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«Marine Corps Base Camp Butler-Okinawa, Japan “Sustaining Our Environment, Protecting Our Freedom” Introduction Overview. Marine Corps Base Camp ...»

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FY10 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award

Category: Environmental Quality, Overseas Installation

Marine Corps Base Camp Butler-Okinawa, Japan

“Sustaining Our Environment, Protecting Our Freedom”


Overview. Marine Corps Base Camp Butler

(MCB Butler) is a dynamic installation located

on the island of Okinawa, Japan approximately

900 miles from Tokyo (mainland Japan). While

Okinawa is only 67 miles long and

approximately 463 square miles, less than half

the size of Rhode Island, it has a population of almost 1.4 million.

Key Location. Perhaps the most unique characteristic about Okinawa is that unlike most duty stations, MCB Butler is physically separated throughout the island into a number The island of Okinawa, Japan is a key training location for of different camps (total acreage 45,276). All the Marine Corps. MCB Butler’s innovative soil erosion the Marine Corps camps on the island fall efforts have been instrumental in protecting this vital coral under the one title, MCB Butler. habitat. Photo by MCB Butler Environmental As a solution to the camps’ physical isolation from each other, MCB Butler’s Environmental Management System (EMS) was regionalized, significantly increasing the Marine Corps’ ability to track ongoing environmental program requirements and provide cost effective solutions.

Because Okinawa is close to China and Korea it is not only a key training location for the Marine Corps but also for the Air Force, Army, and Navy. As such, over 30,000 personnel live, work, or use facilities within the fence-line of MCB Butler on a regular basis. Most of these personnel are subject to one or more environmental training requirements. This can result in costly travel to the U.S. to fulfill training requirements.

As a result, MCB Butler has taken the initiative to provide on-island training opportunities for all services. In fiscal year (FY) 09-10, we provided training to over 13,000 military, U.S.

and Japanese civilians which is a significant cost savings.

Mission. MCB Butler is the base support command for III Marine Expeditionary Force and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. III MEF is a Marine-Air- Ground Task Force that is rapidly-deployable to conduct operations across the spectrum from FY10 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award Marine Corps Base Camp Butler Category: Environmental Quality, Overseas Installation Okinawa, Japan Humanitarian Assistance to Amphibious Assault and High Intensity Combat. MCB Butler also provides services and support to other commands including 20 non-Marine Corps tenants. Because of the various types of training and facilities that are supported by MCB Butler, the environmental program is constantly focused on supporting military readiness while balancing environmental sustainability.

Environmental/Geographical Setting. Okinawa is home to more endangered species than the rest of Japan. A quarter of the total number of Japanese national endangered species exists in Okinawa Prefecture which occupies only 0.6% of the entire Japanese territory. In addition, over 3,000 species of flora and fauna can be found on MCB Butler, of which approximately 260 are rare, threatened or endangered.

The island’s subtropical climate also supports a dense northern forest, where MCB Butler’s Jungle Warfare Training Center (JWTC), the only DoD jungle training facility, is located. As a direct result of MCB Butler’s outstanding natural resources management program, 2010 surveys identified that the population of one protected species, Okinawa Rail (flightless bird), has significantly increased in the JWTC over the past five years.

The waters around Okinawa sustain more than MCB Butler continues to be a leader in Okinawa for 340 coral species, three times more than recorded controlling soil erosion by utilizing advanced 3D species at the Great Barrier Reef. This is why MCB imagery.

Butler has gone above and beyond to help keep these beaches pristine by using innovative soil erosion control methods, conducting twelve beach clean-ups collecting over 12,000 pounds of trash, and implementing new storm water education programs.

MCB Butler also has excelled at protecting significant Okinawan cultural resources and archaeological sites dating back over 6,000 years. Examples include: employs the only DoD archaeologist in Japan to conduct in-house cultural monitoring for small-scale projects; discovered dwelling structure of the Gusuku Period (Okinawa’s Medieval Eras – 12th to 15th Century);

preserved a historic property (water well of stone masonry) by coordinating with the local municipal authority and re-routing the construction; and conducted 17 archaeological test excavations.

