For immediate release:

Moscow, Idaho 18 May 2011 - Idaho environmental engineering firm TerraGraphics has received a humanitarian award from the United Nations for its promotion of environmental clean-up methodologies in developing countries.

The Green Star Awards, a joint initiative between the U.N. Environment Programme and Green Cross International, recognize those who have made remarkable efforts to prevent, prepare for and respond to environmental emergencies around the world. They are given every two years in association with U.N. reviews of its environmental programs.

Most recently, Moscow-based TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering’s project in Nigeria helped relieve an epidemic of lead poisoning, especially among children, in Zamfara state, a remote area of northwestern Nigeria. Part of a joint research effort with the Environmental Science Program at the University of Idaho to design cleanup methods for use in developing countries, the project is based on the company’s 30-year experience assisting the state of Idaho in cleaning up the Bunker Hill smelter Superfund site at Kellogg, Idaho. TerraGraphics, in collaboration with other organizations, has undertaken five major projects of this nature in developing countries, including Senegal, the Dominican Republic, Far East Russia, and China.

In Zamfara, TerraGraphics -- in partnership with Blacksmith Institute of New York, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Doctors without Borders, and state and local governments -- removed and replaced hazardous soil from more than more than 400 residential compounds housing more than 10,000 villagers. Contamination resulted from small-scale gold mining and processing conducted within people’s homes. Between 400 and 500 children younger than 5 years died within six months before the project’s start.

The cleanup not only provided relief from continuing contamination, but it enabled children to receive clinical help from Doctors without Borders and return to safe homes. About 3,000 children are now under treatment, but another 3,500 await help because the program was suspended in March due to funding restraints and the potential for political unrest associated with Nigeria’s April presidential election.

“We’re honored by this award, but we should recognize that the actual cleanup was performed by state and local governments and the village residents, who humbled us with their graciousness, hospitality and hard work,” said Dr. Ian von Lindern, co-founder of TerraGraphics. “This is the clean-up model that was used at the Bunker Hill site in Kellogg, where state and local governments hired Silver Valley contractors and citizens to restore their own communities.”

In all, 19 TerraGraphics employees, 11 of them University of Idaho graduates, spent one to nine months living and working in conservative Muslim villages at the edge of the Sahara Desert.

For further information, contact Ian von Lindern at:

TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering, Inc.
121 S. Jackson St., Moscow, Idaho 83843
Phone: 208-882-7858 | Fax: 208-883-3785