NASA Wallops Awarded Highest Environmental Honor
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va., has been awarded the highest environmental recognition within the Commonwealth of Virginia for programs protecting the area’s natural resources.
Wallops is only the second federal facility in the Commonwealth of Virginia to receive this Extraordinary Environmental Enterprise (E4) level of the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP).
“VEEP E4 status is the highest level of environmental recognition in the Commonwealth. Wallops joins an elite group which not only strives for environmental excellence within their own missions, but also reaches beyond their facility fence line in proactively working with community partners to promote environmental stewardship,” said Carolyn Turner, Wallops Environmental Office Head.
The facility is currently pursuing renewable energy sources, alternative fuels, and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications for existing buildings. The Wallops Environmental office also specializes in pollution prevention, hazardous waste management, protecting endangered species, recycling, storage tank management and environmental planning.
These programs are managed through the Wallops environmental management system, a process aimed at reducing the facility’s impacts on the environment by identifying impacts, setting goals to minimize those impacts, improving procedures, and tracking progress.
VEEP is a partnership program that has a goal of a more sustainable Virginia. The program is aimed at improving environmental performance and stewardship through a beyond-compliance collaboration with the Department of Environmental Quality.
The award program has stepped levels. The higher the level, the more advanced the facility’s environmental program. To be awarded the Extraordinary Environmental Enterprise award, a facility must display a commitment to the highest environmental performance.
Some of the requirements for a facility to receive this award include a fully implemented environmental management system including a pollution program, community involvement, and continuous and sustainable progress. Another main component is maintaining a record of sustained compliance.
Sustained compliance requires that the facility be in good standing with the federal and state regulations. It also requires the facility to have less than two environmental violations in the previous three years. Wallops has had no violations.
“Wallops Flight Facility is always striving for environmental excellence,” Turner said.
To learn more about the Wallops Flight Facility’s Environmental Program, visit http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250