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Application Instructions

This document contains

This Document Contains:

Overview

General Information

Project Information

Supplement Information

Contact Us

Overview

The following instructions are to help you complete an application for the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards — the highest environmental honor in the State of Texas. Before completing an application, go to <TEEA.orgExit the TCEQ> and click on the How to Apply button to see if we are currently accepting applications (generally, we accept them during the summer) and to obtain the current application.

NOTE: For the award category Environmental Educator of the Year, use the instructions and application for this category (available online and in Word). For the Individual award category, there are additional instructions to help you complete an application for it.

When reviewing the application instructions, please note that an “environmental project” (or “project”) is defined as something that is improving the environment. Examples of projects include:

  • An environmental program that conserves energy, water, and/or minimizes waste/pollutants;
  • New technology or an innovative way of management to reduce pollution;
  • A person’s undertaking for improving the environment;
  • An environmental education program;
  • And more.

If a company/organization or individual has multiple environmental projects, you could either submit separate applications for each one, or submit one application that encompasses all of the projects.

You may submit your application in one of two ways: using our online form, or filling out and submitting an application in Word.

The Word version of the application contains an embedded macro that checks for spelling/grammatical errors; to use this macro, you must enable it when you open the document. When you are ready to submit, send it to awards@tceq.texas.gov.

General Information

Company/Organization or Individual

Enter the entity responsible for the project that improved the environment in Texas (that is, the “applicant”) and their mailing address. Next, enter a contact for this application [including phone number(s) and an email address]. This should be a person who can help answer questions we might have during our review of the application.

If multiple entities are responsible for the project, enter each one into the field Company/Organization or Individual’s Name, but only enter one mailing address and one contact.

Details about Company/Organization

If the applicant is a company or organization (including cities and counties), enter its total number of employees/members. For applicants that are a subsidiary, enter who they are a subsidiary to.

Next, enter the applicant’s Customer Reference Number (CN) and the Regulated Entity Reference Number (RN), if applicable, for the site/facility where the environmental project is occurring. Both numbers are assigned by the TCEQ; RNs are typically assigned to sites with an air, waste, or water permit (like manufacturing sites and sites that discharge stormwater or wastewater) and CNs are typically assigned to customers responsible for permits.

For an environmental project that is occurring at multiple sites, enter up to four RNs (the four most important RNs for this project). If you need help finding these numbers, we suggest using the TCEQ’s Central Registry.

Details about the Environmental Project

Enter the project’s name — a descriptive caption for the environmental project. Next, enter the first year that the project started improving the environment and then the project’s physical address. If the project is occurring at multiple sites, only enter the most important address for it.

Enter any web, YouTube, or Facebook addresses (URLs) that contain information about the project. If you have multiple addresses (such as multiple YouTube videos about the project), enter those into the application.

Which Award Category Fits Best with This Project?

Select one of the nine award categories where you think the project fits best. Keep in mind that the application may be moved to another category. The categories are:

  • Agriculture — project’s success is due to changes on agricultural land (that is, land cultivated to produce a product, or used for raising or keeping livestock or poultry).
  • Civic/Community — project typically includes a mix of various community partners coming together to make improvements to the environment.
  • Education — project focuses on environmental education. Can include, but is not limited to, after-school programs, nature centers, environmental camps, in-class education programs, and recycling awareness programs.
  • Individual — a person who initiates a project aimed at making environmental improvements or educating people about environmental stewardship; or, a person known for their lifetime environmental achievements.
  • Innovative Operations/Management — project’s success is due to changes in operation/management. Can include, but is not limited to, the application of innovative technology to improve operations, and applying an innovative solution for reusing or minimizing waste.
  • Pollution Prevention — project mainly focuses on source reduction efforts. The project aims to reduce, eliminate, or prevent pollution at its source, thus producing less pollutants that need to be controlled, treated, or disposed.
  • Technical/Technology — project’s success is due to a new technology, or a new technical approach.
  • Water Conservation — project focuses on water-saving techniques that aim to reduce consumption.
  • Youth — project is led by youth or relies on specific youth contributions and support.

NOTE: The award category Environmental Educator of the Year is not shown because it has its own application (available online and in Word).

Project Information

When answering questions in this section, respond to each one without exceeding the word limit. If a question does not pertain to your project, explain why (instead of leaving the question blank).

1. In detail, describe the applicant and their project. What environmental improvements come from this project, and how does the project achieve the improvements? (600 words or less)

Describe the applicant and their project. Here are some ideas for the details you could mention about the project:

  • Purpose and goals of the project;
  • Event dates and locations;
  • Number of people participating;
  • The project’s history;
  • How the project addresses health and safety concerns for workers or the community;
  • How the project addresses a high-priority environmental issue; and
  • How the project makes a significant contribution to improving the environment.

List each of the environmental improvements that come from the project. For each improvement, make sure to explain how the project achieves the improvement.

