ROMEO - Romeo Engine Plant (REP) was recently presented the 2012 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Neighborhood Environmental Partner (NEP) award. Since only facilities that meet Michigan’s stringent Clean Corporate Citizen criteria can even apply for the award, NEP honorees represent an elite group.
This marks the second time REP has been recognized with a NEP award – the first time was in 2009. NEP Program awards recognize facilities, companies and their community partners who have worked together to improve the environment in their community by implementing ongoing environmental projects.
REP has been an active member of the Wildlife Habitat Council for 13 years. By enhancing the surrounding ecology through the maintenance of a Wildlife Habitat Area, REP fulfilled the NEP criteria of implementing a sustained environmental effort. In addition to supplying homes to many different species, the area provides the corridors necessary for migration and species sustainability.
The Macomb Orchard Trail is an example of what the MDEQ NEP Program stands for - an entire community working together toward a common goal. Individuals, local governments and businesses have joined together to change areas once used solely for industry into areas that provide habitat for wildlife and recreation for the general public.
Consistent with the criteria involved with the NEP, REP worked in concert with Macomb County to provide educational and mentoring opportunities. This was accomplished by providing Environmental Studies students from the University of Michigan-Dearborn the opportunity to develop career skills through internships. The interns worked with the REP’s Environmental Office and the Macomb County Office of Planning and Economic Development to build an observation platform/fishing pier over East Pond Creek. The platform is currently utilized by residents of the surrounding community and users of the trail for educational as well as recreational purposes. Since this time, representatives from REP have enhanced its environmental mentoring program to include a career day with the local high school in order to further develop the skills of the students.
"I believe that Romeo Engine Plant's environmental goals are interconnected to Ford Motor Company's economic success,” said Dennis Sparks, REP Internal Environmental auditor. “Not only does the Neighborhood Environmental Partner Program give participants the opportunity to share the triumphs involved with sustainability, it allows partners to share the burdens. By working together as a team, the entire community can be truly successful."