Vision: Setting the standard of excellence for mission support through environmental stewardship.
Mission: To provide environmental expertise to Fort Bliss through training, inspections and to develop, procure and execute environmental programs and projects to meet regulatory requirements.
Policy: Environmental management and stewardship is an integral part of the Fort Bliss mission and key to long-term mission sustainability. It is imperative that we foster an ethic that takes us beyond environmental compliance towards sustainability.
- Complying with applicable Federal, State and local environmental laws and regulations.
- Integrating environmental management principles as an integral part of decision making as early as possible in the planning process.
- Promoting continual improvement in overall environmental performance and management.
- Minimizing impacts, total ownership costs and reducing our environmental footprint by integrating the principles and practices of pollution prevention.
- Continually assess installation activities and services to determine their effect on the environment, identify and prioritize significant environmental impacts and ensure they are considered when establishing objectives and targets.
• Ensure quality training through the integration of pollution prevention, conservation, and compliance into all levels of planning and execution of the military mission
• Maintain and improve the environment to support a trained and ready Army; enhance the health, safety and welfare of Fort Bliss and the surrounding community
• Conserve and preserve natural and cultural resources for present and future generations
• Provide environmental expertise through education, policy, and on-site assistance
• Create an environmentally sustainable installation
Environmental Division is composed of a Program Management Office and two Branches: Compliance and Conservation. The Multimedia Compliance Branch provides the following program management services:
• Air Quality
• Lead and Asbestos
• Spill Response
• Hazardous Materials
• Hazardous Waste
• Pollution Prevention
• Solid Waste
• Storage Tanks
• Water Quality
The Conservation Branch provides the following program management services:
• Historic Properties
• Wildlife Biology
• Endangered Species
• Pest Management
• GIS Support
• Environmental Liaison Team
The Fort Bliss environmental program consist of 45 full-time civilian employees, and 59 in-house contractors. Contractor personnel include the Hazardous Waste Curbside Service, Qualified Recycling Program, asbestos/lead-based paint management, IT and GIS projects.
Please click on one of the links below to see accomplishments for that area.
- Cultural Resources
- Natural Resources
- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
- Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB)
- Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
- Hazardous Waste
- Fuel Storage Tanks
- Spill Prevention
- New Corrective Action Sites - Noise
- Solid Waste
- Wastewater and Stormwater
- Boards and Advisory Councils Served by Staff
In 2014, DPW-E will be updating their Programmatic Agreement among the Ft Bliss Command, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the New Mexico and Texas State Historic Preservation Officers and other interested parties on how it will meet its Section 106 obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended). Most importantly, this PA streamlines the Section 106 process and allows faster in-house review of the hundreds of proposed projects and training requests received each year by Environment. The PA also standardizes and provides guidance for a variety of routine and unusual procedures. DPW-E will also be revising their Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan in 2014 The ICRMP is a 5-year planning document the Installation uses to make decisions about cultural resources management activities and compliance procedures. The ICRMP makes the management of cultural resources relevant to the mission.
1. DPW-E contracts most of the archeological work conducted on the Installation through contracts with outside archeological contractors, receiving bids from contractors on a variety of tasks, including survey, site evaluation, and data recovery. Smaller surveys and site evaluation projects are conducted in-house by the staff. Fort Bliss Archeologists manage over 20,000 archeological sites, ranging from multi-room pueblos to overnight campsites, and dating from about 12,000 years ago to historic times.
2. DPW-E has an active relationship with local and interested Indian tribes: the Comanche Nation, the Fort Sill Apache, the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, the Mescalero Apache, the Pueblo of Isleta, and Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. Fort Bliss anticipates a signed Cooperative Agreement with these groups in 2014, designed to strengthen and prescribe the Government-to-Government relations between them.
3. DPW-E also has one of the largest curatorial facilities in the Army, housing over 2,690.626 cubic feet of cultural materials, in 8,095 square feet of storage space. That facility also houses collections from White Sands Missile Range, Holloman Air Force Base, and the Lincoln National Forest.
Historic Buildings, Structures and Landscapes
1. One hundred fifty buildings on the Main Post constructed between 1951 and 1963 were surveyed and evaluated for eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under the Cold War BASOPS historic context. Twenty buildings in the 700 area were determined eligible under the Early Cold war Guided Missile Instruction Hawk context, 13 buildings determined eligible in the 1000 area under the Safeguard Missile Training context, 16 buildings in the 5800 area determined eligible under the Early Cold War Guided Missile Instruction context, Building 3672 and associated hard stands and seven buildings and associated hard stands in the 3700 area both determined eligible under the Early Cold War Guided Missile Instruction context.
2. Biggs Army Airfield was surveyed to determine eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places of buildings under the Strategic Air Command historic context covering the years when it was under SAC command (1947-1962). Only building 11108 was determined eligible for its architecture/engineering as only one of seven large SAC cantilever hangars constructed.
3. The present location of Fort Bliss on La Noria Mesa is the sixth site of the US Army's fort in El Paso. The present site of Fort Bliss was donated by the "El Paso Progressive Association" to insure a continued Army presence in El Paso. Quartermaster Captain George Ruhlin designed the layout of Fort Bliss with the parade ground as its central features with the earliest surviving structures of Buildings 13, 21 and 111 and the large "Queen Anne" style houses around its perimeter.
