Audit finds boost in environmental standards|
by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs
6/24/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Al -- Maxwell Air Force Base underwent the Environmental Safety Occupational Health Compliance Assessment and Management Program audit, or ESOHCAMP, earlier this month.
The base saw a 30-percent reduction in findings from the last external ESOHCAMP audit, according to Beth Osgood, an environmental specialist for the base.
"Maxwell did a great job and was commended for its overall environmental program," Ms. Osgood said. "Special recognition was offered to the cross-functional team and to Master Sgt. Teresa Lapcheske of the 908th [Airlift Wing] for outstanding efforts."
This assessment, conducted by Air Education and Training Command, looks at the processes and facilities on base that have a direct link to the environment, and safety and health of the personnel on the installation, according to Kerri Yap, an environmental engineer for the base.
The ESOHCAMP inspection concluded with an outbrief to wing leadership on June 10. "Overall, Maxwell has a healthy environmental program with several benchmark programs and outstanding performers," said Ms. Yap.
The assessment is performed to ensure the base is compliant with federal, state and local environmental laws, Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations and Department of Defense policies and instructions.
"This was a tier three assessment, meaning that it was an external assessment conducted by AETC," Ms. Yap said. "The team was comprised of AETC staff, personnel from other AETC bases and contractors."
It is important that Maxwell be environmentally responsible, not just to comply with standards but to enrich the relationship Maxwell has with the river region, according to Ms. Yap.
"Maxwell has the responsibility of protecting the environment and the personnel working and living on the installation," Ms. Yap said. "It is in the interest of Maxwell and the citizens it serves to develop safe and sustainable practices and processes to ensure the long-term relationship between the installation and the surrounding community."
Day-to-day activities have a bigger impact on the base than one might think, according Ms. Osgood.
"Nearly all base jobs and activities have the potential to impact the environment in some way. Base personnel can help ensure compliance with environmental laws and prevent deterioration of our natural resources." she said.
While the civil engineer squadron is responsible for compliance with environmental standards, personnel at Maxwell can make a difference by following just a few simple steps, Ms. Yap said.
"Every one of us here at Maxwell impacts the environment and the safety and health of ourselves and those around us. Turning off lights and computer monitors when not using them, recycling, not throwing hazardous items in the trash dumpsters, using PPE [personal protective equipment], wearing seatbelts or even bicycle commuting are all things that each of us can do to reduce our carbon footprints and safety and health risks."