April 2014 environmental newsletter


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April 2014 environmental newsletter

  1. 1. The Georgia Department of Defense Environmental Stewardship Branch exists to support Commanders and their Mission by reducing environmental liabilities and promoting the US Army Environmental Stewardship Program. ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP BRANCH STAFF Our Mission Georgia Army National Guard Environmental Stewardship Branch Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 4 Dania Aponte Environmental Programs Director (678) 569-6707 dania.g.aponte.nfg@mail.mil Butch Thompson Compliance Program Manager (912) 448-4192 charles.j.thompson26.nfg@mail.mil Felicia Nichols NEPA Program Manager (678) 569-6755 felicia.a.nichols2.nfg@mail.mil Randy Drummond Restoration and Clean-up Manager (678) 569-6750 randy.m.drummond.nfg@mail.mil Frances Grieme eMS Program Manager (678) 569-6749 frances.h.grieme.nfg@mail.mil Kathryn Norton Energy and Sustainability Program Manager (678) 569-6726 kathryn.f.norton.nfg@mail.mil Michael Holloway Environmental Assessor - Cumming (678) 569-3841 michael.holloway3.mil@mail.mil Tangy Johnson Environmental Assessor - Ft. Stewart (912) 767-9133 tangy.s.johnson.nfg@mail.mil Paul Hansen Environmental Assessor - Macon (478) 803-3070 paul.l.hansen11.nfg@mail.mil Megan Spells Environmental Assessor - Tifton (678) 569-8458 megan.e.spells.nfg@mail.mil Vacant Environmental Assessor - Atlanta SPRING — The Beginning of a New Season! Our Vision Commanders maintaining readiness while acquiring the knowledge and resources to make informed decisions that protect and conserve today’s resources for tomorrow’s National Guard Soldiers and Citizens of Georgia. April 2014 ~Clay National Guard Center- 1000 Halsey Avenue, Building 70, Marietta, GA 30060~
  2. 2. CFMO-ENV Ongoing Projects and Activities for 2014 Page 2 The beginning of 2014 has been eventful with several days off due to ice in both January and February, but that has not kept the Environmental Department down! Energy Program: Fixing the Leaks and Save! See pages 3 & 4 Environmental Training: Check out the up-coming EO/UECO training classes. See page 5 Compliance Program: Georgia Park funding issues and Air Quality. See pages 6 & 7 Cleanup & Restoration: Spills from the Past can meet the Future. See page 8 Natural & Culture: Eagles, eagles and more— an eaglet! See pages 9, 10 & 11 Recycling Highlights: Why Recycle and Did You Know? See pages 11 & 12 “TEAMWORK — Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.” - Henry Ford
  3. 3. Page 3 Fix a Leak Week Check. Twist. Replace. Those three words can save you hundreds of gallons of water each week if you adopt them as your watchwords for the 2014 Fix a Leak Week, scheduled for March 17-23, and beyond. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than one trillion gallons of water are wasted every year in U.S. households from easy-to-fix leaks. This amount equals roughly the annual house- hold water use of more than 11 million homes. To promote water efficiency in the home, the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District) supports ‘Fix a Leak Week,’ sponsored by U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program. As part of the com- memoration, the district encourages metro Atlanta residents to find and fix leaks. “Water conservation is an important part of the Metro Water District’s water stewardship efforts,” explained Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin, chairman of the District. “According to the U.S. EPA, leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water in the average home every year – the amount of water it takes to wash 270 loads of laundry. Fixing leaks is often a simple and inexpensive repair, one that most people can do them- selves to save water and money.” Follow these simple steps to save money and water: Check for leaks. Dripping faucets, showerheads, sprinklers and other fixtures. Toilet leaks can be identified by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and waiting 15 minutes to see if color appears in the bowl. Twist on a new aerator. To save water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a Water Sense labeled faucet aerator. Also, tighten hose and pipe connections. Replace the fixtures if necessary. Look for WaterSense labeled models, which are independently cer- tified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models. Energy Program We will never know the worth of water until the well is dry. — Thomas Fuller
