Calvin Hurst Outstanding Achievement Award Port of Houston Authority: “Port of Houston’s Environmental Management System”
In August 2002, the Port of Houston Authority was certified by an independent auditor as complying with the International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001. As the first port authority in the U.S. to achieve this ISO 14001 certification, the Port of Houston is awarded AAPA’s Calvin Hurst Award for Outstanding Achievement.
The Port’s Environmental Management System (EMS) was developed based on a large facility and equipment maintenance department and its container terminal. A key component to the Port’s EMS was development of objectives and targets for its facilities, including reduction in stormwater impacts, air emissions and generation of wastes. Other benefits the Port experienced include improved environmental compliance, top management involvement, interdepartmental communication, and employee participation. As a result of the EMS, the Port of Houston no longer has an environmental staff limited to just eight people, but 500 “environmentalists” throughout the organization.
Environmental Enhancement St. Bernard Port: “Chalmette Terminal Environmental Restoration”
With the acquisition of the Chalmette Terminal on the east bank of the Mississippi River, the St. Bernard Port inherited many environmental restoration challenges typically associated with dismantling a large industrial facility. During the past decade, St. Bernard renovated this site into an industrial park/intermodal transportation facility while addressing environmental challenges in a phased, proactive and cost-effective manner. Environmental restoration projects undertaken included: remediation of soil and groundwater contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons; asbestos and lead paint abatement, including removal of contaminated debris from several buildings; disposal of PCB capacitors and cryolite waste; and disposal of 80,000 tons of construction debris. The restoration has greatly enhanced environmental quality by preventing ground and surface water contamination that would have occurred at an abandoned industrial facility.
Mitigation Alabama State Port Authority: “Muddy Creek Mitigation Project”
In order to mitigate for wetland losses resulting from the development of a marine liquid bulk terminal, Alabama State Port Authority selected a 200-acre tract to establish and manage as a mitigation area. The Muddy Creek Wetlands Mitigation Area consisted of upland agricultural fields, fallow fields, upland hardwood and pine forest, and more than 100 acres of forested wetlands. Most of the area was invaded by non-native or exotic plant species. The Port restored the wetland through removal of the exotic species and restoration of native plant communities. In addition, the Port removed debris on the site, and built an interpretive trail and boardwalk, with fencing to control vehicular access to the site. Benefits to the natural environment have included recovery of native plants and greatly improved aesthetics. In addition, the restored wetland provides opportunities for the community in environmental education, exercise, wildlife watching and solitude.
Community/Public Involvement Canaveral Port Authority: “Community Environmental Education Program”
Canaveral Port Authority won the award for Community/Public Involvement for its environmental outreach program to school children and adults. Since 1999, the Port Authority’s Environmental Department has offered classroom presentations and field trips on protection of endangered species such as manatees, information on artificial reefs, beach and dune systems and sand management techniques. In-class materials, produced for $35,000, include a coloring book for kindergarten and first grade, an activity book for students in grades two to four, a new environmental brochure geared toward older students and adults, and a video adopted from a public television production. Port Canaveral has reached more than 7,000 students annually and plans to distribute the brochure to adults through educators and community leaders. Their goal is to produce long-range results in community environmental awareness and conservation measures.
Comprehensive Environmental Management Port of Portland: “Environmental Management System”
For the Port of Portland, developing a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS) in July 2001 was key to changing the way it thinks about and conducts its business. Advantages of the Port’s EMS include having the ability to design projects so environmental impacts are avoided or minimized; guide environmental stewardship efforts across all Port operations; focus environmental initiatives on areas of greatest impact; manage and measure success of environmental programs; and drive continuous improvement of environmental practices. Since establishing the EMS, the port has integrated environmental considerations into all Port operations including Aviation, Marine, Navigation, and Property and Development. The EMS also facilitated development of a Partnership Grant Program which awards grants to non-profit environmental organizations and educational institutions whose proposed projects support the Port’s mission, while protecting and enhancing the region’s natural surroundings. To date, the port has awarded more than $70,000 to environmental advocacy groups.