Don’t tell the Republican presidential candidates, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a friend in the U.S. Army. Seriously. The agency that GOP candidates love to pummel and the Army have partnered in the quest for net zero.
Under a new agreement, the EPA and the Army committed to working together to develop and demonstrate “new applications and technologies that can be used on installations striving toward net zero water, waste, and energy goals.” According to both parties, their memorandum of understanding will allow the Army to “leverage the Office of Research and Development’s leading-edge research to evaluate cutting-edge technology to enhance the Army’s net zero and sustainability goals at Army installations.” (The Office of Research and Development oversees seven different laboratories that the EPA says it uses to develop “knowledge, assessments, and scientific tools” that form the basis for its guidance and standards.)
Some of the goals the Army has in working with the EPA include the sort of nuts-and-bolts cleantech things you’d expect, like using less and recovering more energy, water and materials, and designing and building more green infrastructure. But there appear to be broader and deeper aspects to the partnership as well – like including “communities as partners in efforts to change the way the Army has traditionally managed [its] critical resources so that they are part of the process and can take ownership of solutions.”
Assistant Army Secretary Katherine Hammack (pictured above at Fort Hood) said in a statement that the partnership with the EPA was all part of a “whole-of-government approach to sustainability” that the Army was taking. And, indeed, earlier this year, the Army brought the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory aboard as a partner in its net zero initiative.