MA Clean Energy Partnership for Water recognized as 'Innovation in Government' finalist

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance & Innovation at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Gov't has recognized the "MA Clean Energy Partnership for Wastewater & Drinking Water Facilities" project as a finalist in the Innovations in American Government Awards competition.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, May 7, 2015 -- The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government recently announced that it has recognized the "Massachusetts Clean Energy Partnership (MCEP) for Wastewater and Drinking Water Facilities" project as one of five finalists in this year's Innovations in American Government Awards competition.

The MCEP is a model program for use at wastewater and drinking water treatment plants to help cut energy use and increase efficiency, install new clean energy sources, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce operating costs. Since 2007, more than 120 treatment facilities across the Commonwealth have utilized the program's technical assistance and funding sources as part of the Energy Leaders Roundtable.

The program is a collaborative effort between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), University of Massachusetts Lowell, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and a number of energy utilities and professional trade associations.

"This project has reduced thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from our municipal treatment plants and saved $5 million annually in energy costs," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "We're very proud of this work and hope it will continue to be a national model for partnerships between municipalities and state and federal agencies, helping both the environment and our economy."

DOER Commissioner Judith Judson added, "Innovation and collaboration are hallmarks of Massachusetts' energy and environmental initiatives. We think big and worked together to cut energy use and municipal costs by more than $6 million at water and wastewater treatment facilities, thanks to a 173-percent increase in on-site renewable generation since 2007."

The Commonwealth's project is one of 25 government initiatives that represent the dedicated efforts of city, state and federal governments, and address such policy issues as economic development, environmental and community revitalization, public health, equal access to education, emergency preparedness, and health care. These programs were selected by a cohort of policy experts, researchers and practitioners.

Those programs named as finalists will be making presentations to the National Selection Committee of the Innovations in American Government Awards, with the winner to be announced this summer. The presentations will be streamed live starting at 1:30 p.m. EDT on May 20 at www.hks.harvard.edu/live.

"These programs represent the forefront in government innovation and a cross-section of issues of the 21st century, including renewable energy, community revitalization and public-private partnerships," said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government program at the Ash Center. "They demonstrate that efforts to make government work better can stem not only from executive orders and statewide initiatives, but also small community programs and private citizens on social media."

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