If there is one commitment that defines our people, it is our devotion to the rich and expansive land we have inherited.
President Bill Clinton
In 1993 the federal government introduced an ecosystem approach to planning on the public lands for which it is steward. The management of public lands and federal facilities was examined in the President's National Performance Review (NPR), which in September 1993 directed federal agencies to plan cross-agency budgets to fund ecosystem management demonstration projects. The review also directed federal facilities-collectively the nation's largest energy consumer-to link water consumption with energy use and to showcase renewable energy technology.
The federal agencies responsible for managing America's natural resources must meet both the public desire to protect them and the public expectation of economic growth based on them. Within the federal government, a number of agencies contribute to the management of natural resources associated with public lands.
Department of the Interior
The Department of the Interior (DOI) manages 450 million acres of public lands, half of them in Alaska, together with the natural resources on those lands. The DOI manages 10,000 miles of National Wild and Scenic Rivers and 60 million acres of Wilderness Preservation Areas. The following agencies are the principal DOI land managers:
Bureau of Land Management. The BLM is responsible for the multiple-use management of natural resources on 270 million acres of public land and for supervising mineral leasing and operations on an additional 300 million acres of federal mineral estate that underlies other surface ownership. Through programs like Fish and Wildlife 2000, the BLM manages 18 national strategy plans designed to improve habitats and resources while ensuring recreational use of its lands. In 1993 the BLM designated 85 special locations as Back Country Byways, Watchable Wildlife Sites, or Special Recreation Management Areas. The bureau built 16 campgrounds, 6 non-motorized trails, and 13 boat launch facilities; implemented management plans for 17 designated wilderness areas; and completed 354 challenge cost-share projects with partner contributions of $5.4 million in labor and materials. The BLM purchased 46,000 acres of land and acquired 118,000 acres through land exchanges.
Fish and Wildlife Service. The FWS conserves, protects, and enhances fish and wildlife and their habitats. Management duties extend over 91 million acres of public land and include 494 national wildlife refuges, 32 wetland management districts, 84 fish hatcheries, 23 research centers, and 88 associated field stations. In addition the FWS is responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act and providing comments and consultations on water development and water quality under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The FWS acquired 75,581 acres of land in 1993 and estimates the acquisition of 45,000 more acres in 1994.
National Park Service. The NPS protects natural and cultural resources while promoting outdoor recreation, historic preservation, and environmental awareness. In 1993 the NPS recorded 273 million recreational visits to the 367 units of the National Park System, which account for 80 million acres of public land. The NPS has added six new units since 1991 and has recorded an increase in recreational visits of 7 million. Since 1970 a total of 85 new NPS units have been added, increasing land area in all units by 48 million acres; recreational visits increased by 102 million visits during the same time period. In 1993 the agency acquired 13,587 acres of land in 25 NPS units, with 8,643 of these acres added to four units. The largest recipients were the Appalachian National Scenic Trail with 1,662 acres traversing ten states (Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia); Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida, with 2,523 acres; El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico with 3,926 acres; and Everglades National Park in Florida with 1,476 acres.
Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BIA manages and protects natural resources on 56 million acres of Indian trust lands and assists tribes in serving roughly 1 million American Indians and Alaskan natives. The BIA provides a wide variety of community and social services, maintains law enforcement systems, and assists in agricultural, ranching, forestry, and mining activities on reservations,and funds 187 BIA and tribal-operated schools in 24 states.
Bureau of Reclamation. In 1992 the BOR was the largest supplier of water in 17 western states and delivered 10 trillion gallons of water for agriculture, municipal, industrial, and domestic purposes. Multipurpose BOR projects provide flood control, power, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Today the bureau is emphasizing innovative water management technologies to balance greater water demand with the greater demand for natural resource protection.
Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service
The Forest Service manages the 191-million acre National Forest System under principles of ecosystem management. The national forests contain 140 million acres of forestland, with the remaining acres in grasslands. In 1993 the Forest Service reforested 474,000 acres. Sites included timber harvest sale areas and areas affected by natural catastrophes such as fires, insects, diseases, and windstorms. The agency has shifted from its reliance on the use of clearcutting as a regeneration technique to other regeneration methods. Acres clearcut decreased 18 percent from 1992 to 1993. In 1993 the Forest Service sold 4.5 billion board feet of wood, with timber sale revenues exceeding program costs. Gross revenues were $1.017 billion and net revenues, $301 million.
Department of Defense. The DOD manages 25 million acres of public lands at 600 major installations in the United States, and 2 million acres abroad. The Department is an active steward of these installations, which vary greatly in size and use and contain a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The Army Corps of Engineers (COE), which manages 11.7 million acres of land and inland water areas, provides recreation opportunities at 463 lakes throughout the United States. In 1993 COE land and water areas supported nearly 200 million visitor days of recreation use, the second highest among all federal agencies, and netted over $20 million in visitor fees.
Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) manages 300,000 acres of public lands and forests adjacent to a series of 45 reservoirs in the Tennessee River watershed. In 1993 the TVA released a draft environmental impact statement on natural resource management activities at its 170,000-acre Land Between the Lakes site.
Federal forestry initiatives, domestic and international, are conducted primarily by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Department of Defense. The Agency for International Development supports an international forestry program. On federal forests 37 million acres currently are reserved from harvesting and managed as parks or wilderness, and an additional 212 million acres are used for other purposes. As an example the BLM manages 50 million acres of forestland in 12 western states and Alaska. The BLM Total Forest Management Policy provides an ecosystem approach to timber harvesting, water quality, soil conservation, fish and wildlife habitat, old growth, aesthetics, and recreation. During 1993 the bureau reforested 12,522 acres of public lands.
Federal Grazing Lands
Grazing lands include rangeland, permanent pasture, grazed forestland, and cropland pasture. These lands provide a food source for domestic livestock and habitat for wildlife including deer, elk, moose, wild horses and burros, turkey, quail, and grouse, to mention a few. Managed grassland ecosystems can protect water quality and riparian areas and provide recreational opportunities.
One third (700 million acres) of the nation's total land area is classified as rangeland. A little more than half (57 percent) of this land is privately owned in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains states. The remainder, under federal stewardship, is located in the arid and semiarid lands of the Southwest and the tundra, shrub, and muskeg-bog lands of interior Alaska. Public rangelands provide only 10 percent of total forage consumption by domestic livestock.
