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The Wisconsin Army National Guard’s maintenance shops were named among the best in the nation in the 2018 Army National Guard Environmental Awards Program.

The Wisconsin Army National Guard finished third in the Industrial Installation Environmental Quality category, behind only North Carolina and Washington. Wisconsin’s industrial installation includes 10 field maintenance shops (FMS), two Army aviation support facilities (AASF), a combined support maintenance site (CSMS) and a maneuver area training equipment site (MATES). The FMS sites are regional maintenance facilities for vehicles and equipment. The AASF sites support Wisconsin Army Guard helicopter units in Madison and West Bend. MATES, located at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, manages and maintains Wisconsin Army National Guard field equipment for use in training areas and loans equipment to other units conducting training there.

According to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Fred Gallatin, the award recognizes successful efforts to protect human health regarding environmental planning, waste management and compliance with environmental laws and regulations while continuing to manage and maintain thousands of critical vehicles and equipment for 99 Wisconsin Army National Guard units across the state. These efforts include upgrading or making plans to replace fuel storage tanks, and assessing wastewater discharge and air emissions compliance at the maintenance sites.

As proof of the effectiveness of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s environmental quality program, the 14 maintenance facilities have had no compliance violations for the past decade.

“[This] reaffirms that the Wisconsin Army National Guard has a robust and diligent environmental staff,” Galatin, the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s environmental branch chief, said. “They truly work hard every day to keep the Wisconsin Army National Guard compliant, while protecting and conserving our resources — Soldiers, time and facilities.”

The Wisconsin Army National Guard was among the first government agencies to join the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Green Tier program in 2009. The Green Tier program provides incentives to exceed environmental regulatory requirements and maintain an active environmental management system (EMS).

Laurel Sukup, the Wisconsin DNR’s chief of sustainability and business support, said the DNR values the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s participation in the Green Tier program, and looks forward to continued collaboration.

“Many of our members are private businesses, and having 85 Wisconsin Army National Guard sites across the state allows us to demonstrate how government-to-government collaboration can result in positive environmental outcomes,” Sukup said. “The broad definition of National Guard installations across the state also allows for the Green Tier program and the defining requirement of an EMS to be made tangible to many citizens who might not otherwise know how this intentional method positively impacts their community.”

The Wisconsin Army National Guard’s environmental quality program is the only one in the nation to use internal auditors at the U.S. Property and Finance Office, located at Camp Williams, to conduct annual reviews of its environmental management system. These auditors have completed the same 40-hour ISO certification course as Wisconsin Army National Guard environmental quality program members, and are considered external auditors by the National Guard Bureau and the Wisconsin DNR Green Tier Program.

Galatin said the Wisconsin Army National Guard had to demonstrate how it improved environmental quality and protected human health, explain how its innovations were successful or unsuccessful in meeting environmental goals, administer its environmental management system while meeting maintenance goals, and describe how its program was unique, cost-effective and exceeded statutory and regulatory requirements.

“We are super-excited about winning this award,” Galatin said. “It really encompasses the essence of our program.”