EPA and Army partner for Net Zero effort

Tuesday - 12/6/2011, 11:04am EST

Leslie Gillespie-Marthaler, senior advisor, EPA's Office of Research and Development

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Paul Anastas, assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development Science Advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency, and Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, sign the memo of understanding to partner on creating Net Zero military installations. (Photo from Army website)
By Jolie Lee
Web Editor
Federal News Radio

The Army is collaborating with the Environmental Protection Agency to make its bases more sustainable as part of its Net Zero initiative.

The Army and EPA signed a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 28 to begin a partnership to find greener ways of using energy.

"This is a great opportunity to engage EPA scientists and engineers in delivering cutting edge research and technologies to help the Army installations achieve Net Zero goals," said Leslie Gillespie-Marthaler, senior advisor in EPA's Office of Research and Development, in an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris..

Net Zero will integrate five steps: reduction, re-purpose, recycling and composting, energy recovery, and disposal, according to the Army website.

Among the ways EPA will contribute to these goals is to focus on water quality, particularly how to turn waste water into an opportunity for reuse and to recover nutrients, Gillespie-Marthaler said.

Each installation site has unique challenges, but the Army and EPA say they hope the findings from their work can be scaled to other locations.

"These challenges are not unlike the very same challenges other communities face," she said.

Specifically, the Army and EPA will examine "what skills are needed, what capabilities, what technologies, what kind of innovative solutions do we really need to employ here," she said.

"I think we all understand that resources are limited, so this is ... a great example of multiple agencies coming together to leverage limited resources to really make an impact that will improve the overall quality on the ground for these communities," she said.

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