Pacific Northwest Forest Conference and Forest Plan
On April 2, 1993, the President convened a Forest Conference in Portland, Oregon, as the first step in resolving the Old Growth-Spotted Owl Controversy. Following the conference, an interdisciplinary Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team developed ten management options for the area. As the foundation of his ecosystem plan for the Pacific Northwest, the President selected the watershed-based Option Nine (see Chapter 4 for details). He also incorporated recommendations of a Labor and Community Assistance Work Group and an Agency Coordination Work Group. Three months later, on July 1, 1993, the President released a proposed forest plan with the following provisions:
Federal Forestlands. The plan proposed the establishment of late-successional (old-growth) reserves, riparian reserves, ten adaptive management areas for ecological experimentation, and a matrix of land for forest management across the 24 million acres of federal forestland in the region. The final plan provides for a sustainable timber harvest within the old- growth ecosystem with sustainable annual sales of 1.1 billion board feet from federal forests-national forests, BLM forestlands, and Indian forestlands. Federal assistance would bring to market backlogged timber sales on Indian reservations in the area.
Geographic Information System Database. A new GIS database would allow natural resource agencies to coordinate their efforts in the collection and development of research and data.
Physiographic Province-Level Teams. Provincial teams of relevant federal, state, and tribal officials would develop analyses for physiographic provinces and particular watersheds. Analysis of a watershed would involve all affected parties in discussions of ecological needs as well as those of the timber industry and the local community. An interagency executive committee would coordinate and direct teamwork.
Endangered Species Act Consultation Process. The plan would revise the ESA consultation process to include the Fish and Wildlife Service (Department of the Interior) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Department of Commerce) early in the planning process for an action such as a timber sale.
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The President ordered a supplemental EIS for current and proposed forest and timber management plans for the Forest Service and the BLM.
Overuse in the past 150 years has diminished natural rangeland ecosystems. The tallgrass prairie of the eastern Great Plains, which once covered a million square kilometers, is virtually gone, with less than 1 percent of its natural vegetation remaining. The shortgrass prairie of the western Great Plains (Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming) though fragmented still can be found on the 15,000-square kilometer National Grasslands. Other grassland losses include 65 percent of the bluestem-grama ecosystem, 45 percent of the grama-buffalograss, and 6 percent of the Nebraska sandhills prairie.
Much of the nation's rangeland was severely damaged during the 19th century because of rapid settlement and the fragility of range ecosystems. Range scientists report that rangeland has been improving since the 1930s. In spite of that trend, however, 51 percent of federal rangeland are not in good condition.
The Administration has proposed grazing reform measures that would provide healthy and productive public rangelands by increasing biodiversity, improving fish and wildlife habitat, and improving water quality on public rangelands.
The BLM manages 170 million acres of rangelands that are used for a variety of purposes including recreation, livestock grazing, and ecosystem research and monitoring. In 1993 rangelands in poor condition were down to 15 percent from nearly 50 percent in the 1940s, while rangelands in good to excellent condition remained at 39 percent, with an overall 88 percent in static or improving condition. In 1993 the BLM managed grazing on 21,500 allotments in 15 states and collected a grazing fee of $1.86 per animal unit month from 19,108 operators. Concern over the condition of public rangelands and their uses resulted in several reports on the BLM rangeland management program. The trend is toward protection and restoration.
Grazing Reform Report. In Rangeland Reform '94, the BLM outlines a rangeland management program to improve the ecological conditions of rangelands while providing for sustainable development and recreational use. The report describes the framework for the transition from current management practices to ecosystem management, including issues of grazing leases, desert grazing, monitoring, range improvements, grazing fees, and the grazing fee formula.
Standards, Guidelines, and Grazing Fees. To restore ecological conditions on public rangelands, the BLM developed national standards and guidelines for livestock grazing. These will supplement other BLM programs such as Riparian Wetland Initiative for the 1990s, Fish and Wildlife 2000, and Recreation 2000. The new initiative will focus on efforts to balance grazing management practices with the recovery of endangered and threatened species, maintenance and restoration of water quality on riparian wetlands, rest periods for critical plant growth and regrowth, reduced pesticide use, and vegetative restoration. Annual grazing use and permit/lease renewal would be contingent upon the permittee's adherence to these standards.
Forest Service Rangelands
Of the 191 million acres managed by the USDA Forest Service, over 97 million acres are available for use by domestic livestock. The agency has adopted ecology-based range management to accomplish resource stewardship and provide healthy rangeland ecosystems.
In 1993 the Forest Service administered 9,343 grazing allotments in 33 states. Grazing fees varied from $1.86 to $3.40 per animal unit month. Fees collected from public grazing on national forests, excluding national grasslands, totaled $9.5 million in 1992 and $9.2 million in 1993. Fees collected from national grasslands totaled $1.3 million in 1992 and again in 1993.
Yavapai Ranch and Best Management Practices for Grazing
The 110,000-acre area in Arizona known as Yavapai Ranch has a checkerboard pattern of private and federal grasslands where the Forest Service balances landowner concerns and agency mandates by applying ecological principles to manage the landscape. Using an integrated planning process to assess environmental effects and encourage public involvement, the Yavapai Ranch Partnership and the Prescott National Forest developed a Coordinated Resource Management Program. With EPA funding they developed and demonstrated Best Management Practices for Grazing that meet state and federal water quality and nonpoint-source pollution goals on Arizona grazing lands.
A strategic team of cooperating agencies is working with the ranching partnership to monitor the results of management practices. Participants include the Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Arizona Game and Fish, University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Chino Winds Natural Resource Conservation District, Arizona Land Department, and Yavapai County Cooperative Extension Agents.
Prior to the project, the entire ranch was managed under a continuous year-long grazing strategy that resulted in poor range conditions and degraded habitat for the pronghorn antelope. In 1993 the overall condition of the range and its watershed showed improvement. With continued restoration of antelope habitat, populations of this species, which had declined, are expected to increase.
Well-managed federal wetlands can serve as models for the rest of the nation. In 1993 federal agencies implemented programs to conserve and restore wetlands on public lands. For federal partnership wetlands programs, see Chapter 3: Wetlands and Coastal Waters; and for Wetlands Reserve Program, see Chapter 4: Conservation Farming and Forestry.
National Forest System Wetlands
The USDA Forest Service takes an ecological approach to the management of 14 million acres of wetlands and riparian areas in the National Forest System. Half of these acres are wetlands distributed mainly in the eastern United States and Alaska. The other half are riparian areas generally in the West. Recognizing wetlands benefits to humans as well as to fish and wildlife, the Forest Service designs management activities to restore and protect wetland functions and values. Among sensitive species in the national forests, 80 percent are dependent upon riparian areas. Acting on this finding, the agency has made riparian wetlands management a priority and is increasing its use of watershed analysis and assessment, modifying management practices, and undertaking an aggressive restoration program.