Political/Community Setting. As an overseas installation, MCB Butler also faces a unique political climate. In 2005, the governments of Japan and the U.S. agreed to relocate over 8,000 Marines to the U.S. territory of Guam and move selected Marine Corps camps to the less populated northern part of Okinawa. As a result, there have been numerous rallies to oppose the relocation of the base in Okinawa. The success of MCB Butler’s environmental program has been critical in improving relations between the people of Okinawa and the Marine Corps by demonstrating the Marine Corps’ commitment to environmental sustainability. In 2009 and 2010, MCB Butler was awarded the U.S.

Forces Japan Installation Environmental Excellence Award in Environmental Compliance.

Background Significant environmental aspects of the mission and other environmental challenges.

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Environmental challenges include: (1) soil erosion that threatens coral habitat due to frequent rainfall;

(2) limited available landfill space which makes the success of our recycling and waste management program critical; and (3) the intense sub-tropical heat poses excessive energy demands. MCB Butler has risen to these environmental challenges while fostering excellent community relations with the people of Okinawa.

MCB Butler is a leader for controlling soil erosion by utilizing advanced 3D imagery to best determine soil erosion control methods. The use of 3D imagery to design construction methods for soil erosion has significantly improved efficiency in manpower, reducing the time to analyze slopes from a few weeks to a few days.

Organization. We have the second largest environmental staff on Okinawa, second only to the Okinawa Prefecture (State) Government. Our environmental staff consists of 69 personnel - 34 U.S.

and 35 Japanese civilian employees. Amongst DoD environmental offices in Japan, MCB Butler has the highest ratio of Japanese to U.S. civilian employees which further helps to strengthen our relationships with local environmental agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Management approach & extent of EMS conformance. Our approach is to proactively identify and share lessons learned, and to implement innovative technologies and processes which have improved environmental quality and provided cost effective solutions. The success of our EMS is also reflected by Headquarters (HQ) Marine Corps certifying that our EMS was in full conformance in January 2009 with all 18 required Marine Corps EMS elements. In June 2010, our EMS was also recognized °C 40.0 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 39.0 38.0 senior EMS personnel as being a robust EMS 37.0

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agencies. In August 2009, we partnered with a Partnered with prominent Japanese University to prominent Japanese University from Tokyo (Keio assist in joint urban heat modeling program.

University) and initiated a joint study for urban heat, Photo by MCB Butler Environmental solar and wind energy, and soil erosion. We hosted the 8-person team (professors and students) for a 4-week period which resulted in solutions to reduce energy consumption and minimize our environmental footprint in Japan.

Significant Plans. We surpassed our goal by completing eight major plans all by in-house staff saving

the Marine Corps almost $1,000,000 in contracting costs over the past two fiscal years:

Integrated Natural Resources & Cultural Resources Management Plan – Updated Jan. 2009 Hazardous Waste Management Plan – Updated Oct. 2009 Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan (Hansen) – Completed Dec. 2009 Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Elimination Plan – Updated Jan. 2010 Water Systems Emergency Contingency Plan – Jun. 2010 Solid Waste Management Plan – Updated Jul. 2010 Potable Water Master Plan (Fuji) - Sep. 2010 Site Specific Spill Plans – Updated throughout 2009/2010

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Environmental Quality Accomplishments

1. Environmental Management System (EMS)/Training:

EMS. MCB Butler’s EMS is unique as the only Marine Corps installation that incorporates energy conservation under Executive Order (EO) 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management.

MCB Butler’s EMS also stands out by obtaining uncommon support and participation with the commanding general (CG) and cross-functional teams. Because of the CG and his senior staff’s involvement, EMS objectives and targets are raised to the top level which has been instrumental in helping to integrate environmental management with Marine Corps units, and energy and transportation activities. As a result of this stakeholder involvement we met and exceeded numerous

EMS targets such as:

FY09 Objective: Reduce the impact of solid waste generation.

Accomplishment: Diverted 40% of solid waste from landfill. Increased public awareness on recycling. Implemented recycling programs for barracks and common areas at Camp Kinser.

FY10 Objective: Reduce vehicle air emissions and fuel consumption.

Accomplishment: Reduced the number of fossil fuel vehicles. Implemented anti-idling campaign. Maximized use of on-base bus service. Introduced 24 Electric Vehicles. Increased monitoring of government vehicles addressing idling and unofficial use.

We also consistently tailor communications to reach the widest audience, especially Japanese civilian employees who comprise almost 70% of the workforce. For example, the recently signed environmental policy statement by the Marine Corps Bases Japan CG, Lieutenant General Robling, is provided in both English and Japanese, is widely distributed and displayed, and is available on our highly-publicized EMS website. In addition, during FY09-10 over 30 environmental documents were translated into Japanese.

During FY09-10, we conducted four EMS audits (including by HQMC and U.S. EPA). As a direct result of these EMS audits, we successfully reduced the number of deficiencies by 22%. As a result of the EMS audits, we also developed over 140 environmental procedures and completed eight management plans in-house in the last two fiscal years.

We have also made significant progress in EMS implementation as reflected in the success of our recent sanitary survey of Marine Corps Bases Japan drinking water systems. Based on the previous sanitary survey conducted three years ago, standard operating procedures were developed to improve water collection and management. Results from the 2009 sanitary survey show a significant decrease in deficiencies as a result of the EMS process.

Training. We are the premier DoD environmental training program in Asia offering a wide variety of outstanding courses in English and Japanese. MCB Butler provided comprehensive environmental training and general awareness training to over 13,000 military, U.S. and Japanese civilians between FY09-10 which is a significant cost savings avoiding expensive travel to the U.S.

The increase in personnel trained in this time period over previous cycles is directly attributable to the staffing increase at MCB Butler Environmental Training Section. The addition of an Environmental Trainer has allowed us to carry out more general awareness training and significantly increase our impact on the population (both DoD personnel and their families) on installation.

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We achieved this by exceeding our in-house compliance training goal by training over 3,400 Marines and civilian personnel. The Environmental Compliance Course is designed to train Marines and others with significant roles or involvement in environmental compliance issues. These courses are also taught in Japanese to increase environmental awareness to the widest audience.

We hosted cutting-edge training to not only Marines and civilians but also to Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, and State Department personnel from throughout Asia at a significant cost savings to the government.

Approximately 4,500 personnel were trained in over 35 different courses encompassing a diverse range of environmental and energy topics. Some of our notable training during the achievement period include: (1) courses by the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force, who are the preeminent responders in the U.S.; (2) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) provided by the University of Florida; and (3) innovative technologies in air conditioning systems provided by Department of Energy (DoE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Also MCB Butler was the first DoD installation to receive Energy Star Building training provided by EPA.

2. Waste Reduction Efforts:

Recycling. With the large number of personnel and limited landfill space, our recycling program has been instrumental in reducing waste generation and promoting partnerships with the surrounding community. Despite the tremendous local market downturn for recyclable sales, our recycling program

has continued to expand. Recycling successes during the achievement period include:

Prevented nearly 14,000 tons (almost 28 million pounds) of recyclables from entering Okinawa landfills that are close to maximum capacity.

Diverted up to 99% of 16,330 lbs of spent fluorescent bulbs to recycling.

Expanded recycling program to include additional barracks.

Improved the recycling program to provide pick up service at Marine Corps and Army ranges for expended small arms cartridge casings generating revenue of $480,600 from brass sales.

Waste Management. We are also proud of the substantial reductions of hazardous waste, hazardous

material, and pesticides due to the combined efforts of our programs:

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