News & Events

FORMER DEP SUPERVISOR EARNS R. EMMET DOHERTY CLEAN AIR AWARD

Monday, June 29, 2009

BETHLEHEM -- The LehighValley/Berks County Air Quality Partnership, the American Lung Association of Pennsylvania and Woman’s Club of Allentown today presented the 38th R. Emmet Doherty Clean Air Award to Ron Mordosky, former DEP Air Quality Program supervisor, during a ceremony June 23 in Bethlehem.

“Ron has long been committed to improving air quality in the Lehigh Valley and promoting the efforts of the Air Quality Partnership to educate residents about how they can reduce air pollution,” said Keith Williams, chairperson of the Lehigh Valley/Berks County Air Quality Partnership. “His many years of service to the Commonwealth, his dedication to enforcing Pennsylvania’s air quality laws and regulations and his enthusiastic volunteer support of the Air Quality Partnership of Lehigh Valley/Berks County make him a very worthy recipient of this year’s R. Emmet Doherty Clean Air Award.”

The Clean Air Award recognizes the efforts of a local business, organization or individual for improving air quality in the greater Lehigh Valley region. First presented in 1970, the award is named in honor of R. Emmet Doherty, a former director of the Lehigh Valley Pollution Control District who monitored air quality and championed air pollution reduction during his 19 years of service.

Ron started his career with the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) in 1972. He was part of a small staff responsible for protecting air quality in the Lehigh Valley. In 1973, he became the valley's first state Air Quality Specialist handling Lehigh and Northampton counties, responsible for handling air quality issues for facilities such as Bethlehem Steel, area cement plants, power plants and the valley's textile mills. Over the next 20 years, Ron played an integral role in ensuring that valley facilities were in compliance with state regulations.

His work is reflected in the improved air quality in the region over the years. He worked personally with R. Emmet Doherty to improve compliance with Pennsylvania’s air quality regulations throughout the Lehigh Valley. In 1993, Ron became the Air Quality District Supervisor covering Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon and Monroe counties responsible for five staff. During that time, he saw the re-organization of DER to the Department of Environmental Protection and the formation of the original Lehigh Valley Ozone Action Partnership. Ron was one of the original board members of the ozone partnership.

Over the years, he spent many hours promoting the mission of the partnership and participating in many of the educational events including the Ride Free on Ozone Action Days Program, the Reading Phillies partnership promotional events, many of Bethlehem City’s Earthday Festivals, the WFMZ-TV ozone-free barbecues and bringing life to the 'Coach Ozone' character.

Ron retired from the Department in 2004. He continues to volunteer his time throughout the community. He spends his free time traveling with his wife Cathy and old friends, making new friends along the way.

Do you know an organization or individual deserving of next year's award? Nominate them here!

The Lehigh Valley/Berks County Air Quality Partnership is a coalition of individuals, businesses, governments and community groups that educates the public about the dangers of ground-level ozone and particulate matter, and encourages people to take voluntary actions to reduce their contributions to air pollution.

The partnership, in conjunction with WFMZ-TV and other valley media, disseminates information about “Ozone Action Days,” or days when the air is expected to be unhealthy to breathe. Using DEP meteorological data, the partnership informs people about the predicted ozone levels and any precautions that need to be taken. In addition, the partnership and DEP are disseminating daily forecasts on air pollution caused by particulate matter, commonly called PM 2.5.

Ground-level ozone, a key component of smog, is formed when pollution from vehicles, industry, consumer products and power plants “bakes” in the hot, summer sun, making it difficult for some people to breathe. Particulate matter, which is airborne dust or small soot particles, can also cause health problems for children or the elderly with respiratory problems, as well as the general population.

For additional information on air quality issues, visit the department’s Web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us, DEP Keyword: “Air Quality,” or go directly to the partnership’s homepage at http://www.dep.state.pa.us/aq_apps/aqpartners/default.asp. The Partnership has also developed a Web site for detailed activities and cross links to other air quality related sites at www.lvbcair.org.