Ecosystem Research on the Copper River Delta
On the Chugach National Forest south of Anchorage, Alaska, the 65-mile long, 700,000-acre Copper River Delta is formed by the 100 million tons of sediment produced each year by glacier-fed tributaries. Composed of estuaries, mudflats, marshes, and barrier islands, it is the largest and one of the richest wetlands on the Pacific Coast of North America. During the spring migration, as the Delta thaws, it provides habitat for 10 million migratory shorebirds including almost the entire Pacific Coast populations of western sandpipers and dunlin and the entire world population of dusky Canada geese. Other fauna include five species of salmon, eagles, wolves, various furbearers, mountain goats, black bear, brown bear, and moose.
This pristine ecosystem, with its interdependence of diverse plant and animal communities and physical environment, offers opportunities for scientific research and human enjoyment. The Copper River Delta Institute, a cooperative research venture, is managed by the Chugach National Forest, other federal and state agencies, universities, environmental and natural resource interest groups, native Alaskan corporations, and local governments. The cosponsors conduct research and educational and interpretive programs to better understand and manage the Delta ecosystem.
National Wildlife Refuge Wetlands
In 1993 the Fish and Wildlife Service restored 140,381 acres of wetlands within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Wildlife refuges have averaged 127,000 restored wetland acres per year over the last five years.
Federal Fish and Wildlife Programs
The Department of Interior land agencies, the Forest Service in Agriculture, and the National Marine Fisheries Service in Commerce share responsibility for managing the nation's fish and wildlife resources. The management trend is toward native species in restored and protected habitats.
The mission of the Fish and Wildlife Service Fishery Program is -to protect, restore, and enhance fisheries resources for a net gain of fish, aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity, and public use.- In 1993 the FWS maintained a network of 77 fish hatcheries, 53 fishery resource offices, 9 fish health centers, and 5 fish technology centers. FWS has placed increasing emphasis in recent years on evaluating the impacts of its fishery program on fishery resources, with special attention to genetics management, conservation biology, and coordination with fishery management plans. In 1993 the FWS expended $64 million for restoration, mitigation, and recovery of anadromous and non-anadromous fish populations.
Anadromous Fish Operations. The FWS supports multi-agency programs to restore anadromous fish populations to historic spawning areas along the Pacific, Gulf, and Atlantic coasts. Included in these efforts in 1993 were improvements to fish passage facilities, implementation of fishery management plans, and hatchery production of 68 million Pacific salmon and steelhead trout, 6.2 million Atlantic salmon, 7.5 million Atlantic and Gulf striped bass, and 27,500 threatened and endangered anadromous species.
Non-Anadromous Fish Operations. The FWS supports multi-agency efforts to maintain and restore non-anadromous fish to historic interjurisdictional waters, to mitigate impacts of federal water development projects, and to meet recreational fishery management needs on federal lands. Included in these efforts in 1993 was technical assistance related to the conservation of threatened and endangered species, trust responsibilities of tribal interests, support to other federal agencies, prevention and control of aquatic nuisance species, and the production of 99 million warmwater and coldwater fish species, 14 million inland salmonoids, 8.7 million lake trout for the Great Lakes, and 1.5 million threatened and endangered non-anadromous fish species in FWS hatcheries.
BLM Riparian Initiative
The BLM has been restoring health to 23.7 million acres of riparian wetlands on its lands since 1991. Healthy functioning riparian areas are key to long-term improvements in fish habitat and to increasing fishing opportunities on public lands. In 1993 the BLM revised 180 site-specific management plans, surveyed nearly 2,000 miles of streams, constructed 567 riparian habitat improvement projects, acquired nearly 37,000 acres of riparian habitat to improve watershed management, and implemented management plans on 145 riparian acres through partnerships with state and private cooperators.
Federal land agencies increasingly work together to manage wildlife on the public lands. Partnerships with the states and private environmental groups also are increasing.
Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge in southern Illinois has the largest and highest quality cypress-tupelo stands in the state, with trees over 1,000 years old. It comprises some of the state's most diversified wildlife habitat and supports significant populations of waterfowl and several state and federal endangered species, threatened species, and species of special concern. These include red-shouldered hawk, copper's hawk, barn owl, Mississippi kite, bald eagle, interior least tern, gray and Indiana bat, and dusky salamander. In 1993 the FWS acquired 10,000 acres for the refuge, with plans to acquire an additional 4,000 acres in 1994. When acquisition is complete, the refuge will total 35,000 acres. These acquisitions complement efforts by the State of Illinois and The Nature Conservancy to acquire two large ecological preserves adjacent to the refuge: the Cache River State Area and Limekiln Slough Preserve.
Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge. This 20,000-acre refuge in Liberty County, Texas, which protects critically threatened palustrine forest and wetlands, is in an area threatened by residential and commercial development. The FWS added 3,000 acres in 1993 and plans to acquire additional acres in 1994. The refuge protects priority wetland habitat and species, including neotropical bird species, snapping turtles, American alligators, canebrake rattlesnakes, American swallow kites, river otter, and bald eagles.
Deer Haven Ranch. This 4,900-acre ranch, located near Colorado Springs, Colorado, was acquired by the BLM to protect the wildlife, recreation, and riparian values of the site. The ranch is crossed by the Gold Belt Town National Backcountry Byway, contains 4 miles of riparian vegetation, and provides habitat for species such as bald eagle, deer, and elk.
Watchable Wildlife. Federal land agencies have formed Watchable Wildlife partnerships with groups such as Defenders of Wildlife, the National Wildlife Federation, and the National Audubon Society. Initiated in 1988 the Watchable Wildlife Partnership Program is a nationwide effort to increase wildlife viewing opportunities, provide information on the needs of wildlife, and promote wildlife conservation. The BLM manages 225 Watchable Wildlife sites in 11 states (Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Wyoming), and the National Park Service manages sites in 50 different national parks. The program produces Watchable Wildlife viewing guides used for wildlife identification in 14 national parks.
Wildlife Law Enforcement. The FWS, in cooperation with other federal agencies, enforces provisions of 11 different federal wildlife and resource protection laws to control the importation and exportation of illegal fish, wildlife, and plants. In 1993 a staff of 75 wildlife inspectors and 200 special agents detected and stopped 71,661 illegal shipments of fish and wildlife, worth about $173 million, from U.S. and territorial ports. Through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the FWS has extended its cooperative wildlife law enforcement program throughout the world.
