Army National Guard Environmental Program
What is it?
The paramount goal of the Environmental Program of the Army National Guard (ARNG) is to sustain the maximum use of lands and facilities to train Soldiers. To accomplish this goal, the Environmental Program strives to move beyond compliance with environmental laws and regulations by integrating sustainability with other divisions, incorporating cost-effective pollution prevention practices into daily operations, preserving cultural and natural resources while increasing available training lands, and identifying and remediating contamination from past military practices.
What has the ARNG done?
Recent accomplishments and activities include:
- In FY07, the ARNG began the transition back to lead bullets at Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) through focused coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The return to lead bullets (with bullet catchers) at MMR enables the Massachusetts ARNG to meet their training requirements for premobilization training.
- The ARNG continues to create land buffers around training sites to mitigate the effects of urban encroachment. In FY07, Camp Shelby, Mississippi, was approved for the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program for a total of five ARNG training sites. Through a series of five Cooperative Agreements totaling $6 Million, along with $32 Million in partner contributions, a total of 17,000 acres were secured for activities compatible with the ARNG mission. Not only does this reduce encroachment on ARNG training sites, but also it fosters community involvement and protects the environment.
- Compliance-related cleanup from past practices at ARNG sites continues at an accelerated pace. Of the 149 known contaminated sites in 27 states, a total of $10.4 Million was provided in FY07 for site work at 77 locations. This dedication of funds exceeds the FY07 target of $3.5 Million by 66 percent. Investing in cleanup actions early reduces the risk of contaminate migration, as well as the total cost for cleanup at each site.
- The Pennsylvania ARNG, in conjunction with the National Guard Bureau and the Army Installation Services and Environmental Division, completed the first statewide sustainability program focusing on five core business areas with respect to the triple bottom line of mission, community, and environment.
What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future?
The ARNG continues to focus on and sustain the triple bottom line of mission, environment, and community. In support of the installation sustainability mission, the ARNG continues to integrate its planning of available natural and cultural resources. Through coordination with surrounding communities and through the use of legislative authority, the ARNG partners with private, local, and state organizations for the acquisition of easements to limit incompatible development in the vicinity of its installations.
The ARNG Environmental Program continues to focus on the sustainability of our training centers. Ensuring that our training sites remain in compliance with environmental laws, regulations, and interagency agreements and that the ARNG functions in a sustainable manner is fundamental to the unhampered access of Soldiers to the training lands they require to maintain readiness.
Why is this important to the Army and the ARNG?
ARNG training lands are the cornerstone of efforts to prepare trained and ready Soldiers. Evolving transformation actions and increasing pressure on natural resources require that we maximize our maneuver and firing range capabilities over the two million acres of ARNG training lands and mitigate the effects of encroachment from urbanization.