374th improves environmental protocols
November 14, 2004
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The 374th Airlift Wing distinguished itself during a recent environmental, safety and occupational inspection by Pacific Air Forces, base officials said.
Called the Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Compliance Inspection Assessment and Management Program, the review was held Oct. 25-Nov. 2.
According to inspection leaders, Yokota received 25 percent fewer major findings in environmental protocols and 80 percent fewer significant findings in safety and occupational procedures than in 2001.
“Yokota was not that far ‘below standards’ or out of compliance,” said Donna Collier, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron’s environmental flight chief. “The base just needed some improvements and enhancements in our programs, including tightening up on programmatic issues and shop attentiveness.”
Since 2001, Yokota officials have stressed sharper compliance and attention to detail at all levels in environmental, safety and occupational health requirements.
As a result, Collier said, environmental protocols improved dramatically in areas such as hazardous materials, ozone-depleting substances and hazardous waste. Measures also were taken to enhance program management and pollution prevention.
Compared with previous inspections, all of Yokota’s safety and occupational health procedures drew higher marks, particularly with increased oversight in chemical-hazard reduction and respiratory-protection programs, said Maj. William Hurtle, the bioenvironmental engineering flight chief.
“Each protocol in the ESOHCAMP affects many shops and it is easy to fall into noncompliance with a little neglect,” he said. “Team Yokota put a great deal of effort in the past three years and especially leading up to this assessment to make sure that our warriors were healthy, safe and in compliance at the workplace.”
The PACAF team identified four outstanding individual performers: Collier; Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Gamboa, the 374th Airlift Wing’s safety office and confined space program team leader; Master Sgt. Steven Oakes, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron’s liquid fuels maintenance and confined space manager; and Yuki Inoue, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron’s environmental quality and pollution prevention manager.
Officials said inspectors also praised the 374th Maintenance Squadron and 374th Civil Engineer Squadron for their processes, programs and improvements.
Maintenance personnel devised a waste compressor that’s dropped the number of drums from 25 a week to five a month, saving the wing $55 for each unused barrel. Civil engineer officials earned recognition for landscape design, maintenance and protection.
An ESOHCAMP external inspection is conducted by PACAF every three years, while an internal examination takes place during the two years that fall in the middle.