The National Wilderness Preservation System, with 564 units and 96 million acres of land, was managed in 1993 by the following federal agencies:
Agency Wilderness Units Acreage
National Park Service 42 39.1+ million
Forest Service 398 34.6 million
Fish and Wildlife Service 75 20.6+ million
Bureau of Land Management 68 1.6 million
New Wilderness Areas
On August 13, 1993, the President signed the Colorado Wilderness Act adding 553,203 acres to the National Forest Wilderness Preservation System. This legislation established nine new wilderness areas, two within BLM holdings and seven within Forest Service units. The National Forest Wilderness Preservation System now constitutes 18 percent of the National Forest System with units in 36 states. Land on national forests makes up 74 percent of the National Wilderness Preservation system in the lower 48 states, and 36 percent of the entire system including Alaska wilderness.
25th Anniversary of Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
To commemorate the occasion, the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service held a 4-day symposium on river protection and conservation. With the addition of a 129-mile section of the Great Egg Harbor River in New Jersey, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System now has 152 units and 10,503 river miles.
Recreation and Cultural Resources
The national forests and grasslands were the most visited federal lands in 1993 with 786 million visitors or 296 million recreation visitor days (a visitor day equals 12 visitor hours by one or more persons). A total of 72.5 million visits were made to BLM recreational lands; 274 million visits were made to 396 national park units; and 25 million visits were made to Fish and Wildlife Service recreation areas. The BLM issued 113,000 camping permits; 8,568 long-term visitor area permits; 1,817 commercial special recreation permits; 379 competitive special recreation permits; and 10,147 other special recreation permits.
Forest Service Recreation Areas. The National Forest System contains 43 congressionally designated recreation areas, encompassing 7 million acres and including 18 national recreation areas, 6 national scenic areas, 4 national monuments, and 15 other areas. In 1993 Congress added the 316,000-acre Spring Mountains National Recreation Area on the Toiyabe National Forest in southern Nevada.
Statewide River Assessments. The National Park Service and state agencies have completed 11 state inventories of streams and rivers and will complete another 4 in 1994 in Arizona, Connecticut, Tennessee, and California. Park Service personnel assist the states in data collection on riparian, fish and wildlife, cultural, historic, and recreational uses of river resources. Planning documents identify the highest and best uses of river resources in each participating state.
Environmental Security and the Department of Defense
The mission of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is to defend the national security of the United States, which today encompasses environmental security. The post-cold war era requires the DOD to adopt a common sense approach to solving environmental problems, and thus the Department has undertaken environmental security programs to protect human health and the environment and to steward natural and cultural resources. Making a fundamental change in its attitude toward solving environmental problems, the DOD is committed to being a leader in environmental stewardship.
Legacy Resource Management Program
Congress established the Legacy Resource Management Program in 1991 to make stewardship of natural and cultural resources a DOD priority. A collaborative, inter-service program, Legacy seeks to balance the intensive use of military installations for training and testing with conservation. Funding for the program increased from $10 million in FY 1991 to $50 million in FY 1993. By institutionalizing Legacy concepts within DOD, the conservation of natural and cultural resources is becoming an integral part of the military mission.
In 1993 over 200 military installations in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories sponsored Legacy projects. Among them were 500 projects that enhanced resource management and awareness of biological species, earth resources, ecosystems, and cultural and historic places and materials. Legacy partners include 30 organizations and agencies, among them the federal land agencies and private environmental and archaeological groups.
A comprehensive, long-range conservation program integrates biological, cultural and geological resources on DOD lands with requirements of the military mission. The program gives priority to identifying, conserving, and restoring natural and cultural resources. Through the Legacy program, and other initiatives, the Department has improved its stewardship of natural resources, thus ensuring resource conservation, preventing or minimizing pollution, and halting degradation of the environment. The program is conducted in partnership with federal, state, and local agencies and private groups.
Oregon Trail Visitor Center at Flagstaff Hill. This new visitor center commemorates the thousands of pioneers who braved the crosscountry journey to settle the West. The 23,000-square-foot interpretive center features state-of-the-art exhibits and living history demonstrations. Visitors can hike four miles of footpaths and see actual ruts of the Oregon Trail. The center attracted 100,000 visitors in its first three months of operation.
BLM Cultural Resources. BLM lands harbor an estimated 4 million archaeological, historic, and paleontological properties. In 1992 the BLM completed 94 new on-site interpretive projects. An example is an interpretive site in Montana at the confluence of the Marias and Missouri rivers that explains three sites of historic interest-the City of Ophir, Fort Peigan, and a Lewis and Clark campsite. The project includes an accessible trail, three interpretive signs on a knoll overlooking the site, and a parking area.
Minerals on Federal Lands
In 1993 the percentage of oil, gas, and sodium produced from the nation's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and from federal onshore and Indian mineral leases increased 1.0 percent for oil and 1.1 percent for gas and decreased 10.8 percent for sodium from 1992. Coal, lead, and potash produced from federal onshore and Indian mineral leases increased by 1.07 percent and 1.19 percent for coal and lead, respectively, from 1992 and decreased by 19.41 percent for potash.
Bureau of Land Management Minerals. The BLM supervises mineral leasing and operations on 300 million acres of onshore federal mineral estate that underlie other surface ownership. The bureau fosters development of onshore minerals to achieve sustained yield, multiple use, and conservation of natural resources on another 300 million acres of public land. In FY 1993 oil, coal, and gas extracted from these federal onshore leases had a value of $7.5 billion, for which a royalty of $847 million was received by the U.S. Treasury.
Minerals Management Service. The MMS collects, disburses, accounts for, and audits revenues generated from mineral leasing on federal and Indian lands onshore, as well as managing and overseeing the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) program. In 1993 the MMS managed 1.5 billion OCS acres, administered 5,227 leases covering 27 million OCS acres, and had financial and audit responsibility for 67,134 leases that covered 46.5 million acres on federal onshore lands. The agency collected, accounted for, and distributed $3.9 billion in mineral revenues from onshore and offshore leases. In 1993 oil and gas extracted from OCS lands had a total value of $2.9 billion, from which $900 million was supplied to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and $150 million to the Historic Preservation Fund.
Although they represent only a fraction of the regulated community, federal facilities-military and energy installations especially-can be larger and more complex than private facilities, often with more sources of hazardous waste requiring cleanup. Industrial activities at federal facilities can present management problems involving compliance with environmental statutes.
In 1993 the nation invested heavily in environmental cleanup and compliance at federal facilities, continuing an upward trend in environmental budgets. The budget for cleanup and compliance at federal facilities increased from $3 billion in FY 1989 to $10 billion in FY 1993.
Executive Orders on Federal Facilities
In 1993 the President signed several executive orders (EOs) that impact environmental management at federal facilities.
