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Naval Station Norfolk: A Super-Star amongst the Constellation of River Stars

By Naval Station Norfolk Public Affairs Naval Station Norfolk

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On Thursday, Jan. 23, Naval Station (NAVSTA) Norfolk’s environmental department earned its title as the River Star Businesses Hall of Fame winner for 2020. The installation was chosen by the Elizabeth River Project cooperatives for its accumulation of environmental achievements.

The Elizabeth River Project is a non-profit effort to restore the health of the Elizabeth River to resplendent environmental quality through the partnerships of the government, businesses and community. NAVSTA Norfolk, being one of these partners, took the initiative to improve the installation throughout the years.

“I have found that the Navy base is very proactive in environmental stewardship, especially pollution prevention,” says Pam Boatwright, River Star Businesses Program Manager. “They also often submit the most comprehensive documentation in the River Star program.”

Back in 2011, the base established the first “green roof” in the Navy’s Mid-Atlantic region. The purpose of this project was to improve the water quality that entered into sanitized sewer systems by filtering and retaining pollutants held in rainwater runoff. As well as provide better insulation for the building, thus reducing heating and cooling needs.

In 2012, the base unveiled the largest solar farm project in Virginia. A 10-acre landscape containing 8,624 solar panels collectively generating up to 2.1 megawatts of electricity. Participation in this project was intended to move the Navy passed its reliance on petroleum and increase its use of alternative energy.

With great strives for conservational improvements, the base constructed a 14.9 megawatt combined heat and power plant in 2018. Not only did this substantial installment reduce shore-based energy consumption by 50 percent and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, but it also aided in saving the Navy $6.5 million in utility costs, yearly.

Recognition is awarded by the Elizabeth River Project annually through strict peer review of all documented results throughout the years. With all of its exceptional accomplishments in pollution prevention and wildlife habitat, NAVSTA Norfolk was able to achieve the utmost recognition: Model Level.

Through a partnership with Inside Business Hampton Roads Business Journal, a special 8-page is printed highlighting the advancing and new River Stars. Ron Crow, Editor of Inside Business, presented the River Star Businesses Hall of Fame 2020 award to Naval Station Norfolk.

“I’ve looked up to prior Hall of Fame winners, listening carefully to learn from them,” stated Jen Tabor, base environmental director, “I’m very proud to be part of that prestigious group and I’m especially proud of the station’s leadership in maintaining its pollution prevention practices over time.”

Past Hall of Fame winners include:

  • 2011 Inaugural Winner – BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair
  • 2012 Winner – Port of Virginia
  • 2013 Winner – Kinder Morgan/Elizabeth River Terminals
  • 2014 Winner – Old Dominion University
  • 2015 Winner – Wheelabrator Portsmouth
  • 2016 Winner – HRSD
  • 2017 Winner – Norfolk Naval Shipyard
  • 2018 Winner – Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads Portsmouth Annex
  • 2019 Winner – General Dynamics NASSCO-Norfolk
  • 2020 Winner – Naval Station Norfolk