PORTLAND -- EVRAZ Oregon Steel and Pacific Power won the 2016 Environmental Excellence Awards, presented by Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) in partnership with the Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC). The winners were announced Wednesday at the annual Northwest Environmental Conference in Portland.
Like all Oregonians, Oregon businesses and employees value this state's natural beauty and surrounding communities. That shared ethic continues to drive significant business investments in employees, communities, and the environment throughout Oregon. These awards recognize members of AOI and NEBC for continued commitment to exemplary environmental practices in their operations.
EVRAZ Portland won the Environmental Achievement Award, presented to the company showing long-term commitment to sustainability, environmental achievement, and leadership in promoting safe, clean, and healthy communities.
EVRAZ Portland operates a steel mill on a 145-acre property that is adjacent to the Willamette River in North Portland. Since taking over operation of Oregon Steel Mills in 2007, EVRAZ has embraced the challenge of meeting Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requirements.
Over the past year and a half, EVRAZ Portland successfully exceeded regulatory agreements and design objectives and enhanced the habitat along the Willamette River. The company capped, stabilized, and enhanced with native vegetation about one-third mile of shoreline. It also removed more than 18,000 cubic yards of soil impacted by the operations of previous owners and replaced them with clean material and planted more than 10,000 native trees and shrubs which are now thriving. During a time when most Portland Harbor cleanup work is still under discussion, EVRAZ Portland, working with the DEQ, has taken a pro-active approach, and is already completing work that enhances the Willamette River riparian habitat.
"While the project was very challenging from a permitting and design standpoint, EVRAZ and its employees are proud of the results, and the company is committed to furthering its policy of being stewards of the environment in which it operates," said Drew Gilpin, Manager, Energy & Environment.
Pacific Power won the 2016 Environmental Innovator Award for its Blue Sky program. This award recognizes extraordinary leadership and creativity in implementing environmental programs.
An energy company serving parts of Oregon, Washington and California, Pacific Power created the Blue Sky program to meet green energy requirements established by the Oregon Public Utilities Commission. The program goes beyond requirements in seeking to ensure adequate supply of green power options for electricity customers. To meet customers' demand for green power, Pacific Power entered long-term contracts that helped bring two green energy projects to Oregon. Ground has been broken on the Huntington Wind Farm in Baker County and the Blue Basin Power project south of Klamath Falls has been operating since April.
"Our customers are the inspiration for this innovative program," said Scott Bolton, Pacific Power's Vice President of External Affairs. "We appreciate this award and will continue to seek partnerships that benefit our customers and the environment."