Category Archive: Company Updates

Hull’s Environmental Services Expands to Larger Facility for Its Atlanta, Georgia Location.

Hull’s Environmental Services, Inc., has relocated its Hiram, GA facility to a new, larger building and lot to accommodate recent growth. Located at 145 Hiram Industrial Dr in Hiram, GA, the new location sits just over 20 miles outside the perimeter (OTP) of Interstate 285. It is ideally situated to service northwest, west and southwest Atlanta.

This facility provides environmental services to both private industry and government agencies. They include emergency spill response for oil, fuel and hazardous materials, hazardous and non-hazardous waste transportation and disposal, industrial tank and vessel cleaning, vacuum truck and tanker services and contaminated site remediation.

With a commercial fleet of vacuum trucks, tractor trailers, tankers, roll-off trucks, heavy equipment, emergency response trailers and associated equipment, a large, maneuverable parking area is needed to support the ingress, egress and storage of these resources.

Alex Potteiger, Area Operations Manager and an Atlanta native said, “This area is so diverse in terms of industry – warehousing, transportation, utilities, supply chain, manufacturing and so many more. Because Hull’s offers so many different types of environmental services, that broad appeal has boosted our day-to-day work tremendously. We simply ran out of office space, warehouse space and parking. This new location fits our growth plans perfectly.”

Data and statistics provided by the Atlanta and Georgia Chambers of Commerce illustrate what’s been transpiring in both metropolitan Atlanta and throughout the State of Georgia.

VP of Business Development, Jamie Michael, commented, “Atlanta is a city of over six million people, is number four in population growth for metropolitan areas, has the world’s busiest airport and is geographically situated with a real logistical advantage. It’s no surprise that we continue to grow our business in this region.”

New Senior Project Manager Hired on for Nashville Service Center

Hull’s Environmental Services, Inc. (Hull’s) recently appointed Loren Gerhardt as a new Senior Project Manager for the Nashville area service center.

Mr. Gerhardt has a comprehensive background in environmental services with over 28 years of work experience in a number of areas including emergency spill response, site remediation, storage tanks, demolition, environmental construction, waste transportation and disposal and industrial maintenance. He will be responsible for oversight and direction of all phases of environmental projects including preparation of proposals, cost estimates, work scopes, work schedules and implementation of project plans. He is also charged with ensuring that all his projects are delivered on-time, within scope and within budget, with an emphasis on risk management, customer communication and relationship building.

Working in a variety of roles throughout his career, Mr. Gerhardt tackled projects that were wide ranging in scope, duration, and complexity. From hazardous chemical spills to massive AST teardowns to contaminated site remediation under EPA oversite, Mr. Gerhardt has been involved in some capacity in virtually every type of environmental project that exists.

Mr. Gerhardt served in the U.S. Army at Ft. Campbell, KY from 1989 to 1992 which included combat operations during Operation Desert Storm. Along with the experience acquired in the U.S. Army, Mr. Gerhardt has also garnered a wealth of training over the nearly three decades in the environmental industry. He maintains his OSHA 40-Hour, 10-Hour Industry and Construction and 8-Hour Supervisor certifications, Confined Space Entry, Incident Command Systems, CPR/First Aid, Tank Car Specialist and FRA Road Worker.

Jim Coiner, Area Operations Manager for the Hull’s Nashville office commented, “Loren Gerhardt is a reputable environmental professional in the Tennessee market. His experience in emergency response, industrial services, and environmental project management is well documented. Coiner added, “Loren brings a tremendous amount of experience to an already stellar staff of professionals in our Nashville office and he will only accelerate the growth of this office moving forward. I’m delighted to have him aboard.”

Hull’s Environmental Services Opens New Operations Facility in Nashville, Tennessee

Officially opening the doors on October 15th, 2020, Hull’s has announced their newest environmental services facility in Nashville, Tennessee. Positioned just 23 miles due north of Nashville, the facility is located at 2271 Industrial Court in Greenbrier, Tennessee. The new Nashville location complements existing Atlanta, GA, Jacksonville, FL, Panama City, FL, Winter Haven, FL and Tampa, FL facilities in the southeast and numerous facilities in Oklahoma and Texas.

