President Clinton and Vice President Gore are strongly committed to a safe, clean environment and have challenged us to strive for excellence as we work to strengthen our communities and keep America moving. They have set a high standard, and our customers expect a lot from transportation agencies -- Federal, State, and local. As you'll see in the following pages, we deliver.
Consistently, our customers tell us they want a balance between mobility and environmental protection and enhancement. Frequently, they echo the sentiments of Transportation Secretary Slater as they remind us they want transportation to improve their quality of life -- to increase safety, to expand economic opportunities, and to create more livable communities. Always, they ask to be involved in transportation decisionmaking that affects their lives.
The winning partners, projects, and processes in this year's Environmental Excellence Awards competition have helped meet these customer needs. They have excelled in categories ranging from "air quality improvement" to "environmental research" to "community livability" to "wetlands and other ecosystems."
In this booklet, you will read about the winning entries to be honored on Earth Day 1999, an ideal day to celebrate environmental excellence. An independent panel of judges selected the winners from among 121 nominations submitted by 35 States.
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 enabled the success of these winning projects. The new Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century supports environmental initiatives that will continue our commitment to protecting the environment and improving our quality of life while at the same time meeting America's growing transportation needs.
To the winners and the nominees, congratulations. I invite everyone to join them as we work together to build on their success. As we move into a new century and a new millennium, these winning efforts -- and others like them -- will help all of us in transportation to meet our goal of protecting and enhancing our environment.
Kenneth R. Wykle