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EPA, state honor middle school students

JERICHO — A group of seventh graders were honored by state and federal environmental officials for their work in advocating for a statewide ban on bus idling.

Vermont Natural Resources Secretary George Crombie and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) New England Administrator Robert Varney honored the students at the Browns River Middle School.

Varney announced the award of a nearly $200,000 grant that will equip more than two dozen buses with a combination of advanced pollution control technology.

"Through your year-long commitment to making your school and your state a better place, you all understand the importance of Vermont's natural environment, and you have seen first-hand the differences you can make when you work together," said Crombie. "I'm proud of you for your initiative, and for acting to make changes that will no doubt lead to a cleaner and sustainable environment in the future."

The students are part of the Sustainability is Our Mission group, and, through education and lobbying efforts, they were able to cut the amount of solid waste generated at Brown's River and increase recycling in the school community. They also decided to tackle school bus idling, taking their message to Montpelier earlier this year in an appearance before lawmakers.

The students’ lobbying efforts did not result in a new law, but their activities generated statewide interest in the topic of bus idling, state officials said, and came as the EPA was awarding a round of clean school bus grants to Vermont and other New England states.

"Fleet by fleet, we are eliminating the black puff of diesel smoke that Vermont's school children are exposed to," Varney said. "EPA's grant money will help reduce harmful fine particle emissions by 20 to 40 percent."

Mount Snow purchase completed

ST. LOUIS — Peak Resorts announced today the completion of the purchase of Mount Snow and Attitash resorts from American Skiing Company.

The sale agreement, originally announced Feb. 16, includes all properties and assets of Mount Snow and Attitash resorts, for a purchase price of $73.5 million. In addition, Peak Resorts assumed approximately $2 million in debt and other liabilities related to the resorts.

"We are very excited to welcome these two fine resorts to the Peak group," said Tim Boyd, president of Peak Resorts. "Both resorts have talented management teams and a proud tradition; we look forward to working with the resorts and local partners to build a strong future for both areas."

Season pass products for the 2007-2008 season and other issues related to the transition are being reviewed, according to Boyd. Announcements will be forthcoming when details are finalized.

Peak Resorts operates 11 ski areas and 2 golf courses in 6 states. Peak Resorts Inc. is committed to building an enhanced resort experience at each of their properties, officials said.

Posted April 5, 2007

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