Journal Record Staff Reporter
What the U.S. Air Force is going through these days.
No longer do officials just plan for flying combat missions and training for those missions, then providing all the mission support, but they also are facing the same environmental issues business and industry face daily.
Because of requirements by the Environmental Protection Agency, a new directorate has been formed within the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base to protect the environment.
Mission of the 200-person unit is to preserve, protect and restore the environment of the past, present and future, said Maj. Richard Ashworth of the center's Environment Management Directorate.
"It's our job to find potential places where spills or releases may have occurred in the past and to correct those in the best means possible. That's the past," he said. "We also must have compliance with existing EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requirements to ensure that we meet or exceed all standards. That's the present.
"Wherever possible we must reduce the amount of emissions in the air, the hazardous wastes, through eliminating the need, finding substitutions or devising new processes. That's the future."
Part of the overall effort is investigating technology to use wind and solar energy to generate electricity for the base and finding alternative fuels for vehicle usage.
Another major element of the environment program is reducing usage of ozone-depleting chemicals, specially targeted chemicals and generation of hazardous wastes. …