Bases will try to zero out their environmental footprints
Published: April 20, 2011
WASHINGTON – There’s no doubt military operations use a lot of natural resources. Just last month, for instance, a U.S. airbase in Kyrgyzstan set a squadron record by pumping nearly 600,000 gallons of jet fuel in a single day.
But with Earth Day coming around this Friday, and with concerns about future energy supplies looming on the horizon, the Army announced on Wednesday a list of bases that would participate in its “net zero” pilot program to reduce the environmental footprint of military installations.
Personnel on more than a dozen bases worldwide will attempt to zero out their effect on Mother Earth in one or more of three categories – energy, water use and waste production.
Six bases will try to generate as much power as they consume through conservation, renewable energy production and by harnessing waste heat generated by buildings:
Fort Detrick, Md.; Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.; Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands; Parks Reserve Forces Training Area, Calif.; Sierra Army Depot, Calif.; West Point, N.Y.
Bases that will cut back on water use and attempt to return as much clean, treated water to watersheds as they consume are:
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Camp Rilea, Ore.; Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico: Fort Riley, Kan.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.
And in the waste category, six bases will try to live up to the maxim “reduce, recycle, reuse” by disposing of nothing in landfills over the course of a year:
Fort Detrick, Md.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.; Fort Polk, La.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; U.S. Army Garrison, Grafenwoehr, Germany.
“This is a significant step in addressing the Army's sustainability and energy security challenges," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment. "Striving for net zero is operationally necessary, financially prudent, and critical to our mission."