PSEG Celebrates its Own Earth Heroes

Engineers, biologists, tradeworkers and others preserve and protect the environment

(NEWARK, N.J. – April 21, 2023) — In the spirit of this year’s Earth Day theme to “Invest in Our Planet,” PSEG today launched an initiative to recognize employees who do just that, both at work and at home.

The heroes include biologists, zoologists and wildlife specialists who rescue or protect wildlife like bees, bald eagles, salamanders, turtles, song birds, falcons and shellfish. Skilled tradeworkers, specialists and engineers who have devised more efficient recycling systems, turn scrap wood into free pop-up libraries across New Jersey and replace gas pipes leaking methane. Engineers designing new transmission networks to carry wind energy from the sea to the grid, exploring ways to decarbonize natural gas and enable energy efficient appliances and EV charging stations. 

Earth Heroes Work Here celebrates the work and passions of PSEG employees who volunteer their time to care for natural spaces including the New York Conservancy’s Urban Garden, Liberty Street Park, the Hackensack River, Barnegat Bay, Newark’s Hawthorne Garden, Lake Copake, miles of nature trails across the state and Long Island and more. 

“So many of our employees go above and beyond to preserve and protect the environment, and wildlife, in ways most people never hear about,” said Ralph A. LaRossa, chair, president and chief executive officer of PSEG. “We wanted to share some of the stories and recognize the hard work, creativity and passion that they bring everyday, not just to PSEG, but their communities.”

For the last decade, for instance, licensing project manager Claudia Rocco has helped to rescue and re-home birds’ nests on PSE&G’s poles and towers, including a bald eagle’s nest moved to a specially designed nest platform. The eagles returned to the nest and hatched two chicks on a live nest camera feed viewed by almost 23,000 people. 

Bill Elmer, who retired from PSEG earlier this month after more than three decades of service, was part of the team who replaced more than 1,450 miles of gas pipelines in flood prone areas, reducing methane emissions by nearly a quarter of a million metric tons. Elmer also led teams of PSEG employees in a variety of volunteer environmental projects – building duck boxes to keep ducks safe, homes for kestrel falcons and cages to protect turtle eggs from prey.   

An operational support manager, Kimberly Gelardi, has organized hundreds of PSEG employees to volunteer at America’s Grow-A-Row farm in Pittstown, working to grow fresh produce that is donated to food banks and hunger relief agencies in food desert areas across the mid-Atlantic. 

To keep trees and bushes out of the way of power lines and poles, Jay Kaplan oversees vegetation management, planting two trees on average for  every one cut down. Just last year his team planted 675 trees everywhere from Camden and Trenton to Newark. A longtime volunteer with the New Jersey Tree Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to planting trees in New Jersey’s most urban areas where the need is greatest, Kaplan now serves as the Foundation’s president. 

For our Earth Heroes full stories, and more, visit: 

Public Service Electric & Gas Co. is New Jersey’s oldest and largest gas and electric delivery public utility, as well as one of the nation’s largest utilities. PSE&G is the 2022 Edison Award recipient from the Edison Electric Institute. PSE&G has won the ReliabilityOne® Award for superior electric system reliability in the Mid-Atlantic region for 21 consecutive years. For the second consecutive year, PSE&G is the recipient of the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award in the Energy Efficiency Program Delivery category. In addition, J.D. Power named PSE&G number one in customer satisfaction for both Residential Electric and Natural Gas Service in the East among Large Utilities. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a predominantly regulated infrastructure company focused on a clean energy future and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 15 consecutive years (