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TSA Recognizes Teams that Help Protect the Environment

Monday, June 24, 2019
Recycle and trash bins at airport

TSA is playing a big role in protecting our nation’s environment. The department’s Occupational Safety, Health, and Environment Division recently announced the 2019 winners of their annual Environmental Stewardship Awards. Out of more than 100 applications, 11 employees, 13 teams, and 8 operations/facilities were honored for their outstanding support of TSA's environmental programs.

Here are three of the winning teams:

Palm Beach International Airport TSA Team Focuses on the Beach

Pollution is a huge danger to beaches and marine life, so the Palm Beach International Airport’s (PBI) environmental management coordinator created a video to highlight the issue in south Florida. The video was released on Earth Day to draw special attention to the issue.

PBI also partnered with WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach to showcase the types of voluntarily abandoned property airport passengers surrendered at PBI’s security checkpoints over the course of a year. And this partnership had some really good results as PBI saw a 20% reduction in the total amount of hazardous materials collected. 

Tulsa International Airport TSA Teams to Conserve Energy

The summer heat can lead to some pretty expensive electric bills and overextend our power grid. TSA at Tulsa International Airport (TUL) teamed with the Tulsa Airport Authority and a local power company on an innovative pilot program to conserve energy. They participated in the Load Management Event pilot program during hot summer afternoons when energy use was at its peak. This ongoing program played a key role in reducing the demand placed on the power company during peak times and diminished the possibility of brownouts and rolling blackouts. To further reduce energy use, the team also worked with the Tulsa Airport Authority to install 3M tinted glass panels near the checkpoint. This move eliminated the need for a dozen industrial fans to cool off the checkpoint area.

O’Hare TSA Goes Extra Mile to Protect Environment

All too often, when it’s time to upgrade our cellphones, our old phones end up in the trash, and that’s not good for our environment. Paul Sutfin is TSA’s environmental management coordinator at O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and oversees a program to recycle or refurbish cellphones, helping to keep them out of Chicago area landfills. He also supports a program to donate voluntarily abandoned property, such as checkpoint-prohibited tools and knives, to the state of Illinois, where they are then auctioned for reuse or resale. But that’s not all! Sutfin’s commitment to the environment also extends to the celebration of America Recycling Day and Earth Day at ORD. During these events, TSA Officers and employees are able to learn about local recycling programs and ways to reduce their environmental footprint.

OSHE gives a big round of applause to all employees who are actively working to improve our environmental programs across TSA. Raising environmental awareness and retaining institutional knowledge is essential to the program’s success.

You can help in our efforts to protect the environment. One of the easiest ways to reduce the environmental impact of traveling is to leave at home any prohibited items, or recycle them prior to the screening process. If you have questions about specific items, please contact our AskTSA team on Twitter or Facebook. We’re available to answer your questions weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7p.m. ET. We also encourage you to follow us TSA on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

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