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New York Times Reporter Receives Honorary Feinstone Award

Reporters from California and Michigan take honors in competitive category

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)  presented the 2007 Sol Feinstone Environmental Awards Sept. 13 to New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin and two other journalists whose work helped lead to the improvement of environmental problems.

Revkin, who has spent 25 years covering subjects ranging from Hurricane Katrina to climate change at the North Pole, received the honorary Feinstone Award.

The first-place recipient in the competitive category was John Upton, who wrote a series of stories about an air pollution permit that had been awarded to federal weapons researchers in California. Upton’s work was published in the Tracy Press of Tracy, Calif.

The second-place recipient was Jeff Kart, whose stories about pollution in a freshwater marsh were published in the Bay City Times in Bay City, Mich.

The competitive category this year was for journalists whose work highlighted a local environmental issue and led to improvement of that issue. Journalists at newspapers with a circulation of less than 100,000 were eligible to participate.

Upton wrote about an air pollution permit that had been awarded to federal weapons researchers in California. He reported that the permit allowed the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to triple the size of open-air military test blasts at the Superfund-listed explosives test site. Air pollution regulators now plan to hold community meetings to discuss the lab’s proposal and more studies are planned on the tests’ impacts.

Kart’s subject was Tobico Marsh, considered one of the finest freshwater marshes in the Great Lakes region. His work uncovered information about a landfill that was leaking into the marsh and led to cleanup efforts.

The award dinner featured remarks and a book signing by Revkin, author of The Burning Season, which chronicles the life of Chico Mendes, the slain leader of the movement to save the Amazon rain forest; and The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World, the first account of global and Arctic climate change written for the whole family.

The award is named for ESF alumnus Sol Feinstone a member of ESF’s Class of 1915, who was a widely known historian and author. He established the awards program to honor people and organizations that exemplified his belief that the best insurance for a free society lay in people’s desire to do voluntarily the things that need to be done for the good of all.