Fall 2013 environmental newsletter


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Fall 2013 environmental newsletter

  1. 1. Georgia Army National Guard Environmental Stewardship Branch Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 1 Our Mission 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. Our Vision Our vision is one of maintaining readiness, while utilizing knowledge and resources to make informed decisions regarding our environment. To protect and conserve today’s resources for tomorrow’s National Guard Soldiers and the Citizens of Georgia. Autumn-Changing of the Color ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP BRANCH STAFF 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 & Cultural Resources 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 Karen Corsetti Pest Management Program Manager (678) 569-6751 karen.a.corsetti.mil@mail.mil Yvonne Edwards Environmental Assessor—Atlanta (678) 569-6752 etta.y.edwards.nfg@mail.mil Kathryn Norton Energy & Sustainability Program Manager (678) 569-6726 kathryn.f.norton.nfg@mail.mil Frances Grieme eMS Program Manager & Recycling Coordinator (678) 569-6749 frances.h.grieme.nfg@mail.mil Michael Holloway Environmental Assessor—Cumming (678) 569-3841 michael.holloway3.mil@mail.mil Tangy Johnson Environmental Assessor—Ft. Stewart (912) 448-4195 tangy.s.johnson.nfg@mail.mil Paul Hansen Environmental Assessor—Macon (404)803-8578 paul.l.hansen11.nfg@mail.mil Megan Spells Environmental Assessor—Tifton (678) 569-8458 megan.e.spells.nfg@mail.mil Terri Allen Environmental Assessor—CNGC (678) 569-3840 terri.n.allen.nfg@mail.mil ~Clay National Guard Center- 1000 Halsey Avenue, Building 70, Marietta, GA 30060~ November 2013
  2. 2. Page 2 CFMO-ENV Recent Activities and Accomplishments Psssst! Hey— Have you heard the news? ========================================================================================= Continuing Endeavors throughout 2013: Energy Program: Moving forward with Energy Conservation and the tasks that have been accomplished! See page 3 Environmental Training: Check out the up-coming EO/ UECO training classes. See page 5. Compliance Program: New legislation and regulations coming down the pipe-line regarding erosion, groundwater, and storm water. See page 6 EPAS Update: After a very long week —how did we do? See page 7 Recycling Highlights: The facility that is taking charge. See page 8 GeMS: Thanks for your participation. Everyone’s continued support ensures the success of the eMS! See page 9 “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” —Andrew Carnegie
  3. 3. Page 3 Energy Program Energy in the Spot Light The Georgia Army National Guard (GAARNG), Construction and Facilities Management Office, Environmental Programs continues to move forward with energy reduction initiatives and programs. Within the last three months, the team has accomplished the following tasks:  Phase II audits for 58 GAARNG facilities statewide are complete and Energy Conservation Management (ECM) projects have been submitted for approval.  Utility analyses review of all GAARNG Armories from 2012 data has been completed. This will culminate in an end of fiscal year report to further assist in meeting energy reduction goals for the GAARNG’s facilities.  End of FY13 energy conservation projects have been awarded. These include projects at six primaryuse buildings at Clay National Guard Center (CNGC). Projects include measures such as installing occupancy/vacancy sensors, programmable thermostats, high-efficiency lighting, and building equipment control systems. A solar power generation project was also awarded for Hunter Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) in Savannah to move GAARNG closer to the required 25% renewable energy goal by 2025. GAARNG has partnered with NGB’s Enterprise Energy Data Reporting System (EEDRS) metering program for commissioning of advanced energy meters (AEMs) at CNGC. The set-up of the energy reporting data software and commissioning of NGB-installed meters at CNGC is complete. Training for CFMO personnel will take place within the following weeks. This energy reporting tool, through a computer access portal, will ‘communicate’ with the advanced meters at CNGC for graphical interface and real-time management of various energy variables.   It is anticipated that in FY14 GAARNG staff will continue with this EEDRS process to tie in additional CNGC and state-wide AEMs to the energy tracking system.  Rebates in the amount of $6,819.00 were received for four FY12 renovation projects through the Georgia Power earthcents.com program (Augusta FMS, Douglasville RC, Gainesville RC, and MaconRussell RC -North and South).  The design and review process has been initiated for four FY14 solar generation projects. Design proposals have been received for solar PV arrays for Macon-Russell RC, Savannah RC, Winder FMS, and Calhoun FMS.
