SAN ANTONIO -- Three installations and two teams from the U.S. Army Installation Management Command were recognized for environmental restoration, natural resource conservation and overall environmental quality in the annual Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards Program for fiscal year 2011.

Almost 50 nominations were received from across the Army to vie for the honor of representing the Army in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards Program's 2012 competition.

Winning twice, Fort Hood received both the installation and team awards in the Environmental Quality category. Fort Hood uses its environmental management system to identify environmental vulnerabilities and establish plans to mitigate impacts that could affect military operations and mission accomplishment.

The Fort Hood staff closely monitors air quality, energy management, pollution prevention, recycling and water quality - the areas identified by the environmental management system as having the greatest potential to negatively impact mission and quality of life for the Soldiers, civilians and Families who train, live, work and play on Fort Hood, Texas.

The installation executed a number of successful pollution prevention projects, implemented a utility management and control system, leveraged solar technologies, established the Cen-Tex Sustainable Communities Partnership, and developed a community outreach and environmental training program unequaled in the Army.

Fort Hood's recycling program, boasting the largest facility in the Army, began in 1992 and has grown to include cardboard, white paper, office pack, mixed paper, newspaper, maps, plastic, pallets, toner cartridges, cooking oil, aluminum, brass, and scrap metal. The award-winning recycling team partners with a number of Central Texas communities and post offices, as well as seven local moving and storage companies.

Environmental restoration projects at IMCOM installations drew the attention of the Secretary of the Army Environmental Award judges this year. Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., won the Environmental Restoration Installation award and Fort A.P. Hill, Va., captured the Environmental Restoration team category.

The Fort Stewart/HAAF environmental staff was recognized for their efforts to decrease environmental liability by implementing cutting-edge technology and innovative processes that holistically bridge across environmental media (air, land, and water). In addition, development of partnering relationships and a multi-agency Installation Restoration Program team, which includes regulatory agencies, has allowed for real-time decisions, expedited document review, and allowed the installation to realize cost savings.

Fort Stewart's successful IRP evolved by establishing realistic goals and meeting two main objectives: reclaim and restore training lands and other facilities in support of the installation readiness mission and minimize the impact to mission operations and training activities during remediation operations.

Fort A.P. Hill was recognized with the Environmental Restoration Team award for their successful execution of an installation-wide Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Corrective Action Program under a Facility Lead Agreement with Region III of EPA.

The program reduced the time needed to achieve final remedy status, increased and enhanced the beneficial reuse of 16 non-landfill sites for mission-related training and operations and resulted in the availability of several hundred additional acres for recreational and mission-related activities.

Fort A.P. Hill was the first Department of Defense facility and only Army facility to participate in FLA, an invitation-only program offered by EPA Region III to a very select few facilities.

The Oahu Natural Resources Team earned the Natural Resource Conservation Team award for accomplishments such as running three endangered plant propagation facilities; maintaining a genetic storage program to safeguard against losses at unmanaged sites and unanticipated disturbances in managed areas, developing unique techniques for control of threats to endangered species; providing funds to interagency partners, university researchers and graduate students; contributing to interagency fencing and animal removal efforts; and responding with skilled fire staff and fire suppression aircraft when wildfire threatens natural areas.

These five award winners from IMCOM will go on to represent the Army in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards Program this spring. Winners of that competition will be recognized in a Pentagon Ceremony on June 6, 2012.