On July 29, 2021, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) presented Washington State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon with the Leon G. Billings Environmental Achievement Award. The award was announced at NCEL’s eighth annual National Forum, which took place online July 29-30. The forum had more than 190 attendees from 37 states.
“It is an honor to receive an award named after Leon G. Billings,” said Fitzgibbon. “As the founder of the National Caucus of Environmental Leaders and a longtime environmental leader in Maryland, Delegate Billings set a shining example of what it means to constantly strive to protect our climate and environment. I have long been proud to work with NCEL to share policies and strategies for a cleaner environment with legislators across all 50 states and am grateful for NCEL’s work and recognition of our hard work here in Washington.”
NCEL annually presents its Environmental Achievement Award to state legislators in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments on environmental issues. Criteria includes bipartisan support for awardee’s legislation and the impact of policies that they passed.
Representative Joe Fitzgibbon was selected for the award by the NCEL Board of Directors, most of whom are state legislators. He is recognized for his emissions reduction work including being the primary sponsor of enacted bills to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons and create a low carbon fuel standard, alongside his work championing Washington’s nation leading climate bill as chair of the House Environment and Energy Committee.
NCEL Executive Director Jeff Mauk highlighted the role Representative Fitzgibbon has as a leader within the Caucus.
“As a dedicated environmental champion and NCEL member, Representative Fitzgibbon embodies NCEL’s mission,” said Mauk. “He has worked relentlessly to ensure cleaner air and a more stable climate for Washington’s communities. His bold legislative ambition and role in passing some of the nation’s strongest climate legislation this year serve as examples for legislators across the country.”
The NCEL Board of Directors named the Environmental Achievement Award as a memorial to the organization’s founder, former Maryland Delegate Leon G. Billings, who first organized NCEL in 1996. Billings is also widely known as the U.S. Senate staffer responsible for writing the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act in the 1970s.
Created by and for state legislators, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that organizes over 1,000 environmentally-committed state legislators from all 50 states and both parties. NCEL provides venues and opportunities for lawmakers to share ideas and collaborate on environmental issues.