Addressing the environmental impacts on communities worldwide requires innovative and sustainable solutions guided by science. The Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) is a leading environmental policy and technology association. A&WMA’s annual conference brings environmental scientists, engineers, and regulators together to share the latest initiatives addressing communities’ environmental issues.
One of the conference highlights is the Air and Waste Environmental Challenge International (ECi) Competition. ECi gives student teams experience by proposing effective solutions to a simulated environmental problem based on real-world site conditions and events. This year’s competitors were:
Assuming the role as the new Governor of California, the student’s assignment was to choose a sustainable approach to regulate emissions from watercraft and reduce air quality impacts on port communities. Each student team described and justified their chosen program over other options.
This year’s challenge is the Bay Area, where San Francisco and Oakland have large ports with significant populations residing in portside communities. Each team’s research includes existing and proposed studies, policies, laws, and regulations related to emissions from port-related activities and their health impacts on portside communities at the federal and state level, including a critical review of California’s current regulations.
The teams presented their solution to a panel of environmental professionals at the Annual Conference this week. Judges included environmental air monitoring experts and those from specialty practices such as technology, sustainability, and regulations. Impressed with the presentations from each school – choosing the ultimate winner was challenging.
All This Suspense – Who Won?
The team from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, was selected this year. Cal Poly’s team members include Julia Loew, Ramy Wahba, Anja Cronjaeger, Marcus Lira, and Molly Foster.
Cal Poly’s solution addresses all watercraft with practical elements, including scheduling, speed, education, outreach, and technology. And to create a sustainable solution also addresses economic issues, impacts, and funding sources. The team presented their solution using an infographic (shown below), clearly presenting the path forward year after year.
We congratulate each A&WMA ECi team for their creative and thoughtful presentations. Our communities are in good hands with these soon-to-be professionals.