The role of the environmental manager in the Air Force

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Virginia Tech

The Air Force, in response to the desires of the President and the Congress, began in l970 to formulate policy to guide it in its pollution abatement program. In its search for methods to control Air Force caused pollution, the position of Pollution Abatement Specialist evolved. It would seem that the success or failure of the Air Force in its stated policy would be directly related to the role of the pollution abatement specialist, the Air Force's environmental manager.

This thesis attempts to define the role of the Air Force's environmental manager by exploring the current pollution laws as they apply to the Air Force. It explores the Air Force Regulations which establish Air Force policy relating to pollution abatement. A questionnaire was sent to the environmental managers of 73 continental Air Force bases to collect information which would indicate the degree of success the Air Force pollution abatement program enjoyed. Returns from the questionnaire indicated that there were many more planned pollution abatement projects than there were projects in the design, funded or under construction stages. The greatest delay in pollution abatement project occurred at the funding stage.

Because many projects must compete for limited funds, a systems model was devised which would permit the environmental manager to compare various projects to each other from the standpoint of need, cost, seriousness of pollution, and local public opinion. With the systems model as a tool the environmental manager may allocate limited funds to the most efficacious projects.