Washington, D.C. – The American Public Works Association (APWA) announced today that APWA member Philip Guerin of Worcester, Massachusetts was recently honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change” Innovator in Infrastructure for creating jobs in his community, and using innovative techniques to develop valuable projects that help improve America’s infrastructure. Guerin is currently the Director of Environmental Systems for the Worcester Department of Public Works and Parks. Under his leadership, the city was able to install solar photovoltaic power at the Water Filtration Plant which provides safe drinking water to some 200,000 residents.
“Mr. Guerin’s project is an excellent example of how public works professionals throughout the US contribute to the quality of life in their communities in many unnoticed ways. His innovation and acknowledgement are a source of pride for all public works professionals,” said APWA Executive Director Peter B. King. “Guerin was able to use the federal Recovery Act dollars made available through the State Revolving Fund for 100% of the city’s solar photovoltaic project, which consisted of a roof-mounted and ground-mounted array of solar panels to provide 5% of the electrical power to the drinking water treatment facility,” he said.
“Through a valuable collaboration among all levels of government and applying technology, the people of Worcester and other communities have clean drinking water at reduced electric costs and also reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while investing in the infrastructure of the 21st Century,” he said.
Guerin’s recognition was awarded through President Obama’s special series of “Champions of Change” that was initiated to profile those Americans who are making a difference in their communities, and honor those who help the country rise to the 21st Century challenges, according to the White House.
Guerin and ten other individuals were honored in a February 15th, 2012 panel discussion for their innovative government projects using stimulus grant funding as a way to improve different forms of infrastructure. Nominations for Champions of Change are submitted to the White House Office of Public Engagement by various Federal agencies, such as U. S Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and others. Guerin was nominated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“It’s great to have a win-win situation with this infrastructure project,” Guerin said. “Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection spearheaded the initial energy audits and renewable energy assessments, worked out the logistics that would allow stimulus dollars to be used to fully fund the projects and collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to procure a statewide design-build contractor for all water and wastewater solar projects,” he said. “The statewide initiative that included Worcester is expected to produce some 5.5 million kilowatt-hours of green energy and save ratepayers over $700,000 annually across the 18 water and wastewater facilities in the program. But this story really is about the cooperative efforts between all levels of government,” he added.
Guerin’s duties as Worcester DPWP’s Director of Environmental Systems include regulatory compliance, public education, watershed protection, and environmental management of the city’s drinking water, wastewater and storm water systems. He is also a past president of the Massachusetts Water Works Association, and a founding member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship.
For more information on the White House Champions of Change program, visit the website at http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions.For more media information about the American Public Works Association, visit www.apwa.net.
The American Public Works Association (www.apwa.net) is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 28,500 members involved in the field of public works. APWA serves its members by promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge. APWA is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, has an office in Washington, D.C., along with 63 chapters across North America.