Tinker AFB Receives EPA Award for PreKoteby Maj. Angela O’Connell
Tinker Air Force Base Public Affairs
Tinker Airforce Base was honored at the Pentagon this month as one of only seven bases chosen fro the Gen. Thomas D. White Environmental Award and one of only four Air Force bases to win a Department of Defense environmental award.
“Everybody was really excited to win,” said Cathy Scheirman chief of the Environmental Management Division at Tinker. “It’s the pinnacle of the environmental awards that you can win, so we were very pleased.
“It just shows that everyone on base is really environmentally aware.”
The 72nd Air Base Wing received the Pollution Prevention Award for Team Excellence. The pollution prevention team shrank the installation’s waste stream by thousands of tons annually, and reduced the amount of toxic release by 1.4 million pounds, DOD’s largest reduction. The team capitalized on cutting-edge “green” technology that improves process quality such as a non-chromated surface treatment that reduces chrome usage by 28,000 gallons and saves $120,000 a year.
They also completed a successful engine demonstration of Fischer-Tropsch fuel, a domestic, non-petroleum resource replacement for conventional jet fuel that was later used to power the first B-52 Stratofortress flight with synthetic fuel.
In addition to the Gen. Thomas D. White Environmental Awards, Arnold AFB, Tenn.; Tinker AFB; Dover AFB, Del.; and Gary M. O’Donnell of Hickam AFB, Hawaii, took half of the eight awards given annually for outstanding work in DOD environmental programs. They were honored at the corresponding Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards Ceremony.
“The Air Force has a long track record of taking care of the environment both in terms of compliance and cleanup,” said Maj. Gen. Del Eulberg, the Air Force civil engineer.
Tinker AFB was selected for the Environmental Quality-Industrial Installation Award. This award is given for the efforts to ensure mission accomplishment and protection of human health through the implementation of environmental management systems and pollution prevention.
Tinker AFB officials converted B-1B Lancer, B-52 and C-130 Hercules aircraft surface treatments to a more environmentally sound process using PreKote, saving $120,000 annually.
“We found that it works better on the aircraft and the paint adheres better, so they don’t have to paint the planes as often,” said Scheirrman. “It not only saves money, but it also reduces worker exposure and improves production time.”
Additionally, members use alternative fuels in 75 percent of base vehicles will reduce air emissions by 20 tons per year.
“This is the cream of the crop,” said William C. Anderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics. “An amazing group of projects, ingenuity and free thinking brought these folks to this point.”
This was the third year in a row that Tinker’s pollution prevention team won an Air Force level award and they won at the DoD level the previous two years.