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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Champions of Green Government

2006 Recipients

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Carlsbad, CA

Jack Fancher has dedicated his career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the restoration of coastal wetlands in southern California. It is his extraordinary vision and persistence that has resulted in the Bolsa Chica wetlands restoration, the largest remaining degraded wetlands systems in the region which has seen nearly 90 percent loss of historic coastal wetlands. His involvement in this site spans nearly three decades. As project manager, he coordinated local, state and federal agencies to complete this project, one of the most expensive wetland restoration projects estimated at approximately $140 million. When completed this summer, the site will provide a fully functional tidal system that will benefit numerous wetland dependent species including several endangered species.

US Coast Guard (USCG)

Integrated Support Command Honolulu (ISCH)
Honolulu, HI
Hazardous Material Management Process Improvement Team - Hazardous Waste Minimization

  • LCDR Paul Rendon - Chief Facilities and Industrial Engineering Division
  • Mr. Richard Rickel - Environmental Protection Specialist
  • Mr. Pete Schlegel - HazMinCen Manager
  • DC2 Derrick Law - HazWaste Facility Operator
  • CDR Keith Turro - National Graduate School Project
  • Ms. Julia Bender - National Graduate School Project

The USCG Integrated Support Command, Honolulu tenant units were purchasing or obtaining hazardous material(s) (HazMat) outside the established ISCH HazMat management program. This resulted in increased HazMat discrepancies, contributed to increased environmental liabilities, and increased potential hazardous waste disposal costs. Monthly HazMat discrepancies had increased by more than 65% in the most recent six 6 month period, exposing ISCH to environmental liabilities and fines exceeding $27,500 per incident per day.


Reduce the average monthly HazMat discrepancy rate at the ISCH by at least 25% within the first quarter of implementing process improvements.

Action Taken:

The team followed the Six Sigma DMAIC process improvement model (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control). The team designed and performed a comprehensive Customer Survey targeting all the Environmental Compliance Officers (ECOs) from the various tenant units. Customer surveys revealed that training and knowledge of the system was sporadic due to ECO turnover and the lack of tenant command emphasis. The team quickly acknowledged that a robust and continual education and outreach program would be needed to improve the overall success of the Hazmat management program. In April 2005, a comprehensive training session was successfully implemented and is now offered on a monthly basis by the EB.

Access to information on the availability of HazMat in the ISCH inventory was improved to facilitate the timely and responsive flow of information between the supplier and the customer. The team established a formal, on-going ECO working group.

The team streamlined the ECO"s access to HazMat by providing a current inventory of HazMat on the ISCH intranet. This eliminated the need to make an appointment with the HazMinCen Manager or visit the HazMinCen. The team also developed an active ECO database and distribution list that is maintained on the ISCH web site to improve information flow and peer collaboration on HazMat management.

Benefit Produced:

HazMat discrepancies were reduced from a monthly average of 104 incidents per month, to 62 incidents per month; for the first 4 months of the enhanced program.

  • This represents a 40% reduction in monthly discrepancies, which exceeds the original target of 25%.
  • A comparison of the high mark of 181 discrepancies in Dec 04, against the May 05 low mark of 42 discrepancies demonstrates a 77%.
  • Produced less waste - ISCH disposed of 213,539 lbs of waste in fiscal year 2004 and reduced that amount to 119,554 lbs in fiscal year 2005, a reduction of 23%.
  • A 40% increase in recyclable materials used to generate electricity.
  • Avoided or mitigated environmental liability - The program has reduced ISC's environmental liability by 40% or $1,155,000.

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Veterans Administration

Pacific Islands Health Care System (VA PIHCS)
Honolulu, HI
Recycling Program


VA PIHCS used its Green Environmental Management System (GEMS - ISO 14001) to identify impacts to Islands landfills. VA PIHCS developed a successful recycling program that protects Hawaii's landfills and benefits veterans.


VA PIHCS adopted a target of diverting 40% of its solid waste from landfills.


The facility evaluated recycling vendors, resources and opportunities to increase and improve the scope of the recycling program. In FY05, 500 employees received training on GEMS and facility targets, including recycling. GEMS training was developed for new employees to receive as part of their orientation.

Data on performance is now published on the VA PIHCS intranet GEMS web page. The web page tracks performance on all targets and objectives and includes a monthly summary of solid wastes that are recycled. The web site also identifies accomplishments, awards, and policies, waste disposal solutions by type of waste and pollution prevention information and guidance.

  • In FY05 the facility recycled 180,000 lbs of solid waste, equivalent to a diversion rate of 22% through direct recycling.
  • The majority of the waste recycled was paper (154K lbs), followed by cardboard and newspaper. Other items recycled included aluminum, glass and plastic beverage bottles, toner cartridges, all types of batteries, scrap metal, old x-ray film, telephone books, fluorescent bulbs and used oil.
  • The recycling program benefits veterans by employing them through the Compensated Work Therapy Program, which provides job training and other opportunities.

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Presidio National Park

Governmental-Non Profit Partnership
San Francisco, CA
Presidio Park Stewards Volunteer Program


Successful conservation of the Presidio of San Francisco's natural heritage.


Organize and utilize volunteers to successfully manage the conservation of the Presidio's natural heritage.


When the Presidio of San Francisco shifted from military post to national park in 1994 a new volunteer program was founded, known as Presidio Park Stewards. The success of this program can be measured both by the increase of volunteer numbers and hours as well as its expanding range of volunteer activities. Participants range from non-profits and downtown businesses, church and university groups, middle and high school classes, and individuals and families from neighboring communities.

Hands-on engagement for people of all ages offers rich opportunities to develop insights and understanding into local and global ecological issues. College students devote as much as one year of their lives to working with natural resources staff in the park. They gain valuable practical knowledge and experience. School programs capitalize upon the unique opportunities afforded by a national park site to teach by sight, touch, and feel concepts of biodiversity, biology, math and physics, along with stewardship and responsibility.


Last year 2,300 volunteers with 20,000 volunteer hours were invested in natural resources projects, including the following:

  • Restoring the habitat at 16 major sites and remediated or disturbed areas.
  • Supporting the Presidio Native Plant Nursery through seed collection, propagation, transplanting, watering, weeding and maintenance of up to 60,000 plants per year.
  • Assisting with biological monitoring and research projects.

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