EO on Procurement Requirements and Policies for Federal Agencies for Ozone-Depleting Substances
On Earth Day (April 21, 1993), the President signed Executive Order 12843 which directs federal agencies to change their procurement policies to reduce the use of ozone-depleting substances earlier than the 1995 phaseout deadline called for in the Montreal Protocol. Federal agencies are directed to modify specifications and contracts that require the use of ozone-depleting substances and to substitute with non-ozone-depleting substances to the extent economically practicable. Through affirmative acquisition practices, the federal government will provide leadership in the phaseout of these substances on a worldwide basis, while contributing positively to the economic competitiveness on the world market of U.S. manufacturers of innovative safe technologies.
EO on Federal Use of Alternative Fueled Vehicles
Also on Earth Day 1993, the President signed Executive Order 12844 which places the federal government in the leadership of the use of alternative fueled vehicles (AFVs). This EO calls on each federal agency to adopt aggressive plans to exceed the purchase requirements of AFVs established by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (see Chapter 7: Energy and Transportation).
EO on the Purchase of Energy-Efficient Computer Equipment
Under Executive Order 12845, also signed by the President on Earth Day 1993, the U.S. government became a participant in the Energy Star Computer program by agreeing to buy energy-efficient computers, monitors, and printers to the maximum extent possible. As long as equipment meets other performance standards and is available in a competitive bid, agencies must purchase only those computer products that qualify for the Energy Star logo.
EO on Federal Compliance with Right-to-Know Laws and Pollution Prevention Requirements
On August 3, 1993, the President signed Executive Order 12856 on Federal Compliance with Right-to-Know Laws and Pollution Prevention Requirements, which includes the following directives:
Reductions in Toxics. Federal agencies are to reduce emissions and releases of toxic chemicals or pollutants by half by 1999. The required review and revision of all federal and military specifications and standards will help eliminate or reduce procurement of extremely hazardous substances and chemicals by federal facilities in such activities as manufacturing and processing.
Community Right to Know and Toxics Release Inventory. Federal facilities are to comply with all provisions of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act and the Pollution Prevention Act, including emergency planning and the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements. Citizens and local governments will have access to information on potential chemical hazards at federal facilities in their communities. Local communities will be able to participate with federal facilities in developing emergency response plans. Within 12 months each federal agency will develop a pollution prevention policy and a strategy for achieving the President's 50-percent toxic emissions reduction goal. The first TRI report containing federal facilities data covering the year 1994 is due on or before July 1, 1995.
EO On Acquisition, Recycling, and Waste Prevention
On October 20, 1993, the President signed Executive Order 12873 which directs federal agencies to implement acquisition programs aimed at encouraging new technologies and building markets for environmentally preferable and recycled products. It also provides a boost to federal agency efforts to reduce waste at the source and to institute aggressive recycling programs. The EPA prepared guidelines for release in 1994 for recycled content in federal purchases of such items as carpet, floor tile, office recycling containers, office waste receptacles, remanufactured toner cartridges, binders, and plastic trash bags. All federal purchases of writing and printing paper are to contain 20 percent post-consumer material by the end of 1994 and 30 percent by the end of 1998. In 1993 paper accounted for 40 percent of all solid waste and 77 percent of government office waste. Existing EPA guidelines address re-refined motor oil and retread tires.
In 1993 federal facilities took steps to improve environmental management in all phases of their operations. A sampling of programs by agency follows.
Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA functions as a partner to other federal agencies, providing environmental education, technical assistance, and leadership. The agency also serves as an enforcer to ensure that federal facilities comply with environmental statutes, regulations, and standards in the same manner that the nation expects of private industry.
Federal Facilities Enforcement Office. The EPA Federal Facilities Enforcement Office (FFEO) enforces environmental laws and provides technical assistance for pollution prevention, cleanup, and reuse of federal facilities. In 1993 the FFEO negotiated interagency agreements required under Section 120 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) for the cleanup of each federal facility site listed on the Superfund National Priorities List of most contaminated sites (NPL). The magnitude of the cleanup effort is reflected in the following profile:
Federal Facilities Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket. Over 1,900 federal facilities engage in hazardous waste activities;
Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). In 1993 the NPL contained 126 federal facility sites with 123 final listings and 3 proposed;
Superfund Interagency Agreements (SIAs). A total of 111 SIAs were signed in 1993;
Remedial Projects. A total of 500 remediation projects were ongoing at federal facilities on the NPL;
Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal (TSD) Facilities. Federal facilities had 338 hazardous waste TSD facilities, with 90 of these facilities on the NPL; and
Federal Facilities Compliance Agreements (FFCAs). Of the 90 federal hazardous waste TSD facilities, 70 have signed FFCAs.
Multi-Media Enforcement and Compliance Initiative. In 1993 the EPA Office of Enforcement began a 2-year initiative that targets key federal facilities for comprehensive multi-media inspections. The initiative promotes pollution prevention strategies to reduce toxic waste generation. Following nspections the EPA prepared pollution prevention profiles for 100 federal facilities.
Citizen Participation. To support the federal effort to increase the visibility and accountability of cleanup and compliance decisionmaking at federal facilities, the EPA emphasizes public involvement in cleanup and compliance agreements. In 1993 the agency continued to work with the DOD, the Department of Energy (DOE), and other agencies to improve communications and coordination with the public.
Pollution Prevention. In 1993 the EPA prepared draft guidance on implementation of Executive Order 12856 on federal compliance with right-to-know laws and pollution prevention requirements. Training will be available through the ten EPA regions to assist federal facilities in complying with the order.
Fast Track Cleanup Program for Base Closures. On July 2, 1993, the President issued a Five Point Plan to speed the economic recovery of communities where military bases are slated for closure. A Fast Track Cleanup program will speed the clean-up process at these bases. The Five Point Plan complements the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program established by the DOD and involves the EPA in the cleanup process at closing military bases. The program integrates economic development, transition assistance, and environmental restoration to allow early reuse of the bases' assets.
Community Environmental Response Facilitation Act. The new Community Environmental Response Facilitation Act (CERFA) requires the EPA to assume the following responsibilities:
- Identify uncontaminated parcels of land and demonstrate that approved remedial actions on contaminated parcels operate properly;
- Accelerate ongoing and planned installation-wide Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Studies (RI/FS);
- Expedite response actions such as removals and interim response actions;
- Place public and private sites on the NPL;
- Coordinate with the DOD, states, communities, and private interests on transfer and environmental issues;
Innovative Technology Development. To stimulate the use of innovative technologies at contaminated sites on federal facilities, the EPA is fostering the use of federal facilities as testing and demonstration centers.