  4. 4. Energy Program, Cont’d Page 4 In addition to Check, Twist, Replace process, (refer back to page 3), another method of discovering water losses is an underground water leak detection survey. Sonic detection equipment is used to find leaks from underground water lines, and recommended repairs are identified. The GAARNG will be conducting a water leak detection survey at CNGC along with preparation of a Comprehensive Energy and Water Management Plan (CEWMP) to keep us moving in the right direction for reducing water and energy consumption. *Previous article excerpted from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s (ARC) Newsletter, Winter 2014 GAARNG’s Energy and Water Management Program—General Directives The overall goal of the GAARNG’s Energy and Water Management Program is to use less energy and save re- sources, while preserving the mission readiness of the GAARNG by providing preeminent facilities for our sol- diers. The primary drivers regarding energy and water conservation for the GAARNG are the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005); Executive Order (EO) 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Trans- portation Management; the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007); and the recently re- leased EO 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. These drivers set mandatory goals for energy and water reduction, renewable energy utilization, and sustain- ability. Under the EISA 2007 requirement, federal agencies must reduce energy consumption in buildings 3% annually, or 30% overall by 2015, relative to a 2003 baseline; and reduce potable water consumption 2% an- nually through FY 2012, or 26% by the end of FY 2020, relative to a FY 2007 baseline. Under the EPACT 2005 requirement, agencies must increase levels of renewable energy to 5% in 2010-2012 and 7.5% thereafter. For more information on the GAARNG’s Energy Management Program, please contact Kathy Norton at 678.569.6726 or kathryn.f.norton2.nfg@mail.mil. “Energy conservation is the foundation of energy independence.” — Tom Allen
  5. 5. Page 5 Environmental Officer (EO)/Unit Environmental Officer (UECO) Training Opportunities In accordance with AR 200-1, CFMO-ENV will provide one 8 hour block of initial training and one 4 hour block of annual refresher training for personnel assigned EO/UECO responsibilities. The 8 hour initial training is for personnel that have not received any EO/UECO training and the 4 hour refresher training is for personnel that have received initial training and require annual refresher training. Training will be conducted at GGTC, Ft. Stewart (building/classroom TBD) on 15-16APR14. Initial EO/UECO training will be conducted on 15APR14 from 0800-1700 and Refresher EO/UECO training will be conducted on 16APR14 from 0800-1200. Training will be conducted in a building/classroom TBD upon receipt of GGTC Billeting scheduling confirmation. Class sizes are limited to 20 personnel for each class, to register send an email to Mr. Charles "Butch" Thompson at charles.j.thompson26.nfg@mail.mil. Ensure email contains rank, full name, and unit/facility assigned to as EO/UECO. EO/UECO training is offered once per calendar quarter by CFMO-ENV and specifically pertains to GAARNG environmental programs, not host installations. GAARNG units on host installations must attend the host in- stallations training and comply 100% with host installation environmental program requirements. GAARNG EO/UECO training rotates between locations at GGTC, DLC Macon, and Clay NGC. All GAARNG units/facilities are required to have a primary and alternate EO/UECO assigned and properly trained by the cognizant train- ing authority to manage environmental issues/concerns at the unit/facility. Remaining EO/UCO training courses for CY-14 are as follows: 15-16JUL14, DLC (Computer Lab), Macon, GA 14-15OCT14, Bldg 2 (Classroom TBD), Clay NGC, Marietta, GA CY-14 courses will be announced quarterly via FRAGO, normally one month prior to each scheduled course. Soldiers are reminded to register for the course nearest their home station to alleviate issues with obtaining travel orders and funding. Training will be conducted on specified dates in accordance with AR 200-1 and FM 3-34.5 (Environmental Considerations). CFMO POC is Mr. Charles “Butch” Thompson at charles.j.thompson26.nfg@mail.mil or (912) 448-4192. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other... — John F. Kennedy Upcoming EnvironmentalTraining