Hull’s Environmental Services

The new facility will provide environmental services to public entities and the private sector. They include emergency spill response for oil, fuel and hazardous materials, hazardous and non-hazardous waste transportation and disposal, industrial cleaning, vacuum truck services and contaminated site remediation. Like all other Hull’s locations, this new location is expected to provide clients with a team of highly trained and skilled professionals with a commitment to health, safety and the environment. All Hull’s personnel, at a minimum, are trained and certified in OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response), confined space entry (CSE), and first aid/CPR.

Response crews have the ability to quickly respond to spills and other emergency response incidents on land or in the water, mitigating damage or harm to the environment. In fact, Hull’s is a U.S. Coast Guard certified Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) with the ability to serve the needs of marine clients that may require water-borne emergency response services. Accordingly, the new location is equipped with a fully stocked emergency response trailer (ERT), response boats, sorbent and containment boom, skimming equipment, and a variety of pumps.

Tony Payne, the company’s Executive Vice President, said “I’m thrilled to announce our expansion into Nashville. We have existing customers in the railroad, transportation, manufacturing, and utility industries that we can better serve. We’re also confident that new business development in Nashville’s dynamic and booming economy has tremendous upside and potential to further build our customer base. Conditions like this are what make investing in an area a much easier decision.”

According to 2017 Chamber of Commerce data, Nashville was the number five fastest growing metropolitan area in the country for trade, transportation and utilities, number three for natural resources and mining and number one for other services.

Director of Marketing and Business Development, Jamie Michael, noted that, “Nashville has an incredible outlook when you look at the growth statistics. They are strong indicators of a growing metro area that public entities and private sector businesses are investing and doing business in. Coupled with our existing customer base, it was a logical decision to set up shop in Nashville.”

Hull’s Joins Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance as Affiliate Member

Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance LogoAccording to the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance , a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that bridges the gap between technology developers, R&D organizations and private firms, their services focus on improving the bottom line through concepts like Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing, while growing the entire company through new product development, strategic planning and expanded markets.

Hull’s Environmental Services recently joined the Alliance as an Affiliate Member. Our aim is to support the vital economic development work that grows state industry by providing a needed service, industry knowledge and years of experience to member companies. With growth and expansion also comes more challenges. As an environmental services provider, Hull’s has vast experience working with manufacturing companies as they navigate environmental rules and regulations that require strict compliance.

In addition to aiding companies with their environmental compliance, Hull’s also supports a wide ranging and diverse group of manufacturers like food & beverage, pulp and paper, aerospace, automobile, machining and chemicals through services like high-pressure water blasting, vacuum truck services, RCRA hazardous and non-hazardous waste transportation and disposal, contaminated soil remediation, storage tank and vessel cleaning and fulfilling OSRO requirements if required.

Whether it’s a routine operational maintenance project or a full plant shutdown, Hull’s works with manufacturers to ensure their operations stay running smoothly and environmental compliance is attained.

Hull’s Environmental Services Hires Environmental Industry Veteran Don Potter

Hull’s Environmental Services Hull’s Environmental Services, Inc. (Hull’s) recently hired Don Potter as Senior Business Development Executive for the south-central region of the U.S. He will be responsible for driving new customer acquisition, creating brand awareness, forming long term, value-based relationships and improving retention and growth within the current customer base.

Mr. Potter began in the environmental industry nearly 25 years ago and has since served in a wide range of roles including sales, business development and operations with intimate knowledge of all three disciplines. In addition, he has held a variety of leadership roles over the course of his 25-year career in the environmental services industry including General Manager, District Manager, Business Manager and Director of Business Development.

Leading and lagging KPIs illustrate depth and breadth within his previous roles; meeting or exceeding budgets for locations that had never previously done so; achieving the highest customer retention rates three years in a row; fostering the lowest employee turnover rates.

Mr. Potter has participated in, supervised, managed, or directed countless projects within the environmental services realm including emergency oil spill responses for the oil/gas and rail industry, large-scale dust remediation in major industrial manufacturing facilities, tank cleaning and hydro-blasting of cooling towers for major utilities and countless liquid vacuum truck and air-mover projects to vacuum remove solids, semi-solids, sludges and liquids.