2. Explain how this project is innovative or creative in its use of technology, personnel, etc. (200 words or less)

Provide information on the project’s innovation or creativity, including an explanation for why it is innovative or creative. For ideas of what to mention, consider the following about the project:

  • Does it contribute new information on how to improve the environment?
  • Does it involve a new concept, process, or technology?
  • Is it a first in Texas?
  • How does it promote environmental leadership?
  • Did it require personnel in Research and Development (R&D) to find an ingenious solution to an environmental problem?

3. Describe how the project improves the environment and how you specifically measure or evaluate its success. Include specific outcomes recorded or observed so far (for example, gallons of water conserved, pounds of diverted waste or resources conserved, and year-to-year comparison). (300 words or less)

Briefly describe how the project improves the environment, how this improvement is measured, and what results have been measured so far.

4. Does the project, or any of its technology, serve as a model for others? In addition, how will this project impact future environmental quality? (200 words or less)

List who else has, or could, use this project or any of its technology as a model for their own project. If applicable, list those that the applicant helped to establish a similar project. Next, explain how the project will impact future environmental quality, with sufficient support to justify your answer.

5. Did this project have any educational, training, and outreach components? If so, please explain and provide the total number of people educated, trained, or reached. (200 words or less)

For help answering this question, consider, among other things, the following:

  • What was done to promote public awareness or voluntary participation?
  • Was there any employee training or technology transfer?
  • Were any “how to” guidelines developed?

6. Does this project involve the cooperation of different types of public, private, community, business, or citizen groups? If so, please explain the cooperative effort(s) and list all participating entities and their respective roles. (200 words or less)

Who worked on the project, or was instrumental in its success, in addition to the applicant? List each participating entity (local or state governments, industries, civic groups, schools, citizens, etc.), their role in the project, and explain their efforts/contributions towards the project (the amount of time an entity volunteered, amount donated, etc.).

7. Provide information on the project’s cost, its cost-savings, and its cost-effectiveness. If possible, give specifics. (200 words or less)

Provide the cost for the project, including any start-up costs and annual costs. If there are any cost-savings or cost-effectiveness values, provide these values. For example:

Our project, installation of new equipment to conserve water, has an annual estimated cost of $27,000 for labor and maintenance. The start-up cost for this project was roughly $125,000 for the equipment and training. In 2016, this equipment saved us 22 million gallons of water, at a cost-savings of about $88,000 on our water utility bill.

8. Describe anything exceptional about the project (for example, is the project in response to anticipated future regulations, does it represent environmental leadership, or does it go above and beyond legal requirements?). (200 words or less)

When answering this question, consider the following:

  • Is the project self-sustaining?
  • Does it go significantly beyond legal requirements?
  • Does it address social needs like environmental equity?
  • Does it help solve a serious environmental challenge?
  • Does it result in a significant positive impact to the environment?
  • Does it benefit a critical area or region (border area, nonattainment area, etc.)?

9. Briefly describe the project’s schedule or timetable, including the start date, end date, and the dates of any major milestones. Will this be an ongoing project, and what additional resources and/or activities would allow you to improve the project? (200 words or less)

Provide a brief timeline with a start date and end date; include any important dates in-between. If the project doesn’t have an end date, briefly explain why. If the project is an ongoing project, explain why. Next, mention what could be done to improve the project and what resources or activities are needed to do this.

10. How did you hear about this year’s Texas Environmental Excellence Awards? (15 words or less)

 

Supplement (optional)

Use this supplement to show how the project improves the environment — by showing us the condition right before the project improved the environment, and then the project’s most recent improvements to the environment. If you have this type of data, we recommend you use this supplement, especially if you select the Award Category Pollution Prevention or Technical/Technology.

You may enter data for three improvements. If you have more than three, make sure to report these other improvements in your application. NOTE: The totals you enter should only encompass the project and nothing else. For example, if the project reduces NOX emissions from two boilers, only enter the total NOX emissions from those two boilers.

When completing a table, follow these steps:

  1. From the drop-down list, select what the project did that improves the environment. If you select “Other” from this list, insert a description (for example, reduces lead emissions, reduces mercury emissions, reduces particulate matter emissions, and reduces soil runoff).
  2. Insert the units for the totals you are about to enter into the table (for example, tons of VOC, tons of recyclable materials, and million gallons of water).
  3. First row — baseline year (the year right before the project started improving the environment)
  • Baseline Year: Enter the year right before the project started improving the environment. For example, if the project started improving the environment in 2011, enter 2010.
  • Total for the Baseline Year: Enter the total for that year, based on data collected for that specific year.
  1. Next two rows (the two most recent years completed)
  • Total for the Year: Enter a total for both years, based on data collected for that specific year. If the project didn’t improve the environment in one of those years, leave it and Amount Increased/Reduced by Project
  • Amount Increased/Reduced by Project: Enter the amount increased/reduced because of the project. If the Total for the Baseline Year and Total for the Year only encompass the project itself, then enter the difference between these two values.
  1. Last row (the estimated total for the current year)
  • Total for the Year: Enter an estimated total for that year (because this year isn’t over by the time you submit the application).
  • Amount Increased/Reduced by Project: Enter the amount increased/reduced because of the project. If the Total for the Baseline Year and Total for the Year only encompass the project itself, then enter the difference between these two values.