Environmental challenges such as climate change effects are critical national security issues and a challenge for military installations and their host communities. Impacts have the potential to degrade infrastructure, increase health risks, and force modifications to existing and planned equipment, impacting military readiness. It is vital that the military continue to collaborate with state and local governments to adopt resiliency strategies that adapt, mitigate, and address environmental compatibility factors, such as water/air quality, and public health and safety. Collaboration should also responsibly manage natural resources, including endangered species both on and off federal lands in a way that preserves an installation's mission, protects national security, and promotes the health and well-being of surrounding communities.
The below examples describe how installations, states, and municipalities have pursued initiatives to promote resiliency, protect natural features, and further environmental and public health goals, while sustaining military readiness.
Relevant Compatibility Factors: : Air Quality, Water Quality and Quantity, Resilience, Natural Features
Best Practices in Maryland
Best Practices in Other States
The City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis developed, submitted, and were awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) for an installation resilience review project. This was the first step toward making NSA Annapolis and the City of Annapolis more resilient and better prepared to handle the effects of climate change. The resilience review, currently under development, will chart a path for long-term sustainability and operations at NSA Annapolis, including the U.S. Naval Academy and surrounding communities. A consultant is supporting the resilience review by facilitating meetings between local government, Sstate of Maryland, NSA Annapolis leaders, and local citizens groups, to develop a cooperative, strategic planning process that analyzes potential resilience issues and recommends actions to address them. Resilience issues include aging infrastructure with maintenance backlogs, climate issues such as sea level rise and increased frequency and severity of catastrophic storms, and demographic changes and growth trends. Additionally, the review is examining shared military/community resources including energy, water and wastewater, stormwater conveyance, transportation and emergency evacuation, communication networks, health services, community housing, schools, and daycare.
This project will enable the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and NSA Annapolis to assess shared vulnerabilities and risks, with special attention given to unique resilience requirements for NSA Annapolis that extend beyond the installation's boundaries. A final report will detail the analyses performed and list recommendations in a Resilience Action Plan that prioritizes projects necessary to foster, protect, and enhance both community and military installation sustainability. The report will also list and describe how to access various funding sources, such as OLDCC grants for infrastructure, economic development, and sustainability.
Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC) and the towns on the Upper Cape, Massachusetts, cooperatively developed a Public-Private Partnership (P3) that allowed a real estate exchange with Converge LLC to own and operate the wastewater treatment facility to deal with the significant water quality issues facing Cape Cod, aging infrastructure challenges, and public health concerns, while also addressing Clean Water Act (CWA)
and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
requirements. The project helped resolve decrees and consent orders related to private residential well contamination due to failing septic systems and groundwater contamination caused by historic military and industrial operations. The P3 allowed JBCC to divest its aging, yet still functioning, water and wastewater treatment facilities that had extra capacity due to BRAC reductions in base operations. Analysis found that it was far less expensive to use the base's residual infrastructure capacity to service nearby towns than to construct new facilities.
After two years of negotiations between Converge LLC, the Massachusetts Air National Guard, and the Air Force, an agreement was reached in May 2022 to transfer the ownership of the JBCC water and wastewater systems to Converge. In exchange for these systems, the Air Force will receive a fitness facility at JBCC for members of the Air National Guard. This agreement represents a first of its kind in terms of the exchange of utility systems for the construction of a new facility.