  4. 4. Page 4 Energy Program, Cont’d The overall goal of this program is to use less energy and save resources, while preserving the mission readiness of the GaARNG by providing preeminent facilities for our soldiers. 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 Transportation Management; the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007); and the recently released EO 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. These drivers set mandatory goals for energy and water reduction, renewable energy utilization, and sustainability. 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 Tip: It definitely pays to give a thought about your thermostat, since most household shell out 50 to 70 percent of their energy budgets on heating and cooling. For every degree you lower the thermostat, you’ll save between 1 and 3 percent of your heating bill. Do the same thing in reverse with air conditioning.
  5. 5. Page 5 Upcoming Environmental Training Environmental Officer (EO)/Unit Environmental Officer (UECO) Training 11-12 DEC 2013 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 DLC Macon, Macon, GA on 11-12 DEC 13. Initial EO/UECO training will be conducted on 11 DEC 03 from 0800-1700 and Refresher EO/UECO training will be conducted on 12 DEC 13 from 0800-1200. Training will be conducted in the DLC Computer Lab and 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 installations 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 training authority to manage environmental issues/concerns at the unit/facility. For planning purposes tentative training schedule for CY-14 courses is as follows: 14-15JAN14, Bldg 2 (Classroom TBD), Clay NGC, Marietta, GA 15-16APR14, GGTC (Classroom Bldg TBD), Ft. Stewart, GA 15-16JUL14, DLC (Computer Lab), Macon, GA 14-15OCT14, Bldg 2 (Classroom TBD), Clay NGC, Marietta, GA CY-14 courses will be will be promulgated quarterly by FRAGO, normally one month prior to each scheduled course. “Confidence comes from discipline and training.” - Tom Hopkins
  6. 6. Page 6 Compliance Program Southern Review of Legislative & Regulatory Actions September 2013 Edition EROSION AND SEDIMENTATION CONTROL (391-3-7-.01, 391-3-7-.01) GAEPD has proposed amendments to 391-37-.01, "Definitions" and 391-3-7-.05, "Buffer Variance Procedures and Criteria." Changes to 391-3-7-.01 would make minor changes to seven definitions, add two definitions and delete two definitions. Amendments to 391-3-7 -.05 would provide clarification for criterion used to review buffer variance applications and for mitigation requirements for temporary and permanent buffer impacts; address a permitting issue that caused certain linear projects to not be constructed due to buffer variance ineligibility; change public notice requirements to clarify correct legal organ for project jurisdictions; and add an expiration date and mechanism for extending the life of buffer variance approvals. A Notice of Proposed Rules was filed 16 APR 13. A hearing was held 16 MAY 13, and comments were due 22 MAY 13. A meeting was held, and rules were adopted on 25 JUN 13. POC: Larry Hedges, (404) 675-6240. GROUNDWATER REMOVAL PROHIBITION (NOTICE) Effective immediately, GAEPD prohibits new groundwater withdrawals in the coastal Georgia counties of Chatham, Bryan, Liberty and the portion of Effingham County south of Highway 119. The permitting moratorium applies to community public water systems and municipal and industrial groundwater supplies from the entire Floridan aquifer. The aquifer is a source of fresh water for the coastal region, and increased withdrawals have been linked to saltwater seeping into the groundwater in the area around Hilton Head, South Carolina. GAEPD addressed the issue in 2006 with the Coastal Georgia Water and Wastewater Permitting Plan for Managing Salt Water Intrusion (CPP), which prohibited new withdrawals from the upper Floridan aquifer. The CPP allowed limited with-drawals from the lower Floridan aquifer. GAEPD and the US Geological Survey conducted recent groundwater studies and the results show the upper and lower sections of the aquifer are interconnected. This research prompted need for a moratorium on future withdrawals from the entire aquifer. Applications already received for withdrawals from the lower section of the Floridan aquifer will be considered, but no new applications will be accepted. GAEPD will consider allowing privately owned community public water systems to increase withdrawals if GAEPD has pre-approved expansion.
