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2009 HQ USFJ Installation Environmental Excellence Awards Announced

UNRELEASED | May 26, 2010

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- United States Forces, Japan, announced the winners of the 2009 Headquarters USFJ Installation Environmental Excellence Awards on May 26.

Each year USFJ recognizes installations for outstanding environmental management by service members and civilians in Japan.

Environmental awards are given for four categories: pollution prevention, natural resources protection, USFJ and host nation coordination, and environmental compliance programs.

Colonel Thomas N. Goben, Director of Logistics for USFJ was joined by the Director of Policy and Coordination Division, Environmental Management Bureau, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Yuji Kimura; the Director of Environmental Countermeasures Office, Facilities Administration Division, Bureau of Local Cooperation, Ministry of Defense, Mr. Masaru Ito; and from the Status of U.S. Forces Agreement Division, North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ayumu Hamaguchi for the presentation of the awards on behalf of USFJ Commander Lt. Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the annual Japan Joint Environmental Conference at Camp Foster, Ocean Breeze Consolidated Club in Okinawa.

"The USFJ Environmental Excellence Awards recognize the outstanding achievement in environmental management by USFJ Service Components," said Air Force, Major Rodney C. Harris, U.S. Forces Japan, Logistics. "As part of the U.S. - Japan Alliance, USFJ Service Components sustain military readiness, training and operational capabilities; while at the same time they conserve and sustain the natural and cultural resources of facilities and areas entrusted to them."

The winner of the Pollution Prevention Award is Kadena Air Base

Kadena AB reduced their ozone depleting substance inventory by 5,833 lbs. Used cooking oil was turned into bio-diesel to power vehicles and equipment at the Recycling

Center. For commemoration of Earth Day, Kadena AB planned and executed it largest environmental outreach campaign in its history; the "Daily Acts of Green" theme was endorsed by leadership and spread to the masses. Activities included and underwater clean-up, where volunteer scuba divers removed trash from a reef along the Kadena-cho seawall. Held a paper shredding party where the base turned in thousands of pounds of paper for shredding and recycling; a Reuse Swap Meet where MFH residents dropped off/picked-up items thus avoiding costly disposal; and Project H.O.P.E. where Boy/Girl Scouts picked up litter at Kadena Marina.

The winner of the Natural Resource Protection Award is CFA Yokosuka

Natural and cultural resources remain a top priority at CFA Yokosuka. To minimize the disturbance to known firefly mating area, new low illumination street lights were installed to protect the firefly population while improving public safety. As part of the 2009 Earth Day, base units, Kanagawa Fisheries Technology Center and 150 Yokosuka elementary students planted eelgrass and released 400 young native flounder fish into the marina and bay surround the base. CFA Yokosuka donated more than 50 cultural and historical items to the Yokosuka City Museum, which resulted in an exhibit dedicated solely to relics from Yokosuka. CFA Yokosuka started an adopt-a-monument program designed to stimulate greater familiarity and awareness of the 19 monuments located on Yokosuka Naval Base. And finally, CFA Yokosuka provided over 2,200 opportunities in 2009 for cultural interaction by conducting and sponsoring cultural volunteer activities between American and Japanese families.

The winner of the USFJ and Host Nation Coordination Award is US Army Garrison, Japan

The USAG-J Environmental Program effectively managed and coordinated community and public activities that contributed in minimizing the adverse impact to the on/off post limited environment and ecosystems, maintaining and promoting biodiversity, preserving habitats, and managing natural recreational areas. Some of the highlights include developing a promotional/educational video for the community regarding garbage segregation, recycle and household hazardous material exchange program at the Self Help Stores. And initiating or completing 4 environmental and HN community relations enhancement projects at several installations (projects ranging from education to recreational (i.e. parks, rivers, beaches, etc.) cleanups at three different jurisdictions (Kanagawa, Okinawa, Hiroshima prefectures), and 10 Army community stewardship and awareness projects. Camp Zama Youth Center teens along with students from a Japanese High School, volunteered and participated in the Sagami River clean-up activity. Also, USAG- Japan participated in the Nishizawa Valley cleanup activities in cooperation with the local high schools in order to foster a socially responsible attitude towards the environment with the local community.

The winner of the Environmental Compliance Award is Marine Corps Bases Japan

MCBJ conducted a benchmark environmental compliance evaluation (ECE) of MCB Butler, MCAS Futenma and Camp Fuji in Feb 09, making it the most extensive ECE to date. Since then more than 160 deficiencies have been corrected. The corrections included updates to the PCB Elimination Plan, Pest Management Plan and the Hazardous Waste Management Plan. MCBJ has been a leader within DoD in developing an EMS utilizing a regional approach and incorporates EO 13423, "Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Mgmt". In addition, over 30 environmental documents have been translated into Japanese to assist over 3,000 Japanese civilian employees whose duties impact the environment. MCBJ

provided comprehensive environmental training to nearly 6,000 military, U.S. and Japanese civilians. They were the first DoD installation to receive Energy Star Building training provided by EPA and they provided training to 200 Okinawan farmers on the proper use of pesticides, pollution prevention and environmental protection. Finally, MCBJ increased recycling by 60% by increasing recycling locations to Marine and Army ranges; expanded the types of recyclables, and improved the competitive bid process for selling items thus preventing 14,000 tons of recyclables from entering Okinawa landfills.