Environmentally Speaking

April 29th through May 3rd is Air Quality Awareness Week and here in North Carolina, it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the spring weather and our state’s many incredible natural resources.  It’s also a great time to think about our air quality and the actions we can take to keep our air clean.  

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Last week, Division of Mitigation Services Director Tim Baumgartner participated in a panel at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. where he discussed North Carolina’s nationally renowned in-lieu fee program’s procurement system for stream and wetlands restoration. The conference was hosted by the Environmental Restoration Business Association, and in the hallways of the press club and at a reception on Capitol Hill, North Carolina was a hot topic of discussion.

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DEQ Secretary Regan was at Fort Caswell on Wednesday to congratulate Tara Whicker for completing the department’s Environmental Education Certification Program and to learn more about Caswell’s educational programming. Whicker is the coastal education assistant coordinator with the Environmental Stewardship Program at Fort Caswell. She helps facilitate field trips and teach K-12 students about coastal ecology and marine biology in a non-formal, outdoor setting.

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“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  

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Elizabeth Werner, a hydrogeologist in the Solid Waste Section, has been selected as the 2018 Division of Waste Management’s Employee of the Year for her unparalleled dedication to public service, exemplary scientific experience and knows-no-bounds enthusiasm for serving the state of North Carolina. “She embodies everything that the Department of Environmental Quality stands for,” stated her nominator.

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Melodi Deaver, administrative specialist in the Hazardous Waste Section’s Compliance Branch, is one of three finalists for the Division of Waste Management’s Employee of the Year Award, the recipients of which are nominated by fellow colleagues who have gone above-and-beyond in their service to the public and the regulated community, while striving to showcase the mission of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.

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