In a Pentagon ceremony today, Deputy Secretary of Defense Rudy de Leon congratulated 17 winners of the Defense Environmental Security Award for their outstanding achievements in natural resources conservation, cultural resources management, environmental quality, pollution prevention, recycling and environmental cleanup.
Cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 were given to installation personnel in recognition of their excellence in protecting the environment; supporting the defense mission and implementing cost savings to the Department.
Award recipients are listed below by military Service and award category.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson, S.C., was presented the Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation Award for their remarkable progress in natural resources conservation during the last three years. The installation remediated 40 severely eroding sites to enhance military training lands and improve water quality. It also converted 4,012 acres of land to Longleaf Pine, which provides an ideal training environment for the military. The installation's endangered species work almost doubled the number of endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers on the installation land since 1996. Clearly, this successful program exemplifies the motto of Fort Jackson-Victory Starts Here!
Hawaii Army National Guard earned the Natural Resources Conservation, Small Installation Award for its efforts partnering with private landowners and public agencies to protect Hawaii's fragile environment while supporting the Guard's military training mission. This program helped recover 25 rare, threatened, and endangered species by using a newly created in-house staff, geographic information systems, and innovative partnerships, while realizing cost savings of nearly $200,000. The Guard also developed innovative fire-management and irrigation techniques that could significantly improve conservation programs around the world.
Fort McCoy, Wis., was presented the Natural Resources Conservation Individual/Team award for developing an overlay map providing units an easy way to accommodate environmental concerns when planning training exercises. The team also closed the explosive ordnance disposal open-detonation site in 1999, saving Fort McCoy $400,000. Also, the team partnered with numerous research organizations to conduct research on the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly on Fort McCoy. Following a severe windstorm, the team harvested 16,662 cords and 1,001,000 board feet of timber (more than four times the average annual harvest) from 2,588 wind-damaged acres, yielding $340,000. Other efforts improved trout habitat and reduced stream-bank erosion at Tarr and Silver Creeks. In addition, the team conducted a water-quality study that pointed to pollution coming from outside of the installation. As a result, the state of Wisconsin allocated funds to address the problem. Also during the award period, the team began research on the Blanding's Turtle, a state-threatened species; hosted numerous community outreach programs; and maintained healthy fish and wildlife populations for biodiversity and recreational needs.
Fort Riley, Kan., was presented the Cultural Resources Management Installation Award for their overall installation cost savings, improved soldier safety, and increased awareness of cultural resources. Among their most notable accomplishments are the development and implementation of the Native American Graves Protection Act standard operating procedures and completion of a comprehensive agreement with the Kaw (Kansa) Nation of Oklahoma. Nearly all U.S. Forces Command installations use both documents as templates. The installation's program will continue to protect and preserve Fort Riley's history for tomorrow's generation while providing a safe and useful training environment for the military mission.
Radford Army Ammunition Plant, Va., was presented the Pollution Prevention Industrial Installation Award for reducing the generation of hazardous waste by hundreds of thousands of pounds, implementing a smaller MK90 extrusion die, and reducing disposal of dinitrotoluene-laden wastewater. These projects include process improvements for reduced sulfates and nitrates, use of alternative open burning ground pan liners, process efficiency improvements to eliminate hazardous waste or reduce quantities, and material substitutions to replace toxic materials in products. Radford's accomplishments have resulted in over 10 million pounds of waste reduced and recycled in fiscal 1998-99, with cost savings of $3.1 million.
Headquarters III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas, earned the Pollution Prevention Non-Industrial Installation Award for preventing the generation of solid waste, wastewater, and air emissions through source reduction, reuse, and recycling. In the last two years, Fort Hood has successfully eliminated more than 8 million pounds of hazardous/state regulated waste per year, which avoided disposal costs of more than $2 million. The installation recycled more than 10,000 tons of solid waste, which generated almost $760,000. Fort Hood's pollution prevention plan includes opportunities to eliminate an additional 3.5 million pounds of waste per year and realize $4.6 million in savings. The state of Texas recognized the installation by accepting it in two environmental leadership programs: Clean Cities and Clean Texas Star.
