Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

EPO training keeps post in compliance

By Emma Buccambuso | Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Environmental Division provides training for Soldiers and civilians to ensure they perform their duties in an environmentally sound manner.

The primary course offered is the Environmental Protection Officer (EPO) training, a 40-hour certification course hosted approximately six times a year. An eight-hour refresher is also provided four times a year for those who have previously taken the 40-hour class.

Fort Carson environmental regulations require each battalion-level unit or equivalent have a certified EPO at a rank of sergeant first class or above, who serves as the unit or activity manager for environmental issues, and as the point of contact between DPW Environmental Division and the unit or activity. Civilian agencies and directorates are also required to appoint qualified environmental personnel at prescribed organizational levels. The EPO must be on written orders and assigned as the environmental expert for the unit as an additional duty to ensure operations comply with Army, local, state and federal environmental laws.

In addition to the battalion-level EPO, units are encouraged to send as many company-level Soldiers of any rank to assist with environmental responsibilities. The more people with awareness and knowledge of the applicable environmental rules and regulations, the easier compliance will be.

The course covers a wide variety of environmental topics, including spill response, wildlife, storage tanks and hazardous material and waste management. Field trips to relevant facilities such as the Fort Carson Exchange Recycle Point and the Hazardous Waste Storage Facility, building 9246, are provided for a hands-on approach to learning about EPO responsibilities.

Once certified through the course, EPOs conduct periodic inspections of assigned work areas to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and participate in assessments conducted by the DPW Environmental Division Environmental Compliance Assessment Team (ECAT). Each facility on

Fort Carson is assessed for compliance with all applicable environmental requirements. The ECAT assessors will also communicate new or changing environmental requirements to the units through the EPO.

Promotion points can be accrued with completion of the course. In addition, the knowledge and experience gained through serving as an EPO translates well to civilian jobs following a military career.

To register for the EPO training, contact Individual Military Training (Troop Schools) at john.p.obrien50.civ@mail.mil or call 526-5436.

Civilians and other people who want to attend as walk-ins, can contact the DPW Environmental Division training coordinator at emma.e.buccambuso.civ@mail.mil or call 526-8893 to sign up.

EPO training keeps post in compliance
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