Bell Atlantic Honors Robert Carter With Environmental Award for Clean Up of Heizer and Manila Watershed Area

Bell Atlantic Honors Robert Carter With Environmental Award for Clean Up of Heizer and Manila Watershed Area

Carter, Other Winners To Be Honored at Celebration in New York

April 27, 2000


Sharon Beadle,

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - When Robert Carter, Bell Atlantic central office technician, organized a modest cleanup effort in his new neighborhood in Poca, W.Va., three years ago, he had no idea it would lead to founding an organization that has since removed more than 530 tons of trash, initiated the clean-up of two long-neglected dioxin dumps and begun neutralizing acid-mine drainage from more than 200 abandoned coal mines.

Carter, founder and president Heizer/Manila Watershed Organization, Inc. (HMWO), will be honored by Bell Atlantic with the company's John S. Balaguer Environmental Excellence Award for establishing the HMWO and gaining the much-needed attention of government environmental agencies.

The award, which honors significant environmental achievements of Bell Atlantic suppliers and employees, will be presented at a celebration at Bell Atlantic's headquarters, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, at 10 a.m., May 4. (Members of the media are invited.)

Adnan Amin, director, of the United Nations Environment Programme, New York Office, will speak at the celebration. Amin, a Kenyan national, plays a key role in facilitating the development of international environmental policy with a particular interest in sustainable development-highlighting the links between the environment, the economy and society.

The HMWO, under Carter's direction, is also credited with community environmental education programs; highway cleanups; and distributing some 15,000 trees, several wood duck nest boxes, bat boxes and bluebird boxes to encourage the return of wildlife to the area.

"I'd like to extend my thanks and congratulations to Robert Carter, who personifies the challenge that this award represents," said Bell Atlantic Executive Director-Safety, Health & Environment Stephen Henry. "The communities we serve in West Virginia and beyond are greatly improved because of his motivation and commitment to bettering our environment."

In addition to establishing the HMWO in 1998, Carter has played a key role in getting support from the Environmental Protection Agency, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, and the West Virginia Office of Surface Mining.

"Robert has been instrumental in making things happen here," said Rick Buckley, Appalachian Cleanstream coordinator, OSM in West Virginia. "He has served as a critical conduit to outside agencies like ours, made significant personal sacrifices and is truly deserving of this award."

The John S. Balaguer Environmental Excellence Award is named in honor of the first director of Environmental Issues in the directory publishing organization, who was a pioneer in recycling phone directories. Balaguer is nationally credited with recognizing early on that environmental leadership is a corporate responsibility. This award recognizes significant environmental achievement consistent with Bell Atlantic's corporate environmental policy and is given in three categories: Bell Atlantic Supplier; Bell Atlantic Employee-Bell Atlantic Activities; and Bell Atlantic Employee-Community Activities, for which Carter is being recognized.

Carter lives in Poca with his wife Helen and daughter Marlette.

In separate announcements, Bell Atlantic named Team Energy, a 14-person employee team that worked to reduce energy usage in Bell Atlantic buildings throughout the region, as winner of the John S. Balaguer award in the Bell Atlantic Activities category. And, in the Bell Atlantic Supplier category, the company named and TransAction Associates, Inc., of Waltham, Mass., for developing an innovative commuter services program for the company in Mass. and Rhode Island.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 44 million telephone access lines and more than 20 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.