Leaders-of the Chemical Commodities Inc. citizens advisory group recently earned the national 2012 Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Ron McVeigh, Glen Andrews and Janell Andrews received the award for working with a Superfund team on the Chemical Commodities site in Olathe. The EPA honored the team with EPA Region 7 administrator Karl Brooks for keeping the community informed of and engaged in the work at the site.
The group was congratulated in a letter from Kan. Gov. Sam Brownback, who said he commended the team’s dedication to improving the quality of life for the citizens in the Olathe community.
“You have had a positive impact on countless Kansans through your hard work and commitment devoted to the Chemical Commodities, lnc. Superfund site,” Brownback said in the letter. “The enthusiasm you have exhibited through your work on the site is evidence of your compassion for the environment and for your fellow community members.
“I also am truly gracious for your vision of the future. The focus you have on preserving our resources for future generations is a vision that all Kansans should possess. Thank you for sacrificing countless hours of time and effort in protecting several of Kansas‘ key resources, water, land, and most importantly, its people.”
Brownback called the team’s work “a true inspiration to us all.”
Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator at the EPA, commended the team’s commitment and dedication to the community of Olathe and its efforts to ensure residents were informed and engaged in the EPA’s decision-making processes.
“Since 2001, your dedication to community engagement at the CCI site ensured the community stayed informed about cleanup progress at the site and community concerns were expressed to the EPA, the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and the state,” Stanislaus said in a letter. “You helped to change the community’s attitude from one that had been reactive to one that was proactive and cooperative.
“As a co-chair of the CCI Concemed Citizens Group, you established a strong working relationship with the EPA and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Also, you worked to ensure all remedial options were reviewed carefully, and all potential technologies were evaluated by the PRPs. Specifically, with the PRPs, ensured the community’s interests were addressed about future land use and the community’s desire for a positive outcome for the site.”
The city of Olathe has yet to officially recognize and/or honor the team for its efforts in the cleanup of the former Chemical Commodities site.
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