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Quantico hosts 2nd Annual Environmental Summit

25 Jul 2014 | Ameesha Felton

Federal, state and local representatives from around the region gathered at the Clubs at Quantico on July 17 for Marine Corps Base Quantico’s 2nd Annual Environment and Energy Summit.

"This is an opportunity for the Marine Corps, particularly Quantico and representatives from the entire region, to share what is going on in their various programs, initiatives and efforts toward energy efficiency and conservation," said Col. David Maxwell, commander of Marine Corps Base Quantico. "I believe this summit will make us better in our ability to meet the goals and objectives that are set before us."

Department of Defense regulations require all military services to reduce costs in its use and management of energy. Consequently the Marine Corps has established several general goals to meet those requirements. From an
energy strategy perspective, Maxwell said the base and other installations are focused on understanding energy and developing a culture of energy conservation and awareness. The focus is also on developing a communication strategy to communicate the importance of energy conservation to the base community.

One key area that the Marine Corps is working to cut back is electricity use, said Navy Capt. Patrick Garin, director of facilities for Marine Corps Installations Command, who was also one of the summit’s keynote speakers.

"When we came out of the war and reconstituted the budget, the money we spend on utilities came under the microscope," Garin said. "The utility bill, unlike other areas, is a must-pay bill and regardless of the budget we have to find the money to pay it. Therefore, we need to work hard on reducing our cost."

The base is making strides to reduce energy use.

Last summer, Quantico piloted a month-long "Power-Down Weekend" program, aimed at raising awareness of energy use and encouraging base and tenant commands to save energy by turning off computers, monitors, lights, fans, printers and other equipment over weekends and when they leave work everyday. Additionally, the Naval Health Clinic at Quantico shuts down their HVAC system on weekends.

Also, base housing participates in the Resident Energy Conservation Program, where residents whose energy use falls within 10 percent more than average and 10 percent less than average for the month will carry on as if there were no RECP. Those whose consumption exceeds the 10 percent buffer will be charged the difference, and those who consume less than 10 percent below average will be credited.

Thomas Faha, director of the Northern Virginia Regional Office at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, commended the base on their efforts. He said reducing energy will have a positive impact on their overall goal to have cleaner water, improved air quality and productive use of contaminated land.

The summit encouraged military partnership and support from other organizations and localities as the Defense Department tightens down on the budget.

— Writer:

Marine Corps Base Quantico