Ellsworth first in Air Force to receive EPA incentives

  • Published
  • By David Hopper
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs
Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., is the first Air Force installation to receive special incentives from the Environmental Protection Agency based on its exceptional example as a steward of the environment.

The criteria for entering into the EPA's Performance Track program include having an Environmental Management System, maintaining a record of sustained compliance, committing to continuous improvement and having a system in place for public outreach.

Minot AFB, N.D.; Nellis AFB, Nev.; and Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., all ACC bases, also have been accepted into the EPA's Performance Track program and officials at each base are applying for incentives based on performance.

According to officials at Ellsworth, the incentives from the EPA will save the Air Force man hours and dollars.

"These incentives will save approximately 120 man hours and $30K cost avoidance from the under-funded environmental compliance program, reduce regulatory liability, and improve relationships with state and EPA officials," said Brig. Gen. Timothy A. Byers, ACC director of installations and mission support.

Ellsworth's incentives include the following:

-- Reduced frequency of comprehensive site compliance evaluations required by the Clean Water Act from annually to every three years

-- Reduced frequency of discharge monitoring reporting from monthly to quarterly

-- Reduced frequency of the synthetic minor air inspection from annually to every other year

-- Reduced frequency of inspections required by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from annually to every other year

-- Allowance of hazardous-waste storage on site for up to 180 days instead of 90 days

According to the EPA Web site, the Performance Track Program recognizes and rewards facilities that have demonstrated they are environmental leaders.

Representatives at Ellsworth have demonstrated with past achievements and future commitment that the base is an environmental leader, said Mary A. Byrne, EPA environmental business liaison.

According to Gregory D. Johnson, Ellsworth chief of environmental planning, they have a history of extraordinary performance when it comes to environmental initiatives. One example includes developing and utilizing systems that have reduced Ellsworth's hazardous waste generation by 30,000 pounds.

According to EPA officials, Ellsworth will be eligible for incentives as long as they are part of the EPA's Performance Track program and continue to meet the terms of the commitment they made to the EPA.

Air Force leaders said they are committed to reducing energy costs and the amount of energy used by the Air Force.

"We continue to look for ways to reduce energy consumption in our facilities, vehicles and aircraft operations," wrote Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne in a Letter to Airmen. "Your efforts in making energy conservation a part of your day-to-day activities will benefit our entire Air Force, and free up precious dollars for other critical programs."