BP and its affiliated companies have a strong commitment to being involved in the communities in which they operate.
BP and its affiliated companies have a strong commitment to being involved in the communities in which they operate. Atlantic Richfield, a BP affiliated company, is active in the community as a result of its remediation project. In addition, BP has partnered with a number of community organizations on key projects, and has sponsored community events such as the Annual Ridgewalk and Run, the Greater Wellsville Trout Derby and the Great Wellsville Balloon Rally.
Allegany County legislators, led by Wellsville-area County legislator Kevin LaForge, honored Atlantic Richfield Company (AR) for its efforts to clean up the former Sinclair refinery site in Wellsville, as well as its involvement in numerous community projects.
The Allegany County Board of Legislators issued a proclamation praising the Company for its innovative wetland treatment system that is cleaning groundwater beneath the former refinery site in an environmentally friendly way.
Deputy Operations Manager Eric Larson presented a short video on the project and thanked the many entities who have partnered with AR on making the project a success, including Alfred State College, USEPA, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and county, village and town officials. He also recognized the consultants and contractors who have performed the work. Alfred State College Dean Craig Clark and representatives of On-Site Technical Services, the Wellsville-based company that oversees monitoring and maintenance of the site, also attended the event.
Alfred State College Culinary Arts students and faculty hosted more than 30 needy families for a free, candlelight holiday buffet.
BP sponsored the event, donating the cost of food and making an additional donation to the Culinary Arts Department's Top Hat scholarship fund in recognition of the work done by the students. The United Way and Salvation Army identified and invited families who have needed the support of area food banks in the last year.
The meal, prepared and served by 25 students and five faculty members included a carving station, a soup course, sausage stuffing, twice-baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables and fruits, stuffed mushrooms, spinach artichoke dip, filled peppadews, fresh breads, cakes and tortes.
A surprise visit from Santa Claus added to the festivities. Santa gave the children coloring books and crayons. The United way also gave each parent a $25 gift certificate. Viven Anderson, the Chairwoman of the United Way, said, "The children’s eyes were as big as saucers when they saw Santa and every child had the opportunity to visit with him."
Chef Brent Kelley, who heads the school's Culinary Arts Program, said, "This was a wonderful event for all of us who were involved. Our guests enjoyed a fine meal and a memorable evening. The United Way and the Salvation Army found an additional way to serve the community. Our students discovered the rewards of community service and the benefits of a generous spirit. Top Hat got much-needed financial support. The College had another opportunity to showcase the fine character of its students. BP found a way to make a meaningful contribution to those in need. And, lastly, our faculty got a glimpse of our students at their best."
BP Operations Project Manager Eric Larson said, "We worked with the Culinary Arts School on an event two years ago. They do a tremendous job. The program is exceptional and an asset to the College and the region. It’s a pleasure to find creative ways to work together to showcase the program and benefit the community."
Anderson told a revealing story from the event. "When two parents were asked if they ever had a candlelight dinner, they replied no, but their child chimed in and reminded them that they did dine by candlelight when they had their electricity turned off last year. It reminded us that all of these families have encountered economic hardships and were very deserving."
BP is a major sponsor of this year's United Way campaign. BP was the primary sponsor of the Annual Rubber Duck Derby, the United Way's largest fundraiser. Pictured here are rubber ducks being launch into the Genesee River to kick off the Derby.
BP has continued to support a number of major community events, including Music on the Lawn, the Trout Derby and the Ridge Walk and Run. BP also again sponsored the fireworks for the Great Wellsville Balloon Festival.
BP teamed up with Allegany County volunteer fire departments to focus on safety and training in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week. BP sponsored two weekends of training with nationally recognized Fire Service instructors to help firefighters improve their skills and work more safely.
Wellsville Fire Department Chief Brent Cobin said, “Training is critical to us. Without training, people get hurt. That’s the bottom line. We can’t thank BP enough. We appreciate everything they’ve done for us over the last several years.”
Eric Larson, BP’s Operations Project Manager for the clean-up of the former Sinclair Refinery site in Wellsville, spearheaded the partnership with the volunteer fire departments. “The Wellsville fire department plays a critical support and safety role on our remediation projects. The fire department has generously shared resources with our project team and stood ready to provide support as we have completed major construction on our site and in the Genesee River. We wanted to do something to thank them for their support. Recognizing that one of the greatest needs of any volunteer fire department is access to high-caliber training, BP was able to provide them two weekends of training from some of the best instructors in the country.”
Lt. Michael Ciampo, a 23-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department and a contributor and editorial advisor for Fire Engineering magazine, conducted sessions the first weekend for 30 area firefighters on ladder work, ventilation, forcible entry and search-and-rescue. The session included live drills both inside and on the roof of an abandoned property in Wellsville.
