for the 2023 Environmental Achievement Awards

To submit your nomination for this year’s Environmental Achievement Award, please click here.

Every year, the EMA hosts our annual Environmental Achievement Awards ceremony.
This event gives us the opportunity to acknowledge, recognize, and award those in the environmental industry for their outstanding efforts in the forward progression for environmental sustainability and change in three ways: student scholarships, individual/company achievement awards, and as introduced in 2018 an individual legend award



The Environmental Achievement Award is awarded to someone who has gone above and beyond in their work within the environmental industry.

This year we honored Dawn D. New-Echlin, Vice President of Commercial Sales at Cirba Solutions. Heading into 2020, our members voted Dawn (of then Battery Solutions) for her work not only in battery recycling, but her tenure in recycling at large. In her career in environmental she’s been in the PCB contaminated sewer lines of Detroit Water and Sewer, the top of the Cat Cracker at Marathon Refinery, and in the pigeon poop-filled attics of Detroit Public Schools; all with the same intention: to get closest to the source of the problem so she could be the greatest advocate for the solution.


Dawn’s skill set started in recycling with BestWay Recycling in 1991 and moved through industrial services, hazardous and liquid waste management, garage hauling, household hazardous waste programming, and finally full circle back to commodity recycling. In 2019, she was a representative broker for GLR Solutions for Fiber Commodities and a managing partner for New Dawn Solutions for plastics and other materials when she was asked to be the EMA’s inaugural enviroCHAT guest speaker. Leading a discussion on the Michigan Recycling Coalition’s efforts in highlighting opportunities for businesses and communities to reduce waste costs and maximize value from recycling programs, her deep-rooted passion and commitment to the environmental space left everyone inspired to do their part in helping the cause. Later that year Dawn invited the EMA Board of Directors for a tour of the Battery Solutions facility in Wixom, showcasing their work being at the forefront of battery recycling technology.


Fast forward to 2022 and it unanimous that Dawn deserves the recognition tenfold. From her continued work with the Michigan Recycling Coalition, to her fresh appointment as a Board Member of Suppliers Partnership for the Environment, to the incredible strides she has led in circular economy strategies for battery recycling with Cirba Solutions, to being such an inspiring woman in leadership, we thank and recognize Dawn for all her continued efforts in the environmental sphere and the continuous good she puts into this world.


Our Legend of the Environmental Industry award aims to recognize individuals for their longstanding positive impact and achievements within the environmental industry. Their demonstrations of forward progression in the push towards environmental change for their accomplished excellence during their tenure are evaluated in five core areas: leadership, innovation, commitment, collaboration, and education.

This year we honored James Doetsch posthumously, his son Bill Doetsch accepting on his behalf.

James Doetsch began his career as a plumber, an area of expertise with a grand tenure in the Doetsch lineage. Since the late 1890s, the Doetsch name has been synonymous with high quality, professional industrial inspection cleaning services across various sectors of within the environmental sphere. In the late 1970s the family introduced hydraulic sewer cleaning to Michigan by use of its jet/vac combination machines. The technology dramatically elevated sewer cleaning to a new level and made cleaning sewers efficient, fast and safe. This rapidly prompted the identification of many other applications for jet/vac technology, and with the expansion of services to industrial applications that could benefit from high water pressure and vacuum. In 1981, James became the first president of what was known as Doetsch Industrial Services, the company becoming the premier contractor in its market to offer customers the latest innovations and technologies. He maintained this position until his retirement in 2006. With over a hundred years in the industry, the Doetsch name carries an important weight in the environmental industry, one that will continue for generations to come.

The EMA recognized in memoriam past EMA President Walter “Wally” Pociask, Inaugural Legend Award recipient David Usher of Marine Pollution Control, longtime EMA member Michael Usher of Usher Oil, and 2019 Legend Award recipient Richard “Willy” Williams of Inland Waters Pollution Control

In March, members of the EMA volunteer their time to partake in judging the environmental science category of the Science & Engineering Fair of Metro-Detroit. Based on our own judging measures that are similar to the official SEFMD criteria, we evaluate students based on their scientific thought, thoroughness, skill, clarity, and most importantly, creative ability. A student’s ideas and creative outlook on their science fair project speaks on how the future generations view our world and environmental issues from a different perspective.
The 2022 March Science Fair was 100% virtual, with judges evaluating projects based on recorded student presentations and submitted documentation. Thanks to the support and generosity of EMA members and supporters, we were able to award FOUR well-deserving students for their projects over the summer with their awards mailed to them. Congratulations to all our winners!!

[  Salem High School  ]

Optimal Design & Development of a Photovoltaic Panel

[  Detroit Country Day  ]

A Comparison of Rock Salt Versus Pet-Safe De-Icers on Plant Growth

[  International Academy – East Campus  ]

Cooling Cities: Investigating Different Urban Surfaces & Their Impacts on the Urban Heat Island Effect

[  Troy High School  ]

Drought Affects Mangrove Recovery Patterns Following Hurricane Irma

THANK YOU to all of this year’s event sponsors – your support is what helps enable us to make this event as truly special as it is