Public-Private Partnerships. Working through a grant to Clean Sites, Inc., the EPA is developing partnership demonstration projects at five federal facilities. As an example, at McClellan Air Force Base in California, a public/private partnership includes the Air Force, EPA, state of California, and seven private firms. In 1993 the partners prepared demonstrations at three sites on the airbase and held discussions with the Army, Navy, and DOE to identify additional federal facility demonstration sites.
Western Governor's Association. The EPA, along with the DOD, DOE, and DOI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Western Governor's Association to use federal sites in the West for developing innovative technology to deal with mixed radioactive, military, mining, and munitions waste. The MOU is reducing regulatory and institutional barriers to technology development.
Compliance Training. To provide ongoing technical assistance to federal agencies on complying with environmental statutes, regulations, and standards, the FFEO engages in joint training through such projects as the Accelerated Training Subgroup co-chaired by the DOE and EPA. This group helps federal facilities identify their training needs and develops exchange mechanisms to facilitate participation in training offered by the EPA, DOE, and DOD. A success story is the joint EPA/U.S. Air Force training course, -Team Approach to Federal Facilities Environmental Clean-up.- In one year EPA and Air Force instructors jointly provided this training to 500 participants. The course is designed to promote an understanding of cultural differences and other communication barriers to effective working relationships within and between agencies.
Federal Partnerships. The EPA has a number of efforts underway to promote partnerships with other federal agencies.
Environmental Roundtable. The Federal Agency Environmental Roundtable representing 50 federal agencies meets each month to exchange information on policy, strategy, standards, and regulations. Topics of discussion include the hazardous waste docket, proposed EPA strategies for national programs, technical information systems, the NPL, and base closures.
Civilian Federal Agency Task Force. Civilian federal agencies contribute half the sites listed on the hazardous waste docket and will spend an estimated $2 billion on site cleanup and restoration by FY 1995. Many of the smaller federal agencies, however, do not have the expertise or funding to respond adequately to new regulatory requirements. Recognizing their need for assistance, the FFEO formed the Civilian Federal Agency Task Force (CFA) to initiate a dialogue and to evaluate needs and funding sources within and outside the federal community. CFA members are developing a Civilian Agency Strategy.
Department of Defense
With environmental security now a part of the DOD mission, employees take responsibility for achieving environmental goals. In material purchases and process applications, they consider environmental impacts and choose a course of action to reduce or prevent pollution.
Cleanup. In 1993 the DOD was engaged in cleanups at about 800 military installations in the United States; 94 U.S. military installations were listed by the EPA on the NPL.
Fast-Track Schedule. The DOD placed 90 military installations scheduled for closure or realignment on a fast-track schedule for cleanup so that the land can be put to productive, nonmilitary use.
Environmental Hotspots. The DOD focused on interim measures to reduce risk at environmental hotspots; using existing and emerging technology to solve routine problems; forming environmental partnerships with major DOD stakeholders-the Congress, federal and state regulators, industry, and the public; incorporating future land use into cleanup plans; and setting objectives and completion dates.
Restoration Account. The Defense Environmental Restoration Account (DERA) in FY 1993 was $1.6 billion including $438 million of obligational authority in FY 1992 supplemental appropriations.
Remedial Actions. Interim Remedial Actions (IRAs) in 1993 more than doubled the number of actions in 1992, reflecting the growing realization among regulators and cleanup managers that interim remedial actions reduce risks to public health and the environment while longer-term solutions are being developed.
Compliance. Compliance programs include fire prevention and protection; vehicle, ship, and aircraft safety; explosives safety; and pest management. Environmental compliance is challenged by the number, size, and complexity of DOD facilities and operations; by increasingly stringent laws, regulations, and standards; and by the number of regulations, permits, and agreements at the national, state, and local levels, and overseas. Other factors include the following:
Strategies. DOD components must attain and sustain full compliance by meeting current deficiencies, eliminating noncompliant activities, and identifying future needs. Operations, training, and acquisition programs need to comply with legal requirements to ensure continued access to land, air, and water for basing, training, and mobilization-both in the United States and abroad.
Annual Report to Congress. On July 6, 1993, the Military Departments and Defense Agencies reported on their compliance programs for FY 1994-99 in the DOD Annual Report to Congress on Environmental Compliance. The DOD Environmental Security Review identified opportunities for improving program performance and control costs: periodic compliance self-assessments; improvement in the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS) process; and improved compliance training and education.
Pollution Prevention. The DOD has adopted pollution prevention strategies, beginning with source reduction, recycling, treatment, and finally disposal, and seeks practical solutions through the following actions:
Processes and Operations. The Department considers how DOD activities affect the environment and how to incorporate pollution prevention while still accomplishing the mission;
Material Standards and Specifications. The DOD is developing or revising all specifications and standards with environmental impact in mind;
Major Systems Acquisition. All new systems under development are being evaluated for environmental effects. A new Acquisition Directive integrates environmental impact and pollution prevention at the start of the acquisition process. A review of military specifications continues to eliminate or minimize the use of hazardous materials. The goal is to ensure that environmental and safety factors are considered in the design, acquisition, and operation of every weapon system.
Hazardous Waste Disposal. In 1993 the DOD continued to reduce hazardous waste disposal after meeting its 50-percent reduction goal a year early.
Environmental Defense Technology
To coordinate and integrate environmental research and development (R&D), the DOD Environmental Technology Program focuses on technology requirements, strategy, public-private partnering, demonstration and implementation, and training and education. In FY 1993 the DOD invested $180 million in environmental technology through the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and $132 million through the Technology Base Program. Accomplishments under the Defense Environmental Technology Program include the identification of technology requirements. Examples of early successes under the program include:
Western States Restoration and Waste Management. The Joint Federal/Western States Cooperative Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program coordinates efforts of the DOD, DOI, DOE, EPA, and state governments to meet federal and state regulatory requirements and facilitate demonstration of innovative technologies for environmental restoration at military bases; and
Technology Reinvestment Project. Working through the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the DOD, DOC, DOE, DOT, National Science Foundation, and NOAA identify environmental technologies for defense conversion and application.
Department of Energy
The Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program is the largest in the world, with a FY 1994 budget of $6.5 billion. In 1993 as part of its responsibilities for cleaning up tens of thousands of acres containing hazardous waste, contaminated soil, groundwater, and structures at 120 sites in 36 states and territories, the DOE established initiatives to develop new environmental technologies for the 21st century.
