Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Information : Environmental Management
Prior to 1991, Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) had several violations of various Environmental Protection Agency standards. This resulted in findings by Army, state, and Federal environmental auditors. Since 1991, several steps have been taken to improve its environmental program by implementing Army guidance to bring RIA in line with Department of the Army requirements. Through Command emphasis and a solid training program, RIA increased employee awareness and provided the employees with a detailed guide on waste disposal. The guide is a collaborative effort of five RIA offices. The Commander conducts a Quarterly Environmental Control meeting including all of the directors and division chiefs. Unannounced audits by the Quality Systems Directorate are conducted. RIA has formed process action teams to address several environmental issues, such as modernization of the potable water plant, hazardous material acquisition, and asbestos abatement. The installation has teamed with the IEPA as "Partners in Pollution Prevention," which has given RIA additional avenues to assist in solving environmental issues. The installation also utilizes cross-functional teams to approach environmental problems, giving RIA access to technical expertise not normally available.
Through these efforts, the installation has been able to meet the requirements of 23 different environmental acts, regulations, etc. RIA has zero findings since 1991 and has eliminated vapor degreasers, polychlorinated biphenyl lead based paints, and high volatile organic compound paints. All underground storage tanks have been replaced, and a good recycling program has been established. A very efficient chrome recovery system has been installed, the quality of the potable water has been improved, and most of the waste that had been classified as hazardous has been handled in a manner which allows it to be classified as nonhazardous waste. All of these are good initiatives with positive results. They are all regulatory or cost driven and are in use across the Department of the Army as well as other federal agencies. The turnaround in environmental management since 1991 is to be commended.
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