For the second year in a row, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Environmental Management Division was recently awarded the 2022 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award for “Environmental Restoration, Installation” as well as the 2022 Secretary of Defense award in the same category. The Environmental Management Division is responsible for a diverse installation with 72,000 upland forests, 49,000 acres of wetlands, 26,000 acres of water and 7,500 acres of developed land.
Their efforts during the last year included recognition by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for implementing best practices during cleanup activities; updating the Base-wide Vapor Intrusion Evaluation which identified buildings where vapor intrusion may occur; and an evaluation of the effectiveness of alternative treatment technologies to address contaminated groundwater.
“EMD does an amazing job meeting the Marine Corps’ need for training areas and meeting the federal requirements to be good stewards of our natural resources,” said U.S. Navy Captain Andy Litteral, assistant chief of staff for Facilities and Environment.
During 2021, EMD spearheaded efforts to conduct virtual public meetings and a 3-D virtual open house to provide transparent communication to the public during identification and sampling of off-base drinking water wells that were identified during a basewide per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances investigation. During the investigation, EMD developed a geospatial dashboard for tracking water sources, sampling IDs and sampling requests that allowed for rapid results communication and evaluation.
“The EMD have increased the size of areas where Marines can train without restriction and, at the same time, protected populations of endangered species by increasing wildlife habitats outside of training areas.” U.S. Navy Captain Andy Litteral, assistant chief of staff for Facilities and Environment
EMD also runs the Restoration Advisory Board which resumed in-person meetings in August 2021. The RAB welcomes installation personnel and members of the community to attend quarterly meetings that highlight on-going and planned restoration efforts. Part of the RAB includes a Community Involvement Plan that was prepared for MCB Camp Lejeune in 1990 and is updated every five years.
MCB Camp Lejeune has been actively engaged in environmental investigations and remediation programs since 1981. Through collaborative relationships with regulatory agencies and the local community, EMD has made tremendous progress in investigating and cleaning up over 500 sites to-date, ensuring continued protection of those who live and work on the installation. During the past year, EMD has installed over 200 monitoring wells, collected over 1,400 environmental samples and removed over 1,000 munitions items.
“The EMD have increased the size of areas where Marines can train without restriction and, at the same time, protected populations of endangered species by increasing wildlife habitats outside of training areas,” said Litteral.
EMD works on remedial investigations for complex Military Munitions Response Program sites and plans feasibility studies by identifying remedial alternatives in unification with the installation’s mission and future land use to minimize explosive hazards.
The Environmental Management System promotes sustained mission readiness through actively identifying and implementing opportunities for efficient resource use. For more information, visit their website at https://www.lejeune.marines.mil/Offices-Staff/Environmental-Mgmt/.
If you are interested in attending the next RAB or becoming a member, contact 910-451-9641 or email [email protected]
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Author: Victoria Long