U.S. Army enlists EPA to go greener

Summary:The U.S. Army has enlisted the Environmental Protection Agency's assistance to advance its mission to make bases sustainable and more self-reliant.

The Army's energy guru Katherine Hammack tours a recycling center at Fort Hood.

The U.S. Army has enlisted the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) assistance to advance its mission to make bases sustainable and more self-reliant.

Last week, the Army announced its alliance with the EPA to create green infrastructure technologies for handling energy, waste, and water. The Army calls its initiative Net Zero.

"Our collaboration with EPA's Office of Research and Development brings leading-edge research assistance together to advance both our institutions' goals for increase resource efficiency and balanced resource use," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.

According to the Army, the Net Zero approach is comprised of five interrelated steps: reduction, re-purpose, recycling and composting, energy recovery, and waste disposal.

A pilot project was deployed at five Army installations in April, and the goal is for each one to achieve Net Zero by 2020, becoming centers of excellence. That learning will be applied to 25 additional installations in 2014; Net Zero is scheduled to be fully realized by 2030.

The U.S. armed forces have made the adoption of renewable energy technologies a strategic priority. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said in April that reducing the military’s dependence on fossil fuel sources is correlated with its ability to project power overseas.

Some of the miltiary’s recent projects include the use of  biofuel blends in Air Force fighter jets,  hybrid Army blimps , a Marine base that operates on landfill gas , and an entire Marine Corps unit is now functioning  entirely on solar power.

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

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