2019 Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner
The City of Newport News has been selected as a Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner (VEEP SP) for the year 2019 by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The VEEP partnership is intended to encourage superior environmental performance from its partners, working with organizations and businesses in Virginia that go above and beyond legal requirements for environmental processes. The sustainability partnership works with organizations such as local governments and universities to make environmental sustainability part of their cultures through leadership, innovation, and continual improvement.
The City of Newport News earned this recognition for an array of initiatives that took place in 2019, including:
- A partnership between the city and the Newport News Public Library (NNPL) to provide supplies to clean up litter in the city. Grant funds were provided by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to create litter kits for loan. These litter kits include litter grabbers, safety vests, trash bags, and latex-free gloves for up to five participants, and are able to be checked out from Grissom Library for one week at a time.
- The Mariner’s Museum and Park partnered with the City of Newport News and the Newport News Master Gardeners to offer five rain barrel making workshops. Rain barrels are used to collect rainwater that can be used for tasks to help lower water bills through watering gardens, trees, washing cars, and more. Attendees at the workshops learned how to build, install, and maintain a rain barrel, and took one home.
- Volunteers from The Missions Continues, Serve the City, and the CaTalyst Effect joined together to create and install a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) Community Garden in the Southeast Community. This garden provides a unique opportunity for residents of the city to become involved with and help maintain the garden and enjoy locally-grown fruits and vegetables.
Newport News Public Schools Awarded One Community Transformation Grant
The Newport News Education Foundation was awarded a $300,000 One Community Transformation Grant by Newport News Shipbuilding to support STEM education in Newport News Public Schools (NNPS). This grant will provide technology training, materials, and equipment for 400 teachers across the city, and will also provide field experiences for 6,000 students at the Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center. The main highlights of the center are to teach skills and technology utilization through hands-on and project-based learning to students interested in learning about digital technologies used in design and fabrication.
Newport News Waterworks Receives National Sustainability Award
Newport News Waterworks was honored to receive the Sustainable Water Utility Management Award from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) at the organization’s annual conference in October 2019. Winners of this award have achieved innovation and success through a balance of economic, social, and environmental endeavors, such as responsible management of resources, protection of public health, providing cost effective services to ratepayers, and meeting responsibilities to the community. “AMWA awards spotlight the exceptional advances of public drinking water utilities that lead the nation toward sustainability through innovative management practices, executive leadership, and employee commitment,” said AMWA President Steve Schneider. “Communities that rely on AMWA’s 2019 award-winning utilities for safe, clean drinking water can also take pride in their outstanding utility management performance.” AMWA’s commendation noted that: “Newport News Waterworks has owned significant portions of its watersheds since its founding in 1889. This ownership, supplemented with regulatory controls, structural improvements, inspections, water quality monitoring, and forest management, provides robust source water protection. Waterworks has adopted a solid and cohesive asset management program framework using mobile devices for asset condition assessment, procuring best-in-class asset management software, and prioritizing risk-based capital planning. The utility’s sustainability mission rests on providing high-quality drinking water, preserving grandfathered water rights and watershed sovereignty, embracing new technology, capitalizing on data-rich analytics, supporting a talented workforce, and providing strong executive transformational leadership.”
Newport News Public Schools Receive Environmental Education and Stewardship Grant from Dominion Power
In 2019, the Newport News Public Schools received an Environmental Education and Stewardship Grant for $5,000 from Dominion Energy to create a new environmental science course. The goal of this grant is to provide funding to purchase kayaks, life vests, and paddles for students to participate in a watershed education experience at Lake Maury. Additionally, this grant will also be used to obtain teacher certifications from the American Canoeing Association.
2018 Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner
The City of Newport News has been selected as a Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner (VEEP SP) for the year of 2018 by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The annual approval is in recognition of the numerous significant environmental achievements the City has made to date as well as the ambitious sustainability goals set for the future. DEQ designed the VEEP SP track to encourage organizations across Virginia to make environmental sustainability part of their culture through leadership, innovation, and continual improvement.
The City earned the recognition for an array of initiatives in 2017, for example:
- The City of Newport News and Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) was awarded the Governor’s Clean Fleet Award sponsored by Virginia Clean Cities and the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The award recognizes governments and fleets that excelled in the adoption of alternative fuels including natural gas, propane and others - reducing greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum use.
- The City of Newport News was awarded platinum, the highest level, in the 2017 Green Government Challenge from the Virginia Municipal League (VML). The VML Green Government initiative recognizes that communities need to take innovative steps to reduce energy usage and promote sustainability.
- The City of Newport News added cartons to the residential and municipal recycling programs. Bay Disposal has invested over $500,000 in equipment upgrades and has added a new position for this purpose, while the Department of Public Works is providing cart stickers for residents that can be applied to recycling containers.
2018 Green Clean Institute Gold Certification
The City of Newport News Department of Public Works' Operations Building has received the Green Clean Institute Gold Certification! This rigorous certification was achieved through initiatives such as using eco-friendly soaps, cleaners and equipment, as well as managing recyclable and waste material.
