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Richard Valentinetti, director of the Air Pollution Control Division of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, received a Lifetime Achievement Environmental Merit Award last Tuesday, April 29, during EPA ceremonies in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. The day before, he had been honored at the State House in Montpelier by Governor Douglas.
Valentinetti is the longest-serving state air director in the country. He is also member of the board of the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and a member of the executive committee of the board of the Northeast States Center for a Clean Air Future. He has chaired the National Association of Clean Air Agencies and the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Acid Rain Steering Committee. In his jobs, he led development of the National Monitoring Strategy as well as the NEG/ECP’s successful mercury reduction action plan, leading to the reduction of mercury discharged by 50 percent in five years.
His list of accomplishments is extensive. He was instrumental in developing state air toxics programs in Vermont and other states and helped create the Mid Atlantic Northeast Visibility Union. He led the effort to adopt low-emission vehicle laws in Vermont and the Northeast and was key in designing the regional greenhouse gas initiative. In addition, he was instrumental in developing Vermont’s Climate Mitigation Plan and as a member of the Ozone Transport Commission, pushed for cleaner cars and reduced power plant emissions.