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March 24th, 2009
Overseas Army Garrison Applies GIS Technology to Manage Environmental Program

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PR – The U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) at Bamberg, Germany,
doesn’t have to wonder what it has in its ecological and other
environmental inventories any more now that this data is exchanged
using a geographic information system (GIS). The electronic mapping
tool allows 31 organizations across the garrison to share information
in order to integrate efforts for greater benefit to the environment.

The garrison’s environmental management division was the first
activity of the USAG with a fully working GIS. The GIS includes a
variety of themes that include geology, drillings, water and soil
tests, surface waters, landscaping features, landscape maintenance
responsibilities, cultural and archaeological resources, cultural
monuments, contaminated sites, recycling points, oil water separators,
hazardous waste accumulation points, hazardous material storage areas,
above ground storage tanks, underground storage tanks, trees, biotopes
and forests.

"By optimizing resources and implementing GIS to manage the
environmental program, the garrison’s environmental management division
and training support center now use the biological inventory to
coordinate maintenance projects," shared Wolfgang Grimm, command forester, Engineer Division, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Europe.
"Using this new system, undesired vegetation is scheduled to be
removed, creating larger open areas within forests for nature
conservation, military training and tank driving exercises. This is
just one example of how garrison organizations are utilizing GIS to
coordinate integrated programs."

Keeping the high density of the population and intensive use of the
surrounding farm land in mind, Army training grounds have become
ecological areas of importance. These valuable biological communities
are inventoried in the USAG Bamberg GIS that monitors 152 acres of
unimproved Army land.

Using GIS is part of a robust environmental quality program at USAG
Bamberg that includes many successes. USAG Bamberg’s environmental
program addresses pollution prevention opportunities, instills a
powerful recycling program, promotes the protection of public health
and the environment, conserves valuable material and energy, and
maintains sustainable use of Army land through the conservation of
existing resources. Using a GIS, the environmental management division
has implemented a maintenance program for disturbance-dependent species
and their habitats.

For example, energy conservation techniques taught by the Garrison
public works operation and maintenance division educated the garrison
population on energy savings methods resulting in a savings of 38,000
million British thermal units which totaled $450,000 in 2007. For these efforts the division received the Secretary of the Army Energy Efficiency and Energy Management Award.

Additionally, the garrison constructed a new recycling center that
is open to the surrounding community and collected approximately 3,739
metric tons of waste in fiscal year 2008. The garrison’s environmental
program is integrated with the local city government and was
instrumental in the city receiving the "Environmental City of Germany"
award.

Continual improvement of these initiatives and more is tracked by
USAG Bamberg using an environmental management system, part of the
overall installation management system that specifically addresses the
potential risks to the environment from Army activities. This system is
a tool that can help ensure that Soldiers today — and the Soldiers of
the future — have the land, water, and air resources that they need to
train; a healthy environment in which to live; and the support of local
communities.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for the Environment, Safety
and Occupational Health Tad Davis recognized the garrison as the Army’s
most outstanding overseas environmental quality effort in fiscal year
2008. The Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards represent the
highest honor in the field of environmental science conferred by the
Army.

"The Army is committed to protecting the environment at
installations here and overseas," said Davis. "In fact, as the winners
of our environmental awards demonstrate, the Army is getting more and
more sophisticated in its use of environmental technology and
sustainable practices. We’re becoming a greener shade of green."

An independent panel of judges made up of professionals from
federal, state and Army organizations recommended USAG Bamberg for the
Secretary of the Army Environmental Award. "USAG Bamberg has provided a
sustainable environmental quality to its personnel and surrounding
community through its environmental management projects," stated Amy Potter, Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards Judge.

USAG Bamberg will go on to compete for the Secretary of Defense
Environmental Awards this year. For details about the fiscal year 2008
Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards recipients, visit the U.S.
Army Environmental Command’s Web site at http://aec.army.mil/usaec/newsroom/awards00.html.

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