Inland Empire - The Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA) received the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2013 Environmental Award in the Green Government category. The award was presented by EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Jared Blumfeld at the Solid Waste Association of North America's Zero Waste Conference held in Monterey last month.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Awards were created in 1999 recognizing individuals and groups in the Pacific Southwest who work to protect public health and the environment. Award recipients come from a varied background and are committed to protecting public health and preserving natural surroundings.

The IERCA, a joint venture between Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (LACSD), was established in 2002 and operates the Inland Empire Regional Composting Facility (IERCF) located in the city of Rancho Cucamonga. The IERCF is the nation's largest indoor composting facility processing over 200,000 tons of waste each year into valuable compost. The IERCF utilizes one of the world's largest biofilters and is fully compliant with South Coast Air Quality Management Districts' stringent air standards. The facility's urban location also saves thousands of miles of truck traffic and keeps the organics local for beneficial reuse. The compost creates healthy soils creating beautiful landscapes and saving water. 6,224 roof-mounted solar panels provide one megawatt of clean energy to help power the facility.

"The IERCA is honored to receive this Award from the EPA for its landmark composting project in Southern California," said Jon Blickenstaff, a former La Verne mayor and current IERCA chairman.

"We are truly honored to be recognized with this award. This recognition manifests the wisdom and foresight of both agency's boards and staff and their commitment to providing a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for their agency's biosolids recycling needs now and for the future," stated Gene Koopman, IERCA board vice chairman and IEUA director.

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