SCRANTON ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT, Pa. -- For the second time this year the modest projectile shell producing plant in Scranton, Pennsylvania is celebrating recognition for environmental excellence. Scranton Army Ammunition Plant was awarded one of nine 2012 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards presented June 6, 2012. The government-owned, General Dynamics Ordnance Tactical Systems-operated facility won the award with distinction for sustainability at the industrial installation level.

This award means recognition for a team that strives to reduce the installation's environmental footprint and operating costs by applying the latest technologies and innovative changes whenever possible and practical.

"Scranton AAP's success is due to the efforts of many individuals who continually look for opportunities to make improvements wherever possible and not settling for projects that are 'just good enough' to meet requirements. The evidence is in the improvements made to all of the projects cited in the award nomination. In addition to improvements that are economically justified, it's also important to occasionally tackle those projects that aren't so economical, but are still the right thing to do, such as the rain water collection system. All in all, these types of projects make working at the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant very interesting," said Tim Tuttle, Environmental Coordinator, Scranton Army Ammunition Plant.

The commander's representative for Scranton also sees the efforts of the workforce and highlights a small plant tackling a large, lasting mission.

"What is particularly rewarding for SCAAP is the fact we are able to make significant improvements to our environmental footprint as a government-owned, contractor-operated facility of limited size. Situated on just 15 acres, SCAAP is able to maximize the use of our infrastructure while conforming to the established environmental and historic preservation standards," said Rich Hansen, commander's representative for Scranton Army Ammunition Plant.

While gratifying, the award strengthens the resolve of the workforce--to work even harder to improve upon their environmental successes.

As indicated by Hansen, the driving force behind the team at SCAAP is the reward of accomplishing projects that reduce the installation's environmental footprint and operating costs.

For example, a new boiler and modifications to a forging furnace and press line were just the beginning of an environmental program. In addition, the savings realized from the boiler replacement led to the replacement of a second boiler. And likewise, successful improvements to one rotary furnace and forging press line were instrumental to a follow on project leading to rehabilitating two other forging lines.

Water treatment was another area of improvement on the list of Scranton environmental upgrades. The ultra-filtration membrane system responsible for treatment of the installation's waste water from the forging and heat treating operations, led to plans to explore the same type of treatment technology on waste machining coolant and waste rinse water from the finishing operation. The goal was to eliminate the sewer discharge from the waste rinse water treatment system, drastically reduce the waste coolant volume and recycle as much of the water as possible.

Scranton sought to couple their progressive water efforts with plans to extend the new rain water collection system. This process would also provide make up water to the forge shop cooling towers, and consequently, with the installation of additional storage for rain water collected from the rest of the installation, Scranton officials increase the use of rain water for cooling water. With that process under way, Scranton seeks to capture a natural resource using it for plant needs.

Taking care to properly treat water and reuse it, Scranton recently took on the task of improving air quality as well. They currently replace a HAP (Hazardous Air Pollutant) containing paint primer with a substitute that contains no HAPs. With this accomplishment, Scranton AAP is totally HAPs free.

Recently completed and currently in-process, various environmental projects play a tremendous part in SCAAP's ability to reduce its hazardous waste footprint as well as drastically reduce utility consumption.

In an effort to further minimize energy consumption, SCAAP and General Dynamics are participating in an initiative through the Save Energy Now LEADER program. Through this program, companies partner with the Department of Energy to conduct energy audits and assessments designed to identify opportunities for energy and cost savings in the installation's operations.

And with its place in the LEADER program, Scranton embarks on another path of resource conservation while completing the mission. (The program requires participants to pledge to adopt a goal to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over 10 years.)

Scranton's devotion to environmental stewardship is part responsibility and part necessity, as Hansen said it best.

"We are located between a bustling downtown and a heavily populated residential area; there leaves very little green space, and requires an even greater degree of creativity when planning projects that lead to greener process," said Hansen.

Scranton Army Ammunition Plant is a subordinate of the Joint Munitions Command, headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois.

JMC operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed.