By Ms. Jenn Miller (USACE)October 25, 2017
The U.S. Army Regional Environmental and Energy Offices (REEOs) have been developing strong partnerships throughout the nation for more than 20 years. These partnerships enable the REEOs to work closely with military and regional policymakers to set standards that improve Army readiness, safety and well-being.
The REEOs also facilitate partnerships among other federal agencies to help resolve shared challenges through collaboration and information sharing. The successful facilitation of these efforts recently received recognition on October 19 in Atlanta, Georgia, when the REEO-Southern and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 team received EPA Bronze Medals for their exceptional efforts in organizing and hosting an environmental workshop for the U.S. EPA and Department of Defense military installations within the southeast region.
The workshop, held in April 2017, brought together more than 120 attendees, including Department of Defense representatives from 45 military installations across the southeast region. It provided a forum to update military installation personnel on the U.S. EPA's current environmental regulations and programs. The workshop also included panel discussions on environmental challenges, success stories and collaborative opportunities. The main objective of the joint workshop was to provide regulatory updates and training, but it also provided the opportunity to share lessons learned and foster effective communication between the EPA regulators and installation personnel.
"There is tremendous value in bringing our state and military partners together," said Susan Gibson, REEO-Southern Director, and co-host of the workshop. "This workshop serves as just one of many examples of how federal and state agencies can work together to develop a common operating picture and identify opportunities to collaborate in order to advance our collective efforts."
The REEOs represent the Department of Defense and Army environmental and energy interests at the state and regional level to support and advocate for military missions and facilities. Their close coordination between military and regional policymakers helps to resolve issues before they become laws and regulations in support of military readiness and mission sustainment.
There are four Army Regional Environmental and Energy Offices, which represent the 10 U.S. EPA Regions. The offices consist of REEO-Northern, REEO-Southern, REEO-Central and REEO-Western. The entire REEO team contributed to the success of this workshop, by providing support to its planning and implementation.