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News | Oct. 17, 2013

Environmental Compliance Team Meets at Fleet Readiness Center Jacksonville

By Clark Pierce Naval Air Station Jacksonville

Navy environmental leaders met Oct. 10 with state, regional and city regulators at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) to promote environmental compliance and sustainability through a cooperative effort aimed at environmental excellence.

Bruce Mobley leads the FRCSE environmental department. "For more than 11 years, the Northeast Florida Environmental Compliance Partnering Team has fostered trust, cooperation and communication concerning hazardous waste management. Being part of the compliance partnering team is very worthwhile," stated Mobley.

"We're all focused on the same goal as we fine-tune our mission and sustainment activities," he said. "Our most recent accomplishment involved working with members of the compliance partnering team to improve training of hazardous waste coordinators in order to reduce incidents of non-compliance on the shop floor," he added.

NAS Jax Environmental Director Kevin Gartland said, "We really value this proactive partnership with environmental regulatory agencies. It helps everybody to identify and implement solutions that enhance environmental compliance, promote natural resources management and protect public health."

Northeast District Director Greg Strong, of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), was enthusiastic about the Navy's goal to improve training of hazardous waste coordinators at NAS Jax, FRCSE and other commands. 

"I like how your base environmental leadership is getting behind this training in a very thoughtful and methodical way to identify root causes - and clearly you've achieved great success," said Strong. 

He continued, "From FDEP's perspective, we're putting more resources into environmental outreach and education like this - and it seems to be paying off. One great example is the Navy's participation as part of the Environmental Compliance Partnering Team. You guys have a tremendous reputation for quality in your environmental program. Well done."

FRCSE Environmental Engineer Jenna Perry reported a large decrease in non-comformities. "Our pre-training non-conformities numbered 106. Compare that to just 11 in a post-training inspection. And our FDEP hazardous waste inspection for 2013 showed zero issues."

FRCSE Commanding Officer Capt. John Kemna said that the program brings uncomplicated environmental training to artisans at the shop level. 

He presented a letter of appreciation to Strong that read, in part, "We want to thank the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for its strong support of environmental compliance at FRCSE this past quarter when your staff presented four training sessions to help promote trust, communication and cooperation among base hazardous waste coordinators."

Mobley added, "This compliance partnering team has great continuity, thanks to our large reservoir of professional and personal trust - and the belief that when something goes wrong, we call each other, discuss solutions and fix it."

Gartland agreed, saying, "This compliance partnering approach can be used as a model for other industries to develop non-adversarial relationships with environmental regulators. It's all business - if we make a mistake, we pay for it. There are no special favors, just a solid working relationship."