As a part of the City’s plan to implement environmentally sustainable practices, the Building Services Division recently contracted janitorial services and supply contracts that align with Sustainability's mission. The Sustainability Division’s mission is to ensure the City operates in a way that is economically, environmentally and socially responsible.
2018 Get Caught in a Beautiful Act Award
Keep Virginia Beautiful, a statewide campaign to improve Virginia’s natural and scenic environment, has awarded the City of Newport News the Get Caught in a Beautiful Act Award for the Cities and Towns category! The City received a certificate of achievement for a submission that not only demonstrated a commitment to keeping Virginia beautiful, but also a commitment to building partnerships throughout the Newport News community.
Last August, approximately 50 sailors from the USS George Washington joined City staff and spent a morning helping to clean up the beachfront at King-Lincoln Park. The volunteers dedicated their time and services to pick up litter and debris along the Park’s shoreline in the Southeast Community. In total, over 100 bags of trash were collected. This partnership will continue to make the City an even better place to live, work and play.
City of Newport News One City Marathon is the Green Event of the Year!
The City of Newport News One City Marathon, presented by Newport News Shipbuilding, received the Virginia Green Travel Star Award as the Green Event of the Year for its exceptional efforts and commitment to environmental excellence in 2016. The Virginia Green program recognizes outstanding Virginia tourism organizations from across the Commonwealth for their voluntary efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations.
Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner
The City of Newport News has been selected as a Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner (VEEP SP) for the year of 2017 by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The annual approval is in recognition of the numerous, significant, environmental achievements the City has made to-date as well as the ambitious sustainability goals set for the future. DEQ designed the VEEP SP track to encourage organizations across Virginia to make environmental sustainability part of their culture through leadership, innovation, and continual improvement.
Newport News demonstrates this commitment through continual, measurable, and verifiable conservation efforts. These efforts lead to direct and indirect improvements in energy usage, water usage, waste generation, and other environmental benefits. The City has received this annual recognition of environmental excellence since 2013.
The City earned the recognition for an array of initiatives in 2016, for example:
- The City of Newport News One City Marathon, presented by Newport News Shipbuilding, received the Virginia Green Travel Star Award as the Green Event of the Year for its exceptional efforts and commitment to environmental excellence in 2016. The Virginia Green program recognizes outstanding Virginia tourism organizations from across the Commonwealth for their voluntary efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations.
- The City of Newport News Department of Public Works Recovery Operations Center (ROC) hosted the inaugural Boy Scouting Sustainability Merit Badge Conference and Tour. The project was designed to expose Boy Scouts, their leaders and parents to the wide variety of resources and opportunities in effective environmental stewardship. The Boy Scouts leadership arranged for resources to come from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Waterworks, Engineering, the James River Foundation and several others. Over 50 Scouts, leaders and parents rotated through work and demonstration stations in order to better understand sustainability issues and practices.
- The City of Newport News was selected as the beneficiary of trees purchased by the James River Association with a tree planting grant from the Virginia Department of Forestry. Eighty-five trees from nine different native species were planted at Riverview Farm Park around the multi-use trail. The planting was completed with the volunteer help of the Virginia Tech Extension Office - Virginia Master Gardeners, Virginia Master Naturalist and the Virginia Tree Stewards along with the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department - Landscape Services Division Staff. The trees were installed by the group of 18 volunteers. As the trees mature they will enhance the beauty of Riverview Farm Park and be enjoyed by all who use the multi-use trail around the Park.
Environmental Management System Approval
The City of Newport News Department of Public Works earned approval of its Environmental Management System (EMS) Annual Report to the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP) in May 2016. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality commended the facilities for outstanding work in pollution prevention. The EMS program, as part of the Sustainability Division, continues to promote sustainable practices. One practice reported was the Street Maintenance Division hauling 1,044 tons of broken concrete to be recycled at no cost. In addition, 4,464 tons of old asphalt was recycled and reused.
Governor’s Clean Fleet Award
The City of Newport News and Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) was awarded the Governor’s Clean Fleet Award sponsored by Virginia Clean Cities and the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. This award was presented by Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane during the Virginia Natural Gas’ 2nd annual “From Sea-to-Shining-Sea” Natural Gas Vehicle Road Rally Across America on June 15, 2017. The award recognizes governments and fleets that excelled in the adoption of alternative fuels including natural gas, propane and others -- reducing greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum use. The event was held at the Virginia Natural Gas fueling site located at 746 Diligence Drive in Newport News. Virginia Natural Gas used the event to promote the use of natural gas as an alternative transportation fuel.
The Governor’s Clean Fleet award recognizes the work the City and NNPS have done to expand the fleet of alternative fueled vehicles. Together, the City and NNPS will soon have 76 alternative fuel vehicles that run on propane Autogas. This includes 24 school buses and 52 vehicles used by City departments including Fire, Parks, Recreation & Tourism, Police, Public Works, and the Sheriff’s Office.
