BAMBERG, Germany - U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg is one of 11 honorees announced as 2008 Secretary of the Army Environmental and Sustainability Awardees during a ceremony Feb. 10.

"The winners of these awards manage programs that represent the Army's best practices in preserving environmental resources today so they are also available to us tomorrow," said Secretary of the Army Pete Geren.

Geren awarded seven installations, three teams and one individual with environmental achievements, with U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg winning the Environmental Quality - Overseas category.

The award is the culmination of years of hard work by the garrison's Environmental Division to coordinate and teach the principles of environmental restoration and preservation. It demonstrates USAG Bamberg's long-term commitment to preserve the environment that is critical for maintaining quality of life.

"This is a huge accomplishment," said Addison Davis, IV, Deputy Assistant, Secretary of the Army. "[Bamberg] will go forward as the Army nominee for the Department of Defense Secretary of Defense level award in the same category," he added.

"This accomplishment is not the result of one person's efforts, but of many. It was a team effort that included my team of environmental specialists and community efforts as well," said Uwe Rauch, Chief of the USAG Bamberg Environmental Management Division.

The Environmental Management Division staff consists of Rauch, Konrad Albert, environmental specialist, natural resources; Isabelle Fahimi, conservation support manager; Juergen Mehler, recycling center operator; Silvia Mueller, compliance support manager; Claudia Schuberth, environmental engineer; and Helmut Weis, environmental specialist, solid Waste.

The EMD's program responsibilities include environmental program manageA,Ament; implementation of an Environmental Management System; hazardous waste/materials; natural resources; geographical information system; petroleum, oil and lubricants; radon; asbestos; air emissions; environmental noise; contaminated sites remediation; cultural resources and online data calls/reporting. Contractors support the core compliance and conservation programs.

Creating a sustainable environment has become a high priority for everyone in this era of high technology and disposable products. Although everyone can just throw away broken items, it is not the most ecologically way to deal with them. And according to Environmental Division officials here, Bamberg, as a community, waste much more than it recycles.

"When you look at all the waste our community generates, 85 percent of it is recyclable," said Rauch.

"Of that 85 percent, 45 percent is just being thrown away, wasted," he added.

Rauch said that there has been a continuous increase in the recycling rate by 2 percent annually since Oct. 2004, but that can still improve. But that rate has increased since the opening of the recycling center on post in 2007. The EMS was implemented in 2004 when the garrison commander signed an EMS Policy.

The recycling center is just one of various projects implemented by the EMD team that contributed to Bamberg receiving AES honors, along with six overall environmental quality accomplishments.

The Environmental Management Division was the first activity of the garrison with a fully working Geographic Information System. Data exchange within the garrison of ecological and other environmental inventories are now communicated to all relevant organizations.

Successful implementation of the Environmental Management System, which is in the scope of Army metrics and was expanded to the entire garrison.

The City of Bamberg was awarded as "EnviA,Aronmental City of Germany" and the garrison supports the local city administration of Bamberg to meet the award requirements.

In 2007, the Garrison constructed a new recycling center. The new facility is open 24/7 and is manned during working hours. The hazardous waste storage facility is also located at the recycling center.

EMD's sound Natural Resources Management Program enables Installation Management Command-Europe and U.S. Army Europe to train Soldiers to doctrinal standards and to be leaders in environmental stewardship at the same time.

The Engineer Lake area adjacent to the installation was reshaped from minor ecological significance to an area where recreation, ecological habitats, and nature experience are combined. InA,Acreased use of the site for barbecues and other activities during the past two years reflects the acceptance of the reshaping and landscaping project of the Engineer Lake recreation area.

Because the EMD is garrison-wide and in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations, both U.S. and German, there are aspects of environmental care that go beyond the requirements of both the U.S. Environmental Division and the German government's environmental expectations.

A primary EMD goal is to educate the community about the benefits of being environmentally conscious. How' By providing training and guidance to all divisions; in-processing SolA,Adiers; and contributing to information packets given to newcomers by the Housing Division. The team also helps promote environmental initiatives when the garrison celebrates Earth Day.

The GIS enables the team to view and track a variety of aspects on post from geology, drillings and water and soil test to surface waters, landscaping features, landscape maintenance responsibilities, cultural and archaeological resources, cultural monuments, contaminated sites, recycling points, hazardous material storage areas, biotopes and forests. All are viewable online with the click of a mouse and most of the themes are available in 3-D.

The team has also been responsible for the remediation of 21 polluted sites since 1987.

The remediation of the last of those 21 known sites begins this spring and will involve cleaning up the old transportation motor pool site, and removing old fuel tanks and then re-setting the cobblestone pavers. Rauch said most of the accomplishments were made because of the partnership with his team, garrison residents and the city of Bamberg.

"We have been able to share our successes with the residents as well as the city of Bamberg. The latter because of the wonderful community relations of our last two commanders," he added.

Other winners were:
Camp Johnson, Vermont Army National Guard - Environmental Quality, Industrial Installation;
Camp Navajo, Arizona Army National Guard - Cultural Resources Management, Installation;
Fort Bragg, N.C. - Environmental Restoration, Installation;
Camp Ripley Maneuver and Training Center, Minnesota Army National Guard - Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation;
Combined Support Maintenance Shop, Michigan Army National Guard - Pollution Prevention, Non-industrial Installation;
Field Maintenance Shop #2 Pollution Prevention Team, North Carolina Army National Guard - Pollution Prevention, Team;
Fort Drum, N.Y. - Cultural Resources Management, Team/Individual;
Fort Hood, Texas - Sustainability, Installation;
Fort Carson, Colo. - Sustainability, Team;
Maj. Laura McHugh, Pennsylvania Army National Guard - Sustainability, Individual.