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EPA Honors "Best of the Best"

By Paul Stone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 1997 – The Defense Department is routinely honored for providing military security throughout the world. But it's not every day the honors are for its environmental security efforts.

Sept. 25 was such a day as Defense Secretary William Cohen received the Best of the Best Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award for DoD efforts in reducing ozone-depleting substances throughout the military.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner presented the award to Cohen, calling the DoD efforts "an awesome achievement."

"You showed the rest of the nation, you showed the world, how it could be done without shortchanging your commitment to excellence and what is obviously your No. 1 mission -- safeguarding America's freedom," Browner said.

She emphasized DoD is the leader among all federal agencies in environmental protection. During a recent award ceremony in Montreal honoring ozone protection efforts worldwide, DoD agencies and U.S. defense contractors received 20 percent of all awards, Browner said.

In accepting the award, Cohen praised the efforts of all armed services and the defense contractors. "As the armed forces protect national security, they are also helping to protect global security in the larger sense -- the health of the planet we pass on to our children," he said.

Between 1985 and 1996, DoD reduced average energy use of its facilities by 15.5 percent, more than any other large federal agency. It has also become a leader in research and development of alternatives to ozone-damaging pollutants. These efforts are far-reaching because the department's specifications for environmentally friendly procedures and use of chemicals and are routinely used as industry standards worldwide.

Army, Air Force and Navy environmental programs were also honored during the ceremony.

The Army's Acquisition Pollution Prevention Support Office was cited for efforts in eliminating ozone-depleting chemicals from fielded weapon systems. The service's strategic guidance on the subject is used by more than 300 Army installations worldwide, other DoD and federal facilities, domestic airlines and 12 foreign governments.

The Air Force's Titan IV Program was honored for efforts of its Ozone Depleting Substances Reduction Team. The team eliminated 99 percent of ozone-epleting substances associated with the design, production and launch preparation of large, solid-fuel rocket motors.

Navy programs received two awards. The Naval Research Laboratory received top honors for efforts to reduce or eliminate the use of halon, an ozone-depleting substance commonly found in refrigerants and fire extinguishers. Researchers tested numerous alternatives to halon and selected a nonozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbon for use in numerous applications aboard Navy ships.

The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center was cited for efforts in converting shipboard air conditioning and refrigeration units to more ozone-friendly systems. By the end of September, 360 shipboard systems will have been converted and more than 100 ships will be free of ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbon-12.

Individuals and defense contractors also were honored at the ceremony. Individuals honored were:

  • Gary D. Vest, principal assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for environmental security;
  • Joel Krinsky, Naval Sea Systems Command;
  • Ronald W. Sibley, Defense Logistics Agency;
  • Joe Felty and Stephen P. Evanoff, Lockheed Martin Corp.;
  • Thomas Morehouse, Institute for Defense Analyses;
  • Daniel Verdonik, Hughes Aircraft.

Company awards went to the Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon, Texas Instruments Systems, Inc.

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