Feb. 24, 2011

Virginia Army National Guard recognized for environmental management program excellence

By Capt. Matt Nowak
Virginia Army National Guard Public Affairs

SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia Army National Guard was recognized for its commitment to their development of the Environmental Management System as part of the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program at the Senior Leader Conference Feb. 23 in Sandston.

 

Richard Weeks, chief deputy director of Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (far right), presents Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, with a certificate of achievement along with Gary Williamson, the Virginia Army National Guard environmental program manager, and Pam Coleman, environmental compliance manager (far left) Feb. 23 in Sandston. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Va. Department of Military Affairs)

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Richard Weeks, chief deputy director of Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality presented Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, along with representatives from Virginia Army National Guard’s environmental team with a certificate of achievement to signify the efforts.

The Army Guard qualified for the Exemplary Environmental Enterprise category. The E3 level is for facilities that have exceeded the environmental enterprise requirements and have a fully implemented eMS. This is the second of three tiers that both private and public organizations can be selected for in the program.

The Army Guard was judged on 46 facilities spread throughout the Commonwealth. The Virginia Army National Guard is unique to other participating organizations because of the spacing between each facility. Most organizations are centrally located at one site or are within close proximity.

“Achieving the E3 category shows the emphasis and commitment unit leaders across the Commonwealth have for maintaining or improving standards of environmental documentation and practices,” said Gary Williamson, the Virginia Army National Guard’s Environmental Program Manager. “I really appreciate everyone’s efforts with achieving this level. As an agency we will continue to strive to reach the E4 category for the next assessment.”

The E2 criteria requires an environmental policy statement, identification of environmental impacts, establishment of targets, a pollution prevention program, a record of sustained compliance and annual reporting on at least one environmental measure.

In order to reach the E3 level, organizations must meet all the E2 criteria and a few additional ones. They include a fully implemented eMS, eMS self-assessment procedures for communicating environmental information to the public and report annually on at least two environmental measures.

In 2006, the Army Guard entered the program in the E2 category and met most of the criteria for E3, except for the annual reporting of two measures. Since then, the Army Guard made it a priority and put emphasis on becoming a member of the E3 category. They reported on non-hazardous waste recycling and purchased energy usage at the Maneuver Training Center, Fort Pickett which pushed them to the E3 category.

In addition to being recognized as a member of E3 category, the Army Guard may receive some regulatory incentives which would save money. E3 facilities may receive discounts on permit fees of up to 20 percent on solid waste management, 10 percent on hazardous waste management and up to 5 percent in water permits.

The program started in 2005 when the Virginia General Assembly adopted legislation to establish a voluntary recognition and incentive initiative called the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program to recognize facilities and persons that have demonstrated a commitment to enhanced environmental performance and to encourage innovations in environmental protection.

To read more on the program: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/veep.

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