Yesterday, the Association of American Railroads (AAR)
announced it awarded the 2012 Professional Environmental Excellence Award to Union Pacific Railroad Director of Environmental Affairs Lanny Schmid. The award is the highest honor for environmental professionals in the rail industry, AAR officials said in a prepared statement.
Based in Omaha, Neb., Schmid "works tirelessly to identify environmental trends and initiatives to bring about optimal solutions for both his company and the communities through which it operates," AAR officials said.
During his 27-year UP career, Schmid has worked to bring together federal and state agencies, communities and key personnel from various railroad departments to find workable solutions to environmental issues. For example, he worked closely with the California Air Resources Board since the mid-1990s to bring the most advanced and environmentally friendly technology to the state's South Coast Air Basin before it was commercially available, leading to a 65 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, AAR officials said.
Schmid also brought disparate parties together in Texas to introduce the Genset locomotive, which is designed to reduce particulate matter and NOx emissions up to 90 percent. In addition, he led a program to explore experimental testing of exhaust gas recirculation systems to reduce NOx emissions and was instrumental in obtaining grants to replace 166 older locomotives with newer ones that can reduce emissions.
The AAR also honored Schmid for being a "committed environmentalist" who's heavily involved in personal environmental causes. Using sustainable practices, such as variable rate fertilizing, on his family farm, he successfully reduced the amount of surface runoff and fertilizer released to groundwater, AAR officials said.
The other rail industry professionals nominated for the award were:
• Michael Avans, manager of environmental controls for CN;
• Donald Camper, regional manager of environmental field services for CSX Transportation;
• Andrew Enzman, senior environmental coordinator for Amtrak's Environmental Health and Safety Department;
• Edward Phillips, manager of environmental operations for BNSF Railway Co.; and
• Ken Roberge, manager of environmental program development for Canadian Pacific.
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