Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative was recognized as one of the Top 25 Innovations in American Government by Harvard University. The initiative, started at EPA in 2008, encourages development of renewable energy on potentially contaminated lands, landfills and mining sites.
“We are honored that EPA and the RE-Powering Initiative have been recognized for its promotion of innovative land revitalization. The EPA saw an opportunity to return contaminated or potentially contaminated lands to productive reuse while supporting renewable energy development,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “As President Obama has made clear, investments in American-made renewable energy are vital to our economic security and environmental health.”
The RE-Powering Initiative supports the transformation of liabilities into assets for surrounding communities. Since RE-Powering’s inception, more than 70 renewable energy projects have been installed on contaminated sites or landfills. These early projects represent over 215 MW of installed capacity, which could power approximately 35,000 homes, and provide a foundation for future development as demonstrations of the latest technologies in both renewable energy and remediation design.
The Harvard Innovations Award is funded by the Ford Foundation and administered by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Over 400 government initiatives have been recognized since the Innovations program began in 1985.
“These Top 25 innovations in government offer real, tangible ways to protect our most disadvantaged citizens, educate the next-generation workforce, and utilize data analytics to enhance government performance,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government program at the Ash Center. “Despite diminishing resources, these government programs have developed model innovations that other struggling agencies should be inspired to replicate and adapt to their own communities.”
In 2000, the EPA Brownfields program was recognized as the Innovations in American Government’s overall award winner. Final award selection for this year is anticipated later in 2013.