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Gov. Norm Bangerter reaffirmed the commitment he made earlier this year to protecting Utah's environment in accepting an award from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The governor received a "Superior Achievement by an Elected Official" award in Denver Wednesday during the regional EPA office's annual awards ceremony.Utahns received two of the fourteen awards handed out for excellence in environmental programs. Connie Nakahara was also honored for her technical efforts in the development of the first chemical warfare agent incinerator at the Tooele Army Depot.

Nakahara, a state environmental engineer, was coordinator and primary author of the eight-volume hazardous waste and storage permit for the depot's chemical stockpile disposal plant.

Bangerter was recognized for a number of accomplishments, including the creation of the Governor's Commission on Clean Air, helping to convince the National Governor's Association to endorse a stronger Clean Air Act and supporting laws dealing with mining and solid waste management.

In a speech delivered at the Denver ceremonies, the governor said this year he added the environment to the areas he believes need to be emphasized during his administration. While campaigning for re-election in 1988, Bangerter had stressed what he called the three "Es," education, economic development and efficiency in government.

It was increased public concern over hazardous incineration facilities in the state that prompted him to add an "E," environment, in his State of the State address.

The EPA's regional office in Denver has honored more than 160 groups and individuals since 1980.