Corps of Engineers receives highest Army environmental award
ANCHORAGE - Mr. Tad Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for
Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health, presented the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers, Alaska District, with the Secretary of the Army Award for
Environmental Restoration on Aug. 4 in a ceremony at district headquarters on
Elmendorf Air Force Base. The Alaska District's Formerly Used Defense Sites
(FUDS) program received the highest honor in the field of environmental
science and sustainability conferred by the Army for investigation of
formerly used military sites on Tanaga and Ogliuga Islands in the Aleutian
Davis cited the project team's efforts in implementing innovative
technologies, green remediation, endangered species protection, historic
preservation, environmental restoration and cost savings.
"Our Army is building green, buying green and going green and this program
fits right in," Davis said. "Partnership, that link with business, is very
important. Fourteen of the 17 contractors were small businesses. "
The team searched for environmental contaminants, unexploded ordnance and
buried munitions dating back to World War II military operations. Government
personnel and the Corps' contractor overcame many difficulties. Just getting
to the uninhabited islands located 65 miles southwest of Adak and 1,350 miles
southwest of Anchorage was a challenge involving many transportation modes
including airplane, helicopter, barge, vessel charter, and utility vehicle.
The team also walked many cross-country miles on uneven terrain.
By executing three remedial investigation projects simultaneously, the FUDS
team saved more than $5.2 million in mobilization and demobilization costs.
The team's extensive upfront planning, innovative real-time field screening
techniques and changes initiated from combining projects have been developed
in to a program management model for future remote Aleutian Island projects,
which is estimated to save $5-$15 million in future costs.
Both Tanaga and Ogliuga islands reside within designated wilderness areas of
the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, requiring special attention to
habitat preservation. The contractor successfully met all U.S. Fish and
Wildlife permit stipulations and placed the field camp on the only available
piece of flat and uncontaminated landscape with water and beach access.