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News | June 25, 2009

Regulatory Officials Take Environmental Journey At NAS Jacksonville

By Clark Pierce, Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs

Representatives of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), City of Jacksonville Environmental and Compliance Department and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) were briefed at Naval Air station (NAS) Jacksonville June 18.

NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Jack Scorby Jr. and Environmental Director Kevin Gartland briefed the group on the station's conservation, energy reduction, pollution-prevention and recycling programs.

Driving a solar-electric, low-speed vehicle, Gartland and Scorby met the party at the main gate and transported them to Hangar 511 where Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Engineer Thom Tryon pointed out environmental and energy saving design features. With P-3C Orion aircraft turning up their engines on the nearby ramp, David Miracle of SJRWMD asked about noise and land-use issues.

"Encroachment protection is a major issue with airports and military installations across America," said Scorby. "What NAS Jacksonville has accomplished in partnership with local government, citizens groups and regulatory agencies is now being used as a model by the Florida Building Commission to add more effective noise abatement guidelines to state building codes."

Gartland added, "We live and work in our communities like everyone else - so we have a stake in proactively resolving encroachment issues, too."

"This is a good opportunity to learn about the Navy's commitment to environmental excellence," said Derek Igou, deputy director of the City's Environmental and Compliance Department. "I'm impressed that their two new hangars are in the process of being LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified according to the Green Building Rating System."

"NAS Jax is one of the few Navy shore facilities that offers an environmental interpretive center where school groups and scouts can learn about conservation, recycling and earn merit badges," said NAS Jacksonville Assistant Natural Resources Manager Angela Glass.
"Teachers can bring students from any grade to the NAS Jax Interpretive Center, at no charge, to enhance and supplement classroom lessons," said Glass.

Scorby told the group that NAS Jacksonville environmental initiatives are recognized as some of the best.

"The City of Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board presented the Environmental Achievement Award for Government to NAS Jacksonville at the City's 2008 Environmental Luncheon. NAS Jacksonville also holds periodic base and shoreline cleanups that involve collection of over 10,000 pounds of debris."

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