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November 12, 2008 > Union Sanitary District Wins Prestigious U.S. EPA Award

Union Sanitary District Wins Prestigious U.S. EPA Award

Submitted By Michelle Powell

Union Sanitary District has won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's first-place national award for its outstanding achievements in industrial pretreatment and pollution prevention. Alexis Strauss, the EPA's Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region, presented the 2008 National Clean Water Act Recognition Award for Outstanding Pretreatment Program to USD's Board of Directors and the District's Environmental Compliance Team on Monday, November 10th at 7 p.m. at the District's administrative offices in Union City.

"This award is well-deserved recognition of the District's leadership in working with local businesses, industries and the public to reduce pollutants that could harm San Francisco Bay," says Michael Dunning, USD's Environmental Compliance manager. "Our pharmaceutical take-back and mercury reduction programs are examples of creative strategies we use to help protect our communities and the environment."

USD's General manager Richard Currie agrees. "We're proud of the District's Environmental Compliance Team. They have worked for many years to establish professional relationships with industries in our service area in order to remove pollutants at their source," he says. "These partnerships have helped the program to excel in effectively reducing toxic pollutants that can enter the Bay."

"Union Sanitary District is a leader in protecting water quality through its award-winning pretreatment program focused on extensive outreach to control pollutants such as copper, mercury, fats, oil, and grease at their source," says Strauss. "USD has an outstanding program - keeping our waterways clean and protecting the San Francisco Bay."

The Environmental Compliance staff works with industries to set up on-site removal processes which "pre-treat" the wastewater before it is discharged to USD's sewer system. Inspectors monitor industries through on-site visits and waste stream sampling. They also act as technical resources, advising on issues including less toxic product substitution and process enhancements. USD's inspectors also recommend ways to recycle and conserve water.

USD annually awards Certificates of Merit to recognize industries that have met or exceeded the District's environmental regulatory requirements. Several Tri-City industries have met these standards for many consecutive years.

Union Sanitary District operates a 30 million gallon per day wastewater treatment facility in Union City and provides collection, treatment and disposal services to the Tri-City area. For more information about USD's Pretreatment and Pollution Prevention programs, contact Michael Dunning at (510) 477-7639 or visit the District's website at

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