Noreen Merainer believes that creativity is key to creating a greener world.
In her day job, the PSE&G licensing project manager is responsible for securing environmental and land use permits for company facilities, such as electric substations. Her work helps ensure that PSE&G construction projects don’t harm freshwater wetlands or threatened and endangered species, including both plants and animals.
“We do a lot to preserve and protect bald Eagles as well as pollinators, such as bees,” she said. “For example, we have beehives on our wetlands mitigation sites, and we sponsor a fundraiser where we collect the honey and sell the jars.”
She has experimented at PSE&G with rain gardens, which are designed to capture rainfall and are filled with plants that will thrive in both wet and dry conditions. She is also interested in researching new technologies and processes that might help the environment in the future. One of these promising solutions is “green concrete,” a type of concrete that can encapsulate carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to climate change.
“We’re hopeful that maybe in the future, as the technology develops, this could be something that PSEG could incorporate,” she said. “We use a lot of concrete.”
When she’s not at work, Noreen is an avid gardener, raising strawberries, green beans and tomatoes. She just bought a pair of small Norway spruces that she plans to plant soon.
“I have a nice garden instead of lawn,” she said. “I’m also a member of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program, which entitles members to a share of produce from local farms.”