National Environmental Policy Act
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted to: declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality. Sec. 2 [42 U.S. Code § 4321].
NEPA is our basic national charter for protection of the environment. It establishes policy, sets goals (section 101), and provides means (section 102) for carrying out the policy. Section 102(2) contains "action-forcing" provisions to make sure that federal agencies act according to the letter and spirit of the Act.
President Nixon signed NEPA into law on January 1, 1970. NEPA set forth a bold new vision for America. Acknowledging the decades of environmental neglect that had significantly degraded the nation's landscape and damaged the human environment, the law was established to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans. NEPA was the first major environmental law in the United States and is often called the "Magna Carta" of Federal environmental laws. NEPA requires Federal Agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. To implement NEPA's policies, Congress prescribed a procedure, commonly referred to as "the NEPA process" or "the environmental impact assessment process."
The ultimate goal of the NEPA process is to foster excellent action that protects, restores, and enhances our environment. This is achieved through the utilization of environmental assessments (EAs) and environmental impact statements (EISs), which provide public officials with relevant information and allow a "hard look" at the potential environmental consequences of each proposed project.
NEPA has been effective in providing public officials with the information they need to make better decisions. "Thank God for NEPA because there were so many pressures to make a selection for a technology that might have been forced upon us and that would have been wrong for the country . . . ." Then-Secretary of Energy James Watkins made this statement before the House Armed Services Committee in 1992 in regards to his decision to forgo proposed production technologies. The environmental review process informed him, and other decision makers, that this technology would not align with the Department of Energy's departure from an emphasis on weapons productions towards an emphasis on cleanup of production facilities.
NEPA's success has not been limited to domestic environmental issues, it has since been replicated throughout the world. Countries and non-governmental organizations all over the globe have created their own EIA programs, modeled upon NEPA, making NEPA an international catalyst in the field environmental protection.
Air Quality is a major issue in the State of Utah, particularly for counties along the Wasatch Front where air quality is a significant public health concern. The US EPA designated Salt Lake and Utah Counties non-attainment for PM10 (particulate matter, 10 micrometers or less) and Cache, Box Elder, Weber, Davis, Tooele, Salt Lake, and Utah counties as non-attainment for PM2.5 (particulate matter, 2.5 micrometers or less). In addition the US EPA designated Salt Lake County as non-attainment area for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2). Salt Lake and Utah Counties are maintenance areas of Ozone (O3). The Utah National Guard (UTNG) is committed to complying with all federal and state environmental Air quality laws and regulations pertaining to air quality. Because many of our larger facilities are located in Salt Lake and Utah Counties, designated as non-attainment areas or maintenance areas, we take proactive measures to reduce emissions and comply with the law.
The Utah National Guard (UTNG) is committed to complying with all federal and state environmental Air quality laws and regulations pertaining to air quality. Because many of our larger facilities are located in Salt Lake and Utah Counties, designated as non-attainment areas or maintenance areas, we take proactive measures to reduce emissions and comply with the law.
PM10 and PM2.5
The Utah Administrative Code, Rule R307-309, Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas for PM10 and PM2.5: Fugitive Emissions and Fugitive Dust, requires any activity capable of producing fugitive dust to use all available and practical methods that are technologically feasible and economically reasonable in order to minimize such emissions.
Camp Williams, Utah, is the primary training area for Soldiers of the UTNG. The training site is also utilized by active Army units, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve units and state and federal law enforcement agencies. The training area consists of about 23,850 acres of prime training area located in both Salt Lake and Utah Counties, and surrounded by the communities of Herriman, Bluffdale, Lehi, Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, and Cedar Fort. Approximately 36 miles of major unpaved roads are located in the training area. In addition there are about 56 miles of unpaved maneuver trails used by tactical vehicles and unmounted troops during training. Approximately 90% of the travel to and from training areas occurs on 20 miles of major unpaved roads. These roads are programmed annually for chemical dust suppression. Studies have shown the application of chemical suppressant and watering to unpaved roads is 85% efficient in reducing particulate matter . Additional operational control for fugitive dust consist of speed limits for all vehicles (tactical and non-tactical) using the training areas to reduce dust emissions.
Any areas at Camp Williams under construction greater than ¼ acre are required to comply with a fugitive dust mitigation plan. Paved roads to and from construction site are required to be cleaned with vacuum sweeping and watering, which is 95% effective in reducing particulate matter emissions.
Criterial Air Pollutants, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP)
The UTNG maintains emission inventories on the majority of armories with maintenance shops as well as major facilities such as the Utah Training Site at Camp Williams, Joint Forces Headquarters in Draper, and the Army Aviation Facility in West Jordan. The UTNG utilizes paints and coatings that are formulated with low VOC and HAP emissions. Parts washer have been converted to aqueous cleaning solutions to reduce the use of solvents. Natural Gas fired boilers at our armories and other large buildings are installed with state of the art low nitrous oxide burners and fitted with operational controls to reduce emission of criteria pollutants (carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide) which also save energy.