Potomac News Online | Manassas receives environmental award

The City of Manassas has received an environmental accolade for the second year in a row. The city won the 2003 Businesses of the Bay Award for its water treatment plant on Glenkirk Road in Nokesville.

“Businesses of the Bay is a great program and it’s a nice way to reward localities for positive efforts instead of always coming with a negative approach,” said Kim Hosen, Director of the Prince William Conservation Alliance.

The water treatment plant, located on the 880-acre Lake Manassas, provides drinking water to approximately 100,000 residents in the Manassas area. It employs 15 people, operating 365 days a year and pumping out 14 million gallons of drinking water daily.

In September of 2002, the city’s Maintenance Garage received an E-3 certification from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The garage services approximately 500 vehicles and equipment, including city school buses, public safety vehicles, heavy equipment and public works and utilities vehicles.

Manassas was the first municipality in the state to win the prestigious environmental quality award, according to Public Works Director Mike Moon, and he said receiving the E-3 spurred the Chesapeake Bay program’s recognition. Moon can also personally attest to the maintenance garage’s cleanliness, because his office is at the Public Works Drive location.

“I can say personally that the guy running the garage is ex-military, and he keeps it running like no other maintenance garage,” Moon said.

Moon said Richard Hill, the city’s safety manager, was also instrumental in setting the environmental standard for the water treatment plant and the maintenance garage, which borders the City of Manassas Park.

Residents behind the maintenance garage on Forrest and Cabbel Drives in Manassas Park don’t seem to mind its presence.

“I have no problems with it,” said Oscar Garcia, a Forrest Drive resident. “It doesn’t bother me at all.”

Joey Phelan, who lives on Cabbel, said any noise from the facility is muffled by the woods, and he thinks his neighbors are content with the garage. Sometimes having it nearby is even an advantage.

“If anything its better because Virginia Department of Transportation shares the facilities, and they have their sand there,” Phelan said. “We get our streets cleaned up quicker.”

Hosen, an advocate for environmental issues in the county, said she congratulates the city “for taking some significant steps in the right direction to protect the Potomac River watershed and the Chesapeake Bay.”

She said positive recognition provides incentives for other businesses and municipalities to follow the lead of communities like Manassas.

“The Chesapeake Bay is not going to be cleaned up if everybody doesn’t participate,” Hosen said. “and a lot of good things are happening.”

Staff writer Sari Krieger can be reached at (703) 369-6751.

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