HAZMIN Center Manager
Pollution Prevention (P2) is a national policy established by the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 aimed at preventing or reducing pollution. P2 goals are achieved by following the Environmental Management Hierarchy:
Pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible:
- Pollution that cannot be prevented should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner, whenever feasible;
- Pollution that cannot be prevented or recycled should be treated in an environmentally safe manner whenever feasible; and
- Disposal or other release into the environment should be employed only as a last resort and should be conducted in an environmentally safe manner.
P2 Initiatives at MCBH
- Numerous P2 initiatives have been implemented aboard MCBH since the inception of the P2 Program in 1995. Several Noteworthy examples include:
- Reuse Room. The Reuse Room was established to divert household hazardous waste from the local landfill, save money and protect the environment. Housing residents now take their useable but unwanted hazardous materials to the Base Reuse Room. Any military or civilian living or working aboard MCBH can then go to the Reuse Room and take materials home for their own use. It’s an especially valuable service for families that are transferring into or out of Hawaii.
Antifreeze Recycling. A private company recycles MCBH antifreeze on-site minimizing spill potential and saving Sailors and Marines time associated with accumulating and properly disposing of antifreeze and time spent maintaining a recycler and recycling their own antifreeze. MCBH is also saving resources - ethylene glycol is produced from natural gas, a non-renewable resource.
Conversion to non-hazardous fluorescent lamps. The basewide conversion from conventional fluorescent lamps, considered hazardous when disposed of, to non-hazardous fluorescent lamps will eliminate disposal costs and liability.
- Weapons cleaning / parts washer systems. The enhanced cleansing properties of a non-toxic solvent paired with an exceptional filtering system has reduced the time it takes to clean a weapon by 60% at MCBH armories (equating to a real time savings of 3 hours per weapon for a total of 6,000 hours per week). Additional systems installed throughout MCBH in Motor Transport shops, the Auto Hobby Shop, and various engine and aircraft shops have resulted in similar savings.
What’s the difference between HM and HW? HM is unused material deemed potentially hazardous to human health or the environment if improperly used or handled, such as unused paint or pesticides. HW is used or expired HM, or used material that has become hazardous as a result of the process from which it came, such as used paint thinner, solvents, or dead alkaline batteries. Storage and handling requirements are significantly different for HM and HW.
The MCBH facility for procuring and distributing HM to work centers is called the HAZMIN Center. A separate facility called the Base Hazardous Waste Accumulation Site (BHWAS) is utilized to accumulate HW.
The goal of the HAZMIN Center is to consolidate HM basewide in order to improve inventory control and reduce operating costs. By centralizing the procurement and storage of HM, significant savings have been achieved by eliminating wasteful purchasing and distribution practices, and by minimizing disposal costs. Unused or extra HM that work centers have on hand at the completion of a project can be turned in to the HAZMIN Center and reissued to another work center, free of charge.
Careful scrutiny of HM management has resulted in decreased environmental liability, reduction in HM procurement and HW disposal costs, and increased worker safety. The result is an enhanced quality of life for military personnel, family members, and neighboring communities.
What You Can Do to Help
Pollution Prevention, just like recycling, relies on the dedication and observance of the community. You can assist us in meeting our P2 goals and make MCBH a safer place in which to live and work by:
- Reducing or eliminating the use of HM whenever possible.
- Substituting HM with environmentally-friendly products whenever possible.
- Turning in excess, re-useable HM to the HAZMIN Center to prevent it from becoming a costly HW.
- Only ordering HM in the smallest quantities needed.
Also, if you have an idea that would help reduce pollution in your work center, contact the Base P2 Program Manager.
Award Winning P2 Program
MCBH recently won the 2003 Secretary of Navy Environmental Security Award for both Environmental Quality and Natural Resources Conservation. We have been recognized as a model steward of the environment, as evidenced by our continuous efforts to preserve, protect, and enhance Hawaiian resources. These prestigious awards could never have been won without the help of dedicated Marine personnel who have demonstrated that the best P2 solutions not only protect the environment, but also enhance combat readiness and save money.