WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) today announced winners of the 2013 Performance Improvement Awards, recognizing more than 25 member facilities for their outstanding commitment to continuous improvement in environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) practices. Through a month-long, double-blind selection process, the judging committee has named an outstanding group of recipients. Gold, Silver and Bronze Performance Improvement Award recipients, as well as Educational Outreach and Sustainability Award winners, will be honored at SOCMA's 92nd Annual Dinner on December 9 in New York. Strem Chemicals' plant in Newburyport, MA, and Optima Chemical Group LLC in Douglas, GA, will both receive the 2013 Gold Performance Improvement Award for their efforts in exceeding standards set forth in the ChemStewards® program. Strem not only goes above and beyond the required EHS&S standards when it comes to managing risk within the facility and implementing process safety practices, but the company's ChemStewards coordinator serves as chairman of their Regional Emergency Planning Committee (REPC), promoting chemical safety and offering the company's experience in chemical mailers to all communities in the REPC. Optima has an exemplary plan in place to identify, evaluate and address process safety hazards and properly train its employees to deal with those issues. The company is also an outstanding corporate citizen, having sponsored a local high school student in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program and recently pledged $10,000 a year for the next three years to establish a Boys & Girls Club in Douglas/ Coffee County, GA. Fifteen Silver Awards will be presented to facilities showing excellence in one of the five ChemStewards® Core Principles: Stakeholder Communications, Product Stewardship, EHS&S in Planning and Operations, Employee Training and Engagement, and Resource Management and Waste Minimization.