By Sue Brink, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE. Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast environmental teams' contributions were recognized as two Navy installations received prestigious U.S. Navy environmental honors.
Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, deputy chief of naval operations for fleet readiness and logistics (N4), announced the winners of the fiscal year (FY) 2013 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Environmental Awards competition, March 18.
The 2013 award winners included the Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla. Environmental Restoration Partnering Team and Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss. in the Environmental Restoration (ER), Installation category.
"I commend NAS Jax Restoration Advisory Board team leader Tim Curtin and the restoration team members on winning this award. They have proven to be leaders and are deserving of this recognition. Their leadership in the ongoing and multifaceted restoration projects truly supports the Navy's commitment to be a good environmental steward," said NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Undersander, upon learning of the award.
The NAS Jacksonville Team was formed to navigate a path forward to successfully investigate, remediate, and manage the risks posed by contaminated waste sites located on the installation. They have worked together since 1992.
"During the past year, the team implemented several cutting edge, state-of-the-art investigations in an industrial area including vapor intrusion in multiple industrial buildings and bio-remediation in a former dry cleaners area," said Tim Curtin, NAS Jacksonville ER program manager. "This included injecting emulsified vegetable oil in the sand and conducting an electro-kinetic process in the clay."
Curtin explained that the installation's hydrogeological, industrial, and ecological settings present unique opportunities to protect human health and the environment through the use of innovative technologies and methodologies for site restoration.
"The pace and expanded scope of cleanup efforts at NAS Jacksonville industrial sites have been possible through cooperation and collaboration of the restoration team with its regulatory and community stakeholders, including the federal and state regulatory agencies, the local citizen's group, and the local redevelopment authority," Undersander added.
The second installation recognized was NAS Meridian.
"I would like to congratulate all of the personnel in the Public Works Environmental Department for their efforts leading to NAS Meridian's selection as the 2013 CNO Environmental Restoration, Installation category, award winner," said NAS Meridian Command Officer Capt. Charles C. Moore II. "Bravo Zulu and best of luck to NAS Meridian Environmental at the next level, the Secretary of the Navy Environmental Awards Competition."
"The most significant restoration project completed at NAS Meridian would be the Site 3B Metals Landfill off the South Runway," said NAS Meridian Environmental Director Steve Wade. "In earlier years, this site was used to store metals and construction debris."
The restoration process used at Site 3B was a total remediation of the entire area. The Navy conducted four subsurface ground and water sampling events following the cleanup to confirm no contamination was left behind.
"As a department it is a great accomplishment for our staff to be recognized for the work that happens at the Environmental Department here on board NAS Meridian," said Wade. "As an individual, it is a great feeling to know that you are a part of an excellent staff that is making a lasting improvement to the environmen for future generations."
The processes for remedial actions ultimately ends with no further action for a site to be classified as "Closed out." So site closeout would mean that the land goes back to the way it originally was before it was inhabited.
Currently, the restoration team is planning a bioreactor for the remedial actions at Site 8 Old Jet Wash Area. This bioreactor system will allow microorganisms to break down active chemical contamination naturally at an accelerated rate.
"Planning, communication, and team work are what it takes to have the work accomplished in a short amount of time," claimed Wade.
The local environmental staff effectively coordinated and communicated with the partnering team to finish the work on time. The partnering team included the NAVFAC Southeast Region Program Manager Robert Fisher, Mississippi Environmental Quality Regulator Robert Merrell, CH2MHill Program Manager David Chung, and NAS Meridian Environmental staff.
For the fiscal year 2013 competition, 54 nominations from commands around the world were received in 10 award categories. Environmental experts for the Navy and representatives from non-government organizations evaluated nominations to determine winners for each of the award categories.
The CNO Environmental Awards honor ships, installations, individuals, and teams for their outstanding achievements in Navy environmental programs. The ten award categories include 1) Natural Resources Conservation, Small Installation; 2) Natural Resources Conservation, Individual or Team; 3) Environmental Quality, Non-Industrial Installation; 4) Environmental Quality, Individual or Team; 5) Environmental Quality, Large Ship; 6) Sustainability, Industrial Installation; 7) Environmental Restoration, Installation; 8) Environmental Restoration, Individual or Team; 9) Cultural Resources Management, Installation; and 10) Environmental Excellence in Weapon System Acquisition, Large Program, Individual or Team.
All CNO winners now advance to the Secretary of the Navy level of competition.
For more information on the CNO Environmental Awards program, visit http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/environment/awards.