building in South Carolina.
Outstanding Community Air Quality Improvement Campaign: Lexington County Council and Fire Service Division
Lexington County Council and Fire Service Division were honored for their "Outstanding
Community Air Quality Improvement Campaign" efforts in amending the county's ordinance
for open burning and the subsequent development of a plan to inform citizens of
this new ordinance. Lexington County has led the way and is now a prime example
to other counties who are in need of guidance and direction pertaining to this type
of ordinance. As a result of these efforts, the county experienced a reduction in
wildfires by 20 percent and outdoor burning by 51 percent during the 2007/2008 fiscal
2008 Spare the Air Award recipients:
Back (left to right): Mike Greeley, William C. 'Billy' Derrick, Synithia Williams, Dan Powell,
Sandra Yudice, John Owings, Myra Reece, Commissioner C. Earl Hunter, and Frank Powell
Front: Ernest Lee
Any questions? Please call Debra Briggs-Monroe at (803) 898-3752 or email her at SpareAir@dhec.sc.gov.