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Dr. Pramod Pandey Honored With California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA)

January 19, 2018

[Left to Right] Assembly member Ken Cooley, Dan Morash, Dr. Pramod Pandey

[Left to Right] Assembly member Ken Cooley, Dan Morash, Dr. Pramod Pandey

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), on behalf of Governor Brown, has presented California Safe Soil (CSS) and Dr. Pramod Pandey, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, with a Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) during a special award ceremony held on January 17, 2018 at CalEPA’s headquarters in Sacramento, California. The award was presented in recognition of public-private partnerships, and collaborative research with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for conducting research, developing technology, and demonstrating that food can be recycled in a way that protects the environment and enhances public safety.  

The annual Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award is administered by the California Environmental Protection Agency, and it is California’s highest environmental honor. The award honors individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state’s economy. The competition for award is open to all California residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, professional and trade associations, communities, state, and local government entities, tribes, and federal agencies operating in California. 

GEELA recipients are chosen from five categories including climate change, ecosystem and land use stewardship, environmental education, sustainable practices, and waste reduction. 

“This year’s GEELA recipients are demonstrating exceptional leadership in addressing some of our most significant environmental challenges,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “Whether it’s fighting climate change, conserving our water supplies or reducing waste, they inspire us with their creative and collaborative approaches. Their success expands our view of what is possible. Collectively, they are proving that a healthy environment is inextricably linked with a vibrant economy.”

Over $200 billion of food is wasted annually in America.  It is public policy in California to increase the recycling of organic biomass for improving the sustainability of agriculture. CSS has a proprietary new technology – enzymatic digestion – to do just that.  However, the problem was to prove that the food recycling into fertilizer and feed can be done safely, without foodborne pathogens. CSS worked with UC Davis Specialist (Dr. Pramod Pandey) to conduct pathogen challenge research. Outcomes of the research were promising, and consequently CDFA granted a license for the technology for facilitating the introduction of an effective new food recycling technology to the state of California, and the nation. 

“We are extremely honored and proud to be one of the select awardees of the 2017 GEELA Award, in partnership with CDFA and the state of California” said Dan Morash, Founder of CSS, & Pramod Pandey, faculty at UC Davis Vet Med School.  Dr. Pandey’s research, which was published in a peer-reviewed journal, proved definitively that the new CSS method for recycling organic food waste into fertilizer and feed is based on robust science and technology”, adds Dan Morash. Further, Dan and Pramod thank Dr. Annette Jones and Dr. Douglas Hepper at CDFA, and Dr. Bart Weimer and Dr. Glenn Young, subject matter experts at UC Davis, for helping formulate the pathogen challenge test which provided the scientific results needed to allow CDFA to issue an operating license for CSS. “It is a very fruitful example of Public/Private Partnership between CSS, CDFA, and UC Davis,” said Dan and Pramod.