COLCHESTER, Vt. - With successes in recycling, community partnership and other areas, the environmental quality program at Camp Johnson sets the standard for all Vermont Army National Guard (VTARNG) facilities, including 20 armories, a flight facility, training sites and maintenance shops.
Camp Johnson serves as VTARNG's primary industrial installation. Its environmental office supports the federal and state mission of the National Guard by ensuring the availability of lands and facilities for quality, realistic Soldier training through compliance with federal, state, local, and Army regulations.
Camp Johnson's environmental quality program recycled 156 tons of waste in fiscal 2007 -- including more than 82.5 tons of scrap metal and brass, 54 tons of paper, cardboard, glass and plastic, and 6.5 tons of miscellaneous items such as antifreeze, used oil, light bulbs, ballasts and electronic waste. This represents a disposal diversion rate of nearly 50 percent.
"Camp Johnson's new qualified recycling program generated more than $16,000 in fiscal year 2007," said Capt. Jacob Roy, environmental program manager. "The installation ... collected approximately $26,000 in calendar year 2008."
Camp Johnson also consumed almost 1,000 gallons of used oil in 2008 at a savings of about $3,000. It refurbished approximately 2,000 gallons of diesel in 2008 to use as fuel for buildings and vehicles, saving an additional $5,000.
But recycling was only one approach taken. Camp Johnson phased out traditional paint shop systems over the past several years. The facility now uses water-based chemical agent resistant coating (CARC) paint equipment and media-based paint strippers. This switch not only increased the safety of the paint process for VTARNG Soldiers, but also eliminated the purchase and disposal costs of toxic solvents and painting materials.
Increasing the use of water-based CARC painting and using natural gas rather than heating oil helped maintain the level of operation while reducing emissions.
More recently, a hazardous material tracking tool streamlined material management and reduced material purchase, disposal and waste. Shops at Camp Johnson and throughout the state can now swap unused or unneeded materials.
The VTARNG environmental website links Camp Johnson with all other VTARNG facilities, providing instant access to documentation and data for all compliance, pollution prevention, conservation and planning activities. Regular environmental training for Camp Johnson's Soldiers and staff helps to ensure that VTARNG soldiers are able to carry environmental awareness and stewardship back into their communities.
Partnering with local communities is another approach that has helped Camp Johnson earn recognition. Each year high school students study the post's wetlands, conduct water sampling and research plants and animals. University students work in the field and analyze samples collected from wetland sediments, and graduate students conduct research projects using the installation's natural communities.
For these efforts, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for the Environment, Safety and Occupational Health Tad Davis presented Camp Johnson with the fiscal 2008 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award in the environmental quality, industrial installation category. These annual awards represent the highest honor in the field of environmental science conferred by the Army.
"The Army is committed to protecting the environment at installations here and overseas," said Davis. "In fact, as the winners of our environmental awards demonstrate, the Army is getting more and more sophisticated in its use of environmental technology and sustainable practices. We're becoming a greener shade of green."
An independent panel of judges made up of professionals from federal, state and Army organizations recommended Camp Johnson for the honor.
"The VTARNG has a very strong technical program that seeks and uses technology to maintain and go beyond environmental compliance to reduce its environmental footprint," said awards judge Ray Fatz, President and CEO of Plexus Scientific Corporation and former deputy assistant secretary of the Army for environment, safety and occupational health.
For details about the fiscal year 2008 Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards recipients visit the U.S. Army Environmental Command's awards page at http://aec.army.mil/usaec/newsroom/awards00.html.
This information is provided by the U.S. Army Environmental Command. USAEC is the Army's point organization for supporting the implementation of environmental programs that facilitate sustainable Army training and operations while protecting the environment. We provide environmental program management and technical support products and services in support of Army training operations, acquisition and sound stewardship.