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Business Council handing out environmental award at conference in Saratoga Springs on October 29-31.
Text of press release.

For Immediate Release:
October 23, 2014

Contact: Gary Hughes
(518) 465-7511 ext. 238

The Business Council announces finalists for The Environmental Committee Chairman’s Award

Albany, NY—October 23, 2014—The Business Council of New York State has announced the four finalists for the Environmental Committee Chairman’s Award, to be presented at the statewide business organization’s Annual Environment Conference, October 29 – 31, at The Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Springs, New York.

The four finalist projects are sponsored by Business Council members Cornell University, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, ReEnergy Holdings, and Rudin Management.

All of the applications were evaluated on their strength in the following specific areas: results, transferability/scalability, environmental impact, resource conservation impact, economic progress, and innovation/uniqueness.

The nominated finalists will make project presentations at the conference and one project will be presented the Chairman’s Award.

“The Environmental Committee Chairman’s Award is part of our effort to highlight the ways that members of The Business Council are conserving resources, protecting and enhancing the environment and developing innovative approaches to environmental challenges,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council.

The nominated finalists’ projects are:

Cornell University—Minimizing Energy Consumption with Novel High-Efficiency Growth Chambers: Universities and private labs rely on tens of thousands of environmental growth chambers to conduct precision plant science experiments. Current chambers are expensive and energy-intensive. Growth chambers across Cornell University consume over two million dollars a year in electricity, and modern growth chambers can cost anywhere from $45,000 to $190,000 apiece. A team at the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station have designed and built a prototype chamber that is durable, inexpensive and extremely efficient.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority—Wetland Treatment of Glycol Contaminated Storm Water: Buffalo Niagara International Airport is using an environmentally friendly process to collect and treat the propylene glycol used for deicing aircraft. An improved storm water collection system captures concentrated deicing flows from airport gates, and pumps it to a wetland treatment system. Though the treatment system utilizes natural wetland processes, the treatment actually occurs within aerated gravel beds topped with mulch and plantings. The tops of the beds remain dry and appear simply as a mowed and maintained field. The glycol is broken down within three days as it travels through the engineered wetland treatment system. The system has been in operation since the 2009/2010 deicing season and has reduced concentrations by more than 85 percent.

ReEnergy Holdings—ReEnergy Black River: The 60-megawatt ReEnergy Black River facility is located at the U.S. Army’s Fort Drum installation near Watertown. Before it was idled in early 2010 by its former owner, the facility burned coal to produce electricity. ReEnergy acquired the facility in 2011 and invested more than $34 million to convert the facility to use biomass as its primary fuel, creating new jobs and a new renewable energy source for the North Country region. The facility commenced operations in May, 2013. As a result of the retrofit, air emissions in many important categories have been reduced. In addition, with the installation of a cooling tower on the facility site, the use of water from the Black River and discharge of hot water back into the river have been dramatically reduced.

Rudin Management—Digital Building Operating System: Building owners have little control over their tenants’ energy usage. To change this, Rudin Management partnered with Selex ES and Columbia University to create the Digital Building Operating System Solution (Di-BOSS). Di-BOSS works with the existing building systems to optimize energy consumption while saving money, increasing comfort and improving security. Di-BOSS has saved Rudin Management millions of dollars by reducing year-over-year electrical consumption by as much as 10 percent while office temperature complaints have been reduced by more than 30 percent.

Sponsors of The Business Council’s Annual Environment Conference include the American Chemistry Council; D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C.; GlobalFoundries; Groundwater Sciences Corporation;; Harris Beach, PLLC; Hiscock & Barclay; International Paper; VHB; Waste Management; and Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, LLP.

For more information on The Business Council’s Annual Environment Conference, please visit

The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

The Business Council of New York State, Inc., is the leading business organization in the state. It represents the interests of public and private companies, colleges and universities, local and regional chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations across the state. Its members employ more than 1.2 million New Yorkers.

The mission of The Business Council is to create economic growth, good jobs and strong communities across New York State.