  7. 7. Page 7 Compliance Program, Cont’d Farmers in the four impacted counties who already hold farm use water withdrawal permits are not affected by this moratorium; applications for new farm use permits will not be considered. GAEPD restrictions on the Floridan aquifer will re-quire potential users to consider other sources of water, such as surface water, desalination of sea water and other aquifers. A press release was issued on 20 MAY 13. POC: Kevin Chambers, (404) 651-7970. NPDES STORMWATER AND CONSTRUCTION (NOTICE) GAEPD has proposed to reissue National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permits Numbers GAR100001, GAR100002, and GAR100003 (draft NPDES General Permits) for stormwater discharges associated with construction activity as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Georgia Rules and Regulations for Water Quality Control. The draft NPDES permits will authorize designated construction activities, which include all GAARNG construction projects that disturb greater than 1 acre of land, to discharge stormwater into the waters of Georgia, statewide. The NPDES General Permits will be valid for a maximum of five years. A Notice was issued on 30 JUL 13, comments were due and a hearing was held 30 AUG 13. POC: Ms. Amy Potter, (404) 675-6240. ********************************************************* External Environmental Performance Assessment (EPAS) Preliminary Results GaARNG completed the Environmental Performance Assessment System (EPAS) on 23AUG13. The assessment included verification of conformance with all elements of the ISO 14001 standard and site visits to 25% of the installation sites. Assessed facilities included 11 readiness centers; 13 maintenance facilities; 3 aviation facilities; 1 warehouse; 2 training areas; and 2 administrative facilities. The results of the assessment are currently being finalized by the ARNG-ILE contractor for quality assurance review by ARNG-ILE staff. The preliminary findings will be approved prior to posting to the Installation Corrective Action Plan (ICAP) maintained on the Web Compliance Assessment and Sustainment System (WEBCASS). We anticipate completion of the ARNG-ILE review and posting to the ICAP in mid December 2013. Upon posting to the ICAP, facilities assessed will be notified of individual results and Environmental staff will coordinate corrective actions with each respective EO/UECO regarding environmental noncompliance issues. CFMO POC is Mr. Charles “Butch” Thompson at charles.j.thompson26.nfg@mail.mil or (912) 448-4192.
  8. 8. Page 8 Recycling Program Initiative This quarter we would like to highlight the recycling efforts of the Rome Readiness Center, home of the 1160th Transportation Company. In 2009, SFC Richard Pledger took the initiative to start a recycling program. SFC Pledger realized that, with little time and effort, they could help out Mother Earth by recycling their cardboard. SSG Israel Turski has taken charge of the recycling initiative since his departure. She has implemented new signage, blue recycling carts and established a very positive relationship with the Rome/Floyd Recycling Center. The Recycling Center offers FREE pickup of office paper, cardboard and document shredding by appointment to business and industries in Rome and Floyd County. For service or more information, please call (706) 291-5266. Thanks again, SFC Pledger and SSG Turski for approaching recycling as leaders. HOOAH! If you have any questions, please contact Yvonne Edwards at 678.569.6752, etta.y.edwards.nfg@mail.mil or Frances Grieme at 678.569.6749, frances.h.grieme.nfg@mail.mil.
