Shirley Nicholas never gave up.
Now, the Lockport woman's tenacious advocacy for a thorough cleanup of Eighteen Mile Creek and its surrounding contaminated properties has earned her the highest award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Nicholas will receive the EPA's Environmental Champion Award on Wednesday prior to the start of a meeting of the Lockport City Council at the city's municipal building.
EPA Public Affairs Specialist Mike Basile, who nominated Nicholas for the award, will present it to her, the EPA announced.
The Environmental Champion Award is reserved for those who demonstrate a "high level of accomplishment in improving environmental quality," the EPA stated.
Nicholas, 80, lives on Mill Street across from the contaminated site of the former Flintkote plant.
Her activism led authorities to add Niagara County's Eighteen Mile Creek corridor to the list of federal Superfund sites five years ago.
Since then, $4 million was put toward the first phase of a cleanup project there that resulted in the relocation of five Water Street families from their contaminated properties and the demolition of the Flintkote plant.