Pollution Prevention Diamond Excellence Award
The Newport News Solid Waste Recovery Operations Center has earned a Pollution Prevention Diamond Excellence Award for 2016. Presented by the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), the award was for 11 consecutive years of perfect permit compliance of its landfill leachate disposal system. Leachate is water from a landfill site which, if not collected, can contaminate natural water sources. The Center collects the leachate and transports it through a pipeline to HRSD.
Sustainability Partner of the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP)
The City of Newport News received approval from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) as a Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner (VEEP SP) for calendar year 2016. VEEP drives environmental excellence by encouraging facilities and organizations within the Commonwealth that have strong environmental records to go above and beyond their legal requirements. Newport News demonstrates environmental commitment through continual, measurable, and verifiable conservation efforts, leading to direct and indirect improvements in energy usage, water usage, waste generation, and other environmental benefits. The City has received this annual recognition of environmental excellence since 2013.
Thirty in 30 Grant Winner from Keep Virginia Beautiful
The Newport News Recycling Office was awarded the “30 Grants in Thirty Days” grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful for 2016! The $750.00 grant will support the City's Event Recycling Initiative to purchase additional recycling containers that will be available on loan to local civic and business groups for their special events and festivals. Recycling at large-scale events reduce the volume of waste in local landfills and minimize environmental impact. This program has been in place since 2007. Keep Virginia Beautiful (KVB) has given 150 organizations over $110,000 to empower them to make a positive and long-lasting difference in their respective communities since 2011.
Contact the Newport News Call Center at 311 or 933-2311 to request a recycling container for your special event.
Virginia Green Certification for Newport News One City Marathon Event
Since its inception, the Newport News One City Marathon has received Virginia Green event certification. Virginia Green is a partnership among the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. Virginia Green events are those which have been thoughtfully planned in order to minimize environmental impacts and help increase environmental awareness. Waste reduction initiatives featured at the One City Marathon included Eco stations, clothes/shoe collections, water filling stations, and the use of mass transit. In addition, curb inlet filters were used as the main method for pollution prevention. NNGreen also exhibited at the 2-day Health and Wellness Expo to educate participants and spectators about the city's sustainability initiatives and the Marathon's Virginia Green certification.
Platinum Award Winner of the Green Government Challenge sponsored by Virginia Municipal League
The City of Newport News was awarded platinum, the highest level, in the 2015 Green Government Challenge from the Virginia Municipal League (VML). The City has been recognized as a Green Government since the challenge was first established in 2008, and has received the Platinum Award since 2013. Through the years, Newport News has demonstrated a commitment to a more livable and sustainable community. Citywide efforts will continue to move forward by integrating sustainability in our best management practices, planning, and investment strategies.
American Public Works Association National Award for Sustainability Practices
The City of Newport News Sustainability Program, NN Green, was selected by the American Public Works Association (APWA) as the Sustainability Practices Award winner for the year 2014. The Sustainability Practices Award recognizes organizations that have made outstanding contributions to promote sustainability in public works as defined by APWA's definition of sustainability: “Sustainability is accomplished by the efficient delivery of infrastructure in an environmentally and socially responsible way that ensures the best choice in the long term.” Nominations were judged by how each program addressed sustainability in terms of the economy, community, and the environment.
Exemplary Environmental Enterprise (E3) Participant in the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP)
The Public Works Environmental Management System (EMS) was recognized by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality as an Exemplary Environmental Enterprise (E-3) organization through the Virginia Environmental Excellent Program. The City of Newport News received its E3 status because of a fully-implemented Environmental Management System (EMS), pollution prevention programs, and environmental performance. An environmental management system is defined as a cohesive, comprehensive set of documented policies and procedures adopted by the City and used to establish environmental goals, and to evaluate overall environmental performance. This award is a symbol of continued progress and serves as the foundation for the future of Newport News Sustainability.
Governor's Environmental Excellence Award Gold Medal
The City of Newport News was presented the Governor's Environmental Excellence Award Gold Medal at the Environment Virginia Symposium at VMI for its comprehensive sustainability program, a product of citizen input and local government leadership. The program maps out a long-term strategic approach to becoming a greener community. The City was recognized for its comprehensive sustainability program, NNGreen. Governor McAuliffe identified Newport News as a City that demonstrates a clear commitment to improving the environment for the benefit of all Virginians. The awards are sponsored by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Troy-Bilt and Keep America Beautiful Taking Root Gardening Grant Recipient
Newport News Public Works Recycling received an $8,000 grant and up to $1,500 in lawn care and garden equipment from equipment manufacturer Troy-Bilt and leading nonprofit Keep America Beautiful. The grant was used for the new School Green Space Project, which was aimed at turning Crittenden Middle School's underutilized courtyard area into a usable, student-friendly outdoor classroom. This project demonstrated a shared commitment with our partners, Newport News Public Schools, NN Green Foundation and Christopher Newport University to make a difference in our community by teaching students through nature, art and science how to protect and maintain the natural environment and to become better environmental stewards.