“We believe Don is going to be an invaluable asset to the company as we expand our services into new markets. When you’ve been around this business for 25 years, you gain a tremendous amount of knowledge in operational execution, rules and regulations, relationship building, resource utilization, project scoping, and a plethora of other areas that lend to your success. And as an ex-Marine, we know he will put 100% of his efforts into everything he does,” said Jamie Michael, the company’s Director of Marketing & Business Development.

Mr. Potter commented on his new role stating, “There is real inherent pride and satisfaction in knowing you’ve helped build part of an organization. I have done it many times before and I am thrilled to do it once again at Hull’s. I know all of my previous time, energy and dedication in this industry will culminate into newfound success in new markets. With full support from the organization and all the tools I need in place, the sky really is the limit.”

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Awards Hull’s Emergency Cleanup Services Contract

Hull’s Environmental Services (Hull’s) recently executed a five-year agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to provide emergency response cleanup services for the Northwest, Northeast and Central Regions of the FDEP. According to the contract, “Hull’s will respond to any situation determined by the Department to represent a threat to the public or the environment of the State of Florida on an ‘as needed’ basis, twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week, fifty-two (52) weeks a year.”

A Hull's response technician is examining the contents of unknown drums discovered in the woods.

Pursuant to sections 403.1655, 376.09, and 376.305, Florida Statute (F.S.), and Chapter 62-107, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), FDEP is authorized to contract with private independent vendors to aid in responding to emergency events which pose an environmental or public health threat when the responsible party is unknown or fails to act in a timely or appropriate manner.

Within FDEP is the Office of Emergency Response (OER), which responds to environmental pollution threats in every form, such as incidents involving petroleum spills caused by vehicle accidents, chemical plant explosions, and coastal oil spills. OER provides technical and on-site assistance to ensure threats to the environment and human safety are quickly and effectively addressed. In addition, OER works with local public safety officials and emergency response contractors to minimize threats to the environment.

The reportable incident criteria defined by the FDEP provides very clear descriptions as to what types of incidents and scenarios might produce an emergency response: weather events like tornadoes, lightning strikes or flooding; transportation events like commercial vehicle/vessels accidents, train derailments or aircraft incidents; forest, structure or other fires with substantial amounts of chemical or petroleum products; radiological events such as nuclear reactor incidents or suspected radioactive materials, and other general conditions that can occur such as public water contamination, sinkholes or national security concerns.

Hull’s Executive Vice President, Tony Payne, commented on the recent award, “It’s really an exciting announcement for us. With four locations in Florida, it’s our backyard and we certainly take great pride in knowing the State of Florida has entrusted Hull’s Environmental Services for the next five years as an emergency response cleanup contractor for incidents that pose a risk to the environment or general public. We are fully prepared to provide the labor, supervision, equipment, materials, and expertise required to fulfill our obligations.”

Two New Emergency Response Trucks To Serve Oklahoma and Texas

It’s always exciting to get new stuff, right?

For Hulls’ South Oklahoma / North Texas location (Wilson, OK), the excitement is still palpable because two new response vehicles were recently delivered.

These new response vehicles were specifically chosen and modified to service the needs of oil and gas drillers and explorers in this area of the country. Both vehicles are 2019 Dodge Heavy Duty 2500 pickup trucks outfitted with a specially modified bed. They are powered by a 400-hp High Output Cummins Turbo Diesel engine producing 1,000 lb-ft of Torque.

The specially modified beds are each outfitted with an external 50-gallon fuel tank, air compressor, heavy-duty wheel-well toolboxes, a reinforced headache bar with integrated lights and integrated flash mode lighting for high-visibility.

With a broad offering of environmental services like emergency spill response, waste transportation & disposal, industrial cleaning and soil remediation, these versatile response vehicles can haul a variety of equipment and trailers.

Hull’s Environmental Services Adds Fourth Location in Florida

Hull’s new office at 950 W Derby Ave in Auburndale, FL is ideally situated between the two major metro areas of Tampa and Orlando in central Florida. The area possesses a rich business environment that has been steadily attracting more and more companies from a diverse set of industries such as agribusiness, aviation, logistics, supply chain, distribution and manufacturing.

