May 30, 2014
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. military continue to partner to positively impact Florida’s environment. DEP’s Northeast District participated in the quarterly meeting of the Navy Compliance Partnering Team yesterday, continuing the unique and productive collaboration.
After participating in the Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS) Annual Shoreline Cleanup, the team discussed upcoming changes in Florida tank regulations, the importance of pre-application meetings in reducing processing times for recent NAS Jacksonville hazardous waste, wastewater and Title V permit applications and how to continue to improve compliance at both installations.
“We are proud of our special partnership with the Navy,” said Greg Strong, director of DEP’s Northeast District. “By working together to find solutions, we can accomplish much more and ensure a higher level of environmental protection.”
This partnership has led to many successful projects and solutions. One example is a $4.4 million wastewater reuse expansion project to eliminate all wastewater discharge, 315 million gallons per year, to the St. Johns River. The project also reduced groundwater withdrawal by 66 million gallons per year.
Captain Roy Undersander, Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, said “The partnership between the Navy and the regulatory agencies is a win-win situation because the Navy accomplishes its mission, while being a good steward of the environment and good neighbor to surrounding communities. The relationship is one of collaboration and mutual trust resulting in a truly proactive program that exceeds the standards.”
Since 2002, the Northeast District has been an active member of the Navy Compliance Partnering Team, which is comprised of representatives from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport, Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, the St. Johns River Water Management District, the City of Jacksonville and DEP’s Northeast District. The Navy Compliance Partnering Team meets quarterly to develop and maintain a proactive partnership that identifies and implements innovative solutions to improve compliance, protect public health and improve Florida’s environment.
The Navy Compliance Partnering Team’s most important accomplishment has been improved communication and trust. By openly discussing environmental issues before they become serious problems, the team has been successful in reducing violations and improving environmental compliance and sustainability.