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News | Aug. 23, 2011

Symposium Highlights Navy Environmental Achievements

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

The commanding officer of Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla., discussed the secretary of the Navy's energy initiatives Aug. 19 at the 2011 Environmental Symposium.

NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Maclay spoke at the symposium, which was hosted by the Jacksonville's Environmental Protection Board and the University of North Florida (UNF).

"This event presents the opportunity for members of the community to interact with the regulatory agencies responsible for implementing environmental policy. The symposium provides valuable opportunities to further the goal of protecting limited natural resources, while improving the quality of life in Northeast Florida," said April Moore, program director of the UNF Environmental Center. "We're pleased to have Capt. Jeff Maclay with us today to discuss the transformation of the Navy's energy culture."

"The theme of today's event, 'Building a Greener Quality of Life,' aligns with Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus' department-wide energy initiatives. This past May, Mabus directed new Navy facilities be built to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standard and that, by 2013, new facilities will be built to the LEED gold standard," said Maclay. "Navy installation commanding officers like myself are now responsible for managing energy consumption and designating a building energy monitor for every facility. Recently, we opened a child development center with LEED silver certification that includes covered parking structures with solar panels that generate about 45 percent of the facility's annual electricity requirements."

Maclay also noted that the new P-8A Integrated Training Center will be LEED gold certified and feature covered parking with solar panels, rain harvesting, a white-capped reflective roof, skylights, open-pave parking and low-maintenance landscaping.

The station's fleet of electric-powered and hybrid vehicles was also a topic of interest.

"We have nearly 100 energy efficient low-speed vehicles, including the solar-powered passenger vehicle that we parked outside for your inspection," said Maclay.

Ebenezer Gujjarlapudi, director of the Jacksonville Environmental and Compliance Department, helped create the symposium in 2005.

"It's gratifying to see how this event has evolved. It's very important that the regulated community and regulators have a forum to exchange ideas and information concerning the latest trends and topics. We have almost 200 participants here today, including my boss, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown," said Gujjarlapudi.

In his address, Brown noted that the future of Northeast Florida depends on the quality of its air, water and soil.

"Sustainability is good policy. I'm fortunate to take office with the River Accord already up and running for five years. I intend to strengthen the River Accord in any way I can to find more cost-effective ways to protect our most precious natural resource," said Brown. "Congratulations go to Capt. Maclay and his environmental team at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. I just heard all about their plan to go 'zero discharge' and recycle all their wastewater. The St. Johns River thanks you - and so do I."

"Our base was recognized last year for its environmental stewardship by the North Florida Planning Council. We were also awarded the Earth Trustee Award by the United Nations Earth Society - the first military installation to be recognized. The awards were due in large measure to our station's environmental partnership with the city of Jacksonville and state of Florida, as well as the efforts of our 22,000 military and civilian personnel," Maclay concluded.