  9. 9. Page 9 Georgia Environmental Management System (GeMS) Many thanks to all that helped to make the External Environmental Performance Assessment System (EPAS) a success. The GaARNG completed the EPAS at the end of August 2013. The GeMS Program was audited under 17 ISO 14001 sections with a total of 46 protocols. The preliminary findings: 39 positive compliant and 7 non-compliant. We anticipate that the results of the assessment will be finalized toward the end of December 2013. As we have stated before, GeMS is the responsibility of every soldier, civilian and contractor. The positive results of this audit are the result of teamwork and everyone taking responsibility of their actions to make sure that we follow all environmental laws and regulations and the TAG policy statement. Thank you for your help in making this past year a success. If you have any questions regarding the GeMS Program or eMS, please contact Frances Grieme at 678.569.6749 or frances.h.grieme.nfg@mail.mil. "It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag." -- Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC
  10. 10. Page 10 Clean-up & Restoration Simple but Complicated I was asked a simple question this week which required a complicated answer. The question that was asked was on a topic that has been in the news a great deal during the last few years: “What are your thoughts about ‘fracking’?” If you have read about it, or heard it described in the news media, you know that “fracking” is the process of using hydraulic pressure to fracture underground geologic rock layers containing oil or natural gas in order to extract the resource which otherwise wouldn’t flow out from normal methods of drilling. Much has been discussed about the safety, advantages, dangers, and disadvantages of such technologies. But the question and resulting conversation lead me to think about a much larger, broader, and more practical view of the controversial topic of the “Environment”. While studying Geology from 1976-1980, I was taught that the earth was 1.8 billion years old, the build-up of carbon dioxide creating the “Greenhouse Effect” was leading us into a new Ice Age by the year 2000, and that the rationing of gasoline during those four years meant both the government and free enterprise would be forced to lead the way to totally electric vehicles for everyone, also by the year 2000. Now, having past that projected date by almost a decade and a half, the estimate for the age of the earth is 4.54 billion years, we’re told the build-up of carbon dioxide creating the “Greenhouse Effect” has not lead us into an Ice Age, but that we’re in the middle of out-of-control Global Warming that will cause doom and destruction, and we’re even more dependent upon the supply of foreign oil supplies than in the 1970’s. Everyone could have an electric vehicle if the commute was only about 30 miles both ways, and one is willing to pay the equivalent of buying two Toyota Corollas. And, none of that discussion even addresses the views of the Creationist that the earth is less than 10 thousand years old, and that all geologic structures can be explained when you believe Noah really lived through a year-long, worldwide flood. The discussion of all of the above is written as a backdrop to these conclusions, which I would encourage all soldiers to keep in mind while conducting everyday business: 1) The “facts” of science are ever-changing. 2) The practice of science has become more political than scientific in many cases. 3) Environmental Laws and Regulations are more complicated and ambiguous than anyone can comprehend. Therefore, the best way to approach “Environmental Stewardship” is to: 1. Use common sense a. Don’t pour anything down a drain that the label says, “Do not pour down drain.” b. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t pour it on the ground. c. If it’s leaking, stop the leak. d. If the water’s running, turn it off. e. If it’s not labeled, label it. f. If you have something you don’t know how to handle, ask the CFMO Environmental Assessor assigned to your area. 2. Don’t get caught up in the current political climate of environmental issues. It’s only a distraction. 3. Rely on the Environmental Professionals in the CFMO Environmental Office for your answers. (Let us worry and be responsible for the ever-changing laws.) 4. Taking time to “do the right thing” saves time, money, stress, and a lot of exasperation. If you have any questions regarding the Cleanup & Restoration Program, please contact Randy Drummond at 678.569.6750 or randy.m.drummond.nfg@mail.mil.
