The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) was recently recognized during the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) Annual Conference for two Agency programs/initiatives: "Excellence in Innovations and Resiliency" for the IEUA and Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA) Battery and Solar Project and "Organizational Excellence" for IEUA's Operations and Maintenance Intern/Volunteer Trades Program.

The "Excellence in Innovations and Resiliency" award recognizes efforts in the innovative application of technology or the development of new technology to the wastewater field (collection, treatment, wastewater and biosolids recycling, and renewable energy production). The IEUA and IERCA Battery and Solar Project is comprised of a battery storage system that is integrated with on-site solar and wind generation technologies to optimize renewable power and reduce facility energy demand and costs.

"This technology is considered highly innovative and increases overall reliance," said IEUA Vice President and CASA Board Secretary/Treasurer Jasmin A. Hall, who represents Fontana. "By utilizing mostly on-site renewable energy sources to charge the battery storage system and discharge the energy during peak times, IEUA is optimizing the use of renewable power and reducing demand in imported energy, making IEUA less dependent on the utility provider."

The "Organizational Excellence" award recognizes excellence in managing an agency's division, unit, or process with a focus on leadership/management practices, change management, strategies that promote organizational sustainability, organizational development, staffing resource utilization, labor relations, employee mentoring and development programs, or related subjects. The Operations and Maintenance Intern/Volunteer Trades Program provides trade school and college students the opportunity to explore a wide range of career paths within the Operations and Maintenance Department.

"IEUA's Trades Program provides opportunities for students to enhance their classroom learning by obtaining practical real-world work experience. The program supplements academic curriculum and enhances future career development. This program also offers the educational benefit of meeting experience requirements for industry certifications," said Hall. "IEUA is a leader in innovation and continues to develop projects and programs that plan for the future. It is an honor to be recognized."

For more than 60 years, CASA has served as a voice for clean water agencies on regulatory, legislative and legal issues. CASA is the leading California association dedicated to advancing wastewater interests, including the recycling of wastewater into usable water, generation of renewable energy, biosolids and other valuable resources.

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