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William K. Reilly to Receive Environmental Law Award

October 2003

Long time conservation leader William K. Reilly, currently the President and Chief Executive Officer for Aqua International Partners and Chairman of the World Wildlife Fund-US Board of directors, will receive the Environmental Law Institute’s top honor, the 2003 Environmental Law Institute Award, in a ceremony at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC on October 8, 2003. Reilly was U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator from 1989-1993. U.S. Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT) will deliver the keynote address.

The award cites Reilly for his effective leadership in a series of prominent positions in the private sector and in government. "The ELI Award is given annually to honor an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to environmental protection and exemplary public service," states ELI President, Leslie Carothers. "We are very pleased to honor Bill Reilly this year. He is a true champion of the environment and an innovator in forging better ways to protect it around the world."

"As Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the administration of President George H. W. Bush, Reilly helped break the decade long impasse in reauthorizing the Clean Air Act by negotiating the first legislation to use a "cap and trade" approach. The sulfur dioxide allowance program in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 won praise from industry, government, and environmental organizations for reducing emissions by half in only a decade with maximum efficiency and minimum regulatory enforcement. Reilly is also credited for implementing a new Federal "no net loss" of wetlands policy and moved EPA policy toward waste minimization and pollution prevention.

"At The Conservation Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund, Reilly took aim at one of the chief obstacles to sustainable development, the debt of poor countries, and pioneered "debt for nature" swaps. During his EPA tenure, Reilly headed the U.S. Delegation to the United Nation’s Conference on Environment and Development, the Earth Summit, in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. There the United States joined with many in the global community and signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change and Agenda 21, effectively launching a new era focused on sustainability. Today, working in the private sector, Reilly continues to work to improve conditions for those living in developing nations by encouraging investments in new water delivery technology.

For more information, please contact Erica Pencak at 202-939-3822 or email pencak@eli.org.