The city of Newport News has again been awarded platinum, the highest level, in the 2015 Green Government Challenge from the Virginia Municipal League. The award was presented to the city at the league’s annual conference last week. This is the third year in a row Newport News has received the platinum award in this competition for taking innovative steps to reduce energy usage and promote sustainability. The Challenge was first established in 2008 and the city has been recognized each year as a Green Government. VML's challenge is designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emission generated by city operations and the broader community. This year, the challenge was significantly revised to expand the initiative to include federal, state, and private partners in addressing sustainability and resiliency at the community level. The city was evaluated on 10 categories and 44 action items including energy efficiency, waste management, renewable energy, and innovative initiatives. Newport News earned the award for several initiatives including the following. •The Inaugural Newport News One City Marathon was certified as a Virginia Green event to minimize the environmental impact as well as increase awareness about protecting our natural resources. The Virginia Green Program is a partnership among the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. •Six electric vehicle charging stations were installed in the parking garages at City Center through collaboration by the Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the City Center developer. Since installation, the City has displaced 900 gallons of fuel and reduced/offset 17,500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. •The Waterworks Department implemented an energy reduction plan?replacing old light fixtures with energy efficient fixtures and saving over 63,000 kilowatts. The savings comes from a combination of reduced energy use and the instant-on feature of the new LED fixtures. More information about VML’s Green Government Challenge can be found at www.gogreenva.org.