4. The architecture services provided by the DPW Environmental Branch ensure the historic resources of Fort Bliss are managed for both their historic qualities and fulfill their dual role as vital facilities for the installation.
5. To ensure our historic properties are effectively utilized, the Division provides the following services:
• Review submitted work and service orders to propose effective solutions for any proposed repair or upgrade to a historic structure.
• Provide design guidance for historic properties receiving upgrades and rehabilitation that meet Federal historic preservation laws.
• Provide technical assistance to occupants of historic buildings on care and proper treatments for the historic materials and spaces that make-up the defining features of the historic properties.
• Develop landscape planning planting and design documents to enhance the beauty of the Fort Bliss Parade Field and the historic cantonment.
• Develop informational and educational history brochures, pamphlets, and multi-media materials to convey the rich history of Fort Bliss.
The Natural Resources staff manages the pesticide application program, survey areas for wildlife and plants, especially rare or sensitive species. They manage the urban wildlife program at Fort Bliss; assist with the range fire control program, study impacts of training on the ecosystems and track via GIS and ground-truth surveys, erosion, plant cover reductions, and other changes due to climate change and training effects on the ranges.
Natural Resources staff coordinates the hunting program for Fort Bliss. Working with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), licenses for military members are available to hunt pronghorn antelope and oryx on McGregor Range. Staff also coordinates wild land fire hazard reduction with BLM and Forest Service on Fort Bliss lands in the Sacramento Foothills. These projects reduce fire hazard to lands adjoining Fort Bliss and improve wild life habitat. Staff are currently developing an in-house Wild land Fire Management Plan in coordination with FESD.
Natural resource staff updates vegetation maps and redefine riparian and wetland areas. These data supported the recently completed SEIS, GFS EIS, and Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
The NEPA Section of the DPW-E Conservation Branch reviews every work order and service order generated at Fort Bliss. All training requests and range activities are reviewed as well real estate actions, contracts, MOAs, and service agreements to assure compliance with environmental regulations and for impacts to the environment. These reviews are tracked in a computer database system called CXLOG system as well as the engineering Work Order Tracking System (WOTS) where appropriate. Access to these database systems is open to the appropriate personnel.
Fort Bliss DPW-E, through Headquarters, Installation Management Command (IMCOM) and Army Environmental Command (AEC), published the final Record of Decision for the Fort Bliss Army Growth and Force Structure Realignment EIS (GFS EIS) in June of 2010. This document analyzed land use changes, proposed range and cantonment construction, and training impacts associated with the stationing of Infantry Brigade Combat Teams and Stryker units to Fort Bliss. The GFS EIS built upon the analyses presented by the 2007 SEIS which analyzed the impacts from Army Transformation, Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), and Integrated Global Presence Basing Strategy (IGPBS) (aka Global Defense Posture Realignment) stationing decisions on Fort Bliss.
The NEPA Section is presently working the Net-Zero EIS which will bring initiatives to have Net-Zero use of water, energy and waste generation to the installation. All current NEPA documents can be found on the Fort Bliss website by visiting the Environmental Documents page.
Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB)
Staff negotiated a 75 year easement restricting specified land uses on approximately 8 sections (5,200 acres) of land from the New Mexico State Land Office along the southern boundary of Dona Ana range protecting the range from development that could result in noise complaints/mission impact. Work is being conducted to acquire land in the southern (Division) Training Area to prevent encroachment and provide access to the area by tactical vehicles.
Environmental Management System (EMS)
Fort Bliss declared conformance to the Army EMS and ISO14001 Environmental Management System for the calendar year 2013. Conformance is declared annually after a thorough audit of the Fort Bliss EMS system each year. During CY2013 a reanalysis of the installation activities and operations was completed to determine which activities remained significant. The analysis determines "heavy vehicle maneuvers" and "new construction" are significant. Environmental management programs are in placed to minimize the impacts of these two activities. The EMS manual and associated procedures and programs are available through the Team Bliss SharePoint site.
The Hazardous Waste Management Plan (HWMP) is prepared in accordance with the requirements of Army Regulations 200-1. The purpose of the plan is to ensure management of wastes in a safe and environmentally sound manner. The plan provides guidance to Commands, Tenants, Contractors, and all other activities supported by Fort Bliss on issues related to hazardous and non-hazardous waste management. In addition, the plan helps waste generators at Fort Bliss to:
• Protect the environment and maintain compliance with regulations
• Reduce hazardous waste generation and associated disposal costs
• Minimize spills and resulting cleanup/disposal costs
• Minimize/eliminate regulatory penalties.
The HWMP establishes Fort Bliss procedures for management of hazardous wastes. These include:
Specific responsibilities for organizations that generate or manage hazardous waste.
Procedures for handling waste at the point of generation and requirements for Satellite Accumulation Points (SAP).
Training requirements for personnel at Satellite Accumulation Points and the permitted storage facility.
Operating procedures for the permitted storage facility.
