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Founders of New England Carbon Challenge Receive EPA Award

By David Sims, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
April 21, 2010

Denise Blaha and Julia Dundorf . Photo by K. Donahue, EOS

In a ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston Thursday, UNH’s Denise Blaha and Julia Dundorf of Clean Air-Cool Planet, co-founders of the New England Carbon Challenge, will receive the Environmental Merit Award from the New England office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in recognition of their exceptional work and commitment to the environment in 2009.

Blaha and Dundorf will each receive the EPA award in the individual category for their work in creating the three-year-old New England Carbon Challenge program – a joint initiative of the UNH and Clean Air - Cool Planet that works to educate, inspire and support sustained savings in home energy use. To date, the Carbon Challenge has convinced more than 2,500 households to pledge carbon reductions totaling 18 million pounds of CO2 for a collective savings of $1.9 million.

Says Blaha, a research associate at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) Complex Systems Research Center, “Julia and I are indeed honored to receive this award and we do so on behalf of our entire team whose extraordinary talents have enabled us to develop a robust, yet easy-to-use program that helps households in New England reduce their energy costs.”

“Through all the complexities of building a cleaner energy future and reducing the household emissions that cause climate change, what Denise and I find so heartening is the passion and willingness of New Englanders to address their own household and community energy consumption in creative ways,” added Julia Betjemann Dundorf, manager of community relations at Clean Air-Cool Planet.  “Having the privilege of working with these community leaders is truly our greatest honor.”

Clean Air-Cool Planet is the leading science-based, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated solely to delivering solutions to global warming.

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