Management Actions. The structure for much of DOE environmental work is incorporated into environmental compliance agreements established with the EPA and the states. By 1993 over 90 agreements had been developed establishing timetables for environmental compliance and cleanup. To promote effective management of activities, the DOE undertook the following actions:
Estimating Costs of Restoration and Waste Management. The DOE worked on plans to develop a baseline of future costs of environmental restoration and waste management programs. Preliminary baselines are set for completion in 1995.
Computerized Progress Tracking System. The DOE continued to develop a computerized Progress Tracking System to track program performance-costs, schedules, and technical data-for environmental restoration and waste management. The system will be used to review the status of activities, monitor changes in baselines, conduct trend analyses, support management decisions, and report on the progress of compliance and cleanup.
Restoration and Waste Management Contracts. New DOE environmental restoration and waste management contracts are being structured to improve contractor accountability and performance and to reduce costs. Pilot sites for this initiative include the Fernald Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Project in Ohio and the Hanford Environmental Restoration Management Project in Washington state.
Evaluating Health Risks. In 1991 the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) published a study, Complex Cleanup, regarding the environmental problems in the DOE nuclear weapons complex. The study found that the DOE lacks a sufficient basis for evaluating health and environmental risks. In 1993 the DOE initiated a comprehensive effort to develop better tools and an independent method for evaluating the long-term health and environmental risks related to environmental restoration and waste management activities at its major sites and facilities. A comprehensive survey of immediate exposure risks was set for completion in FY 1994, and the development of analytical tools for evaluating long-term risks and for identifying specific data needs in FY 1995. Input from the academic and public health communities, states, regulators, citizens, and other stakeholders was sought. The results should provide environmental decisions based on a broad understanding of risks along with other considerations such as statutory mandates, anticipated land use and associated costs, technical feasibility and cultural values, worker health and safety, and environmental equity.
Multi-Phase Cleanup. The EPA and DOE are increasing their use of interim remedies, a multi-phase cleanup approach recommended by the OTA and by experienced private contractors. This approach has the following advantages:
- It achieves near-term cleanup results;
- Develops more cost-effective, long-term remedial technologies;
- Characterizes health, safety, and environmental threats; and
- Develops achievable and protective cleanup standards.
Converting Defense Labs to Environmental Technology. In 1993 the DOE continued developing long-term cleanup technologies by promoting the conversion of national laboratories from defense missions to environmental technology-development programs.
Mixed Waste Management and Treatment. In response to the Federal Facilities Compliance Act of 1992, the DOE in cooperation with the EPA and state regulatory agencies is developing plans for treating mixed waste, which has both hazardous and radioactive components.
Cleanup Standards and Land Use Planning. Under the terms of an interagency memorandum of understanding, the DOE is providing the EPA with pertinent technical information for use in developing national cleanup standards for consistent and technically-defensible remediation requirements. Within such a national regulatory scheme, specific technical requirements would be established with state regulators and the EPA to address conditions at specific contaminated sites, with consideration of future land uses.
General Services Administration
The array of GSA environmental programs includes waste reduction, alternative fuel vehicles, gas and diesel restrictions, recycling, the use of recycled and other environmentally oriented products, CFC reductions, energy and water efficiency, ride-sharing, and the Greening of the White House. GSA programs ensure good indoor air quality, reduce radon exposure, control exposure to asbestos and lead-based paint, manage hazardous waste, and prevent underground storage tanks from leaking.
Recycled and Recycled-Content Products. To stimulate the U.S. market for recyclables, the GSA provides the federal community with a range of recycled paper and paper products, all of which meet and, in most cases, exceed EPA minimum content standards. In 1993 the GSA contracted for over 1,000 different recycled paper products including, office stationary, file folders, labels, calendars, envelopes, notebooks, index cards, cardboard boxes, art and drafting paper, and copier paper. Over 120 specifications were changed to incorporate requirements for recycled content, and sales for these items amounted to over $200 million.
GSA Environmental Catalogs. Several GSA catalogs highlight environmentally oriented items in the GSA supply system, including those with recycled content; those that are energy or water saving; and those that have been reformulated to be less environmentally detrimental. The GSA Federal Supply Schedules, the New Item Introductory Schedule, and the Customer Supply Center Catalog all highlight environmentally oriented items. The very successful Recycled Products Guide is being expanded and updated to include all environmentally oriented items from all GSA supply programs.
Green Cleaning Products. Presently the GSA cleans approximately 1,339 buildings by contract or in-house employees. In response to a lack of criteria to aid in the selection of environmentally preferable cleaning products, the GSA initiated in 1993 development of product criteria with the EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). Criteria will consider efficacy, human health, and environmental safety.
Energy Conservation. In 1993 the GSA continued to develop and implement projects to reduce energy use in buildings owned, operated, or leased by the Federal Government.
Energy Workshops. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires the GSA to conduct workshops in each federal region for state, county, local, and tribal governments. In 1993 the GSA held workshops in Boston and Atlanta, which focused on strategies to maximize conservation resources and energy conservation through improved building design, retrofit, maintenance, and construction. Other topics were procurement of energy efficient products and dissemination of energy conservation information. The GSA is planning a special workshop for tribal communities.
Energy Efficient Computers. In 1993 the GSA issued regulations and guidelines on federal agency implementation of Executive Order 12845, which requires agencies to procure only microcomputers, monitors, and printers that meet EPA Energy Star requirements for energy efficiency.
Water Conservation. In response to the requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the GSA created a water program unit to coordinate water conservation strategy, evaluate existing water conservation technologies, and track water consumption on a limitedbasis. Over the past two years, the GSA conserved approximately 4.1 million gallons of water through implementation of conservation initiatives.
Ride Sharing. The GSA Federal Ride Sharing Program promotes energy conservation by encouraging the use of vanpools, carpools, public transportation, and other means to commute to and from work. Using a network of Employee Transportation Coordinators, federal workers are educated on the environmental benefits of using alternate modes of transportation and are provided the mechanisms (such as bulletin boards, computer matching) to make it happen.
Greening of the White House. As federal landlord, the GSA is participating in the President's effort to Green the White House by helping to identify energy and water conservation opportunities in the White House complex that can serve as models for other federal agencies, state and local governments, businesses, and families in their own homes.
GSA Environmental Health Programs
As federal landlord, the General Services Administration conducts a number of programs to ensure the health of occupants of GSA-managed buildings.
Indoor Air Quality Program. According to the World Health Organization, 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings may have poor indoor air quality. The GSA Indoor Air Quality Program strives to provide good indoor air and prevent the sick building syndrome. The GSA requires facility managers to respond promptly to complaints from tenants and to correct problems when detected. Indoor air quality assessments are performed as part of safety and environmental management surveys conducted at all GSA-owned, leased, and delegated facilities. In 1993 the GSA and EPA entered into an agreement to establish a baseline for indoor air quality in office buildings. This information will be used to develop guidelines for indoor air quality in all large buildings.