  6. 6. Page 6 Compliance Program Chattahoochee National Recreation Area and Beyond: Underfunded, Under Threat New Environment Georgia Research and Policy Center Analysis Details Impacts of Budget Cuts to Beloved Parks For Immediate Release, Thursday, January 9, 2014 Atlanta– As Congress approaches another deadline on the federal budget, a new Envi- ronment Georgia Research & Policy Center analysis, entitled Death by a Thousand Cuts, exposes the challenges facing the Chattahoo- chee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) as a result of mounting funding cuts to the National Park Service. “At the CRNRA seasonal staff were cut and trash cans were removed from parks,” said Jennette Gayer, State Advocate with Environment Georgia “We don’t want a death by a thousand cuts for Georgia’s parks.” Parks closures during last fall’s government shutdown capped off the third straight year in which Congress cut funding to the National Park Service operating budget. Additional cuts from the March 2013 sequester make for a 13 percent reduction in funding for our parks in today’s dollars over this period. "There is no doubt that the impact of funding cuts is being felt at the Chattahoochee River National Recrea- tion Area," said William Cox the Recreation Area's Superintendent. "In addition to seasonal staffing cuts we are asking trail users and picnickers to pack-out their own trash and mowing less, funding cuts mean tangible changes for visitors." The CRNRA provides critical habitat for wildlife like Green Herons and ensures clean drinking water for the majority of Metro Atlanta. Visitors to the parks have been enjoying opportunities for hiking, paddling or just taking in its beauty since. "The CRNRA provides two benefits that are truly worth investing in: much needed green space in a city des- perately short of green space and protection of a critical drinking water source,” said James Schulz, President of Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy . "We look forward to working to protect and preserve this unique At- lanta resource in 2014 and urge appropriators to do the same."
  7. 7. Page 7 While the budget deal passed in December may allow for some increase in the parks budget, it is up to Con- gressional spending committees to decide the actual funding levels this month. “In addition to great fishing and a beautiful park lined river, parks, like the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area provides $241 million in revenue every year,” said Chris Scalley a Guide with the River Through Atlanta guide service. “Between ongoing budget cuts, the sequester, and the government shutdown, 2013 was a dismal year for our parks,” said Gayer. “I urge all of Georgia’s Congressional Delegation to give our parks, seashores, battle- fields, and historic sites a fresh start in 2014 by fighting for full park funding during the current budget nego- tiation.“ Jennette Gayer, Environment Georgia Atlanta Sees Air Quality Progress but More Action Still Needed For Immediate Release, Tuesday, December 3, 2013 Atlanta—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Dec. 2 that Atlanta is meeting 1997 8- hour ozone standards. In 2011, Environment Georgia released Danger in the Air, a report that called on the EPA to set a National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ground-level ozone within the range of 60 to 70 parts per billion averaged over eight hours. This more protective standard was unanimously recommended by the independent board of air experts and scientists created under the Clean Air Act to provide periodic review and recommendations on air quality standards. Environment Georgia’s Jennette Gayer released the following statement in response to the EPA’s announce- ment: “We applaud Atlanta for meeting this air quality standard but, urge continued vigilance and action to truly protect Atlantans from the dangers of air pollution. So, while this progress is good news the bad news is re- cent studies have shown that a much more protective standard is needed. All Georgians should be able to breathe clean air. But pollution from power plants and vehicles puts the health of our children and families at risk. Ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, is one of the most harmful and pervasive air pollutants. Studies show that on days with high concentrations of smog pollution in the air, children and adults suffer more asthma attacks, increased respiratory difficulty, and reduced lung function. Ex- posure to smog pollution can exacerbate respiratory illness and even cause premature death. Sensitive populations including children, the elderly, and people with respiratory illness are particularly at risk of the adverse health ef- fects of air pollution. Jennette Gayer, Environment Georgia Compliance Program, Cont’d.
