EPA Honors Ottinger for Environmental Work

In recognition of those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Pace Law School Dean Emeritus Richard Ottinger, with a 2009 EPA Environmental Quality Award during a special ceremony held in New York City recently.

"Richard Ottinger is a dedicated and tireless champion for environment improvement, and we are thrilled that the EPA has recognized his efforts," said Michelle S. Simon, dean of Pace Law School. "Pace Law School and the Pace Energy and Climate Center are honored to have him on our team and we congratulate him on receiving this prestigious award."

The Environmental Quality Award is the highest recognition presented to the public by the EPA, which honored Ottinger for his many notable contributions to the environment through a lifelong dedication to the resolution of environmental issues. Ottinger came to Pace Law School when he retired from Congress in 1984. As a professor, he taught in the environmental law program. As co-director of the Center for Environmental Legal Studies, he started an Energy Project, now the Pace Energy and Climate Center, which raises $900,000 per year, advocating utility investment in conservation and renewable energy resources. In his 16 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he authored a substantial body of energy and environmental laws. He was one of the earliest environmentalists in Congress in 1965. As chair of the Energy Conservation and Power Subcommittee, Energy & Commerce Committee, he was instrumental in adopting key energy and environmental legislation. Ottinger was also a founding staff member of the Peace Corps, serving it from 1961-1964.

"These exemplary environmental stewards have gone above and beyond for environmental change in local communities across New York," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. "Let their extraordinary contributions remind us all that we can make our world a better place and individuals really inspire others and make a lasting difference."

The EPA selects Environmental Quality Award winners from non-profit environmental and community groups, individual citizens, educators, business organizations, and members of the news media, as well as from federal, state, local, or tribal governments and agencies. The honor is given to those individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to improving the environment and public health in EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and seven federally-recognized Indian Nations. The agency receives nominations for the awards from both inside and outside EPA. For information about the Environmental Quality Awards in EPA Region 2, go to http://www.epa.gov/region02/eqa/.