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Riverkeeper Patrol Boat Captain John Lipscomb Honored With EPA Award


Contact: Riverkeeper, Tina Posterli, 914-478-4501 x 239, [email protected]

Recognized for over a decade of defending the Hudson and bringing polluters to justice

Ossining, NY – April 6, 2011 – Riverkeeper Patrol Boat Captain John Lipscomb has been honored with an Environmental Quality Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2. Since 2000, Lipscomb has headed Riverkeeper’s boat program, traveling approximately 6,000 nautical miles each year between New York Harbor and Troy to conduct pollution patrols and scientific studies.

“I’m so surprised and proud to receive this award,” said John Lipscomb, Riverkeeper Patrol Boat Captain. “I greatly admire and respect the value, power and potential of the EPA to protect and restore this nation’s environment. So to have the EPA appreciate and acknowledge the effort we make is wonderful. I am part of a talented and dedicated team at Riverkeeper and this award is a result of all our efforts combined. It is also particularly rewarding for me to see all the letters of support for my nomination sent to the EPA by a really diverse cross section of citizens, organizations and advocates throughout the Hudson Valley. There could be no greater validation for the Riverkeeper boat program, which I have tried so hard to build. It is clear that we have succeeded in connecting with the people of the Hudson Valley on behalf of the river.”

Over the past decade, Lipscomb has been at the forefront of Riverkeeper’s large scale pollution cases such as St. Lawrence Cement and Lehigh Northeast Cement Company and the historic ExxonMobil case and settlement on Newtown Creek.

In 2006, with scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Queens College, Lipscomb started Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Testing Program in an effort to answer the question he hears most from the public – “how’s the water?” Once a month, eight months out of the year, he travels the length and breadth of the 150-mile long Estuary collecting water samples from 75 locations and testing them for sewage contamination levels with his onboard incubator. The results are posted on the Riverkeeper website within days and emailed to thousands of Hudson Valley residents in a monthly report including a narrative explanation of the findings.

Through this project, Lipscomb has started state and local conversations on water quality in the Hudson. Groups of activists in communities along the river have formed in an effort to address the local water quality problems John is uncovering. He supports these local advocates, as well as the work of Riverkeeper program staff, the Environmental Law students at Pace University and many others.

“John represents the heart and soul of Riverkeeper,” said Paul Gallay, Executive Director & Hudson Riverkeeper. “Each week, he spends countless hours laboring in service to the environment and communities of the Hudson. He exemplifies the spirit of public service and activism that is the best of the environmental movement in New York today.”

The EPA will officially honor Lipscomb and the seven other award winners at an awards ceremony on April 29th in New York City.

About the EPA Environmental Quality Awards
Environmental Quality Award recipients are chosen from the following categories: individual citizen, environmental education, press and media, business and industry, non-profit organization, environmental or community group, and federal, state, local or tribal agency. The recipients come from within Region 2, which includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands and seven federally-recognized Indian Nations. The award winners span a wide range of environmental achievements, but each proves exemplary determination and success. The EPA’s regional office receives nominations for the awards from both inside and outside the Agency. For more information about the Environmental Quality Awards in EPA Region 2, go to

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