  8. 8. Page 8 Cleanup and Restoration My Dad has always been one of the best “shade-tree” mechan- ics I’ve ever known. Born in 1930, he drove cars that needed more time in maintenance and repair than the time actually spent on the road. As I grew up through the 1960’s-1970’s, he taught me how to be a “shade-tree” mechanic with push-rod, naturally aspirated, vacuum modulator gear shifting, rear- wheel drive, almost two and a half ton behemoths with steel dashboards and interiors. We also changed out our share of John Deere tractor parts in those days. What we also learned was to use gasoline, which contained lead back then, for every- thing from cleaning parts to starting brush fires. Axle grease worked on anything. Changing the oil or antifreeze meant parking the car on the “back 40” acres somewhere and drain- ing it out on the ground. Those days are long gone, one would hope. Although, I do remember just a few years ago a problem arising at one of our Readiness Centers that had a large portion of land that was unfenced where some from the local community still practiced the park and drain method, only it was on GAARNG property and not theirs. We have another property with a perimeter that is difficult to secure where we consistently have used tires being dumped, stolen vehicles being parked and stripped bare, and household garbage of all kinds being left for us to spend tens of thousands of dollars to have removed. All of those memories are cited, not to show my age, but to point out that: almost all auto parts stores will now accept your used oil and antifreeze for free if you change your own; many landfills have free recycling centers that accept these wastes, as well as scrap metal, mattresses, old batteries and tires; and parts clean- ers are now available in bio-degradable environmentally friendly formulas. As it may take forty to fifty years for lead, benzene, and other chemicals to reach groundwater or water wells, we are now approaching a time where the practices of yesteryear are beginning to show up in our wa- ter sources. As the Cleanup and Restoration Program Manager, one of my major projects involves contamination that we suspect originated from WWII activities in- volving many of the above activities while performing aircraft maintenance. Please keep in mind that any liquid poured or spilled on the ground surface will eventually end up in groundwater, a wetland, stream, lake, or ocean. Practice the same methods of safe handling of chemicals at home that we require on the job. CFMO-ENV POC is Randy Drummond at randy.m.drummond.nfg@mail.mil, phone (678) 569-6750.
  9. 9. Page 9 Berry College Eagle Cam Follow Georgia’s best known pair of bald eagles through Berry College’s eagle nest cam! The northwest Georgia school is live-streaming video of this eagle nest on campus. The 24/7 view – the only eagle nest cam in the state – offers a unique window into the lives of these iconic raptors. Once common in Georgia, bald eagles declined during the mid-20th century. There were none nesting in the state by the early 1970s. But, populations rebounded here and elsewhere, helped by a 1972 U.S. ban on DDT use, habitat improvements through the federal Clean Water and Clean Air acts, protection under the Endan- gered Species Act, greater public awareness, and restoration of local populations through release programs. Although still protected by federal and state law, eagles were taken off the federal list as a threatened spe- cies in 2007. The Nongame Conservation Section, part of the DNR Wildlife Resources Division, monitors eagle nests and works with landowners to protect nest sites. The agency and partners are also studying avian vacuolar myeli- nopathy, a disease that has caused significant mortality in American coots and bald eagles. During the 2013 nesting season, DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section documented 171 occupied nesting territories in Georgia. Of these, 129 were successful, fledging 193 eaglets. For comparison, there were 55 known nesting territories in 2000, nine in 1990 and one in 1980. The Berry College nest was documented in 2012. In spring 2013, two ea- glets took their first flights from the nest, a fledging celebrated by scores of eagle fans. For the 2013-2014 nesting season, the school added a small camera that peers into the nest. There is also a view by approach cam. Nest updates, video clips and viewer comments are posted on the Berry Eagles Facebook page. Natural & Cultural Resources