Hull’s Environmental Services

Tony Payne, Executive Vice President, said “when you look at all the factors that play a role in identifying a new location, the central Florida region – in particular the Winter Haven/Auburndale area – has everything going for it: the area is extremely well connected by roads, rail and by air. Industry is diverse and growth is continually on the rise. When you have those ingredients, it translates into a growing demand for environmental services and the lines of business we offer. It’s really an ideal spot.”

Marketed and hailed as the Winter Haven, FL location for Hull’s, it will offer a wide variety of environmental services including emergency spill response for oil, fuel and hazardous materials; UST/AST tank cleaning; contaminated soil excavation and disposal; vacuum excavation and hydro excavation; high pressure water blasting; vacuum truck and tanker services; lab packing; hazardous and non-hazardous waste transportation and disposal; roll-off trucks and boxes, and site remediation.

Like all other Hull’s locations, this new Winter Haven office is expected to provide clients with a team of highly trained and skilled professionals with a commitment to safety. Personnel are specialty trained and certified in OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER, confined space entry, confined space entry rescue, rail roadway and First Aid/CPR.

About Hull’s Environmental Services

Hull’s Environmental Services, Inc. is a SBA self-certified, woman-owned small business operating from locations in Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas. Throughout the southeast and mid-west United States, Hull’s performs a variety of environmental services including emergency spill response for oil, fuel and hazardous materials, contaminated site remediation, hazardous & non-hazardous waste transportation & disposal, oil-field services, industrial cleaning & maintenance, vacuum truck services, tank cleaning and a wide variety of other related services for both the public and private sector. Hull’s is also a United States Coast Guard certified oil spill removal organization (OSRO) for all or portions of COTP Zones five, seven, eight, nine, eleven and thirteen.

In Memory of Ray Hatfield

Hull’s Environmental Services lost a valued employee and friend last week in Ray Hatfield. Ray was a reliable and dedicated employee of Hull’s. We are saddened by his passing and want to thank him for his dedication and commitment over the last 14 years. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family in this difficult time. He will be missed.

In Memory of Ray HatfieldCecil Raymond “Ray” Hatfield, age 57, of Healdton, departed this life on May 7. 2019. No services scheduled at this time. Cremation under the care and direction of Alexander Gray Funeral Home in Wilson.

Ray was born on June 12, I 96 I in Hereford, TX to the late Mr. Cecil R. Hatfield and Mrs. Glenda Sue (Ponder) Hatfield – Doss.

Mr. Hatfield was raised in the Springer / Gene Autry area most of his childhood. He attended school at Springer Public Schools. Mr. Hatfield joined the United States Army soon after High School and proudly served his country. Ray was a loving man and was always there to help his family and friends. He and Cheryl Lee-Ann Miller were married on May 27, 1995 in Ft. Worth, TX. Together they have made their home in Healdton for the past 20 years. Ray loved spending time with his family and was always pestering one of the kids. Hunting and fishing were two of his favorite hobbies. Ray would raise anything from baby skunks to possums. He was a Trucking Supervisor for Hull’s Environmental Services for the past 7 years.

He is preceded in death by his parents: Cecil R. Hatfield and Glenda Sue Doss: and four sisters, Judy, Geneva, Paula, and Thelma.

Ray is survived by his loving wife Cheryl Hatfield of the home; 14 children. Tony Hatfield, Eric Hatfield, Anna Tennison, Jamie Hatfield, Donald Hatfield, Edwin Barrett, David Cooper, Amanda Cooper, Nicklas Baird, Melinda Laura. Tammie, P.J ., Hailey, and Cassandra; sisters; Tina Schmidt, Maggie Hays, Glenda Esteph; six grandchildren. Brighton, Bentley, Boston, Dakota. Landon. and Delainey; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.

Honorary Pa ll Bearers will be Brad Goodall, Richard Hays, Joseph Hatfield, Dereck Estep, Ethan Hays, and James Copeland.

Online condolences can be made at

Hull’s Joins Other Sponsors For Charity Golf Tournament Raising $36,000

Is there a better way to spend a Friday then kicking off the weekend with 18 holes of golf on a warm and sunny spring day in Florida? Well, yes – doing it for charity.

