Presented during 2010 Regional Energy & Sustainability Conference
Winners of the 2009 Wichita Regional Clean Air Awards have been announced in conjunction with the 2nd annual Regional Energy and Sustainability Conference Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22-23, at the Wichita State University Metroplex, 29th and Oliver.
The awards, presented during the Friday conference luncheon, recognize companies, non-profit groups, and individuals who are taking steps to help reduce air pollution and emissions in the urban area.
The awards are designed to focus attention on air quality issues in the four-county Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The MSA, which includes Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner counties, is currently at risk of falling out of compliance with federal air quality standards. The Environmental Protection Agency EPA recently revised the federal ozone standard, and the MSA is close to violating this new standard. Wichita was fortunate to avoid violations this summer because cool temperatures and above average rainfalls helped keep the City in compliance with the EPA’s new ozone standards.
Award winners include:
Individual Award Category
In 2009, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman made significant clean air and environmental sustainability contributions to Wichita area and region in the design and construction of the Hartman Arena. The facility uses a subterranean design, saving energy and operating costs for heating and cooling. The steel used to build the arena was recycled, while much of the other construction materials were also made from recycled materials. In March 2009, a 150 foot wind turbine was completed, generating power for the entire facility during non-event times. It is one of the first in the region and generates 250 kilowatts at peak capacity. The parking policy for the arena is also “GREEN”. Anyone driving a hybrid vehicle or carpooling is permitted to park free.
Hartman also built and operates the Hartman Corporate Office and Office complex in a sustainable manner. Not only was the complex built with an energy efficient focus, it is maintained by clean building standards. Hartman was also recognized recently by the Kansas Department of Health and Environmental and Service Master by Best as having the first building in Kansas to achieve Green Seal cleaning standards. The building office environment was improved by eliminating hazardous and harsh cleaning chemicals and techniques to capture contaminants were employed.
Government Award Category
Sedgwick County’s Intrust Bank Arena
Located in the center of a revitalizing area of downtown Wichita, the INTRUST Bank Arena is a modern, first-class, sports and entertainment venue in the center city of Sedgwick County with a 15,000 seat arena (for basketball) and 20 executive and two party suites designed to provide maximum “fan experience” for all guests. When the arena was under construction, Sedgwick County determined that it was important to reduce waste and to create an energy efficient building while conserving water. The decision was consistent with Sedgwick County’s policy and commitment to environmental sustainability.
The contract with the arena contractors required them to recycle as much material as possible during the construction. Sedgwick County Environmental Resources worked with the contractor and local recyclers to locate recycling bins on site. Sedgwick County also worked with the City of Wichita and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to address environmental concerns at this site. These collaborative efforts lead to a fairly quick and efficient cleanup in a timely manner.
Sedgwick County incorporated energy efficient and conservations designs in the arena. One-inch insulated glass with special glazing was installed. Sun-shading devices were installed to increase solar gain. All of the mechanical systems are high efficiency. The roof and walls have extra insulation. Outside air is used to cool the building during transition stages. All the lighting fixtures are low energy bulbs including fluorescent and LED. Rooms are set up with sensors so that lights turn off automatically when no one is present. Water conservation is also addressed with low water usage fixtures throughout the facility.
City of Wichita
Central Rail Corridor Project
The City of Wichita and its federal and state partners invested $105 million in an important project to elevate the City’s central rail corridor, providing eight miles of new track, a new centralized traffic control system, and bridges at 1st, 2nd, Central, Murdock and 13th Street, as well as a new Chisholm Creek Bridge. The grade separation eliminated the need for the motoring public to stop for train traffic thereby reducing accidents, vehicle emissions, lost time, and reducing driver frustration. The environmental impact was significant, reducing vehicle emissions by thousands of tons annually, reducing vehicle idle time by two million hours. Additionally, the bridges were fitted with LED lighting, replacing the incandescent lighting in the original plans, reducing electrical usage by over 80 percent.
Business Award Category
Boeing Wichita Integrated Defense Systems
Boeing IDS Wichita has a structured environmental process with dedicated resources, all of which align to Boeings Corporate Environmental requirements. In February 2009, Boeing Wichita earned its ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification. The certification recognizes specific site objectives and targets to reduce green house gases, energy, and hazardous chemical usage. Site strategies are outlined in a five-year plan and are coordinated with Wichita Site Services (Facilities) and executive management. Specific targets and goals include the reduction of green house gases and energy demand. In October 2009, Boeing IDS hosted a Boeing Energy and Recycling Fair and 1900 compact fluorescent light bulbs were given to employees which when installed will result in 1,316,700 pounds of green house gas emission reduction. The company participates in many other environmental activities in the community each year.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is engaged in several ongoing and developing energy reduction projects. HBC has instituted a company-wide effort to improve air quality and energy reduction throughout all operations. HBC reduced its total electric consumption in 2009 from its 2008 rate by 9.2 percent. It reduced its natural gas consumption in 2009 compared to 2008 by 9.3 percent, saving $665,000. HBC sponsors an annual household hazardous waste collection and vehicle emissions testing event each year for its employees and the community. It also participates in numerous environmental activities in the community each year.
Scholfield Honda has launched itsr own brand of re-refined oil, Generation Green, in partnership with Universal Lubricants. Universal is one of only four re-refinery plants in the U.S. and the only one that offers a “closed loop” process of pick-up, recycling and delivery back to the end user. Generation Green will meet all current new automotive manufactures requirements and uses 80 percent less energy to produce. One barrel of Generation Green replaces 50 barrels of refined oil, thus helping the environment and reducing overall oil consumption. In addition, Scholfield Honda has joined with Waste Connections as one of its local partners in offering consumers credits for recycling through Waste Connections Recycle Bank program. Credits are awarded for each pound of recyclable material, which can be redeemed for coupons at a variety of local and national businesses. Scholfield Honda is currently offering $4 off a Generation Green oil change through the Recycle Bank program. Scholfield Honda will donate proceeds from every sale of Generation Green to Kansas environmental projects.
Sierra Club Southwind Group
The Southwind Group of the Sierra Club includes 700 members in south-central Kansas, stretching from the Oklahoma border to Lindsborg, including Hutchinson and Pratt. Its current goals include green transportation, resilient habitats, safe guarding the community, and clean energy solutions, The club’s 20-year history in the Wichita area includes the following projects related to air quality.
- Vulcan/OxyChem Community Involvement Group (CIG). This group was established because of community concerns related to pentachlorophenol production and general plant emissions. The CIG meets regularly to discuss environmental concerns, including air emissions, as well as other concerns of the community.
- Coastal Refining Community Involvement Group (CCIG). The CCIG existed from 1992 to 1995 to address the community impact of the plant with emissions, odors and emergency preparedness.
- Wichita Air Quality Improvement Task Force (AQITF). This community group advises the City on air quality issues, focusing primarily on ozone levels.
- Kansas Energy and Environmental Policy (KEEP). KEEP was formed by Gov. Sebelius to address various issues, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
- WAMPO Pathways Plan. The Plan strives to improve air quality by providing alternative transportation routes.
- Step-It-Up 2007, a national educational and awareness campaign concerning the impact of greenhouse gases.
- Cool Cities. This national Sierra Club initiative promotes local adoption of the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.