EBC PRESS RELEASE: Block Island Wind Receives 2017 EBC Outstanding Technology Award

The Environmental Business Council of New England Announces Environmental and Energy Industry Winners of the 24th Annual EBEE Awards

Press Release Contact:
Daniel K. Moon
Executive Director, EBCNE
(617) 262-4050
[email protected]


May 26, 2017 – Boston, MA – The Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) is pleased to announce that the Block Island Wind project is the recipient of the 2017 EBC Ira W. Leighton, Jr. Outstanding Environmental – Energy Technology Achievement Award.

The 5-turbine Block Island Wind Farm, located roughly three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I., is America’s first offshore wind farm and has jumpstarted the U.S. offshore wind industry. The wind farm began operations in December 2016 and, at 30 megawatts, produces enough energy to power roughly 17,000 Rhode Island homes.

Each year, the EBC recognizes companies, organizations and individuals for outstanding environmental and energy accomplishments in the promotion of a sustainable, clean environment through the EBEE Awards Celebration. These awards were established by the EBC to encourage companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and environmental professionals to serve as models for others to emulate and, in doing so, further the mission and objectives of the EBC.

This award, established by resolution of the Board of Directors on January 15, 2014, recognizes the significant contribution made by Ira Leighton and will be awarded, annually, to an organization or individual(s) for developing  or applying innovative technologies  to  solve problems  or advance the state of the art in the environmental – energy sector. This award will go to “difference makers” because Ira was a difference maker.

Ira Leighton (1945 – 2013) was among the first employees hired at the EPA Boston office in 1972 when the agency was in its infancy. He then went on to meritoriously serve New England and the nation, at EPA, for the next 41 years. As a career civil servant and senior EPA leader, working out of the Region One office in Boston, he made positive impacts on the lives of countless New Englanders and citizens across the United States. His vision helped shape EPA’s reliance on sound science and legal integrity into effective policies to protect the health of all Americans from pollution in the air, water and land.

Ira started working for the U.S. EPA’s Boston office as an engineer, after working at the state and municipal levels. During the 1970’s and 80’s, he worked on solid waste management issues and then on contaminated site clean ups. He was pivotal in shaping EPA’s Superfund program in New England following the 1980 passage of the Superfund law.

In the 1990’s, Ira managed EPA Region One’s enforcement efforts. He fostered an integrated approach, providing assisting regulated entities in understanding environmental obligations and then followed with measured enforcement actions against those that did not comply. For his last 13 years at EPA he served as the Deputy Regional Administrator – the senior career official – in EPA’s Region One office, overseeing the Agency’s panoply of programs throughout New England.

The Block Island Wind project will be honored at the Annual EBEE Awards Celebration on June 8 at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.


The Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) was established in 1990 by environmental and energy company executives who began meeting on a regular basis to exchange ideas and share experiences. The EBC was the first organization in the United States established to support and foster the development of the environmental industry.  The goal of the EBC is to enhance business and job growth of both established and emerging environmental and energy businesses.  For more information, please contact Ann Gisinger at (617) 505-1818 or [email protected]