From left, Sen. Dawn Euer, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio and Rep. Lauren H. Carson with their Clean Water Association Legislator of the Year awards.

The Rhode Island Clean Water Association has honored House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio, Rep. Lauren H. Carson, and Sen. Dawn Euer as its 2022 Legislators of the Year.

The award recognizes outstanding legislative contributions to ensuring clean water for Rhode Island, according to a press release from the Rhode Island General Assembly.

Speaker Shekarchi, President Ruggerio, Representative Carson, and Senator Euer were honored for their work on the landmark Act on Climate (2021-S 0078A2021-H 5445A), legislation enacted last year to create an enforceable commitment to reduce all climate emissions from transportation, buildings, heating, and electricity in Rhode Island to net zero by 2050.

Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) and Senator Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) were honored for sponsoring the legislation, and Speaker Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and President Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) were honored for their leadership in its passage.

“The Rhode Island Clean Water Association created the Clean Water Legislator of the Year Award to recognize all the hard work involved in getting substantial, effective legislation enacted in support of the water environment. The 2022 awards recognize the sponsors of the Act on Climate. Climate legislation is clean water legislation, as our facilities are dealing with rising sea levels, flooding and storm impacts. Our members hope to play a major role in achieving the greenhouse gas reduction goals established in the Act on Climate,” said RICWA President Peter J. Connell in a statement.

The award was announced during the Rhode Island Clean Water Legislative Summit, held on March 31 at the State House. Speaker Shekarchi and President Ruggerio spoke, along with Terrence Gray, acting director of the Department of Environmental Management; Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank Executive Director & CEO Jeffrey Diehl; Narragansett Bay Commission Executive Director Laurie Horridge; and Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council Executive Director Alicia Lehrer. U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse spoke via video.

Established in 1952, the Rhode Island Clean Water Association (RICWA), formerly the Narragansett Water Pollution Control Association (NWPCA), is a nonprofit organization created to promote the advancement of knowledge concerning the nature, collection, treatment, and disposal of domestic and industrial wastewaters.