SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento District hosted the first of what is hoped will be many gatherings of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division's environmental clean-up professionals here March 23 and 24.

They called it the South Pacific Division Hazardous, Toxic and Radiological Waste/Military Munitions Recovery Program conference -- or SPDHTRWMMRPC, for short.

The Corps' Hazardous, Toxic and Radiological Waste Program oversees the clean-up and disposal of toxic waste materials, particularly at former military installations. The Military Munitions Recovery Program is a national Corps program to remove ordnance from former military bases.

"The conference was the first time in many, many years that we brought together the environmental professionals from all four districts and the South Pacific Division to meet each other, discuss our capabilities, technical experience and regional collaboration to accomplish our mission," said Bradley Call, Sacramento District's environmental engineering section chief.

One of the highlights of the conference was a keynote address by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Dorko, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations.

"He gave us a 30-minute talk on what's going on in the military environmental arena in Washington, D.C.," said Call. "What he had to say dovetailed nicely with the objectives of the summit, which were to interact regionally, for networking and to share knowledge."

Speaking earlier of workload issues affecting all districts, "Our workload will continue to evolve," Dorko said. "We're now seeing a lot of Department of Defense work. We'll be working on hospitals and Department of Defense schools, and we're going to be partnering with great organizations, like the Defense Logistics Agency. It's going to be a bigger workload than what we had going into this period of plenty, but the nature of our work will be different."

Presentations by each of the four districts covered major developments in the career field.

From the Sacramento District, Chris Prescott, a project manager with the military construction branch, talked about the Multiple Government Acquisition strategy, or MEGA, which aims to simplify the contracting procedure for environmental clean-up work and direct more work to small businesses. Sacramento District environmental design section chief Rick Meagher presented on the new Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Program, which is similar to the ROTC program, except that it's for students pursuing a technical or scientific degree. SMART is a Department of Defense-funded program, covering tuition costs for eligible students.

Another meeting is scheduled in two years.