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Department of Defense
Also see Federal Facilities Management, Pollution Prevention, and related tables and figures in Part II.
ational security depends on the wellbeing of the environment,
and federal agencies charged with protecting national security are also responsible for protecting the environment. The linkage between these responsibilities is evident in the environmental program of the Department of Defense (DOD). In 1991, for the first time, the United States recognized environmental issues as a national security concern. The National Security Strategy, stated:
Global environmental concerns include such diverse but interrelated issues as stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change, food security, water supply, deforestation, biodiversity, and treatment of wastes. A common ingredient in each is that they respect no international boundaries. The stress from these environmental challenges is already contributing to political conflict. Recognizing a shared responsibility for global stewardship is a necessary step for global progress. Our
partners will find the United States a ready and active participant in this effort.
DOD is steward of 25 million acres of public land at 600 major installations in the United States and of an additional 2 million acres abroad. Military installations range from a few acres for weather stations and radar sites to a million acres for training installations and bombing ranges. In spite of intensive military use for many years, DOD lands contain a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
While accomplishing its primary mission-defending the national security interests of the United States—DOD seeks to be a leader in federal agency compliance with environmental laws and regulations and stewardship of natural resources on military installations.
Conditions and Trends
In 1992 the Secretary of Defense set the pace for improving environmental quality in all DOD activities by providing that the department should:
Fund environmental compliance, restoration and pollution prevention sufficient to achieve sustainable compliance with federal and state environmental laws and governing standards overseas; and to minimize negative mission impacts and future costs and to provide federal leadership in environmental protection.
Compliance. To conduct environmental programs and to accelerate compliance and cleanups of past contamination, DOD requested and received a supplemental appropriation of $1.1 billion which brought total fiscal 1992 environmental funding to $4.2 billion.
Restoration. In fiscal 1991 DOD invested $1 billion in cleanup efforts through the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), an increase of $464 million over the previ
ous year. Of the 1,800 military installations in DERP, only 94 have been listed on or proposed for the National Priorities List (NPL) by EPA. In 1991 EPA added one military installation to the NPL, the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. DOD has completed preliminary assessments for DOD sites on the NPL and is moving from the remedial investigation and feasibility study phase into remediation and cleanup. In 1991 the Defense Environmental Restoration Program recorded the following accomplishments:
• Cleanup at a third of the 1,800
Pollution Prevention. In addition to cleaning up sites contaminated in the past, DOD has adopted a pollution prevention strategy, in which the reduction of hazardous wastes generated by military installations figures prominently. In June 1987 DOD established the goal of reducing hazardous waste disposal by 50 percent before the end of 1992. By 1991 DOD had reduced hazardous waste disposal by 53.9 percent—a year ahead of schedule and much of the reduction occurred during a time of increased production and maintenance activity related to Desert Shield and Desert Storm. More than 85 percent of the reduction was attributable to improvements in waste minimization efforts at DOD shipyards, maintenance depots, and air logistics centers. Such facilities account for 60 percent of all
Note: Through DERP, the Department of Defense is accelerating the cleanup of 1,800 contaminated military sites, including 90 on the National Priorities List. Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, DC, 1992.
hazardous waste generated by the department. The remaining 40 percent is generated by such areas as daily installation operations and training facilities.
the environment. Projects address the following areas:
• Hazardous waste management,
Policies and Programs
The DOD environmental program has four components: compliance, restoration, pollution prevention, and natural and cultural resource conservation.
A primary element of the DOD compliance strategy is implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A vehicle for minimizing environmental effects of federal actions, NEPA provides DOD decisionmakers with choices on the manner in which the military mission is to be accomplished. To address actions that may affect the environment, each of the military services has promulgated NEPA regulations.
DOD environmental compliance projects are designed to meet regulatory standards that protect human health and
To achieve compliance in these areas, the department is emphasizing education and training, an environmental ethic for the defense community, and public awareness and participation in DOD environmental activities. Each of the military departments has implemented a comprehensive environmental audit program to highlight problems at facilities before they become violations. Environmental audits enable installations to plan and budget for environmental projects needed to maintain compliance.
Recognizing pollution prevention through source reduction as the key to a cleaner environment, DOD has adopted a pollution prevention strategy. Com
*Increase was related to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm activities.
Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, DC, 1992.
ponents of the strategy, accompanied by examples, follow:
Systems Acquisition. The Navy is conducting Logistics Review Group audits of hazardous material use and hazardous material control plans for all new weapon systems and for major system modifications to ensure reduction of hazardous material and hazardous waste. The Air Force has prohibited use of certain hazardous materials, including chlorofluorocarbons, cadmium, and chromium, in the design, manufacture, and operation of the new F-22 fighter plane with no sacrifice of cost, schedule, or performance.
Material Substitution. Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, replaced cyanide stripping baths with non-cyanide strippers, thus saving $390,000 annually on treatment and disposal costs. Scranton Army Ammunition Plant, Pennsylvania, eliminated the use of chromic acid rinse in preparing steel surfaces for painting.
Process Improvement. By substituting an alternative cleaning process for vapor degreasers, the Naval Aviation Depot at Jacksonville, Florida, eliminated 300,000 pounds of hazardous waste annually and reduced volatile organic compounds emissions by 66 percent. The Naval Air Station at Mirimar, California, designed and built a totally enclosed system for recycling more than 20,000 pounds of solvent, grease, and hydraulic fluid-contaminated rags. The Navy estimates savings of $350,000 a year by using this recycling system.
Improved Material Management. The Naval Air Station at Point Mugu, California, developed a centralized hazardous material inventory control system. In the first year, purchases of hazardous materials decreased 49
percent, and hazardous waste disposal decreased 73 percent.
Alternative Energy Sources. To reduce air pollution from vehicles, DOD and DOE purchased 2,000 alternate fuel vehicles that run on electric batteries, 100-percent compressed natural gas, or 85-percent methanol/15-percent gasoline. For more information, see the Federal Facilities Management section.
The DOD Pollution Prevention Strategy is reducing pollution, improving worker protection, providing more efficient use of natural resources, and saving money. For these reasons, DOD is shifting management emphasis to pollution prevention as a low-cost, environmentally sound alternative to traditional pollution control strategies and contamination cleanup. A sampling of other DOD efforts follows.
• Pollution Prevention Awards.