Mayor Anthony A. Williams Announces That the District of Columbia Will Become the Nation's First Site to Implement the 'EcoZonesm' Program

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In a unique public/private partnership designed to forge solutions to the District’s most critical environmental challenges, District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams today announced that the city will launch the nation’s first, and flagship, ‘EcoZonesm,’ program designed to fund important technologies and solutions to measurably improve the local environment in the areas of air, water, energy and greenspace -- at no additional cost to taxpayers.

In a unique public/private partnership designed to forge solutions to the District’s most critical environmental challenges, District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams today announced that the city will launch the nation’s first, and flagship, ‘EcoZonesm,’ program designed to fund important technologies and solutions to measurably improve the local environment in the areas of air, water, energy and greenspace -- at no additional cost to taxpayers.

"As the Nation's Capital, it is fitting that the District of Columbia should implement the nation's first - and flagship - EcoZone program," said Mayor Williams. "In partnering with the federal government and the private sector for revenue and support, the city can now address some of the most urgent environmental challenges in our city - at no additional cost to District taxpayers. Washington, DC is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it is critical that we maintain its beauty and a clean and healthy environment for our residents and visitors.”

Initial corporate sponsors for the District of Columbia’s EcoZone program include DaimlerChrysler and CH2M HILL, AbTech Industries, Inc., Alcoa, BAE Systems, Zipcar and Willard Intercontinental Hotel. Government agencies that will lend their support include NOAA, EPA and the Department of Energy.

Mayor Williams made the announcement at a press conference at the City Museum & Historical Society of Washington, D.C., at Mt. Vernon Square. Among those joining the Mayor were Paul Polizzotto, founder and CEO of EcoMedia; John Bozzella, Vice President of External Affairs and Public Policy, Americas, DaimlerChrysler Corporation; Liliana Maldonado, Senior Vice President and Northeast Regional Manager, CH2M HILL; Benjamin Grumbles, Assistant Administrator, Office of Water, EPA; Alan Hecht, Director for Sustainable Development, Office of Research and Development, U.S. EPA; Stephanie Branche, Government Liaison, Region 3, EPA; Richard Moorer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology Development, U.S. Department of Energy; Elizabeth Scheffler, CFO, Administrator for Management and Budget, National Ocean Service, NOAA; William O. Howland, Jr., Director, Department of Public Works, the District of Columbia and Glenn R. Rink, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, AbTech Industries, Inc.

The District has entered into an agreement with EcoMedia to implement the EcoZone program. EcoMedia is a leading environmental media company that brings together government and industry to forge solutions to pressing environmental problems. The initiative will be funded solely through corporate sponsorships, with half of all EcoZone revenues generated from educational outdoor signage going to fund the District’s pre-determined environmental and clean energy projects in each of the EcoZone’s four signature areas: air, energy, water, and greenspace.

"We are particularly happy today to announce our corporate sponsorship of the innovative EcoZone program as it launches in the nation's capital," said John Bozzella, Vice President of External Affairs and Public Policy, Americas, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "The EcoZone program complements our commitment to developing vehicles that have less impact on our environment, whether that’s through reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, emitting less CO2 or developing new alternative drive systems, such as fuel cells.”

Said Liliana Maldonado, Senior Vice President and Northeast Regional Manager, CH2M HILL, "We are proud to join in the launch of today's EcoZone program, a partnership project between communities and companies, because it reflects CH2M HILL's ongoing mission to protect and preserve natural resources around the globe. Since 1946, CH2M HILL has been helping clients provide high quality drinking water and sanitation for communities around the globe, environmental remediation, sustainable development, habitat restoration, energy efficiency, green architecture and low impact development. From planning to design to construction and operations, CH2M HILL embraces health, safety and environmental protection because it is the right thing to do for our people, our communities and our environment.”

Under the EcoZone program, educational signage featuring environmental messages will be posted throughout the district. The signage will include EcoZone’s public education messages reminding consumers to recycle, ride-share, turn lights off when not in use and avoid littering, among other eco-friendly tips. In the District of Columbia there will be approximately 100 EcoZone signs located throughout the city.

Half of the revenues from the EcoZone corporate sponsorships of educational outdoor signage will go directly to a dedicated and audited government account to fund the pre-determined environmental projects selected by the District government. This will help the city comply with federal environmental regulations, and/or fund new local environmental programs that otherwise would not happen. Cleanup projects can include:

-Storm drain catch basin insert filters that mitigate storm water runoff,

-Hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles for municipal fleets that improve both air quality and energy efficiency,

-Solar paneling on city facilities to provide alternative, cleaner energy,

-Greening projects to convert industrial lots into green space.

At the event today, Glenn R. Rink of AbTech Industries provided a demonstration of storm water filters, one of the many environmental products that the EcoZone/Adopt-A-Waterway program has funded in the past. http://www.abtechindustries.com

EcoZone leverages program sponsorships to fund, produce and administer comprehensive public education and environmental outreach programs, including local cable television and radio public service commercials, grassroots education campaigns, branded merchandise, local community events and online media.

Paul Polizzotto, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, EcoMedia, said, “We commend Mayor Williams for his commitment to the quality of life in the District of Columbia and for joining with businesses to launch our nation’s first EcoZone program. The District’s EcoZone program, we hope, will be the beginning of a national grassroots movement among cities, corporations and consumers working together to improve and strengthen our environment.”

Additional cities and states to be included in a 2006 national rollout of the EcoZone program include: Miami; Long Beach and other Southern California communities; and the State of New Jersey, among others. EcoZone is the second public private sponsorship model created by and managed by EcoMedia. Its pilot program, Adopt-A-WaterwayÒ, was launched in 2001. This award-winning, national program pioneered the public/private model of raising money for environmental cleanup – at no additional cost to taxpayers – and is currently underway in Miami, FL, Long Beach, CA, Sacramento County, CA, as well as other communities throughout the country.

Initial Corporate Sponsors Include DaimlerChrysler, CH2M HILL, AbTech Industries, Alcoa, BAE Systems, Zipcar and Willard Intercontinental Hotel; Government Agencies Providing Support Include NOAA, EPA and DOE.

Based in New York City, EcoMedia is a leading environmental media company dedicated to pioneering market-based media solutions that generate necessary funds and resources to address critical environmental challenges. For more information, log on to: http://www.ecomedia.us.

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