By Cathy Kropp February 10, 2014
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Feb. 10, 2014) -- While budgets may shrink, the Army's responsibility to the environment remains constant. This is demonstrated by the ammunition plant, three installations, and three environmental teams recognized for their outstanding environmental and sustainability program achievements with Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards for fiscal year 2013.
Installations include keeping an eye on ways to save taxpayer dollars while protecting and preserving the environment as part of all their efforts. All award winners, whether saving forests, protecting historic sites, installing solar fields, improving wastewater treatment, manufacturing green bullets, protecting endangered species, or reducing water usage, highlighted cost savings and cost avoidances associated with their environmental programs in their nomination submissions.
"The Army's environmental professionals continue to demonstrate their commitment to restore and maintain the rich natural treasures found on and around Army lands. Each of these nominations provides examples of how the Army promotes innovative environmental practices and partnerships that reduce costs without compromising mission success," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment. "I am proud of the accomplishments of the award recipients and thank all of the nominees for their hard work."
The Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards represent the highest honor in the field of environmental science and sustainability conferred by the Army. For more information about the awards, visit the U.S. Army Environmental Command's website, http://aec.army.mil/Outreach/Awardprograms/SecArmyandSecDef.aspx
The Secretary of the Army Environmental Award winners include:
Camp Johnson, Vermont Army National Guard, won the small installation award for its natural resources conservation accomplishments. The installation's natural resources' program reintroduced prescribed fire management for pitch pine habitat; fielded the installation's first invasive species management crew to address honeysuckle encroachment in the pitch pine habitat; and began replanting the forest with seedlings raised in the University of Vermont's nursery.
Fort Wainwright, Alaska, earned the cultural resources management award for an installation. During the rating period the cultural resources management team revised its Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan, implemented the Operations and Maintenance Programmatic Agreement, amended the Battle Area Complex Surface Danger Zone Programmatic Agreement, revised the way the installation conducts government to government and tribal consultation, and partnered with Texas A&M for an Archaeology Field School.
Fort Hood, Texas, took home the environmental quality award for a non-industrial installation. The installation's environmental efforts reduced expenses through effective use of funds, extended the life of products and increased conservation. Projects contributing to the savings include the Net Zero Energy facility that will generate 140,105 kWh annually; a solar field that will generate 1,000,000 kWh annually; and a battery charging program that saved $426,167. More than $1.5 million of excess materials were turned in by units during the rating period, with 75 percent of those materials being reissued or recycled by other units.
Fort Riley, Kan., won the team award for their natural resource conservation efforts. The team successfully collaborated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on three private lands partnership agreements and the installation of an agricultural waste diversion structure that is used to protect Federally Endangered Topeka Shiners in Wildcat Creek. Additional partnerships led to the development of the region?'s first aerial treatments for invasive bush honeysuckle which resulted in more than 95 percent success in control with no measured negative effects to native vegetation.
The Minnesota Army National Guard won the environmental quality team award. The team's commitment to environmental quality and sustainability is demonstrated in every aspect of its work, from development of new online training courses and a joint sustainability plan to exceed the annual water use reduction goals and also cutting energy use by 18 percent.
Maryland's Fort George G. Meade Installation Restoration and Military Munitions Response Program Team earned the environmental restoration team award. During the last two fiscal years they completed two state-lead soil removal actions, as well as two interim and one final removal action to address soil contamination. In addition, they finalized five decision documents detailing the remedial actions selected to address environmental restoration sites and finalized addendums to decision documents for three others. They also finished remedial investigations at two other sites and conducted preliminary assessment/site inspections at 14 others. Other accomplishments included finalizing two remedial designs, two engineering evaluations/site inspections, and one focused site investigation.
The following installations were recognized as runner-up in their respective categories: Hawaii Army National Guard Keaukaha Military Reservation for natural resources small installation award; Redstone Arsenal, Ala., for cultural resources management installation award; Maine Army National Guard for environmental quality non-industrial installation; Mississippi Army National Guard for sustainability industrial installation; Larry Vrtiska, Nebraska Army National Guard, for natural resources team/individual; Steven Flier, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for environmental quality team/individual; and Milan Army Ammunition Plant, Tenn., for environmental restoration team/individual.