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U.S. Army Reserve praises district environmental program

Published Feb. 13, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District environmental team recently received positive feedback from the U.S. Army Reserve Headquarters for their continued successful execution of USAR’s environmental program.  

“The entire team does a superb job of providing flow-through continuity for a multi-million dollar high profile environmental execution program, the largest of its kind amongst the four main DoD agencies,” said James Knowles, Army Reserve Headquarters, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “Their success is a shining example of how to do things right each and every time.”

The Louisville District and its environmental team are heavily involved with USAR’s facilities and projects across the nation. 

“The Louisville District ‘completes the circle’ by supporting their facilities in the beginning, middle and end of their useful lives,” said Rhiannon Ryan, Environmental scientist. “When an Army Reserve Center is completed and turned over, they frequently pop up on the radar again in the future. After the ARC is no longer needed by USAR, we complete the environmental requirements to dispose of it or transfer it to other government entities.”

One current example of how the Louisville District team provides project support throughout each phase is at the Equipment Concentration Site, or also known as ECS, in Gainesville, Florida. There, the team offers support for 1) Site Selection: choosing the site and assessing whether there is contamination on site or nearby, then assessing the environmental impacts of constructing the ECS. 2) Design: ensuring environmental documents are technically sufficient and influencing the ECS design to ensure it meets environmental requirements. 3) Construction: The Louisville District will award the construction contract, and if environmental support is needed during construction, the environmental team will provide it. 4) Disposal: In more than 50 years, or if USAR's needs change before then, the Louisville District will provide environmental support for the disposal action.

According to Ryan, one of the sites originally considered for the Gainesville ECS project was right across the street from a household hazardous waste collection facility, and by involving the environmental team early, the project was able to avoid that site. 

“There is real risk out there associated with the history of how people have treated their property, including, and especially, the military,” Ryan said. “Taking smart steps early on can mitigate the personal safety hazard, expense and delay associated with discovering underground contamination in the construction phase of any military construction project. And it’s not just a good idea; it’s required by Army Regulation 200-1.” 

In Knowles’ email to Environmental Project Management chief, Dave Dierken, he praises many members of the Louisville District team, including Ryan and Program Manager Daniel Allgeier. Other members of the team Knowles mentioned included Evan Willet, Joan Cullen, Rachel Williams, Bryan Parker, Cindy Esterle and Gracie Miller. 

“We are so proud of our Louisville team for their commitment to deliver quality projects for USAR on time and within budget,” said Chris Karem, Environmental Engineering chief. 

“The team’s ability to adjust to changing requirements while remaining both efficient and effective without a drop in production, regardless of the many and varied issues we face every day, is a testament to the leadership and esprit de corps I have come to know and respect out of the Corps of Engineers and in particular the Louisville District,” Knowles said. “My sincerest thanks and appreciation to you and your entire team.”