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September 13, 2018

Three Mainers recognized by EPA for environmental achievements

Three Maine residents received awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday for their work to protect the state's environment.

The EPA's New England regional office presented its 2018 Environmental Merit Award to George MacDonald, of Belgrade; Dale Mitchell, of Perry; and Maggie Shannon, of Belgrade Lakes.

The Mainers and 25 other award recipients from throughout New England were honored for their environmental "ingenuity and commitment" at a ceremony in Boston, the EPA said in a news release.

MacDonald, who received an award for lifetime service, is a recent retiree of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, where he held several positions including director of the Division of Sustainability since 2012. During his 40-year career in environmental protection and solid waste management, he also served with the federal Soil Conservation Service, helped found the Northeast Recycling Council and the Maine Compost School, and was a member of the school's faculty for nearly 20 years.

Mitchell, who received an individual award, is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik (Pleasant Point Reservation), and founded the tribe's brownfields restoration program in 2007. Since then, the program has grown to become the tribe's primary resource for addressing environmental issues, the EPA said, enforcing regulation and advocating for natural-resource policies. Mitchell has managed 13 federal Superfund grants for cleanups of hazardous waste sites, and worked with businesses to improve their environmental footprints.

Shannon, also an individual award recipient, has served since 2003 as executive director of the Maine Lake Society, an advocacy coalition of more than 120 local lake associations. Her work in the society includes leading its LakeSmart program, an education initiative that helps lakefront homeowners manage landscapes in ways that protect water quality. Shannon also is a board member of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance and chairs its Lake Trust.

The EPA's New England office has presented the Merit Awards annually since 1970.

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