WIESBADEN, Germany — In early May, the U.S. Army Garrison in Wiesbaden hosted the triennial assessment of the Environmental Performance Rating System. As the US Army always strives to meet the highest environmental standards, a six-person EPAS team turned the entire garrison on its head to identify potential problem areas. In a nutshell – the 2022 assessment showed that the Garrison and the Public Works Directorate – are doing an excellent job. Aside from a few minor areas of concern that DPW can easily fix, inspectors confirmed the garrison’s existing policies for clean air, fresh water, and good waste management.
The US Army Environmental Command, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, operates the EPAS program at all US Army Installation Management Command installations worldwide on a three-year cycle. Annegret Lambrecht, environmental engineer at DPW, received exemplary recognition for her work during the assessment. After a week of intensive work, Phi Dang, the head of the EPAS team, honored Lambrecht as an “Exceptional Performer” for her constructive and excellent cooperation with the entire EPAS team.
The EPAS program evaluates both the environmental management system and compliance aspects of a garrison’s environmental program. The assessment includes a review of all devices and their key compliance points. Compliance with all regulations is also comprehensively checked and documented in writing. The work of the employees can also be checked if necessary. And last but not least, it is checked whether the corrective measures agreed during the last inspection are implemented. The EPAS auditors are interested in questions such as: Do the employees or units plan and comply with the applicable environmental regulations? Is the device working properly? Are work and storage areas properly cleaned and maintained?
Teams typically spend a week visiting various sites in a garrison to ensure operations are in compliance with the requirements of German and host country laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and regulations on hazardous waste or Conforms to document requirements for overseas garrisons, as well as Department of Defense and Army requirements, to the relevant final applicable standards and baseline guidelines for overseas environmental protection. If there are regulations on the same topic but in different laws (e.g. water), the regulation with the strictest rules always applies. This ensures that we always act for the benefit of people, the environment and the world.
Discover and help
“The EPAS experts support our daily work by checking all measures and actions that we have taken to comply with legal requirements,” says Dr. Mirco Grimm, environmental engineer at DPW.
Overall, no high-risk findings were discovered. In addition, some of the finds, such as a damaged roof on a historic building near the airfield, can only be repaired with the help of the German authorities. It was particularly emphasized that the employees of the Garrison promote their respective programs with great commitment. The EPAS team noticed positive examples in the well-organized recycling center and the enormous progress in the sanitary area, especially in the drinking water supply. The handling of solid waste in the Clay Kaserne Kaserne and the presence of an environmental volunteer staff were also praised. The appraisers had no concerns about apartments and high-risk facilities.
By proactively reducing liabilities, the Army avoids potential fines and regulatory distractions, allowing the Garrison to focus on completing its mission. With further evaluation underway, the Garrison will make adjustments and prepare for the next visit from the environmental experts in three years.