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The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is accepting nominations for the 23rd Annual Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, which this year adds a category to honor achievements in building healthy communities, Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced today.

In total, awards in eight categories will recognize excellence around the state in environmental areas ranging from climate to education, and from environmental justice to watershed management. Winners will be announced this December.

“These categories recognize the significant impact and reach of environmental issues throughout New Jersey,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “We look forward to honoring the people, organizations and communities whose commitment to environmental protection underscores Governor Murphy’s efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change, expand environmental justice, increase sustainability and improve water infrastructure.”

The new Healthy Communities category honors commitment to and experience with implementing policies and projects that improve public health. It also recognizes the creation of community-based initiatives to address the adverse effects of industrial pollution and climate change on overburdened and low-income communities.

Nominations may be submitted through Monday, Oct. 24 in these categories: Clean Air, Watershed Management and Water Resources, Environmental Justice, Healthy Ecosystems and Habitats, Healthy Communities, two categories in Sustainability: Community and Business, and two categories in Environmental Education: Educator-Led and Student-Led projects.

The awards program is sponsored by the DEP, New Jersey Infrastructure Bank and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology. Award winners will be honored at a ceremony to be conducted virtually in December.

The New Jersey Infrastructure Bank is an independent state financing authority that partners with peer agencies to provide low-interest-rate financing of infrastructure projects throughout the state. The bank, in partnership with the DEP, administers the New Jersey Water Bank to make low-interest-rate loans to governmental and public water systems for wastewater, storm water and drinking water infrastructure projects to preserve and protect water quality and public health.

Beginning in state fiscal year 2018 the bank also partnered with the state Department of Transportation for transportation infrastructure projects. The bank also has supported sustainable economic development throughout the state.

Completed applications for the 2022 awards program must be received by the DEP by 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24.

For a 2022 nominating application and other awards information, visit www.nj.gov/dep/awards/

To learn more about the program, email DEP employee Marc Rogoff at Marc.Rogoff@dep.nj.gov