Commander approves APG environmental policy
August 20, 2013
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD - With an eye on maintaining the balance between accomplishing the various missions of Aberdeen Proving Ground while sustaining the sensitive Chesapeake Bay watershed, the installation Senior Leader, Maj. Gen. Robert Ferrell, has approved the APG Environmental Policy.
Known as E=PC2 [Environmental Policy = Pollution Prevention, Comply with Laws, and Continually Improve], the policy is included in the APG Environmental Management System (EMS) which governs specific environmental goals regarding Air Emissions, Energy & Water Consumption; Natural Resources; Hazardous Materials; and Petroleum, Oils & Lubricants.
"Basically the EMS is the installation environmental policy that lists goals of what we're trying to accomplish environmentally," said Carroll Sparwasser, EMS management representative with the Directorate of Public Works.
Sparwasser said the number one goal of the installation is to maintain environmental stewardship.
"We want to sustain the mission while maintaining and keeping the environment in mind. Our main purpose is we don't want to destroy what we have. We need to be good stewards and maintain the natural resources we have here."
He called the APG Bald Eagle population - the largest concentration of bald eagles in the northern Chesapeake Bay one of the two largest on the east coast - the EMS policy's most visible success story.
Sparwasser, whose duties include coordinating environmental systems with all organizational environmental officers, said the EMS's primary purpose is to look ahead and plan for environmental concerns.
"We work on being proactive rather than reactive," he said. "We don't want to wait for something calamitous to occur. The conditions of dated above and below-ground petroleum storage tanks, for example, are of primary environmental concern.
"We don't want to wait for them to develop a leak," he said. "We conduct regular inspections and keep tabs on situations before they fail."
Specifically, the policy addresses the APG Significant Aspects & EMS Action Plans, Sparwasser said. These include:
Energy & Water Consumption (Net Zero) -- the compressed work schedule is a result of this plan to reduce the consumption of water, electricity, natural gasses and oils.
Air Emissions (Transportation Demand Management) - included in this is the goal to reduce single occupancy vehicle use through car and van pooling.
Natural Resources (Chesapeake Bay Focus) - coordinates with the state of Maryland and the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphates entering the Bay. Includes upgrade of waste water treatment plant in APG South (Edgewood).
Hazardous Materials (Reduce Inventory) -- goal is to reduce inventory which means fewer chances of accidents
Petroleum Oils & Lubricant (USTs)- tank replacement program.
Sparwasser said an environmental policy is required for each installation. The policy, which is posted on the APG website at http://www.apg.army.mil/APGHome/sites/directorates/DPW/environment/ecd/pdf/environmental.pdf, was signed by Ferrell in June. It reads in part that, "APG has instituted an Environmental Management System that supports the mission by integrating environmental practices into all our operations and business decisions."
"This provides a foundation for the EMS system, and it's always available to the public on public and private websites.
"The EMS Team has to facilitate with the Environmental Division. The key thing is continual improvement."
He added that Environmental Awareness Training is required for everyone.
"We want to get the message across that it's required for civilians, military and contractors," he said. "We encourage organizations to track how and when employees take it and strongly recommend that they refresh annually."
He said he is charged with promoting timely training for leaders, Soldiers, families and civilian employees with the goal of environmental stewardship.""We all have a relationship with the environment and we can all be good stewards," he said.