Hull's Joins Other SponsorsOn Friday, May 3rd, Hull’s Environmental Services sponsored and participated in the 9th annual Northern Star Generation “Birdies for Boys & Girls” golf tournament that took place with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida (BGCCF).

Thanks to Northern Star Generation, the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida will receive $36,000 to continue its efforts as a renowned non-profit and safe haven for youth in the local community. The tournament hosted 35 teams and 135 golfers with prizes doled out to first, second and third place teams; closest to the pin; longest drive; and those participating in a putting contest.

In the 9 years since the tournament began, over $250,000 has been raised and donated to BGCCF.

Hull’s Environmental Services is very proud to have been a part of the event this year and in supporting charity events that have such a profound impact on the local community.

New Account Manager Announced For Hull’s Northeast Region

Meet the newest member of our Sales & Marketing team: Phil Swint . Phil comes to Hull’s after spending the previous 15+ years in and around the petroleum industry.

New Account ManagerPhil’s experience in the petroleum industry is a great asset to environmental services with overlap into a variety of other industries. Phil is well-versed in above and underground storage tanks; hazardous materials transportation; industrial tank cleaning; waste disposal and knowledge of state rules and regulations.

Phil we be responsible for sales prospecting, business development and customer relationship building in the northeast region of Florida including the greater Jacksonville area, Gainesville, St. Augustine, Palm Coast, Daytona Beach, Lake City, Palatka, as well as portions of Georgia including Valdosta, Waycross and Brunswick.

Phil will be based out of our Jacksonville service center and can by reached by phone @ 904-228-5525 or via email:

Environmental Cleanup and Recovery After Hurricane Michael Will Take Time and Patience

The path of destruction left by Hurricane Michael is hard to grasp without seeing it for yourself. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

The power of mother nature is evident in the decades old trees that were snapped like toothpicks; innumerable missing or damaged roofs highlighted by blue tarps; store signs bent over and stripped down to their metal structure; debris covering roads, parking lots and yards for miles upon miles; mangled utility wires, poles and transformers strewn across sidewalks and easements; boats piled up on one another like toys.

Regardless of the circumstances, residents and businesses alike have to draw on their community and resilience to recover. As a local business in the Panama City, Hull’s was proud to directly help our customers get back up and running. The work will continue for weeks and months ahead. Here are a few examples of working being conducted following Hurricane Michael:

Environmental Cleanup

For this post-storm cleanup and recovery work illustrated above, Hull’s used HAZWOPER trained, four-person crews to navigate through both commercial and residential areas impacted by the storm to recover assets for a local utility. The scope of work consisted of debris clearing and removal in order to safely work the surrounding area; transformer recovery, transportation and staging utilizing a pneumatic telehandler, truck and trailer; environmental remediation of any oil impacted soil or surfaces through means of excavation or sorbent product; and utility pole recovery by gathering, loading and transporting to a staging area.

Environmental Cleanup

When falling power poles, transformers and electrical lines are present, there are inherent dangers to the public. Those dangers are visible and obvious. What’s not always evident, however, are oils that can leak from damaged transformers and eventually permeate the soil. Depending on the age of the transformer, the oils can potentially contaminate the soil with polychlorinated biphenyls, otherwise known as PCBs.

Fortunately, Hull’s Environmental Services maintains a fleet of vacuum trucks used to remove liquids, semi-solids and solids from a variety of environments and their versatility enables them to be used in numerous ways. In this scenario shown above, mechanical excavation of the soil was not an ideal option. Instead, an industrial loader vacuum unit was dispatched to perform “soft dig” excavation in various locations around the city. Soft dig, or vacuum excavation, uses air to break up and remove soil or other solids. With the help of hand shovels to assist in loosening the soil, these machines vacuum remove the impacted soil while greatly reducing the risk of severing or damaging underground utilities due to this minimally invasive approach – a much safer methodology than mechanical excavation utilizing a backhoe or mini excavator.

Environmental Cleanup

The fury of Hurricane Michael’s 150+ mph winds left virtually no building or structure without some sort of damage. Some structures fared better than others, illustrated by a local industrial facility that sustained severe damage resulting in the shutdown of the entire operation for nearly a month.

