• December 22, 2014

Fort Hood continues to track its impact on the environment

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Posted: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 12:00 pm | Updated: 4:14 pm, Thu Feb 6, 2014.

By Matt Goodman

Fort Hood Herald

On Jan. 24, 2007, President George W. Bush signed an executive order requiring all federal agencies to reduce energy intensity by 3 percent annually or by 30 percent by 2015. While the U.S. Army has begun testing monitoring systems at posts across the nation, Fort Hood has employed sustainability options for years, even winning a number of national awards for its efforts.

"Air is not going to just affect Fort Hood, it's going to affect the region as well," said Steve Burrow, chief of environmental programs at Fort Hood. "We're going to look at water issues and things like that; how do we become a more sustainable community?"

On July 20, the Army announced that environmental monitoring software created by third-party Enviance Inc. was expanding to 12 Army installations nationwide. Fort Hood has used the software since October 2008.

"Enviance is uniquely qualified to manage the complexity of carbon accounting and (green house gas) management because it is built by domain experts and rooted in the chemistry of greenhouse gas," said Brian Pope, an Enviance spokesman via e-mail.

The goal of Enviance, and its Environmental Monitoring Information System, is just that: to monitor each post's effect on the environment. The company developed a model for the Army to plug in its population, natural gas usage, data from the annual air inventory and other environmental factors into a complex logarithm that calculates the post's approximate carbon "bootprint."

By 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency will set a national standard - Burrow expects it to be around 25,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions - and all posts will submit its number, which will be created by the Environmental Monitoring Information System.

"Keep in mind, when they establish the limit that it's just a recording process," Burrow said. "We're not in trouble if we exceed that number."

But while the recording process is fairly recent, Fort Hood's efforts in creating sustainable energy options are not. At the last Earth Day in April, the post joined with Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove and Gatesville in a sustainability contract, wherein each party will combine to look at a regional approach to sustainability.

"There's a lot of different things going on in terms of air and regional air quality," Burrow said. "These are things that, as a community, we're all going to be looking at."

In recent years, Fort Hood has received a number of national awards celebrating its sustainability and environmental efforts. In 2008, the post received the Secretary of the Army's Sustainability Award. Christine Luciano, Fort Hood outreach coordinator, attributed the award to the post's training land management activities, its recycling efforts and its energy savings programs.

This year, it was the only Army installation to receive the White House Closing The Circle Award for pollution prevention and its outreach efforts, which included conducting an annual Earth Day festival, which is when it announced the regional sustainability contract with area cities; its efforts for outreach with school children; its tanker purge facility, which developed a purging system for the 5,000-gallon on-post fuel tankers that saved mass amounts of soldier time; and its oil and antifreeze recycling center.

"Fort Hood has been at the forefront of all of this for many years," Burrow said. "There's an outstanding staff here that's well recognized through the Army and (the Department of Defense), and we do set the pace."

Contact Matt Goodman at mgoodman@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7550.

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