  10. 10. Page 10 Learn more at http://www.berry.edu/eaglecam/. Founded in 1902 near Rome, Berry is an independent liberal arts college of about 2,100 students. The cam- pus of this nationally recognized school covers 27,000 acres, one of the world’s largest. The public is encouraged to report eagle nests they see, online or by phone, (478) 994-1438. These reports often lead to nests not monitored before. Bald Eagles at a Glance Size: Adults can weigh 14 pounds, with 8-foot wingspans. Males are slightly smaller. Prey: Fish are a staple. Eagles also eat waterfowl, turtles, snakes, rabbits and other small animals. Mates: Eagles mate for life. They often use the same nest, adding to it each year. (Nests up to 10 feet wide and weighing a half-ton have been recorded.) Nests are often built in the tops of tall pine or cypress trees. (The Berry College nest is in a pine.) Offspring: Pairs typically lay one to three eggs by December. The young fledge in three months and are on their own in about four. Looks: Eaglets are the same size as adults but dark brown, almost black, when they leave the nest. Bald eagles gain the characteristic white head and tail feathers at 4 to 5 years old. Long-lived: Bald eagles live up to 15-25 years in the wild, longer in captivity. Many of those born in Georgia head north their first summer. Some return. Most of Georgia’s eagles live here year-round. Protected: Removed from the federally threatened list in 2007, bald eagles remain protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and other federal and state laws. Natural and Cultural Resources, Cont’d
  11. 11. Page 11 Credits: Nongame Program Manager Jim Ozier on eagle survey; bald eagle with fish (Curtis Compton/The At- lanta Journal and Constitution) Georgia Wildlife Resources Division 2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025 Help conserve eagles and other Georgia nongame wildlife Contribute to the Georgia Wildlife Conservation Fund checkoff when filing your Georgia state income taxes. Every dollar counts! Learn more at http://georgiawildlife.com/conservation/support#Tax_Checkoff and http://www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/support Published on Georgia DNR - Wildlife Resources Division (http://www.georgiawildlife.com) Source URL: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/BerryEagleCam Natural & Cultural Resources, Cont’d
  12. 12. Page 12 How Long Does it Take To Break Down? Paper Towels — 2 to 4 weeks Paper Bag — 1 month Newspaper — 1.5 months Cardboard — 2 months Cotton Glove — 3 months Plywood — 1 to 3 years Wool sock — 1 to 5 years Milk Carton — 5 years Cigarette Butts — 10 to 12 years Leather shoe — 25 to 40 year Foamed Plastic Cup — 50 years Rubber Boot Sole — 50 to 80 years Aluminum Can — 200 to 500 years Plastic Bottle — 450 Years Plastic Bag — 200 to 1000 years These numbers indicate why recycling is so important both at home and at the office. The GAARNG CFMO-ENV office is getting close to restarting the Recycling Program. It is antici- pated that other waste streams will be added to the pickup. Such waste streams are: shred- ded paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, plastic bags and shrink-wrap, aluminum, pallets and wood shavings, and metal. Stay tuned for more information and thanks to all of you who have asked about the program and are eager to continue recycling. CFMO-ENV POC is Frances Grieme at frances.h.grieme.nfg@mail.mil or phone (678) 569- 6749. Recycling Program
  13. 13. Page 13 Did You Know? The Georgia Department of Natural Resources in partnership with the Georgia Recycling Coalition and the Georgia Department of Economic Development are finalizing a GIS map- ping project (layers of our industry: landfills, transfer stations, compost facilities, materials re- covery facilities, end markets) that has resulted in MORE than 130 Georgia businesses using recovered materials to manufacture a variety of products from carpet to paper products. These businesses rely on items such as plastic bottles, metals, glass, all paper grades, organ- ics, carpet, and tires collected from residential and commercial recycling programs to use as raw materials in their process. They are only a part of the recycling industry* as “end users”, and employ thousands of Georgians. *(other sectors include processors, educators, NGOs, a myriad of special materials handlers, e.g., yellow grease, e-scrap, textiles, construction & demolition scrap, and more). The mapping tool will be used to compile recycling economic impact, while providing eco- nomic development resources for high beneficial placement of by-products from manufactur- ing as well as feed stock resources for various operations. Source: Georgia Recycling Coalition Recycling Program, Cont’d