On August 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized federal facilities for conserving resources and saving taxpayers’ money as part of the Federal Green Challenge, a national effort under the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, which encourages federal agencies to lead by example in reducing the federal government's environmental impact.

Two top performers recognized with Federal Green Challenge awards are in the Tri-Valley: the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Drug Enforcement Administration Western Laboratory in Pleasanton.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was the national winner of the Transportation Award. Through collaboration with the Department of Energy, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory launched a government-owned electric vehicle (EV) program, helping the Lab and its employees be proactive in reducing emissions and meeting sustainability goals.

Work included increasing the size of the Lab’s electric vehicle fleet and replacing gas-powered vehicles. In preparation for the new fleet, the Laboratory needed a sustainable EV charging infrastructure.

The Lab completed installation of a Level II charging station in October 2017. The new station can charge EVs in half the time as a standard Level I charging station. Since then, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through September 2018 are estimated at 10.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e).

“LLNL is proud of the recent accomplishments we have made in implementing an electric vehicle program that benefits our government fleet as well as furthering our sustainability goals, and we are honored to be recognized by the federal government,” said LLNL Associate Director Anita Gursahani.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Western Laboratory in Pleasanton was the regional winner of the Leadership Award. The Western Laboratory is a recognized environmental leader in the DEA. Its Federal Green Challenge and Environmental Management System (EMS) leadership engages, motivates, and challenges employees to conserve resources and identify opportunities to get involved and play a significant role in environmental protection. Their motto is "Leading by Example, the DEA Western Laboratory Way."

The EMS team and staff recycled more than 1450 pounds of mixed building recyclables in 2018, exceeding the previous year's recycling efforts by 14%. Other examples of their comprehensive environmental leadership include: providing reusable name badges for visitors and operating a storage room for supply reuse; ensuring batteries and printer toner cartridges are sent to R2-certified recyclers; using public transportation and shuttles whenever possible; and purchasing 100% postconsumer recycled paper and EPEAT-registered electronic equipment.

“The Western Laboratory is honored to receive EPA’s Region 9 Federal Green Challenge Leadership Award,” said DEA Western Laboratory Director Bryan Henderson. “Our EMS team and dedicated staff are continuously striving to reduce our environmental footprint to lessen our impact on our surroundings. We are proud to represent DEA and the Office of Forensic Sciences in our efforts in being a responsible environmental steward.”