DoD Environment in the News
This New York Times article highlights ESTCP’s demonstration of a waste-to-energy technology, FastOx Pathfinder, that transforms trash into syngas, a combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be burned to generate electricity or made into ethanol or diesel fuel. The first-of-its-kind demonstration at Fort Hunter Liggett, a training base in Monterey County, California, will provide important cost and performance information to enable further adoption of this technology across the military and nationwide, with benefits including productive use of waste, improved energy security, and reduced costs.
An article published in The Wall Street Journal draws attention to the military’s extensive endangered species management efforts using the desert tortoise, loggerhead shrike, golden-cheeked warbler, Eggert's sunflower, and red-cockaded woodpecker as examples. Military lands provide some of the best habitat for more than 400 threatened and endangered species because of their restricted use.
To combat development pressures and the impacts of encroachment on military training, DoD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative has helped create buffer zones around 64 military bases. This Los Angeles Times article highlights the benefits that these zones are providing both for training and wildlife at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Beale Air Force Base, Camp Roberts, Camp San Luis Obispo, and Vandenberg Air Force Base.
This Associated Press article highlighted ESTCP’s ongoing demonstration of the aerial application of toxic mice as bait to attract invasive brown tree snakes on the island of Guam. These snakes have caused catastrophic changes to the island’s native birds and economy. The aerial baiting technology will provide an additional level of defense against snakes getting into outbound cargo, decreasing the probability of snakes being introduced to new vulnerable areas like the Hawaiian islands. NBCNEWS.com, abcNEWS.com, and The Washington Post all carried the story.
DoD has released its annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP), which outlines the Department’s goals and sustainability performance expectations through FY 2020. For the first time as part of this update, an adaptation roadmap identifies the steps DoD will take to ensure the sustainability of its operations and infrastructure under climate change.
As reported by FoxNews.com, a novel cold spray technology successfully demonstrated by ESTCP will help save corroded Black Hawk helicopter parts from premature retirement. The coating system has been approved by the Sikorsky Aircraft Company and the Army Program Office for use on one UH-60 Black Hawk component with future approvals anticipated for the entire H-60 helicopter family.
As part of a joint departmental effort to strengthen the nation’s energy independence and reduce military utility costs, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar have signed a memorandum of understanding detailing the use of withdrawn military lands, as well as onshore and offshore lands near military installations, for development of renewable energy.
On National Public Radio's Science Friday program, Robert Kwartin, Vice President and Director of Renewable Energy Practices at ICF International, discusses how DoD is at the forefront of renewable energy development. In the interview Kwartin describes an ESTCP-funded study, conducted by ICF, which determined the potential for 7,000 megawatts of solar energy production on DoD installations in the Mojave Desert.
DoD's stewardship efforts to defend and sustain threatened, endangered, and at-risk species and their habitats, while at the same time providing high-quality natural environments for military training, is the focus of the Spring 2011 edition of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Endangered Species Bulletin. The bulletin highlights initiatives and organizations, including SERDP and ESTCP, that are assisting DoD in its conservation endeavor.
On National Public Radio's Science Friday program, Rear Admiral David Titley, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and Director of the U.S. Navy's Task Force on Climate Change, discusses how "melting glaciers, changing sea ice, and rising sea levels might affect Navy operations in the Arctic and around the world – and how the Navy is preparing." In the interview, Rear Admiral Titley cites ongoing SERDP studies to assess critical regional and local impacts of sea-level rise on some of DoD's key coastal installations.
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