  11. 11. Page 11 Natural Resources Public Meetings Scheduled Re: Georgia Deer Management Plan By: Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 29 Oct. 2013 How many white-tailed deer should we have in Georgia? The answer to this question varies depending on whom you ask. Management of Georgia's white-tailed deer herd can be a challenging and, at times, controversial topic. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), the whitetailed deer is Georgia’s most popular game species. Currently, management of regional and statewide deer populations occurs through hunting (81 percent of all hunters pursue this game species) as facilitated and constrained by laws, regulations and hunter access. However, there are a number of key issues and opportunities directly linked to this resource besides hunting; including wildlife viewing, ecological functions, agricultural damage, and deer-car collisions. WRD’s successful management efforts are informed through biological data, public input and management objectives identified in the agency’s statewide deer management plan, developed through an intensive public participation process. WRD is seeking to continue integrating public involvement by developing the next iteration of Georgia’s 10-year Deer Management Plan. Toward that goal, WRD is requesting your participation in 10 statewide, highly interactive, open housestyle public meetings, scheduled throughout early November. These meetings are one opportunity to allow members of the public to provide input regarding management of white-tailed deer. During these meetings, citizens will be able to provide thoughtful insight on specific key issues. Some of these issues include: deer population densities; deer-vehicle collisions; urban deer management; seasons and bag limits; hunting methods; hunter access; and education and outreach. Biologists and others will be available to answer questions about the key issues and provide background information if needed. Date Time City Location 11/5/13 3-8 p.m. Dalton Dalton Convention Center 11/5/13 3-8 p.m. Perry Ga National Fairgrounds 11/6/13 3-8 p.m. Newnan The Newnan Carnegie 11/12/13 2:45-7:45 p.m. Greensboro Greene County Library 11/13/13 3-8 p.m. Marietta Cobb Co. Parks and Recreation 11/14/13 3-8 p.m. Waycross Dixon Memorial Forest-Herty Building 11/18/13 3-8 p.m. Gainesville Gainesville Civic Center 11/19/13 3-8 p.m. Albany Flint Riverquarium 11/19/13 3-8 p.m. Statesboro Georgia Southern University 11/20/13 3-8 p.m. McDonough Henry Co. SPLOST Building
  12. 12. Page 12 Natural Resources (cont’d) For those unable to attend the public meetings, comments will be accepted until Nov. 22, 2013. Comments may be submitted electronically at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/Hunting/Meetings. Written comments may be sent to: WRD Game Management, Attn: Charlie Killmaster, 2065 U.S. Hwy. 278 SE, Social Circle, GA 30025. For more information on the Georgia Deer Management Plan or to view the key issues, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/Hunting/Meetings or call 770-918-6416. **************************************************************************************** Autumn Tips on Avoiding Deer on Roads By: Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 24 Oct. 2013 With an estimated 50,000 deer-car collisions annually in the state, staff with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division encourage drivers to be cautious of increased deer sightings this fall. “Deer are on the move during this time of year and while motorists in rural areas may expect to see deer, Georgia’s suburban and urban areas can be prime spots as well,” said Don McGowan, a senior biologist with DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division. “Hunting is often mistakenly blamed for increased deer-car collisions, but there actually are natural explanations for increased deer activity.” There are two primary factors why drivers may see more deer near roads in the fall: 1—Mating SeasonDeer mating season occurs between October and early December. Male deer go into rut and begin actively searching for mates. This greatly contributes to the increased movement of deer, bringing them across roadways. 2—Time ChangesAs we begin to “fall back” for daylight savings time, our days become shorter and nights become longer. Rush hour for most commuters tends to fall during the same hours in which white-tailed deer are most active -- dawn and dusk.
  13. 13. Page 13 Natural Resources (cont’d) Following are some tips and information to help avoid potential collisions: 1. Deer Are Unpredictable: Always remember deer are wild, and therefore, can be unpredictable. A deer calmly standing on the side of a road may bolt into or across the road rather than away from it when startled by a vehicle. 2. Time of Day: As deer are most active at dawn and dusk, they typically are seen roadside during the early morning and late evening -- the same times most people are commuting to and from work. 3. One Deer Usually Means More: Take caution and slow down when a deer crosses. Deer generally travel in groups, so if one crosses, be prepared that others may follow. 4. Time of Year: While deer-car collisions can occur any time of year, the fall breeding season is a peak time for such accidents. During the fall breeding season, deer movement increases and this often brings them in contact with roadways that cross their natural habitats. Road shoulders generally provide beneficial food plants both during extremely dry times of the year and following a long, hard winter. Deer are generally attracted to these plants in late-winter, early spring and late summer. 5. Minimize Damage: If it is too late to avoid a collision, drivers are advised to slow down as much as possible to minimize damage - resist the urge to swerve to avoid the deer, this may cause further damage, sending drivers off the road or causing a collision with another vehicle. If an accident occurs, alert the police as soon as possible. For more information on the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, visit www.georgiawildlife.com .