MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The Installations and Environment Department’s Environmental Management Division here received two awards at the 2004 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Awards ceremony in Washington D.C May 3, for their success in the categories of Natural Resources Conservation and Installation Restoration.
Camp Lejeune has a proud tradition of outstanding natural resources management and restoration, and these most recent awards show constant improvement in that regard, wrote Maj. Gen. Robert C. Dickerson, base commanding general, in a letter of congratulations.
According to Dickerson, these awards demonstrate great teamwork between the installation staff and the operational forces in working toward sound environmental management, a vital component of ensuring Camp Lejeune’s future as a valuable training and mobilization base.
The division was also acknowledged at a local level by Keep Onslow Beautiful at the annual Robert L. Franck Awards Breakfast April 28, when they received the Onslow Pride Award in recognition of outstanding efforts to care for our public lands, and The Environmental Award as a credit to their promotion of conservation and preservation.
“The division’s mission statement is to protect current and future training capabilities by respecting and maintaining the natural environment here at Camp Lejeune,” said Scott A. Brewer, director of Environmental Management Division with the Installations and Environment Department.
“The division is organized into three branches of specific operations, the Environmental Compliance Branch, the Environmental Conservation Branch and the Environmental Quality Branch, each with its own tasks and objectives,” said Brewer.
The compliance branch is responsible for the installations pollution prevention programs, recycling and composting initiatives, asbestos control, hazardous waste material collection and disposal plans, spill response system and, most importantly, ensuring the division’s operations are all in accordance with county, state and federal regulations, according to Brewer.
The conservation branch is in charge of Camp Lejeune’s threatened and endangered species protection, game and non-game management, wetlands and erosion control, forestry maintenance, cultural and historic resources preservation and conservation law enforcement, according to Brewer.
The quality branch is accountable for air quality, wastewater and storm water control, noise regulation, the clean up of past disposal sites and, primarily, the division’s project management, according to Brewer.
“It is important for the Marine Corps to be in compliance with environmental laws and regulations and maintain the highest level of environmental awareness,” said Brewer. “It keeps us in good standing with regulating officials and surrounding communities, it saves time and money, and supports operational effectiveness. And, if a person thought of nothing else but themselves, it improves each individual’s quality of life.”
Some of the division’s most significant accomplishments here include reducing hazardous waste by 75 percent, diverting 40 percent of solid waste from entering the landfill and establishing new standards for controlled burns during the growing seasons.
Camp Lejeune is also a three-time recipient of the Commander-In-Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence, which recognizes the base for effectively managing assets and developing quality programs to accomplish its mission. The Installation’s Environmental Conservation Branch has also won four Department of Defense Conservation Awards, making Camp Lejeune the only installation to receive this award more than twice, according to the Environmental Management Division’s official Web site, www.lejeune.usmc.mil/emd.
“Whether it’s released into the air, spilled on the ground or poured into the water system, it all gets back to the environment and has a harmful effect,” said Brewer. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to do their part to keep Earth clean and maintain its natural resources, because everyone is a stakeholder in this estate.”