The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Gov. Paul LePage selected three companies and one municipal project to receive awards for environmental excellence. The award reflects “extraordinary efforts to protect and improve Maine’s environment,” according to a media release from the governor’s office.

 Paris Autobarn LLC of Paris won the award for a small business. The automotive service company uses highly sustainable practices, serving as a model for the more than 900 other automotive centers in the state.

INCON, which designs and manufactures electronic monitoring products for the electric utility market, won the award for a medium-size business. INCON engineers in Saco created and are patenting a monitoring system for circuit-breakers that detects leaks of Sulfur-Hexa-Flouride (SF6), an electrical insulator used in large circuit-breakers. SF6 is a potent greenhouse gas.

Waste management company ecomaine, in collaboration with public safety partners, won the award for a large business for developing a process to dispose of unused pharmaceuticals. Unwanted drugs contaminate groundwater supplies when they are flushed into waste systems, and disposing of them out of state is expensive, according to the release. Ecomaine undertook two test burns combusting unused pharmaceuticals at its Portland facility, and test results demonstrated complete destruction with emission levels at or below ambient air levels.

The award for a community project went to the team behind the Presque Isle landfill cover project. By using a design-build approach, the project saved over $900,000 from the original estimate. The installed technology minimizes surface infiltration and reduces leachate by 1 million gallons per year. It could possibly serve as a model for other municipal landfills that need to be covered. Team members included CES Inc., Sargent Corp., the city of Presque Isle and a small group from DEP.

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