The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards winners for 2022.
The awards recognize installations, teams, and individuals for their accomplishments in innovative and cost-effective environmental management strategies supporting mission readiness. “The DoD Components’ shared commitment to environmental stewardship helps create a safer, more resilient, and more secure future,” stated Paul D. Cramer, Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment.
Each year since 1962, the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards have honored service members and civilians across DoD. The nominees’ achievements include significant strides to conserve our Nation’s natural and cultural resources; protect human health; prevent or eliminate pollution at the source; clean up hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, and munitions on DoD sites; and incorporate environmental requirements into weapon systems acquisition. DoD also leverages technology to develop innovative solutions to existing and emerging human health and environmental challenges.
A diverse panel of 53 judges from Federal and state agencies, academia, and the private sector evaluated nominations from the DoD Components to help determine the winners.
In 2022, DoD selected the following 9 winners from a total of 26 nominees:
- Natural Resources Conservation, Small Installation: Marine Corps Base Hawaii — In Fiscal Years 2020 – 2021, the base hosted between 14 and 28 percent of all known Hawaiian sea turtles nesting on Oahu. Natural resources staff partnered with stakeholders to protect the nests and collect data to improve adaptive management. The base facilitated regular beach monitoring by volunteers; developed sea turtle nesting protocol; mitigated artificial light sources known to disorient sea turtles; and conducted educational events.
- Natural Resources Conservation, Individual/Team: Naval Air Station Pensacola Natural Resources Team, Florida — Following Hurricane Sally in September 2020, the team assessed the installation and worked tirelessly to clean up the installation and restore natural resources. They supported an emergency timber salvage including evaluating and recovering hurricane-damaged timber. They pushed the timber sale through at a record pace and produced $19,167 in income.
- Environmental Quality, Non-Industrial Installation: Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina — The base installed a supervisory controls and data acquisition system to continuously monitor production and treatment from six drinking water wells that serve 10,000 airmen, dependents, civilians, and contractors.
- Environmental Quality, Individual/Team: Air Force Radioactive and Recycling Disposal Team, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio — The team provided 215 man-days of support for radioactive material (RAM) management and disposal actions at numerous U.S. Air Force installations in the continental United States. They delivered a multitude of services that minimized contract costs by $1.2 million and resulted in over 123,000 pounds of low-level radioactive waste disposed and 65,000 RAM items recycled.
- Sustainability, Industrial Installation: Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach and Detachment Fallbrook and Norco, California — The team diverted over 2,720 tons of Construction and Demolition waste, providing the Navy with a total disposal cost avoidance of $183,500. The effort resulted in a diversion rate of 91 percent, exceeding the DoD goal of 60 percent.
- Environmental Restoration, Installation: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina — The base implemented best management practices including installing a new treatment system powered entirely by solar power; reusing 70 cubic yards of soil; recycling 7,530 pounds of metal; using passive sampling techniques; and using digital data capture devices in the field. These practices saved over 52 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from powering six homes for a year.
- Environmental Restoration, Individual/Team: Glenbrook Road Remedial Action Team, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division, Maryland — The team remediated, removed, or recovered 556 munition items, 2,139 pounds of laboratory debris, 53 intact and sealed glass containers of chemical agent, and 7,500 tons of contaminated soil from the Glenbrook Road property. This was accomplished near occupied private properties, a major university campus, and the public.
- Cultural Resources Management, Large Installation: The Texas Army National Guard — The Texas Army National Guard introduced a photopoint database for architectural and archaeological site monitoring that is linked to geographic information systems. The photopoint database establishes visual records of cultural sites to track impacts from fire, erosion, or other disturbances.
- Environmental Excellence in Weapon Systems Acquisition, Individual/Team: C-130 Program Office and Support Team, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia — The C-130 Team’s six-year project to evaluate non-chromate corrosion inhibiting sealants resulted in the implementation of three alternatives. This significantly reduces worker exposure to a harmful carcinogen, eliminates 13,500 pounds of chromate waste annually, and saves $253,024 per year for the C-130 production line alone.