Two Baltimore District teams recognized for excellence in sustainability

Published July 17, 2013
A group of students participate look at a biorentention area, or rain garden, during low impact development training.

A group of students participate look at a biorentention area, or rain garden, during low impact development training.

Two Baltimore District Planning teams were recognized at the 2013 USACE Sustainability Awards for their excellence in sustainability, design and construction achievement, with one team winning the Green Innovation Award and the other winning the Green Dream Team Award.

The Green Innovation Award, presented to the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load team, recognizes an innovation or idea with clear potential to transform the Federal community's overall energy and environmental performance.

The Chesapeake Bay TMDL is the first and only region-wide TMDL, crossing six states and Washington D.C. and its focus is on targeting water quality impairments for three pollutants in the watershed – nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. 

“This is not your standard project,” said Chesapeake Bay Coordinator and Technical Lead Heather Cisar. “Something like this, that covers a whole region over many states, has never been done before. The team really had to put their heads together to meet the TMDL requirements, and we had to tap in to a variety of technical expertise to find a scientific and logical approach to the problem.”

The Green Dream Team Award, presented to the Low Impact Development Technical User Guide team, recognizes exceptional leadership by an interagency team that effectively places a Federal sustainability idea into action. 

“In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act requires that any development or redevelopment project involving a Federal facility with a footprint that exceeds 5,000 square feet shall use site planning, design, construction and maintenance strategies for the property,” said Sharon Sartor, project lead for the low impact development team. “This is done to maintain or restore, to the maximum extent technically feasible, the predevelopment hydrology of the property with regard to the temperature, rate, volume and duration of flow.” 

To meet this requirement, the Army required the use of low impact development, through the Sustainable Development and Design Policy Update. With these new requirements and a shift away from the conventional methods for managing stormwater, the Corps of Engineers, in coordination with the Office of the Assistance Chief of Staff for Installation Management (OACSIM), developed an Army Low Impact Development Technical User Guide.

“The Army Low Impact Development Technical User Guide is a resource for everyone in the Army that helps explain what the Federal stormwater requirements are and how to meet them using low impact development,” said Sartor. “By using a vast array of technical expertise and experience, we were able to create a guide that makes LID easier to understand and accomplish.”

For their first place finish, both teams will now compete in the White House Green Gov Presidential Awards.

"[Both teams] exemplify what can be accomplished using in-house expertise, innovation and a desire to exceed customer expectations,” said Planning Chief Amy Guise.“Partnering with Army, and our other customers, to develop strategies and tools to best manage their land, water resources and watersheds, is a contribution to our nation's future."

Members of the TMDL Team Include: Craig Thomas, Jared Scott, Heather Cisar, Karl Kerr, Jason Rinker, Michael Schuster, Marco Ciarla, Tyler Burrage, Jim Green, Vaso Karanikolis, Marisa Lewis, Ellen Maguire, Laura Jones, Robert Nagy, Angie Sowers, and Andrew Roach.

Members of the Low Impact Development Technical User Guide Team Include: Sharon Sartor, Erin Mahoney (EN), Marco Ciarla, Jason Rinker, Michael Schuster, Heather Cisar, Karla Hill, Marisa Lewis, Ellen Maguire and Laura Jones.