News | March 31, 2018

Sagami employees pitch in to protect environment

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

Defense Logistics Agency employees in Japan had the chance to think “green” during a quarterly USFJ Environmental Subcommittee and Environmental Engagement Panel meeting sponsored by U.S. Forces Japan staff from March 7 to 8.


The participation from DLA Disposition Services Environmental staff at the Sagami site helped USFJ staffers form discussions with officials that included members of the Japanese Ministries of Environment and Defense and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sagami personnel were able to review conservation programs and surveys, along with U.S. installation programs funded by Japan.  


Sagami personnel presented an update on the 833,000 pounds of PFOS disposed of to date and the performance- based type contract line item numbers. Information discussed included procurement efforts by the services to use aqueous film forming foam for fighting fires to replace PFOS.


Norma C. Quitugua, Environmental Branch chief at Sagami, describes PFOS as a global pollutant, whose production ended in 2000.  A disposal plan for Japan/Okinawa started in fiscal 2017. All liquid/solid material contaminated with PFOS being generated used for firefighting, began being accumulated in various containers drums or in tank, or in trucks.


“Our Japan hazardous waste contract was modified to add specifically the new contract line item numbers for PFOS disposal,” Quitugua said. “The Navy had asked if we’re able to respond in large quantities since they are expecting to turn in for disposal in the next six months. We responded that large quantities not an issue since we have the disposal CLINS.”


Quitugua explained that incineration is used in Japan for PFOS disposal since using landfills is not an option of the Government of Japan’s PFOS disposal regulation. She also called the forum sessions a “win –win engagement” all around.


“The services leadership components information brings forth their issues, plus good news to the table,” Quitugua said. “What the other services learn could be used to piggy back ideas onto their programs.”


With its expertise in environmental rules and regulations, Quitugua said DLA Disposition Services is looked upon as the last check to ensure the services are compliant in their disposal of hazardous materials in Japan.