SAN DIEGO --
The United States Environmental Protection Agency honored Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., along with Naval Base Coronado, Calif., and a Drug Enforcement Agency laboratory with the Federal Green Challenge Award for efforts in conservation in San Diego, Aug. 7.
The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort under the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, which challenges federal agencies throughout the country to lead by example in reducing the federal government’s environmental impact.
These agencies participate in two of six different target areas of conservation such as waste, electronics, purchasing, energy, water and transportation. Members then commit to a 5 percent improvement per year in their selected categories.
The agency honored MCAS Miramar for education, outreach and waste programs.
Installation personnel promoted a recycling program at the Youth and Teen Center and Child Daycare Center during Earth Week. It also conducted electronic waste collection events and provided recycling information through e-mail and marquee announcements that reached three-quarters of the air station.
"Federal agencies participating in the Pacific Southwest program saved over $31.8 million by reducing waste, water and energy use over the past two years," said EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld, in a Coronado Patch article. "During this same period, these agencies have conserved over 350 million gallons of water. In a time of drought, this level of federal leadership on water conservation is critical."
The installation increased recyclables from approximately 1,470 tons in 2012 to approximately 1,911 tons this year, a 30 percent increase that significantly exceeded its goal to increase recycling by 10 percent. Solid waste disposal to the landfill was also reduced by more than 22 percent, from approximately 5,194 tons in 2012 to 4,242 tons, this year. This exceeded the established goal to decrease solid waste by 10 percent, according to Mike Corona, director of the waste management division for MCAS Miramar.
However, meeting these goals isn’t enough for the air station as it seeks to raise their recycling another 10 percent next year.
“It’s an honor to receive this award,” said Bill Moog, assistant environmental management officer aboard the air station. “It shows not only our efforts, but the installation and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s efforts in recycling and doing their part to help the environment and our community.”
These award-winning conservation methods go hand in hand with MCAS Miramar’s efforts to preserve resources such as the opening of the Miramar Landfill, which provides methane gas to help provide energy for the air station. The air station has also increased education about water and energy conservation; and is working to technologically advance irrigation systems and buildings aboard the air station to use resources more efficiently.
“I hope to share this award with every single person working and residing on Miramar,” said Corona. “Without their efforts we couldn’t have exceeded the goals that were set.”
For more information about water conservation and what can be done to help, visit http://www.miramar.marines.mil/Resources/ConservationAwareness.aspx
to learn more.