Front Porch Blog

Bragging on Blacksburg

I just have to take a minute to brag on the town where I live, beautiful Blacksburg, Virginia, one of the finest mountain towns in Appalachia. Blacksburg has been recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the first town in the nation to join a new environmental program called the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities. Towns that sign on partner with the EPA to conserve resources and reduce waste, with a focus on 31 toxic chemicals that are especially dangerous to human health. According to the EPA’s press release,

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh has recognized the town of Blacksburg for being the first municipality in the country to enroll in the voluntary National Partnership for Environmental Priorities. The program challenges businesses and manufacturers to become more environmentally aware and to adopt a resource conservation ethic that results in less waste, more recycling, and more environmentally-sound products.

The Town of Blacksburg has demonstrated its progressive environmental leadership in the past, but today a bigger challenge has been met, Welsh said. By enrolling in this national program, the town of Blacksburg serves as a model for other cities and towns across the country by addressing chemical risks within the community and increasing the conservation of resources.

Some of the steps Blacksburg will take include encouraging recyling of flourescent lights that contain mercury and rechargable batteries (such as those found in cell phones) that contain cadmium.

The press release continues,

Blacksburg also has agreed to form a collaborative partnership with groups representing all aspects of the community, including citizen groups, businesses, government, academic institutions, and non-profits, called Sustainable Blacksburg. The voluntary partnership the town has created has a mission to develop a collaborative network that works to create a greener community.

Partnership members will participate in the development and implementation of programs to reduce resource usage, recycle materials, and create re-use initiatives. Partners will work with the community to provide outreach, educational assistance and raise awareness.

Congratualtions Blacksburg! Here’s hoping other mountain towns will follow your fine example.

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