Nearly a dozen students from Mother McAuley High School were honored Wednesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but their project remains undelivered in Haiti.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, they are being given the President’s Environmental Youth Award for building a solar-powered biodiesel fuel processor for the people in a village in Haiti.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The processor takes oil from a plant that is plentiful in Haiti, and turns it into biodiesel fuel that can run farm machinery.

The students have also included solar-powered LED lighting for a school in the town of Pichon.

But there is a problem. All of the students’ offerings have remained on a dock in Port-au-Prince since August of last year.

“Now we’re kind of being held hostage by the corrupt government – this is my take on it – who wants like $4,000 to release the contents of our shipping container,” said teacher-advisor Roz Iasillo.

Adds student Eileen O’Donnell, “It’s definitely upsetting that our hard work isn’t being put into use right now, but I’m sure it will eventually be utilized.”

Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School is located at 3737 W. 99th St.

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