Peaks to Prairies P2 Info Center 

SFIM-AEC-WR (200)                                                                                14 April 2000


 SUBJECT:   After-Action Report – Colorado Interagency Environmental Network Meeting  (5 April 2000)

1.  Fort Carson hosted a meeting of DoD representatives in Colorado, the Environmental Protection Agency Region VIII (EPA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Pollution Prevention Program, to continue discussions and cooperative activities regarding environmental issues of common interest. The U.S. Army Environmental Center’s (USAEC) Western Regional Environmental Office (WREO) facilitated the meeting. Seventeen participants attended the meeting, from the agencies, five installations, one major command, the Colorado Army and Air National Guard, and the WREO. The group met at Fort Carson’s Christopher’s Club on 5 April 2000. The attendee sign-in sheet is included as enclosure 1 (not available on Web Site). The meeting agenda is included as enclosure (not available on Web Site).

2. Following introductions, attendees reviewed training that will be available in the near future.  EPA Region VIII is finishing their workshops on Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Reporting.  A question came up regarding whether or not a workshop could potentially be offered to federal agencies in the Colorado Springs area.  Ms. Thiel agreed to find out if a workshop could be offered, then advise Network members.

a.  Regarding the EPA Toxic Release Inventory Reporting training, Ms. Thiel reports that an additional training course can be offered in the Colorado Springs area.

ACTION ITEM:  Network members need to provide a training site in the Colorado Springs area, and coordinate with EPA regarding scheduling.

b.  Mr. Sealander advised that Fort Carson would be hosting various EPA environmental training courses in the future.  He agreed to advise Network members regarding the course schedule so they can attend.

3.  Mr. Ed Cannon (U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory) presented information to attendees regarding the Federal Windsource Initiative in the Denver/Colorado Springs areas.  It is part of a nationwide effort to encourage federal agencies to commit to purchasing energy from wind sources.  Executive Order 13123 encourages federal agencies to purchase green energy.  Many federal agencies in the Colorado front-range have already committed to purchase wind energy. 

Military agencies have not made such commitments as of 5 April.  Public Service Company of Colorado charges a premium for wind source energy, but the Executive Order allows federal agencies to request additional funding in their overall budget requests, to pay for the windsource energy.  Although there is insufficient windsource energy capacity to fulfill the demand at this time, additional capacity is expected to be available by about 2003.  Mr. Cannon reported that the Secretary of the Department of Energy will participate in a 27 April 2000, formal announcement in downtown Denver regarding the Federal Windsource Initiative and the agencies that have committed to participate in it.  Mr. Cannon advised that, although Public Service Company would prefer that federal agencies make a three-year commitment to purchase windsource energy, agencies can commit to as little as one year.  He advised that there are provisions in the agreements that allow agencies to opt out if funding availability changes.  Mr. Cannon encouraged agencies to continue considering purchase of wind energy, even after the 27 April 2000 ceremony.

4.  Ms. Thiel provided an update regarding EPA Region VIII’s direct implementation of the RCRA Compliance, Enforcement, and Corrective Action Programs in Colorado.  As background, she reported that EPA Region VIII has been concerned that Colorado’s hazardous waste program is so underfunded and understaffed that it may not protect public health and the environment.  EPA advised the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in April 1999 that they would begin direct implementation.  EPA is directly-implementing RCRA Compliance and Enforcement at about 100 Colorado sites.  As far as we know, no military sites are involved.  EPA is also directly implementing RCRA Corrective Action at about five sites.  Again, no military sites are involved at this time.  Compliance oversight by EPA and Colorado is higher now since EPA does not feel that Colorado’s hazardous waste program is adequate.  Attendees were encouraged to continue maintaining 100 percent compliance at their facilities to avoid potential problems with the agencies.

5.  Mr. Blume reviewed activities during the 27 January 2000, Restoration Information Exchange Workshop, among representatives of EPA Region VIII, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado military.  Participants in the Region IV Tiered Restoration Partnership representing EPA Region IV, the state of North Carolina, and Army and Air Force major commands gave an overview of the partnership and their perspectives regarding the partnership, including the value that their organizations receive from participation in it.  Although they agreed that participation in the partnership takes a significant time commitment, they all felt that the value that they gained outweighed the time-commitments.  Both EPA and military representatives agreed that they would like to continue discussions regarding how they could achieve restoration goals while saving time and money. 

After extensive evaluation of information presented, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment representatives indicated that they did not have sufficient resources to participate in a formal partnership.  However, they did advise that perhaps they could participate in an annual workshop.  Perhaps individual restoration site teams could interact informally on an ad hoc basis to share information and learn from each other.  Network members all agreed that we should plan to hold annual workshops with the agencies.  Restoration site teams were encouraged to get together informally to share successes and lessons learned regarding restoration issues.

6.  Mr. Blume distributed the draft Aircraft Operations Pollution Prevention Opportunity Assessment Report to representatives of facilities where the opportunity assessments were conducted.  He requested that they review it and provide comments so it can be finalized.

7.  Next, Mr. Blume led a discussion regarding the Network’s Charter, to learn if Network members were satisfied with the group’s mission and goals, or do they want to adjust our goals.  Ms. Dean advised that it appeared that members’ level of commitment and cooperative activity level had waned over the past year or so, compared to what it was during the first year or so.  She was concerned that, if members did not get re-energized, then the Network would slowly fail.  Several members expressed their opinion that they really got a lot of value from the Network meetings, formal cooperative projects, and informal interaction on an ad hoc basis.  Many examples were given regarding how installation representatives continue interacting with each other cooperatively, and how this interaction would not take place if the Network did not facilitate the interaction.  They were all very happy with interactive activities.  However, members recommended that they participate in formal workgroups on certain specific projects that impact their installations.  The projects follow:

a.  Mr. Rodriquez volunteered to lead a workgroup that will address how to improve effectiveness of outreach to the public, agencies, elected officials, and others regarding military environmental programs and successes.

b.  Mr. Dunn volunteered Mr. Dana Green to lead a workgroup of installation wildlife personnel to consider “Bird Air Strike Hazard (BASH)” concerns and develop recommendations for how to mitigate problems.

c.  Ms. Dean recommended that Network members form a workgroup again to plan to hold another DoD/Interagency Natural and Cultural Resources Workshop, like the one held during February 1999 at the Air Force Academy.

 Attendees reviewed the Network Charter in detail and agreed that certain amendments should be made to more clearly reflect the group’s mission and goals. 

 8.  Mr. Blume provided a summary handout of various Colorado bills that are of interest and are pending in the Colorado General Assembly.  He highlighted a few of the bills of particular interest.  

 9.  Mr. Rodriguez reported that EPA Region VIII conducted a RCRA inspection at Malmstrom Air Force Base recently.  He advised that the installation had been cited for situations involving solvent recycling equipment and operation.  Specifically, if the recycling operation is not a closed loop system, be careful not to accumulate spent solvent before it is recycled unless the accumulation container is managed as a satellite accumulation point.

 10. The next Colorado Interagency Environmental Network meeting is 6 June 2000, at Peterson Air Force Base.  The WREO will provide a meeting announcement in the near future with more details.  Thanks to Mr. Sealander for hosting the meeting.

Department of Defense  
Regional Environmental Coordinator, Region VIII