Dover Air Force Base - Dover, DE
The Hazardous Materials (HazMat) pharmacy was conceived by the Air Force to control and track hazardous materials usage on bases. With this goal in mind, Dover Air Force Base (DAFB) was tasked to implement the HazMat pharmacy concept to work out the implementation problems. DAFB, along with all other Air Force bases, have also been tasked to reduce hazardous waste by 50% by the year 1999 when compared to the baseline year of 1992. The best way to reduce hazardous waste is to not bring hazardous materials onto the base. With this in mind, DAFB has added HazMat/hazardous waste reduction as a goal to the HazMat process.
All materials used on the base, which were classified as hazardous by the criteria as toxic, corrosive, reactive, or flammable, had to be obtained through the pharmacy. Outdated or excess stock were eliminated from base stores and shop storage as hazardous waste if it could not be recycled. This resulted in an immediate increase of hazardous waste disposal. Some materials became more difficult to obtain for base personnel, which delayed some base operations. This bottle neck has caused a review of criteria as to what constitutes hazardous material. The pharmacy is also to find nonhazardous substitutes which can be used in the various industrial operations on base in place of hazardous materials currently used.
The implementation of the pharmacy is helping to bring about the goal of reducing hazardous waste. Based on the first two quarters of 1996, the projected hazardous waste disposal for this year was 46% lower than the 1992 figure of 128 tons.
Part of the goal was to reduce the usage of EPA 17 chemicals, or ozone depleting chemicals (ODCs). The baseline year of 1992 usage was 46,154 pounds. The usage for the first half of 1996 was 2,909 pounds.
Has the implementation of the HazMat Pharmacy achieved its goal? Not entirely, but it is well on its way and has contributed greatly to a better environment.