Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security
Sherri W. Goodman will host the kickoff event for a unique new
pilot program to achieve greater environmental protection, at
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on July 24, 1996. Known as
ENVVEST, this program is jointly sponsored by the Department of
Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency, under President
Clinton's Reinventing Environmental Regulation.
The ENVVEST concept, part of the President's overall
Reinventing Government initiative, allows military
installations, in conjunction with federal, state, and local
regulators, to test cost-effective practical alternative
approaches to achieving environmental protection.
Vandenberg Air Force Base was the first DOD installation to sign
an agreement with EPA and plans to redirect environmental
compliance funds into water conservation, air, and water
pollution prevention projects.
ENVVEST is the future of environmental management in the
U.S., Goodman said. It creates a partnership among federal,
state, and local officials, the public, and military
installations to design the right combination of environmental
actions to meet the needs of local communities.
EPA and DOD signed a Memorandum of Agreement last November
that established the framework for EPA to provide relief from
selected regulatory requirements. In turn, DOD will invest in
cost-effective alternatives to strengthen the Department's
environmental efforts overall. ENVVEST will initially be tested
at three to five DOD installations. Installations in Alaska,
Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington
State have been nominated to participate.
Steven A. Herman, assistant administrator, Office of
Enforcement and Compliance Assurance for the EPA will also
participate in the Vandenberg event.
ENVVEST represents a commitment from both EPA and DOD to
explore new ways to move our nation's military installations into
a leadership role in environmental practices. We are working
together, and alongside state and local officials, to reach an
agreement that will yield real benefits for the people of
California and its environment, one that combines flexibility
with accountability, Herman said.
When a final agreement is approved, this project at
Vandenberg Air Force Base will significantly reduce both air and
water pollution at the base, making the Air Force both a better,
and cleaner, neighbor to surrounding communities, and providing
lessons to move us into the 21st century of environmental
protection, Herman added.
DOD will conduct an independent evaluation to measure
progress of this program.
Goodman noted that if ENVVEST is successful, both DOD and EPA
hope to duplicate this effort nationwide. This is a very
exciting time because the federal government is changing the way
it helps communities. The era of one size fits all to
environmental management is ending. Instead, innovation,
pollution prevention and partnerships should guide environmental
policy. ENVVEST opens the door to creative solutions for local
problems. In 20 years, we will look back at this event, and
wonder why we didn't do this sooner.