Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

   C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E

         Contact: Joe Agnello (412) 925-5462                                        October 1, 1996


        HARRISBURG -- Two employees of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are among those who will be honored Wednesday with Vice President Al Gore's Hammer Award during a 1:30 P.M. ceremony at the State Capitol.
        David E. Zazworsky, P.E., a Special Assistant to the Turnpike Commissioners, and David Willis, Environmental Manager for the Turnpike, will be among those lauded for streamlining the process of advancing two of the four component projects of the Mon-Fayette Expressway in Western Pennsylvania through the federal environmental process.
        The Hammer Award gives recognition to teams who have made significant contributions in support of the President's National Performance Review principles. Those principles include putting customers first, cutting red tape, empowering employees and getting back to basics.
        Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin said, "Not only has time and money been saved as a result of their efforts, but the public will benefit from an earlier completion of the project and from the environmental benefits engineered by the team."
        The management team, called the NEPA/404 Process Merger Team, was chaired by Zazworsky and steered the two now-under-construction Mon-Fayette Expressway projects through Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. The team used an integrated planning process for compliances required under the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and permit approvals required in Section 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act of 1977.
        This successful strategy by the NEPA/404 Merger Process Team was officially identified in the Hammer Award nomination submitted May 8, 1996 by Col. Randall R. Inouye, P.E. of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Baltimore District). The strategy produced all necessary NEPA/404 approvals within 23 months for a 17-mile expressway that will link Interstate 70 in Washington County with PA Route 51 in Allegheny County, and within 27 months for a 12-mile expressway that will link Interstate 68 near Morgantown, West Virginia with PA 43 in Fayette County.
        An August 1994 U.S. General Accounting Office report found that it takes an average of 5.6 years for major transportation projects of this type to clear the NEPA and Section 404 approval.
        In an analysis released in July 1995 by McCormick, Taylor & Associates, net savings were pegged at $51.8 million and $21.2 million respectively after additional costs associated with the process were subtracted from the estimated construction savings. Construction savings assumed a three-percent annual inflation rate and were based on cost estimates at the time of the FEIS for each project.
        "Our merger process team showed that you can save time and public dollars without shortchanging critically important environmental reviews," said Durbin. "A key to this success was the fact that individual team members were empowered by their agencies to make decisions on behalf of that agency at the various coordination meetings."
        Zazworsky has served the Turnpike Commission since June 8, 1992 as a Special Assistant to the Commissioners. Employed by PENNDOT for 30 years, Zazworksy is a former Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration and also served with PENNDOT for many years as an engineer in District 2, headquartered in Clearfield County. Willis, employed by the Turnpike for nearly nine years, has extensive experience in environmental analysis related to transportation projects, coal mining and reclamation and flood control. He was instrumental in the NEPA/404 Process, coordinating the evaluation of technical studies in such areas as archeology, wetlands, wildlife habitat, water quality and hazardous waste.
        In addition to the Turnpike Commission and PENNDOT, other agencies recognized include the Federal Highway Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, PA Fish and Boat Commission and the PA Game Commission.


         P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649