GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Navy installations in the Midwest made their New Year's resolutions early, partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Dec. 5 in a voluntary program to reduce their environmental impacts in the areas of waste production, air emissions, and energy use.
The commanding officers of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane, Ind., Naval Station (NAVSTA) Great Lakes, Ill., and NSA Mid-South, Tenn., all registered on behalf of their bases for the USEPA's Federal Green Challenge program, a national initiative that challenges federal agencies throughout the country to lead by example in reducing the federal government's environmental impact.
"We signed on to this voluntary program to do our part to reduce our impact on the environment," said Mark Schultz, environmental program director for Navy Region Midwest and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Midwest. "We were already working hard to minimize the impact our operations have on the environment, but partnering with the EPA's technical experts will help us finalize some specific goals and work throughout the coming year to reach them."
Federal offices or facilities start their participation in the program by choosing a focus in waste, electronics, or purchasing and then choosing a second focus area from any of the six areas that are part of the Federal Green Challenge. Members commit to a reduction goal of at least five percent per year in their two focus areas: waste, water, purchasing, electronics, energy, or transportation.
NSA Crane pledged to focus on reducing its waste generation and energy consumption by at least five percent, and NAVSTA Great Lakes chose to focus on reducing waste and transportation-related impacts by at least five percent.
NSA Mid-South also promised to focus on waste and energy in 2012, setting specific goals of increasing basewide recycling by 10 percent and reducing aerosol use by 10 percent.
"I'm proud of, but not surprised by, the leadership role taken by the region and installation environmental team," said NAVFAC Midwest Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Bernotas. "Each of these bases has really committed to the idea of sustainability and environmental stewardship. It shows in their energy conservation, which leads the Navy and Marine Corps average, and the number and quality of environmental initiatives the team puts forward every year."
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps which will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve Secretary Ray Mabus' energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.
For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navfachq/.