By James Johnson, NAVFAC Far East Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East received recognition for two Fiscal Year 2014 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) environmental awards, announced March 4.
The awards for Environmental Quality, Overseas Installation and Cultural Resources Management, Small Installation, highlight work done by the Public Works Department (PWD) at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, Japan.
"NAF Atsugi's focus on the environment, led by the dedicated efforts of Rich Reiss and his EV team, ensured impressive progress on environmental initiatives while protecting our environmental and cultural resources," said PWD Atsugi Public Works Officer Cmdr. Jeff Sherwood.
The Environmental Quality, Overseas Installation award recognizes the PWD Atsugi environmental team for meeting or exceeding requirements in managing compliance of the Japan Environmental Governing Standards. They did this while making improvements to the Environmental Management System (EMS). NAF Atsugi is the first in the Far East area to develop an EMS that incorporates lifecycle environmental impacts.
A significant achievement was processing groundwater on base, which saves the Navy $5.8 million per year and complies with the installation's drinking water program. They also had one of the Navy's highest overall diversion rates for solid waste and construction and demolition debris.
The Cultural Resources Management, Small Installation award came through leveraging technology to meet cultural resources program requirements. A dig-permit process and first-in-the-Navy lifecycle Preliminary Environmental Assessment Review tools protect cultural resources during construction, repair and maintenance work.
The PWD Atsugi environmental team consists of six U.S. civilians, six Japanese Master Labor Contract employees and one active duty military. They support as many as five different aircraft types from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, the most of any U.S. Navy Air Facility or Naval Air Station. CVW-5 is the Navy's only forward-deployed carrier air wing.
"Our successes are a product of the installation commanding officer's commitment to our Environmental Management System, cooperation with base tenant commands, a culture of cooperation within the public works department and a partnership with NAVFAC Far East regional support staff who provide clear guidance and committed support," said Environmental Program Director Richard Reiss.
The awards were earned in part by initiating the involvement of experts from the Kanagawa Prefecture and adjacent cities' Boards of Education Historical/Cultural Resources in the environmental planning process.
"We enjoy working with the boards of education because we share a mutual interest-proper protection and management of historic and cultural resources including important prehistoric pottery," said Reiss.