Wednesday, April 20, 2011

JBLM Designated for Two Net Zero Centers

The Army announced yesterday the locations identified to be pilot net zero installations. As part of the Army's overall effort to conserve precious resources, net zero installations will consume only as much energy or water as they produce and eliminate solid waste to landfills.

The announcement initiates the programmatic environmental analysis and planning process for the Army's Net Zero Installation Strategy. Specifics for projects and initiatives will be determined through a programmatic environmental analysis which will include public engagement and stakeholder outreach.

"The Army has identified six net zero pilot installations in each of the energy, water, and waste categories and two integrated installations striving towards net zero by 2020. 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, who made the announcement at the opening session of the annual Association of United States Army Installation Command Symposium. "Striving for net zero is operationally necessary, financially prudent, and critical to our mission."

Joint Base Lewis-McChord was selected as a pilot net zero water installation which will limit the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the same watershed so as not to deplete the groundwater and surface water resources of that region in quantity and quality over the course of a year.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord was also selected as a net zero waste installation for reducing, reusing, and recovering waste streams, converting them to resource values with zero landfill over the course of a year.

JBLM was not chosen as a net zero energy installation, which would produce as much energy on site as it uses, over the course of a year. The Oregon Army National Guard volunteered to pilot a unique and challenging Net Zero Energy Initiative, which includes all of their installations across the state. This strategy will be included in the environmental analysis.

Two installations were selected to be integrated net zero installations: Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Carson, Colo. A net zero installation is comprised of three interrelated components: net zero energy, net zero water, and net zero waste.

Hammack said the installations will become centers of environmental and energy excellence as they participate in the Net Zero Installation Strategy programmatic environmental planning process, showcase best management practices, and demonstrate effective resource management. Further, they will establish a framework of reduction, re-purposing, recycling and composting, energy recovery, and disposal to guide them towards achieving net zero in an environmentally responsible, cost-effective and efficient manner.

As part of the pilot, the installations will also participate in a kick-off meeting in June to receive training and showcase their proposed strategies to achieve net zero. Each installation will participate in monthly conference calls and share experiences and lessons learned in newsletters and military and industry conferences. These installations will also participate in a programmatic environmental analysis and integrated planning process that will inform future decisions regarding impacts to resources throughout the Army's initiative. Public participation will be an integrated part of the process and part of the environmental planning process.

Three panels made the pilot installation recommendations from the 100 self-nominations (53 energy, 23 water, and 24 waste) received from 60 highly motivated installations managed by the Army National Guard, Army Materiel Command, Installation Management Command, Medical Command, Space and Missile Defense Command and the U.S. Army Reserve Command.

Installations that self-nominated for the pilot Net Zero Installation Initiative, but were not identified are highly encouraged to continue to strive towards net zero learning from the net zero journey of the pilot installations. In fiscal 2014 another 25 installations in each category will be asked to self-nominate to achieving net zero.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Zero landfill over the course of a year??? Composting and recycling works for much/most solid waste - but not everything. Can everything be recycled??? What will they do with empty tooth-paste tubes?

This sounds extreme. In reality with everything there is a point of diminishing returns. This should be considered and recycling/composting/doing without done up to the point of diminishing returns.

Also, you can't consume water. You can only borrow it. Net zero for water should be easy. ;)