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NEWS | May 30, 2012

Environmental, Safety, Occupational Health Compliance Assessment - June 11-15

By Col. Richard McComb Joint Base Charleston commander

It is time to prepare for our annual Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Compliance Assessment. An internal cross-functional team of area experts, comprised of personnel from the 628th Air Base Wing, 437th Airlift Wing, SPAWAR and NPTU Mission Partners, will be visiting numerous shops across the base during the week of June 11-15, 2012 to review our environmental programs. The team will spend the bulk of their time in the more industrialized shops, but everyone must pay close attention to their recycling program and the way they communicate, store and use hazardous material. These programs are paramount to our overall environmental program here at Joint Base Charleston.

The Air Force Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Compliance Assessment and Management Program establishes the use of environmental evaluations and management action plans to achieve, maintain and monitor compliance with applicable federal, state, local, Department of Defense and Air Force environmental laws and regulations. Each year, every Air Force Base is required to perform an Environmental Compliance Assessment. Every third year, a group from another Air Mobility Command base performs an external assessment, which gives us a fresh review using "another set of eyes." These assessments help us to identify environmental problems and develop corrective actions accordingly, which will ensure we are meeting our environmental responsibilities and to prevent enforcement actions from regulatory agencies. Since we receive several inspections per year, this is a matter that requires the full support of all Joint Base Charleston's units and their personnel. Some of the most common discrepancies observed during previous assessments are largely caused by failures in day-to-day operations: incompatible material stored together, shop containers not labeled, others left open and unattended, inspection logs not maintained, improper lamps and batteries disposal and open dumping of solid wastes. Many procedures and plans are developed, but every individual shall be committed to follow and implement them in his own working area.

The Environmental Compliance Assessment focuses on 14 separate protocols: Air Emissions, Cultural Resources, Hazardous Materials, Hazardous Waste, Natural Resources, Pesticides, Pollution Prevention, Solid Waste, Petroleum/Oils/Lubricants, Storage Tanks, Toxic Substances, Waste water and Water Quality and Occupational Health. We want the ESOHCAMP Team to take a hard look at us, so the regulators do not find similar deficiencies during their inspection - deficiencies which can cost the base large sums of money. Remember, this is an in-house Air Force evaluation and needs to be open and informative. The ESOHCAMP team is here to help us do our jobs in a safer and more environmentally sound manner.

So tidy up your work areas, put on a positive attitude and show off our outstanding Joint Base Charleston environmental program. Be proactive in helping the team identify problems and solutions so we can maintain our outstanding compliance record. Should you have any questions concerning ESOHCAMP, please contact our base ESOHCAMP Manager, Damarys Irizarry at 963-4977.