Information on the Air Force Academy Natural Resources Program is available
The purpose of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is to encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and the environment. Additionally, it provides for the promotion of efforts to prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man. Under NEPA, it is the continuing responsibility of the Federal government to use practicable means and efforts to preserve the nation's important historic, cultural, and natural resources. This responsibility in the Air Force and at the Academy is handled through the Environmental Impact Analysis Process (EIAP). EIAP consists of evaluating the effects of Academy actions on man and the environment. Typically with any action, either an environmental impact statement (EIS) and/or environmental assessment (EA) is accomplished. An EIS must be produced if a proposed action causes the potential for significant degradation of environmental quality or threat to public health or safety, public controversy concerning the environmental impact of an action, or potential for significant impact on protected natural or historic sources. An EA may be produced before any contract for action is entered into or action is begun to determine if an EIS is necessary. All EAs must prompt either the preparation of a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) or no practicable alternative (FONPA) or an EIS. When used, FONSIs/FONPAs must meet certain requirements, such as the name of the action, a brief description of the action, a discussion of environmental effects, the conclusions that have led to the FONSI/FONPA, and the date of approval and appropriate signature.
The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) addresses the issue of preserving our national history. Congress has declared that the historical and cultural foundations of the nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development and that the preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest. By preserving this foundation, a vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic, and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans. All Federal agencies, including the Academy, are required to establish a program to locate, inventory, and nominate all properties under the agency's control that qualify for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The effects of a new undertaking on property in the National Register must be considered before beginning an undertaking. The State of Colorado Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) must be consulted during identification, location, and evaluation of historic properties and in assessing the effect of an undertaking on historic property. The SHPO also needs to be notified where there is no adverse effect, or when there are no historic properties in the area of potential effect.
The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 act encourages looking at waste more broadly with a view towards reducing pollution. All pollutants are to be minimized and waste creation is to be controlled, not just during the production process, but also in the design of products that will have less impact on the environment while in use and after disposal. It is Academy and national policy to prefer pollution prevention, whenever feasible. Waste that cannot be prevented should be recycled, and waste that cannot be prevented or recycled should be treated in an environmentally safe manner. Disposal should be employed only as a last resort. Specific goals that the Academy is striving to reach by 2007 include a 40% reduction in reported Toxic Release Inventory releases and 50% reduction in the use of hazardous substances and, by 2011, the complete phase out of Class I ozone-depleting substances.
Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) includes: Chemicals, Dyes, Gases: compressed and liquefied, Pest Control Agents, Cleaning and Polishing Compounds, Paints, Dopes, Varnishes and Related Materials, Preservatives and Sealing Compounds, Adhesives, Fuels (Solid), Liquid Propellants, Fuel Oils, Oils and Greases: Cutting, Lubricating, Hydraulic. The purpose of the HMP is to manage the procurement and use of HAZMAT to (1) support Air Force missions; (2) to protect the safety and health of personnel on the Academy and communities surrounding the Academy; (3) minimize the use of HAZMAT consistent with mission requirements; (4) and to maintain Academy compliance with environmental requirements for HAZMAT usage.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, and as subsequently amended, established a "cradle-to-grave" system governing hazardous waste from the point of generation to disposal. RCRA hazardous wastes include the specific materials listed in the regulations and materials that exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity). The Academy, like other regulated entities that generate hazardous waste, is subject to waste accumulation, manifesting, and record keeping standards. In addition, the Academy minimizes its waste generation by using a hazardous material pharmacy to allocate and dispense hazardous materials on an "as needed" basis and requires all organizations to promote pollution prevention through reuse and recycling whenever possible.
Recycling is a series of activities that includes the collection of items that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing the recyclable products into raw materials, and re-manufacturing the recycled raw materials into new products. Consumers provide the last link in recycling by purchasing products made from recycled content. Recycling also can include composting of food scraps, yard trimmings, and other organic materials. At the Academy newspaper, #1 &2 plastics, and glass are collected for recycle in dumpsters located in the Community Center parking lot. Plastic, paper, and aluminum and steel cans are also picked up in housing areas through the curb-side recycling program. For missed collections in housing areas, call (719) 333-3528/0812. In addition to recycling, household hazardous products no longer wanted can be taken to the Household Hazardous Material Drop and Swap site located in building 8125 on Wednesdays and Thursdays each week.
Household Medical Waste Management: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued guidance for disposal of contaminated bandages, used hypodermic needles, and unwanted household medicines.
For a copy of the guidance, see the CDPHE website at: www.cdphe.state.co.us/hm/infecthm.pdf
Household Medical Waste Management
Construction activities that disturb one or more acres are subject to the Academy's storm water construction general permit. This permit requires the completion of a project-specific Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The SWPPP describes site construction activities and best management practices that are to be implemented to reduce erosion and sediment transport from the construction site.
The Academy is essentially a small city with supporting infrastructure that includes storm water drains. Regulating the discharge of non-storm water into the storm sewer system is the intent of the Municipal Separate Sanitary Sewer System (MS4) general permit. Many of the Academy's residential and commercial activities have the potential to contribute pollutants to the Academy storm sewer system. If not immediately remediated, chemical spills contribute pollutants to the environment by rain and snowmelt runoff into the Academy's storm sewer system. Certain activities conducted at the Academy are regulated by the Industrial Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). Activities identified by Standard Industrial Codes as sectors are covered by the MSGP. Academy sectors include P-Land Transportation, S-Air Transportation, and T-Treatment Works. Specific site locations are identified within each sector where outdoor activities, facilities, and the storage of chemicals are managed to eliminate mismanagement leading to potential spills or releases of chemicals. The permit requires quarterly and annual inspections.
2012 Split Storm Water Article
Fire and Emergency Services
USAFA Environment Standards June 2013 (pdf)
USAFA Environment Restoration Program Annual Update 2015 (pdf)