Because the building, piping, equipment and infrastructure endured so much damage, a long list of repairs was needed to bring the facility back online. To enable ingress and egress to the facility. Hull’s conducted a wide range of tasks with debris clearing and removal taking center stage.

In terms of more extensive environmental services, a variety of other cleanup tasks were conducted which enabled the facility to slowly get back to being fully operational. Following the debris clearing and removal, confined space entry was performed on water filtration tanks littered with mangled sheet metal, vegetation and general debris resulting from covers ripped off during the intense winds.

The facility also had storage tanks containing different caustics that were found to have leaked or spilled into secondary containment. Utilizing a vacuum truck, the spilled product was neutralized with anhydrous citric acid before the roughly 3,000 gallons was hauled off for onsite disposal.

A critical component of the cleanup was the containment and removal of asbestos. Insulation used to cover thousands of feet of piping and boiler units was stripped away and scattered throughout the facility. The insulation was removed by a special asbestos remediation team who carefully and methodically bagged the asbestos containing debris into bags for disposal.

Additional work, including building demolition, hazardous waste removal, brush clearing and management of various waste streams continues.

Harry Marsh Joins Hull’s Environmental Services

Earlier this month, Hull’s announced the addition of Harry Marsh as Senior Vice President. Harry has been in the environmental services arena for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Hull’s, Harry held a variety of operations and executive roles at SWS Environmental Services.

Like many of us in the environmental services business, Harry began his environmental career in the field, cleaning up diesel spills, pressure washing tanks, hauling waste drums, working long hours and extended periods of time – it comes with the territory. Eventually, that knowledge and experience he gained in the field was leveraged through leadership roles in operations and executive management.

From Puerto Rico to Bolivia, Maine to California, Harry has traveled great distances in response to major incidents, including massive oil spills, natural disasters and biological threats. Those events include some of the worst incidents in history – the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Hurricane Katrina.

Since environmental emergencies aren’t occurring 24 hours a day, everyday, over the course of thirty years, Harry gained invaluable knowledge and experience in environmental remediation, field services, waste management and industrial services as well. In fact, Harry has participated in, managed or directed nearly every type of emergency environmental scenario possible.

Executive Vice President of Hull’s, Tony Payne, commented on Harry joining the organization. “Harry’s been in and around this business for decades and served in a wide variety of roles. His knowledge of emergency response and environmental services is second to none. With that decades long experience, he’s also developed long standing relationships inside and outside of the environmental services industry that add tremendous value to Hull’s and Hulls’ clients. Harry will be a tremendous asset for us.”

For additional details, read the official press release.

New Director of Marketing & Business Development Announced

Hull’s Environmental Services, Inc. (Hull’s) recently announced that Jamie Michael has joined the company as Director of Marketing & Business Development. He will be responsible for all aspects of marketing, sales and business development, leading new customer acquisition, retention and growth while furthering the company’s commitment to service excellence for its customer base.

New Director of Marketing & Business Development Announced

Jamie Michael

Mr. Michael brings a wide range of experience to Hull’s. He’s held a variety of leadership roles over the course of his 18-year career in the environmental services industry including his previous role as Vice President of Marketing for a national environmental services company.

Through creative thinking, setting objectives, formulating strategies and implementing new tactics, he focused on and leveraged digital technologies to drive and lead an effective B2B marketing program.

“Jamie knows the dynamics of the environmental services industry inside and out, but more importantly, he knows what drives customer engagement, growth and retention. Among other important talents he brings to the table, we believe his expertise in sales enablement, digital marketing and corporate communications will make sales and marketing an indispensable asset to the company,” said Tony Payne, the company’s Executive Vice President.

Mr. Michael commented on his new role and the environmental services industry stating, “with a sharp rise in environmental awareness, risk management, sustainability, and corporate responsibility, organizations are rethinking their environmental programs; and that means they need an environmental partner who not only understands their goals and objectives, but also their vision. I firmly believe Hull’s is that partner and we’ll continue to work diligently to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and truly focus on our customers’ needs.”

For more details, read the official press release.