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Fort Hood is no stranger to winning environmental awards

Fri, 04/19/2013 - 12:00am
U.S. Army

FORT HOOD, Texas (April 19, 2013) -- Last year Fort Hood won the installation and team award at both the Secretary of Army and Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards competitions. This year it was no surprise when they captured the Sustainability award for a non-industrial installation 2012 Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards competition.

Some credit the installation environmental management system with their success. Used to identify environmental vulnerabilities, document procedures in place, and examine how to improve processes related to the environment, there is no doubt this systematic approach to identifying and managing environmental vulnerabilities works at this installation.

Still, others say it's the sustainability culture that is promoted throughout the installation that caused this most recent recognition. Hood's Environmental Compliance Assessment Team doesn't just conduct assessment and assistance visits, they keep installation tenants informed of installation environmental regulations and policies and provide training to ensure each organization knows how to identify deficiencies, get the help they need in taking corrective action, and formalize procedures and policies to prevent future occurrences

"If we can do our part, we can set examples and demonstrate that we can be a sustainable installation by 2020," said Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, commander of III Corps and Fort Hood.

Each year in April, Fort Hood hosts an Earth Day event to promote environmental stewardship to the Soldiers and civilians who work on the installation, but also to the families and schoolchildren in the area. It is an environmental education event with an eye to the future.

Their successes are evident throughout the installation. They boast the Army's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, gold-certified chapel and the largest LEED silver-certified community in Texas.

Successful pollution prevention projects are collocated in an area of the installation referred to as the Environmental Corner. Here you can find a mobile kitchen trailer/compact kitchen wash bay that is a closed loop pretreatment system with no water entering the sanitary sewer or storm water systems. During the award period approximately 1.4 million gallons of polluted water was prevented from entering the sanitary sewer.

Also found in the Environmental Corner is a Tanker Purge facility that skims off fuel residue and recycles both so that the water and fuel can both be used. During the award period, this closed loop system saved more than 1,500 manhours and almost 3.5 million gallons of water.

The Environmental corner also has a JP-8/oil/antifreeze center that prevents petroleum, oil and lubricants from entering the environment. During the award period, Fort Hood collected more than 140,000 gallons of JP-8 fuel and more than 245,000 gallons of used oil, generating more than $250,000 and avoiding disposal costs, while recycling valuable resources. Thanks to the recycling center, the installation sent more than 43,000 gallons of antifreeze for recycling instead of disposal as a hazardous waste.

They also have the largest recycle facility in the Army. During the award period, they sold 15,315 tons of recycle material and generated approximately 2.89 million with Defense Reutilization and Marketing service sales assistance. Approximately $332,000 was returned to support installation pollution prevention projects and $370,000 for family and morale, welfare and recreation events.

Always looking to the future, Fort Hood representatives are working together to reduce waste and eliminate landfill use by 2020, they have been designated as a Net Zero Waste installation.

In December 2011, Soldiers, airmen, civilians and contractors got together for a kickoff workshop to discuss ideas and establish work groups to focus on reducing, repurposing, recycling, marketing and outreach. The work group leaders have developed targets, objectives and action plans, and brief their progress quarterly.

Whether the task is material substitution, hazardous material management, utility management, alternative energy solution, green product procurement, sustainable landscaping or fleet performance, teams at Fort Hood are always looking for ways to do things smarter and create a more sustainable installation.

"It's important people understand about the environment, conservation and recycling because our children's and grandchildren's future rest on the decisions we make today," Milley said.

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