DOE Carlsbad Field Office Deputy Manager Ed Ziemianski presents a Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) team with the Green Zia Program Silver Level Leader award from the New Mexico Environment Department earlier this month in recognition of environmental initiatives. Shown right of Ziemianski is Farok Sharif, Washington TRU Solutions LLC, the WIPP management and operating contractor, President and General Manager.
DOE Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) Deputy Manager Ed Ziemianski presents the Green Zia Program Silver Level Leader award from the New Mexico Environment Department. Ziemianski is shown with Lynn Johnson (left), of Washington TRU Solutions LLC, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) management and operating contractor, Regulatory Compliance, and CBFO Environmental Protection Specialist Susan McCauslin, program lead for the WIPP team.
CARLSBAD, N.M. – For the second year in a row, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) recognized the Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) for its environmental stewardship by implementing pollution prevention practices and for excellence in long-term environmental and economic sustainability at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
CBFO, which provides oversight for WIPP and the National Transuranic (TRU) Program, received the Silver Level Leader award from NMED this month as part of the environment department’s Green Zia Environmental Leadership Program. CBFO was selected for a Bronze Level award in 2011.
In the recent announcement of the 2012 Green Zia award recipients, NMED Deputy Secretary Butch Tongate said organizations and businesses that conserve resources reduce costs and help to protect the environment.
“The Department of Energy’s Carlsbad Field Office continues to be a leader in New Mexico when it comes to environmentally-friendly business practices,” said Tongate. “It’s our hope that other businesses in New Mexico will follow the same environmental commitment that DOE has demonstrated through their work in Carlsbad.”
In place since 1996, the Green Zia program is a part of the NMED Pollution Prevention Program. In 2012, WIPP was one of the few other-than-commercial business organizations to be singled out and one of only seven total award recipients in New Mexico to be honored by NMED.
In making its selection, NMED reviewed petroleum reduction initiatives, water use, energy conservation, recycling and hazardous waste minimization goals at WIPP. Some of the facility’s specific achievements that were cited included a 13 percent reduction in energy use over eight years, a 19 percent reduction in petroleum use over six years and a 15 percent reduction in site water use in 2011. As recipient of the award, CBFO will send NMED an annual progress report to demonstrate continued improvement over a three-year period.
“CBFO is honored by NMED’s recognition,” said CBFO Manager Joe Franco. “The award demonstrates the Department of Energy’s and WIPP’s commitment to environmental stewardship in our surrounding communities, the State of New Mexico and the nation.”
CBFO Environmental Protection Specialist Susan McCauslin is program lead for the team of employees of Washington TRU Solutions (WTS) LLC, the WIPP management and operating contractor, and URS Regulatory Environmental Services (RES), subcontractor to WTS, recognized for the initiatives resulting in the award. “Specifically, we look for opportunities to conserve energy, recycle and minimize waste products in our project planning activities,” she said. “Sustainability practices are tied to daily operations at WIPP.”
In addition to McCauslin, those honored included Lynn Johnson, Joe Vasquez, Colleen Navarrette, Bruce Jeffress, Shari Cullum, Marty Gonzales, Judy McLemore, Stewart Jones, Robbin Spoon, Ritchie Jimenez, Gene Valette, Roy Byrd, Ellen Harkness, James Hedin, Jennifer Hendrickson, Bob Kirby, Rick Salness and John Vandekraats.
In July 2012, CBFO and RES also received an appreciation award from DOE Secretary Steven Chu for energy and cost savings related to the WIPP government vehicle fleet.
The Green Zia program is modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program with emphasis on integrating environmental improvements into core business practices. According to NMED, more than 130 organizations and businesses have participated in the Green Zia program with more than $45 million in cost savings reported since the program’s inception.
WIPP is designed to safely isolate defense-related TRU waste from people and the environment. Waste temporarily stored at sites around the country is shipped to WIPP and permanently disposed in rooms mined out of an ancient salt formation 2,150 feet below the surface. WIPP is located 26 miles outside of Carlsbad, N.M.