Presently Fort Bliss Texas is a Large Quantity Generator and Fort Bliss New Mexico is a Small Quantity Generator.
Fuel Storage Tanks
Underground Storage Tanks and Aboveground Storage Tanks at Fort Bliss are subject to Texas or New Mexico state environmental regulations as well as federal (EPA) regulations. Fort Bliss currently has 39 UST's and approximately 375 AST's. DPW-E's task is to keep these fuel tanks in compliance with environmental laws and prevent fuel spills.
DPW-ED Compliance Branch personnel accompany regulatory inspectors when they visit the installation, keep up with the changes in regulations, pay registration fees, maintain legally required tank monitoring and spill prevention equipment, collect and review monthly fuel inventories, inspections and tank tests, perform internal compliance inspections, annual regulatory testing, review construction projects for fuel tank issues, and write Standard Operating Procedures to address environmental issues.
DPW-E tracks three types of fuel spills: leaks, tank overfills and those that occur during fuel transfers.
Fuel handlers need to be diligent about preventing leaks from fuel tankers and use secondary containment whenever possible, especially in motorpools. Fuel leaks in motorpools can end up in stormwater drains and from there they can reach the Rio Grande. Call DPW-E to get a copy of our Tanker SOP (568-6959).
Daily inspections of field fuel points for leaks are important because of the impracticality of using secondary containment during exercises. Monthly inspection of permanent POL tanks in motorpools is required by EPA regulations; records of these inspections are required. Call DPW-E for details (568-6959).
Overfilling of POL tanks is easily prevented by keeping track of fluid levels and having used POL tanks emptied before they reach 100% full. We recommend calling the recycler at 85% full.
Most spills occur during fuel transfers; either fueling of vehicles or filling of the fuel tank. Transfers need to be closely monitored to prevent spills. At field fuel points, it's a good idea to have a drip pan under joints in the fuel lines and one to store the nozzle in when not in use.
In the event of a fuel spill, call the Fort Bliss Fire Department at 744-2115.
New Corrective Action Sites
The Old Rod and Gun Club small arms firing range (SAFR) is in the footprint of the construction plan for BCT expansion at Biggs Air Field. This was the number one priority for Fort Bliss as a result of BRAC 05. The SAFR includes several range floors, berms and backstops which will need some removal of spent munitions (i.e. bullets with soil). This soil will be reused to build another firing range. A contractor for Fort Bliss has performed two studies to determine the amount of spent munitions which will be removed.
USACHPPM (currently US Army Public Health Command) updated the Installation Operational Noise Management Plan to quantify the noise environment using the most up-to-date information available for increased training and mobilization activities at Fort Bliss. The Plan includes peak noise contours for large caliber weapons training, as well as updated contours based on day-night average sound levels for large caliber weapons and military aircraft.
Fort Bliss operates a Municipal Landfill however the landfill is nearly full. Fort Bliss is presently working with the Corps of Engineers to close the landfill in the near future. You can visit the Fort Bliss Qualified Recycling Program here.
The Fort Bliss Municipal Solid Waste Facility (landfill) will soon reach maximum capacity and close. Currently there is very little space remaining in the Type I cell (refuse cell) and about 2 remaining years of life in the Type IV cell or Rubble Cell. Fort Bliss has submitted an Evapotranspiration final Cover permit amendment to the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) for review and approval.
Fort Bliss was selected as a pilot installation to reach Net Zero Waste by 2020. The Net Zero Waste goal requires considering the waste stream when purchasing items, reducing the volume of packaging, reusing as much as possible, and recycling the rest. Fort Bliss' diversion rate as of FY11 is 25%.
Wastewater and Stormwater
Storm Water Regulation Effects Fort Bliss in 3 Ways:
Texas permit requires specific facilities on post to be managed and regularly inspected to ensure that polluting materials are stored and managed properly. Each facility has a designated Environmental Officer.
Projects with earth disturbance greater than 1 acre must be reviewed and often require Texas permits and pre-approved erosion control Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans.
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)
Texas permit requires the maintenance and operation of the storm water infrastructure (drains, channels and basins) to be accomplished according to a management plan that stresses pollution prevention education for the worker and resident populations.
Boards and Advisory Councils Served by Staff
- Paso del Norte Watershed Group
- Far West Texas Regional Water Planning Group (FWTWPG)
- UTEP Civil Engineering Department Advisory Board
- Friends of the Memorial Library
- El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization, RIDER 8 program on ozone pollution
- Texas Council on Environmental Quality & Federal Agency Partnership, Air Working Group
- Rio Grande Council of Governments' Solid Waste Working Group (7 counties of west Texas)
- Ambassador for City of El Paso's, Keep Texas Beautiful
- Keep El Paso Beautiful
- Job Corps
- Texas Historical Commission, National Register of Historic Places State Board of Review
- City of El Paso Historic Landmark Commission
- Paso del Norte Watershed Council
- Texas and New Mexico Native Plant Society
- National Military Fish and Wildlife Association
- Director National Military Fish and Wildlife Association
- New Mexico Geographic Information Council
- American Society for Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
- Restoration Advisory Board
- El Paso Geological Society