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SOCMA Announces Winners of 2012 Performance Improvement Awards

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) announced winners of the 2012 Performance Improvement Awards, recognizing more than 30 member facilities for their outstanding commitment to continuous improvement in environmental, health, safety, and security (EHS&S) practices.

SOCMA received a record number of awards applications in 2012, and through a month-long, double-blind selection process, the judging committee has named an outstanding group of recipients.

Performance Improvement Award Recipients recognized in four categories – Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Educational Outreach Award – will be honored, along with the Sustainability Award winner, at SOCMA’s Annual Dinner on December 10 in New York.

The 2012 Gold Performance Improvement Award will be given to two facilities: Baker Hughes' Kilgore, TX, facility and Strem Chemicals' plant in Newburyport, MA, for their efforts in exceeding standards set forth in the ChemStewards program. Strem routinely communicates program goals with employees and has established a safety inspection routine with internal audits to address problem areas. They have also installed an electronic compliance calendar, alerting employees of reports and due dates, as well as ChemStewards goals. Baker Hughes isn’t satisfied with mere compliance. It wants to be “best in class.” The facility is active in the Local Emergency Planning Committee and Economic Development Board, holds daily safety meetings and has installed a system to achieve a 95 percent reduction rate in vapor releases.

Sixteen Silver Awards will be presented to facilities showing excellence in one of the five ChemStewards Core Principles: Stakeholder Communications, Product Stewardship, EHS&S in Planning and Operations, Employee Training and Engagement, and Resource Management and Waste Minimization.

Additionally, 12 SOCMA member facilities will be awarded the Bronze Performance Improvement Award, which recognizes facilities maintaining strong EHS&S programs. SOCMA will honor BASF Corp. and Strem Chemicals Inc. with the association’s Educational Outreach Award, sponsored by the Chemical Educational Foundation. Both made exemplary efforts in expanding their school and community outreach efforts.

Dixie Chemical Co. was awarded the ChemStewards Sustainability Award for its evaluation of membrane technologies to recover material from wastewater to reduce total organic carbon and treatment costs.

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