Class of 1978
National EPA Award
PHILADELPHIA (June 19, 2008) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency presented the Edward T. “Red” Heinen Wetlands Award to
Wetlands Scientist Jeff Lapp, of Hilltown, Pa., at a joint national
meeting of the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers in San Diego on May
The award, named after a highly respected leader from the
formative years of EPA’s wetlands program, was established by Dave
Davis, former director of EPA's Office of Wetlands Protection. It is
presented annually to the person in EPA's regional wetlands program
who best exemplifies the high standards and personal dedication to
wetlands protection that characterized Red’s years with EPA's
wetlands program. It acknowledges those special people who are a
source of inspiration to others in the program, and whose work and
attitude best contribute to our environmental and public service
Lapp, who has worked at EPA for 19 years, plays an important role
in the mid-Atlantic region.
“Wetlands protection has become Jeff’s passion and the entire
wetlands program relies on him for his expertise, his historical
knowledge and the relationships he has developed with the Army Corp
of Engineers and his wetlands counterparts with state agencies,” said
Randy Pomponio, director of the regional Environmental Assessment and
Lapp started out at EPA as an inspector working with EPA attorneys
to investigate potential enforcement cases. And now he is involved
with all areas of wetlands protection. He reviews and comments on
public notices, participates in mountaintop mining decisions, helps
draft and issue legal agreements, tracks data on wetlands and stream
impacts as well as restoration, compensation and mitigation. He also
collaborates with other regional scientists to develop storm water
enforcement policies. Two years ago, he was appointed to oversee the
region’s oceans program, which includes monitoring ocean waste
disposal, preparing trend reports and providing input to the National
Coastal Condition Report.
EPA Wetlands Expert Wins Prestigious Award
In addition to his official duties, Lapp is the volunteer
coordinator of EPA’s annual exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show,
winning many Best in Show awards in the process. When the former
coordinator retired four years ago, Jeff, took over as exhibit
manager. Not only does Jeff coordinate and direct the actual
construction of the exhibit, he grows many of the plants and flowers
for the exhibit in his green house at home, a year round endeavor,
and truly a labor of love.
Lapp, who graduated from Emmaus High School in 1978, received a
bachelor’s degree in marine science from Kutztown University of
Pennsylvania in 1982.
Lapp said that this award is an affirmation of the hard work and
dedication that everyone in the wetlands program brings to their
jobs. “I think that a belief in an ideal and dedication to improving
the health of the planet has merit,” Lapp said. “Receiving this award
is the greatest compliment and highest honor I can think of.”
EPA’s mid-Atlantic region includes Pennsylvania, Delaware,
Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
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