Asbestos Management Program. This program minimizes asbestos exposures for all building occupants. Asbestos in good condition is managed in place, but when asbestos is damaged or subject to disturbance by routine operations or planned renovations, it is promptly abated.
Hazardous Waste and Underground Storage Tanks. When hazardous waste is generated at a GSA facility, this program ensures that the waste is stored properly, transported safely, and disposed of according to federal and state regulations. All GSA-owned or operated underground storage tanks are managed in accordance with federal and state regulations.
Radon Program. In response to this hazard, the GSA started its Radon Program in 1988. All GSA-owned, leased, and delegated buildings are tested for radon, and the gas is mitigated when radon levels exceed the EPA action level.
Lead Program. To ensure the health and safety of children at GSA-owned and delegated child care centers, the GSA is testing these centers for lead in the drinking water and for lead-based paint. The agency takes corrective action when lead levels exceed federal regulations or guidelines. To protect workers from lead exposure, the GSA requires that paint be tested for lead whenever a project requires the sanding, welding or scraping of painted surfaces. GSA employees and contractors are required to follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements, if lead is detected.
Department of Veterans Affairs
The importance of waste minimization, recycling, energy reduction, and environmental compliance of construction projects is apparent within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The following are highlights of these efforts.
Waste Reduction. In 1993 the National Center for Cost Containment of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in collaboration with the VA Environmental Management Service, conducted a second annual survey of recycling and waste minimization at 171 field facilities. The survey is part of an ongoing effort to promote cost-effective waste reduction and recycling of usable materials in all Veterans Health Administration operations and facilities. The results indicate a sizable reduction in radioactive waste and an increase in the number of facilities recycling reusable materials.
Affirmative Procurement. The VA official policy and implementing document for affirmative procurements was published in 1993. This policy assures that items composed of recovered materials will be purchased to the maximum extent practicable. It consists of four components:
Preference Program. This applies to the purchase of recycled paper and paper products, cement and concrete containing fly-ash, building insulation products containing recovered materials, re-refined engine and gear oils and hydraulic fluids, retread tires, recycled toner cartridges, and soy-based inks for printing;
Promotion Program. Preferences in recycled goods are incorporated in all solicitations and contracts;
Certification and Verification. VA employees are required to use or procure recycled goods; and
Annual Review and Monitoring. The VA Recycling Coordinator reviews and monitors the department's achievements to determine whether the procurement program is effective.
U.S. Postal Service
In 1993 the U.S. Postal Service issued four new policies to protect the environment:
. Providing employees and customers with a safe and healthy environment;
. Prohibiting smoking in postal occupied buildings;
. Requiring two-sided copying; and
. Showing preference for the purchase of recycled paper and recycled laser toner cartridges.
The following environmental initiatives were undertaken by the U.S. Postal Service:
Alternate Fueled Vehicles. Based on extensive testing, the Postal Service concluded that compressed natural gas (CNG) is the best alternative fuel for its use. By the end of 1993, 978 postal vehicles were operating on CNG and a contract to convert an additional 1,769 vehicles had been awarded. Also in 1993 the Postal Service received one of the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition's First Annual Achievement Award in recognition of its contributions to advancing natural gas as a vehicular fuel. Under an agreement with the Ford Motor Company and the Department of Energy, the Postal Service will test six electric vans in southern California. The first vehicle will be delivered in 1994. The feasibility of converting other postal delivery vehicles to electric is being considered.
Pollution Prevention. In 1993 the Postal Service, in cooperation with EPA Region II, completed an assessment of pollution prevention opportunities at post office and vehicle maintenance facilities in Buffalo, New York, a model for achieving pollution prevention at other postal facilities.
Environmental Quality Assurance Reviews. The Postal Service has begun a series of audits addressing air pollution control, water pollution control, hazardous spill control and emergency response planning, solid and hazardous waste management, underground and above ground storage tanks, soil and groundwater contamination, drinking water management, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) management, asbestos management, pollution prevention, and reporting under Superfund Amendments and Re-Authorization Act (SARA) and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Recycling and Waste Reduction. In 1993 the Postal Service recycled office paper, undeliverable bulk business mail, pallets, plastic, aluminum, steel, oil, solvents, antifreeze, batteries, and tires. In recent years the Postal Service has played an important role in the development of water-based inks that do not contain lead or other metals and of water-activated adhesives that dissolve during recycling. These water-based inks are used in stamps and stationary. Ninety-five percent of stamps produced in 1993 were made with water-activated adhesives. The Postal Service is working with the paper and mailing industries to make mail more environmental friendly and to reduce the amount of undeliverable mail (as a result undeliverable bulk business mail has been reduced by 1.4 million pieces in recent years). The agency developed an affirmative procurement plan addressing the 1993 Executive Orders.
Universal Postal Union Study. The Postal Service participated in a Universal Postal Union study of technical issues and pollution prevention policies to determine the present status of technical guidelines and the need for new ones, improved environmental policies, and pollution prevention in postal administrations worldwide. The goal is to provide for more sustainable economic and environmental development coincident with industrial growth in mailing and communications industries globally. In 1993 the Postal Service chaired the first international symposium on -The Post and the Environment-, which led to the development and adoption of environmental policy by the Universal Postal Union Congress.
Storm Water Management. The Postal Service is developing storm water pollution prevention plans at its facilities and is initiating steps for long-term monitoring of storm water management. These activities are being integrated with the vehicle maintenance facilities to reduce or eliminate the use of toxic chemicals used in repair and maintenance.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Land Areas of the National Forest System, (Washington, DC: USDA, FS, annual).
--, Ecosystem Management: 1993 Annual Report of the Forest Service, (Washington, DC: USDA, FS, May 1994).
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Public Lands Statistics, (Washington, DC: DOI, BLM, annual).
U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Annual Report of Lands Under Control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (Washington, DC: DOI, FWS, Division of Realty, annual).
U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Summary of Acreages, (Washington, DC: DOI, NPS, Land Resources Division, annual).
Federal Recreation Fee Report 1993, Including Federal Recreation Visitation, A Report to the Congress, (Washington, DC: DOI, NPS, 1994).
U.S. Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, Fact Sheet of the Natural Resources and Management Branch, (Washington, DC: DOD, USACE, annual).
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Federal Facilities Enforcement, Pollution Prevention in the Federal Government: Guide to Developing Pollution Prevention Strategies for Executive Order 12856 and Beyond, (Washington, DC: EPA, OFFE, April 1994).