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Engineers garner DOD environmental restoration award

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFPN) -- Dover Air Force Base was recently named the winner of the 2006 Secretary of Defense Environmental Restoration Award.

Members of the 436th Civil Engineer Squadron garnered the recognition for managing the best environmental restoration program in the Department of Defense.

Earlier this year, Dover AFB won the Air Force Gen. Thomas D. White Environmental Restoration Award, placing it in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards competition against the winners from the other DOD components.

In the end, the flight was judged to be the "best of the best," within the DOD, said Jo Ann Deramo, the 436th CES Environmental Flight manager.

The purpose of the DOD Environmental Restoration Program is to clean up contamination that was released into the environment from historical waste-handling practices and industrial processes.

"Today's waste-handling practices and processes are environmentally friendly," Mrs. Deramo said. "In the past, industrial wastes were disposed of in open pits, unlined landfills, and other ways that caused chemicals to contaminate soil and groundwater."

The objective of the ERP is to support the warfighting mission by restoring contaminated sites for base use as quickly and cost effectively as possible, while protecting human health and the environment.

Dover AFB is listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List, also known as the "Superfund," due to the presence of contamination from 59 historical contaminant release sites located on the base. In 2006, Dover AFB's restoration team completed cleanup remedies at all 59 sites, making the base one of only six Air Force NPL facilities to achieve this milestone.

Mrs. Deramo did not complete the task alone. Her technical team included Robert Wikso, an environmental specialist also with the flight, and scientists and technical experts from several other state- and national-level environmental agencies.

Dover AFB representatives will travel to Washington, D.C., June 7 to be presented with the award during a ceremony at the Pentagon. 

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