The John de Gonzague Memorial Pollution Prevention Visionary Award recognizes individuals who inspire and achieve excellence in advancing pollution prevention. First awarded at the 2007 Canadian Pollution Prevention Roundtable, the annual award was presented at this year's Sustainability Applied 2011 Gala in Windsor, Ontario on the evening of June 9. The recipient has had an outstanding impact on the vision and implementation of pollution prevention strategies, programs, projects and partnerships.
Congratulations to the 2011 Award recipient, Joanne Di Caro, Manager, Environmental Monitoring & Protection, City of Toronto. Joanne graduated from the University of Toronto with two bachelor degrees (Geology and Environmental Science), and has since worked serving the public interest at both the municipal and provincial levels for over 20 years. Joanne started as a municipal inspector assistant sampling industrial effluent for bylaw enforcement, then joined the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE), creating policy and program to regulate industrial discharges to municipal sewer systems, and developing best management practices (BMPs) for pollution prevention in photo finishing, dry cleaning, laundry, vehicle repair and car washes. With the City of Toronto, Joanne created Canada's first residential swimming pool BMP in the Sewer Use bylaw, outlining requirements for Chlorine and saltwater pool discharges. She is now leading and directing the City of Toronto's Pollution Prevention Program. Among many other benefits, this program has dramatically reduced the heavy metals content of the City of Toronto's sludge which makes it more amenable for beneficial reuse on agricultural lands, and the City's leading edge Sewer Use bylaw is an excellent example leading other municipalities to consider incorporating pollution prevention in their bylaws.
The award was established in memory of John de Gonzague, a true pioneer in pollution prevention (P2) at Environment Canada's National Office of Pollution Prevention. John was actively involved in the early work of defining what P2 is, creating tools that helped establish it as a key component of environmental protection, promoting P2 through other government departments and sharing Canada's P2 experiences internationally. Read more about the previous year winners HERE.
The nominees must be Canadian environmental professionals who have demonstrated personal and professional commitment in advancing pollution prevention principles for a period of at least five years in the following areas:
- Setting vision and direction for pollution prevention strategies
- Leading and directing pollution prevention programs
- Implementing pollution prevention projects
- Collaborating with local, national or international partners to further pollution prevention ideals