On the second weekend, Captain Bryan Smith, a 20-year veteran with the Baltimore County, Maryland Fire Department, conducted intensive sessions on firefighter rescue and rapid intervention training.
Wellsville Fire Chief Cobin said that having training brought into the county on a weekend made a big difference. “It’s hard for our guys to get the training they need. Usually, it’s offered out-of-town on weekdays. Most of our firefighters have jobs that make it difficult to get to that training. To bring certified instructors right here on a weekend is great. It means so many more of our firefighters were able to get the training they need.”
In its second year as major sponsors of the Great Wellsville Balloon Rally, BP and its affiliated company Atlantic Richield Company (AR) went beyond sponsoring the fireworks and the children’s activities area to offering a ride on the BP balloon to a lucky winner of a contest on its local project web site, www.arwellsville.com.
AR’s Wellsville Project Manager Eric Larson said the event is a great match for the project. “The balloon event takes place just across the river from our Wellsville project. Our involvement with the Balloon Rally helps us raise awareness of the environmental work we are completing at the former Sinclair refinery site, and play a positive role in the community.”
The lucky winner of the ride in the BP balloon was a surprised Wellsville resident, Troy Clark. “I’ve never won anything in my life,” he said. “I was just checking out the website, reading about the work they were doing there, and happened to see the balloon contest article, so I entered.” His daughter told him to forget about it, but Clark thought that maybe this time his luck would change.
Several weeks later, Clark received a call from Eric Larson, project manager at the site, telling him he was the winner of the free balloon ride. Clark admits he was nervous, having never flown in either a balloon or an airplane before. His daughter had advice for this first-time flyer – don’t look down and take some Dramamine.
On Thursday night before the rally, Troy served on the balloon crew for a pre-event flight to get used to the process. On Friday night, as the crew prepared for the flight, Clark paced around the balloon, trying to calm his nerves. After a brief interview with WJQZ radio station, he met with balloon pilot Phil Bryant, who gave him instructions about the flight. Climbing into the basket, he was aloft in a matter of minutes, waving and smiling to the crowd gathered below.
A long ride over the Wellsville countryside with a perfectly smooth landing was all Clark needed to convince him of what he had been missing, “I loved it,” he declared with a wide smile.
Atlantic Richfield Company, a BP-affiliated company, donated $1,000 to the Wellsville chapter of Trout Unlimited to support the organization's major trash-cleaning project along Orebed Creek, a sub-tributary of the Genesee River here in Western New York. The funds will be used to purchase equipment for this project, as well as future environmental conservation efforts.
Wellsville Project Manager Eric Larson said, "Atlantic Richfield and BP are proud to support the important work Trout Unlimited does to protect and restore this region’s rivers and streams."
Alfred State College students, faculty and staff in Wellsville, New York celebrated Earth Day by joining with their neighbors, the Atlantic Richfield (AR) project team, to plant trees around the campus.
The College purchased plants using a $1,000 donation by BP, which was made on behalf of AR, a BP-affiliated company. BP employees and consultants from the project joined the College in the planting effort.
Project Manager Eric Larson gave a short presentation on the wetland treatment system that has been put in place on the site of a former Sinclair refinery site, discussing the decision to select this more natural and sustainable technology for Wellsville.
Larson said, "Our project in Wellsville is an excellent example of environmental stewardship. AR selected a more environmentally friendly and sustainable technology to clean residual groundwater contamination at this former refinery site and protect the Genesee River, an important natural and economic resource for this region. Earth Day gives us an opportunity to showcase our project and continue to give something back to this area’s natural environment."
This is the second year the Wellsville team has celebrated Earth Day with the College. Last year, BP also donated $1,000 to the College to pay for trees that were planted by the project team and volunteers from the College.
Area firefighters will receive special training from a nationally known instructor, thanks to a donation from BP to the Wellsville Volunteer Fire Department.
Michael N. Ciampo, a 23-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, provides training across the country. He is a contributor and an editorial advisory board member for Fire Engineering Magazine and has authored or co-authored chapters in Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighters I and II.
Wellsville Project Manager Eric Larson is working with the Wellsville Fire Department to schedule a special training event for firefighters from the entire Allegany County area. “Through former Chief Dave Pinney, who is the safety officer on our site, we have developed a close relationship with the Fire Department and appreciate the help and support they have provided us in the past several years.”
Wellsville Project Manager Eric Larson and the Wellsville project team have reached out to the community with a series of five presentations on the environmental cleanup work it is doing at the former Sinclair refinery site.
Larson said, "The entire Wellsville team is proud of the work we are doing here and we want to share our project with the community. We also want to make certain area residents fully understand the work we are going to do in the next year excavating sediments from the Genesee River."
