Naval Air Station Patuxent River is one of four Department of Defense facilities in Maryland to participate in Businesses for the Bay. Department of Defense facilities around the country have implemented a number of innovative pollution prevention programs under Executive Order 13140 “Greening the Government” which directs all installations to reduce, reuse, and recycle all chemicals in the work place.
The Pollution Prevention (P2) office at Patuxent River works to drive home this message through monthly meetings, newspaper articles and participating in base-sponsored safety fairs and standdowns. With about 20,000 station employees, education proves to be the best defense mechanism used to demonstrate the importance of maintaining a clean and safe environment.
The Patuxent River P2 Office has an equipment program that has been able to purchase tools, machinery and equipment that have been proven to reduce or eliminate waste streams. A ‘Weapons Washer’ has been installed and used as an enclosed system for maintenance cleaning of weapons. This has stopped a large waste stream of cleaning rags and harsh cleaning supplies. The only item requiring disposal is the filter for the machine. Additionally, a ‘Plotter Printer’ has been purchased. This device is capable of cutting vinyl and films and has replaced the painting and stenciling of signs, thereby eliminating paint, rags and solvent waste. Also new is the ‘Mini Max Machine.’ This aqueous washer instantly converts water to high-pressure steam vapor and is an alternative to solvent-based washers.
The station’s environmental office provides comprehensive services in three broad areas: compliance, pollution prevention, and conservation.
Compliance programs focus on regulatory compliance review and tracking for things such as clean air, clean water, hazardous materials and hazardous waste handling, proper environmental planning and cleanup of former waste disposal sites.
Pollution prevention programs include recycling and solid waste management, as well as oil spill prevention and control.
Conservation programs include both natural and cultural resources management; featuring archaeology, historic architecture and preservation planning on the cultural side, and fish and wildlife management, forestry, land management, and outdoor recreation on the natural resources side.
Natural resources employees provide nuisance wildlife recommendations and oversee outdoor recreational programs including fishing, crabbing, shellfishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, firewood cutting and nature study.
Known for its award-winning community service and environmental stewardship programs, the department manages a robust environmental education program on station and contributes to many activities within the neighboring communities. The station operates an Environmental Education Center, located in Building 1410, at the intersection of Johnson and Cedar Point Roads. Multiple partnerships with private sector and government agencies have been successful in advancing environmental compliance and education. A successful installation restoration program and community Restoration Advisory Board keeps the public aware of all restoration activities at Pax River.