By Dennis Bohannon, ASA(IE&E) November 29, 2011
WASHINGTON (Nov. 29, 2011) -- The U.S. Army and the Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating on the Army's "Net Zero" initiative to conserve energy and water while recycling waste at military installations.
Paul Anastas, assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development and science advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency, and Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, signed a memorandum of understanding during a brief ceremony at EPA's headquarters here Nov. 28.
During the signing, Hammack stressed the need to reorient the Army's culture to recognize the value of sustainability -- not just for its financial benefits, but also because it helps the Army to ensure its mission capability, provides a high quality of life for Soldier and families, enhances local community partnerships, and increases the Army's options in the future.
"Through a whole-of-government approach to sustainability, the Army's Net Zero initiative increases the Army's ability to be successful today and into the future. Our collaboration with EPA's Office of Research and Development brings leading-edge research assistance together to advance both our institutions' goals for increase resource efficiency and balanced resource use," Hammack said.
Anastas emphasized how the Army's and EPA's goals are intricately interconnected.
"You are protecting the nation. We are making the nation worth protecting," he said.
The memorandum of understanding will allow the Army to leverage the Office of Research and Development's leading-edge research to evaluate cutting-edge technology to enhance the Army's Net Zero and sustainability goals at Army installations.
Under the agreement, the EPA and Army will work jointly to advance the development and demonstration of new applications and technologies that can be used on installations striving toward Net Zero water, waste, and energy goals.
The Army plans to explore technologies and approaches that:
• Increase efficiency and recovery of energy, water, and materials
• Incorporate design and use of green infrastructure
• Addresses social/behavioral components of culture
• Aid in our understanding of water, energy, and material flows and interactions
• Incorporate water and energy security, and climate-ready solutions
• Include the communities as partners in efforts to change the way the Army has traditionally managed these critical resources so that they are part of the process and can take ownership of solutions
The Army's Net Zero Installation Program is a strategy that strives to bring the overall consumption of resources on installations down to an effective rate of zero.
A Net Zero Energy Installation produces as much energy on site as it uses, over the course of a year.
A Net Zero Water Installation limits the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the same watershed so not to deplete the groundwater and surface water resources of that region in quantity and quality over the course of a year.
A Net Zero Waste Installation reduces, reuses, and recovers waste streams, converting them to resource values with zero landfill over the course of a year.
A Net Zero Installation applies an integrated approach to management of energy, water, and waste to capture and commercialize the resource value and/or enhance the ecological productivity of land, water, and air.