HomeNewsArticle Display

Emission inspection system saves money, air quality

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- More than 60 Air Force installations are reaping savings and the benefits of improved air quality, thanks to the continued use of an online vehicle air emission inspection and compliance system that is estimated to be saving the Air Force more than $11.8 million annually.

 

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center launched the Employee-vehicle Certification and Reporting System, or ECARS, in 2013, and has since rolled the software out to 62 installations.

“ECARS helps the Air Force comply with mandatory Clean Air Act requirements in areas that do not meet air quality standards for ozone and carbon monoxide,” said Frank Castaneda, AFCEC air quality subject matter expert and ECARS program lead. “In these locations, federal facilities must provide proof that privately-owned vehicles, operated by federal employees, comply with local inspection and maintenance requirements.”

ECARS tracks employee compliance with local requirements to ensure employees remain compliant, regardless of which state their vehicles are registered in.

Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, one of the last and largest installations to implement the program, has maintained a high compliance rate through ECARS.

“While a quantitative analysis of any air quality impact cannot be determined, our participation and embrace of this program speaks to the teamwork and willingness of the Scott AFB military and civilian community,” said Keith Brumley, physical scientist and Scott AFB ECARS lead. “The contractors responsible for managing the distribution and updating of those notified have done an outstanding job of continuing to update the process.”

Prior to ECARS, the Air Force relied on the vehicle decal program, where employees were required to provide proof of registration, insurance and an emissions test to obtain a decal. The decal program was discontinued after 9/11 in an effort to enhance security, leaving no standardized method to demonstrate compliance.

“We looked at various alternatives,” said Brent Allred, contractor and ECARS program lead. “Options included reinstating in-person registration, having supervisors manually gather and store self-certification forms, relying on each installation to implement their own compliance method, or developing a standardized, Air Force-wide information technology solution.”

After analyzing various options, Mark Correll, former Air Force deputy civil engineer, approved a self-certification module into the existing Air Program Information Management System, requiring a minimal initial investment and small increase to ongoing sustainment costs.

The ECARS self-certification process takes less than five minutes per employee, saving more than 200,000 man-hours per year when compared to the time previously required for in-person registration. It also provides instant access for gathering, tracking and analyzing data to help installations meet overarching compliance goals and improve and sustain air quality.

Employee rosters are maintained by Air Force Directory Services and impacted employees receive automated email notifications when certification updates are required.

Cape Cod Air Force Station, Massachusetts, was one of the first installations to implement the program, and ECARS has helped simplify compliance tracking.

“Cape Cod Air Force Station is a small, geographically-separated unit with only about 80 participants in the program,” said Stephen Mellin, CCAFS support officer and ECARS lead. “This allows me to reach out to our folks and make sure they are updating ECARS promptly. ECARS allows me to quickly check and see if I have anyone who is non-compliant.”

The program has had a few hurdles to overcome, including vehicle inspection stations refusing to test out-of-state vehicles. Installations have worked with local inspectors to help rectify these types of issues.

AFCEC completed a comprehensive evaluation of the compliance methodology in 2020. While the evaluation identified some opportunities for improvement, it also found that the self-certification process facilitated by ECARS continues to be effective in minimizing the cost of compliance and managing compliance risk.

“Innovative solutions like ECARS have far-reaching effects across the Air Force,” said Ben Kindt, AFCEC Environmental Quality Technical Support Branch chief. “The AFCEC air-quality team has not only made great strides in protecting the environment but has saved millions in dollars and man-hours for essential-mission requirements.”

 

Engage

Twitter
In 2020, Air Force officials enacted improvements in privatized housing across the Air Force, demonstrating a servi… https://t.co/58fi5lU6Y3
Twitter
In January 2020, @AirMobilityCmd rapidly deployed the 82nd Airborne Division to Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Ara… https://t.co/aoVhDNe7iB
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years, we honor the heroes we're proud to have served with. Maj. Louis Sebille flew dozens of co… https://t.co/76wrv9Wo1I
Twitter
In February 2020, the 27th Special Operations Wing at @CannonAFB_ carried out the first forward area refueling poin… https://t.co/4SLMrYERcP
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years of the U.S. Air Force, we remember the heroes we are proud to have served with. Today we… https://t.co/XjKJtCwKxE
Twitter
In 2020, @USAFReserve identified, activated and deployed 281 medical professionals to New York City for #COVID19 op… https://t.co/nMgn9w4WVs
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC recently re-activated the 15th Air Force as a new Conventional Numbered Air Force which will be dually r… https://t.co/KgTnN9Y4Gs
Twitter
.@AFGlobalStrike opened the new “STRIKEWERX” Innovation Center on May 28, 2020. The center serves as a storefront t… https://t.co/Di7qcIxVMJ
Twitter
As we recognize 73 years of the Air Force's continuing defense of America, we also remember Sept. 17 was designated… https://t.co/vFZpLyVLt2
Twitter
In March 2020, the CV-22 Osprey fleet established the first flying crew chief program. A ceremony elevated five of… https://t.co/cQv1qMzu1A
Twitter
Addressing @AirForceAssoc's #vASC2020, @WILLROP3R, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology… https://t.co/ZjMJm0kSrX
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC guided @Offutt_AFB flood recovery efforts, executed $856 million in congressional funding to support 12,… https://t.co/YmfLdwPIcg
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years, we remember heroes we're proud to have served with. In 1965, A1C William Pitsenbarger res… https://t.co/vTmZkWGg73
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Teammates — we hear you. Continuing in unprecedented times....managing official/primary duties, child care, virtual s…
Twitter
In partnership w/the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, @AFGlobalStrike developed the Portfolio-le… https://t.co/xyOGprp9By
Twitter
Since the outbreak COVID-19, @AirMobilityCmd has flown 306 sorties providing aeromedical evacuation, airlift, and a… https://t.co/9bdqVfSj40
Twitter
The first two KC-46A assigned to the @USAFReserve were delivered to the 916th Airlift Wing, @SJAFB, North Carolina… https://t.co/brcVdrqOAY
Twitter
In Aug 2020, the USAF pushed to field hypersonic weapons after a final captive-carry test of the AGM-183A Air-launc… https://t.co/c8LN43plk1
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years, we honor the heroes we're proud to have served with. Today we pay tribute to MSgt John A… https://t.co/YhOCcbdyuR
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,278,312
Follow Us