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Army National Guard (ARNG) Environmental Programs

What is it?
The ARNGs’ Environmental Programs focus on the triple bottom line of: mission, community, and environment in order to sustain the maximum use of training 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:

  • The ARNG has recently received regulatory approval to conduct vadose zone monitoring (VZM) in lieu of conducting a groundwater investigation as part of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 permit closure at Camp Navajo, Arizona. The VZM will be conducted as part of the long term care/monitoring required in the post-closure RCRA permit. Additionally, the ARNG has response complete or response in place for all seven RCRA permitted sites at Camp Navajo. The ARNG agreed to conduct investigation/cleanup at the seven RCRA permit sites utilizing the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) risked cleanup process. Upon completing the CERCLA risk based cleanup process, the ARNG agreed to complete a post-closure RCRA permit to address the contamination left in place following RCRA long term care and monitoring requirements.
  • The ARNG continues to successfully create land buffers around training sites to mitigate the effects of urban encroachment. In FY08, Fort Pickett, Virginia; Camp McCrady’s Joint project in South Carolina; and Camp Rilea, Oregon were approved for the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program for a total of eight ARNG training sites utilizing the program. Through their respective cooperative agreements, an approximate total of $19.2 Million has been obligated ($7.6 Million in FY08) along with $88.4 Million partner contributions spent to date, with a total of 37,244 acres secured for activities compatible with the ARNG mission. Not only does this reduce encroachment on ARNG training sites, it also fosters community involvement and protects the environment.
  • The ARNG assumes program management and execution responsibilities for Phase II investigations as part of the Operational Range Assessment Program (ORAP) beginning FY10. A total of $36 Million has been programmed into the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) for FY10-15, $6 Million per year. The ARNG is currently conducting acquisition/contracting activities to support FY10 execution of Phase II investigations. The ARNG continues to review Phase I ORAP assessment reports as it transitions into Phase II of the ORAP. Phase I ORAP is scheduled to be complete by the end of FY09.
  • The California, Colorado, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania National Guard, in conjunction with National Guard Bureau and the Army Installation Services and Environmental Division, are undergoing sustainability training/planning and implementation of state-wide sustainability programs. The goal is to establish sustainability programs in the remaining states and territories (a minimum of three additional states during FY09 and aggressively move forward with the remaining 47 States over the next several years).

What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future?
The ARNG continues to focus on the installation sustainability mission and 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 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. These goals are fundamental to Soldiers maintaining unhampered access to the training land they require to maintain readiness.

Why is this important to the Army?
Army National Guard training lands are essential to having 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 Army National Guard training lands and mitigate the effects of encroachment from urbanization.

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