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
Robert R. Peterson, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., earned the Cultural Resources Management, Individual/Team Award for his discovery of evidence of Chumash Indian cave paintings and carvings, leading to the belief that the paintings and carvings are 3,000 years old, 2,000 years older than any previously discovered. During this process, he successfully abated water and dust damage to the cave and significantly improved it both as a cultural site and as a community and tribal resource. Peterson's archaeological survey report added 2,200 properties to the list of known sites, enabling planners to avoid encroachment. His historical preservation plans provide meticulous and focused assets for base managers, particularly fire fighting professionals, who can now avoid impact to historic properties during wildfire suppression.
Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., was presented the Environmental Quality, Industrial Installation Award for saving more than $50,000 by turning two million pounds of railroad ties and utility poles into usable mulch. It redirected industrial wastewater discharges from the Banana River to a sanitary sewer, significantly improving the water quality in the Florida Water and National Marine Estuary. In the area of cleanup, the base tested more than 28 different innovative technologies at 15 different sites providing an additional $3 million to the installation's cleanup program. It established universal waste accumulation areas for nickel cadmium batteries and fluorescent lamps to eliminate more than 25,000 pounds in these two important categories. An aggressive base pollution prevention program reduced EPA's list of 17 chemicals by 67 percent, reduced the levels of Class I ozone depleting substances by 81 percent, and reduced Air Force listed pesticides by 68 percent from the base's 1992 baseline levels. Patrick's partnering efforts led to a 40-percent reduction in the number of construction permits needed for water and sewage work and reduced the landfill closure cap requirement from 10 to four acres.
Robert R. Tomlinson, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., was awarded the Pollution Prevention Individual/Team Award for his efforts in eliminating 445 hazardous chemicals and reduced hazardous chemical authorizations by 1,555 through the elimination of duplicate cleaners. He also spearheaded the academy's program to change all airfield maintenance operations to low-emitting, non-hazardous cleaning solvents. Tomlinson completed the academy's compliance site inventory with no contractor assistance, saving more than $80,000. He replaced highly toxic chlorine gas used at the academy with calcium hypochlorite solution, a non-toxic release inventory substance. This not only eliminated the chlorine, but also cut the overall amount of chemicals needed to do the job from 9,000 pounds of chlorine to 3,500 pounds of calcium hypochlorite. Tomlinson is also a member of the academy's deicing tiger team that reduced deicer usage by 50 percent.
Logistics Environmental Team, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Ohio, was awarded the Pollution Prevention Weapons System Acquisition Team Award for supporting the entire Air Force by reducing life-cycle costs through innovative strategies that encourage partnerships, reduce duplication, and maximize Air Force resources. The team's cradle-to-grave philosophy brings design, manufacturing, engineering, and sustainment communities together and encourages joint solutions to common problems across multiple weapons systems. In 1999, it performed detailed cost-benefit analyses for all existing and potential projects, ensuring that the Air Force factored environmental, safety, and occupational health considerations into the decision matrix. As the program manager for the high-velocity oxygen-fuel chrome replacement project for all Air Force and Navy landing gear, the team saved these Services $430,000 and $225,000, respectively, in 1999. Managing the hand-held laser project to strip aircraft components, the team's efforts helped the Air Force achieve a cost avoidance of $263,000 by reducing methylene chloride use and disposal.
Robins Air Force Base, Ga., earned the Recycling Industrial Installation Award for its efforts in operating closed loop recycling projects for both hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Using distillation equipment to separate contaminants from solvents, the base recovered 90 percent of the reusable solvents it uses to clean paint guns. Robins' closed-loop airless vapor de-greaser eliminated hazardous waste disposal and air emissions. It recycled rags, industrial sludge, fluorescent bulbs, used oil, lead acid batteries, and nickel cadmium batteries, thereby reducing hazardous waste disposal by 611 tons in 1998. A base-wide, mandatory recycling program recycled 47 percent of the base's waste stream and reduced solid waste disposal by 58 percent compared to the 1992 baseline. Robins' composting program diverted 100 percent of all compostable materials from landfill disposal, including 1,284 tons of yard waste. The composting program returned 25 percent of the product to the base for reuse and sold 75 percent.
Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., was presented the Recycling Non-Industrial Installation Award for recycling, reconditioning, and reusing 200 laser jet print cartridges per month, installation-wide, and returning or selling 70 tons of used tires per year for remanufacturing or recapping. The base recycled 100 percent of the solvent used in parts-washers, eliminating 17,000 pounds of solvent and saving $43,000 in annual hazardous waste disposal costs. Grand Forks distributed 3,500 recycling containers throughout the installation's work areas. It increased family housing recycling from 80 tons per month in 1995 to more than 114 tons per month in 1999. Grand Forks' dormitory recycling program registered a 968 percent increase in 1999 over 1992, recycling 1,413 tons in 1998 alone. The White House awarded Grand Forks the "Closing the Circle Award" in recognition of the base's waste prevention, recycling, and affirmative procurement programs.
Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, was awarded the Environmental Cleanup Installation Award for its efforts to reach complete remediation by 2005, nine years before the Air Force goal of 2015. Using state-of-the-art technology, the base extracted more than 8,710 pounds of volatile organic compounds at a cost of $36.73 per pound. It processed more than 155,923 gallons of contaminated groundwater and saved $1.1 million by working collaboratively with regulators and community members to shutdown one ground water treatment system 11 years early. Using existing groundwater modeling and monitoring systems, along with natural attenuation and cleanup of contaminated groundwater in its engineered wetland complex, Elmendorf negotiated a preliminary agreement with the state of Alaska to develop a presumptive remedy approach for groundwater cleanup of future spills. This approach will provide faster response at lower cost.
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
Marine Corps Base, Hawaii, earned the Environmental Quality Non-Industrial Installation Award for turning challenges into opportunities to excel. One of the challenges the base faces is eliminating or minimizing the volume and toxicity of hazardous substances and hazardous waste generated through improved hazardous material and hazardous waste management. The base excelled in meeting this challenge, diverting more than 135,000 pounds of hazardous waste resulting in a cost avoidance of $596,000 for hazardous material procurement and hazardous waste disposal. The base also met the challenge of groundwater protection by removing more than 100 underground storage tanks and eliminating pathways for potential groundwater contamination. After removing the tanks, they treated more than 6000 cubic yards of petroleum-contaminated soil at the base land farm, saving more than $300,000 while allowing reuse of the soil as backfill.
Navy Environmental Leadership Program Management Team, Navy Region Southwest, Calif., was presented the Environmental Quality Individual/Team Award for initiating, coordinating, and reviewing new and innovative technology and management projects, including cleanup, compliance, conservation, pollution prevention, and information technology. The team focuses on return on investment and potential benefit to Navy operations. During fiscal 1998-99, it demonstrated 32 technologies that resulted in an aggregate $1.2 million cost avoidance for the Navy. The Chief of Naval Operation's pollution prevention equipment program procures, for operational use, 10 of the pollution prevention technologies that the team demonstrated in a Navy environmental leadership program pre-production initiative.
Suzanne Smith, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, was awarded the Recycling Individual/Team Award for her efforts to revamp the solid waste and recycling programs at the depot. She recruited help to pickup and drop off bins; sort, bale, and package hundreds of tons of recyclable materials; sell or find innovative uses for materials; partner with the community; and advertise the recycling program through awareness training. Smith led the effort to recycle 650 tons in 1999, up from 500 tons in 1997 and 1998. She increased the total recycling revenue by 665 percent, from $4,300 in 1998 to $28,600 in 1999. She achieved this reduction in solid waste disposal costs and increases in recycling in just seven months.
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Va., was presented the Environmental Cleanup Individual/Team Award for using innovative technologies to save the station $2 million in cleanup costs. Their proactive approaches, such as limited sampling efforts, desktop evaluations, and housekeeping activities at areas of concern, saved $1 million by removing the sites from the remedial investigation process. Based on the cost savings achieved to date, the team will save $10 million in total cleanup costs for the station.