Larson has brought his presentation to meetings of the Lions Club and the Rod and Gun Club. He also spoke at an information session open to the public held by the combined boards of both the Village and Town of Wellsville. The seven-minute video shown at these presentations is available to be viewed here.
BP also sponsored a Business After Hours of the Wellsville Chamber of Commerce at the Culinary Arts Center at Alfred State College. Over 80 people enjoyed the creations of the faculty and students of the College’s Culinary Arts programs and took bus tours of the neighboring wetland treatment system.
Larson expects to make additional presentations next spring prior to the commencement of work.
BP made a donation to support the Top Hat Scholarship Fund in appreciation for the effort made by Alfred State College students to cater last fall’s successful Wellsville Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours.
Wellsville Project Manager Eric Larson said, "Chef Brent Kelley and his team did an exceptional job preparing a great event. The food, the decorations and the service were all exceptional. We hope the donation will help culinary arts students achieve their goals in these difficult economic times."
The Top Hat Scholarship Fund provides merit-based grants to students in the College’s Culinary Arts programs.
BP has donated a solar-powered vehicle to expand its relationship with Alfred State College. Alfred State has developed an innovative vocational training program for solar power technicians. The College will incorporate the vehicle into its solar technology curriculum.
BP is also developing a contract with the College's faculty and students to build a solar-powered telemetry system to help us control water levels at the wetland treatment system on site and BP Solar is partnering with the College and six other community colleges on a solar training program currently under development.
Eric Larson, Wellsville Project Manager, explained the important relationship with the College. "As a global leader in solar technology, BP is excited about the partnership with Alfred State's solar technology program. The enthusiasm of the College, its faculty and its students for students for solar energy is infectious and it's exciting for us to be working with students who will become leaders in a field that will play a critical part in our nation's energy future."
Craig R. Clark, Dean of Applied Technology at Alfred State College, said, "BP and Alfred State have developed a very positive and mutually beneficial partnership that is providing significant resources and opportunities for our students. Adding this solar vehicle to our photovoltaic technology program will give our students an opportunity to explore new uses for solar energy. The contract to build and maintain a solar telemetry system for AR's wetland treatment system is the kind of hands-on project that stimulates our students and sets our program apart. We're happy to have AR as a neighbor and look forward to finding more ways we can continue a successful partnership with BP."
The solar-powered vehicles, built by Bad Boy Buggies, are modified all-terrain vehicles (ATV) with 30 horsepower engines and more than 170 pounds of torque. The vehicle is capable of negotiating a 40-degree incline. It has room for four passengers and a load capacity of 880 pounds. It can pull a small trailer with 1,500 pounds. The vehicle has a maximum speed of 22 miles per hour. BP has donated 21 of the vehicles to parks, nature preserves and universities across the country.
BP donated $25,000 for the renovation and expansion of Jones Memorial Hospital's Emergency department. This important project includes the expansion of the waiting, triage and registration areas and the construction of a new entryway.
"Jones Memorial Hospital plays a critical emergency services role for the entire region and BP is pleased to play a part in helping the Hospital meet its fundraising goals for this important project," Environmental Business Manager Eric Larson said.
Balloons weren't the only things soaring above Wellsville during the annual, three-day Great Wellsville Balloon Rally, July 17-19. BP helped Wellsville put a little extra sparkle in the event by providing $2,500 to sponsor a fireworks celebration on Saturday, July 18th.
In addition, BP's own balloon made its first trip to the Rally. Eric Larson said, "BP's balloon travels across the country for special events and we were excited to be able to bring it to Wellsville." read more >>
In addition to the Balloon Rally, BP has been involved in one of the community's other largest events, the Greater Wellsville Trout Derby, as a fish prize sponsor for many years now.
BP and its affiliated company, Atlantic Richfield Company, have teamed up with the Wellsville Volunteer Fire Department over the past two years, providing funding for U.S. Coast Guard-certified life vests for its rescue boat and equipment for the firefighter rescue response team, sponsorship dollars for the county's fire prevention conference and donations for fire prevention efforts.
Eric Larson, who is a volunteer firefighter himself, said, "We have created a great relationship with the Wellsville Volunteer Fire Department. With our upcoming work in and around the Genesee River, the Department will be the first responders in case of any safety issues with our workers. So, we were pleased to help upgrade the life vests for their rescue boats. Beyond that, we have appreciated the way the Fire Department has helped us by providing space for our safety training sessions and the temporary use of spare equipment. This has been a very good partnership for us and for the Department."
Larson pointed to the fact that former Fire Chief Dave Pinney is the Health and Safety Officer on the project site as a major reason the partnership was formed. "Chief Pinney plays a key role on our project as the Health and Safety Officer and he has been a leader in developing this relationship between our project team and the fire department."