Feature Article


February 27, 2008

(MARCH 24 - 27, 2008)

  • Wallops Flight Facility complies with numerous environmental regulatory requirements to support daily operations and activities.
  • Every 3 years, the Wallops Environmental Office hosts NASA Headquarters (HQ) for an Environmental Functional Review (EFR).
  • The Wallops EFR is scheduled for the week of March 24, 2008. The HQ in-brief is scheduled for Monday, March 24 at 8:00 a.m. in Building E-109, Room 107. Please plan to attend, or please send a representative from your organization.
  • The out-brief to Wallops Senior Management is scheduled for Thursday, March 27 at 3:00 p.m. in Building F-6, Room 201.
  • Any findings described in the subsequent report will be forwarded to the appropriate organizations for corrective action within a few weeks.

This multimedia review of environmental management and compliance is conducted at all Centers and provides a means to further improve the quality of NASA's overall environmental program. The EFR is scheduled for the weeks of March 24, 2007, at Wallops, and March 28, 2007, at Greenbelt. The EFR is an interactive process involving Senior Management and all Wallops organizations, not just the Environmental Office. Previously, the inspection areas have included every occupied building and 90 percent of unoccupied buildings. The EFR team consists of 17 inspectors. Representatives from the Wallops Environmental Office will be contacting individuals who work closely in the areas to be reviewed to schedule meetings and answer any questions. The review will cover the following areas:

  1. Air Emissions Management
  2. Cultural Resources Management
  3. Hazardous Materials Management
  4. Hazardous Waste Management
  5. Natural Resource Management
  6. NEPA, Pollution Prevention, Noise
  7. Pesticide Management
  8. POL Management
  9. Solid Waste Management
  10.  Storage Tank Management
  11. Toxic Substances Management
  12. Wastewater Management
  13. Water Quality Management
  14. Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
  15. Energy and Water Conservation

Organizations that can expect to be visited by the EFR team are those that:

  • Use and store hazardous materials - maintain available Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)
  • Dispose of hazardous waste
  • Have satellite accumulation areas for hazardous waste
  • Release regulated air emissions including operations with paint booths, generators, boilers, solvents, any sized containers of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and materials and equipment that contain VOCs
  • Maintain petroleum and chemical storage tanks
  • Impact wetlands, storm water, sediment, erosion, and cultural resources
  • Emit ozone depleting substances and hazardous air pollutants
  • Purchase or request supplies, materials, and equipment (affirmative procurement)
  • Manage emergency preparedness

General recurring problems that are facility-wide include, but are not limited to:

  • Missing or incomplete records
  • Hazardous waste in trash cans or dumpsters
  • Recyclable materials in trash cans and dumpsters (cardboard, etc.)
  • Open containers of VOCs
  • MSDSs information unavailable for employees or not current
  • Unlabeled, mislabeled, or improperly labeled hazardous waste and hazardous materials containers
  • Fluorescent tubes and bulbs in trash
  • Lead solder in trash
  • Incompatible chemicals stored together
  • Wipes, rags, swabs that contain solvents in open containers
  • Waivers not processed for affirmative procurement
  • Compressed gas cylinders without safety caps or improperly chained
  • New employees who have not been hazcom trained
  • Parts washer with open lids when not used
  • Drum lids/bungs that are not wrench tightened
  • Random dumping of materials on the Facility

The above information is provided to assist all employees in correcting recurring findings and in preparing for the EFR. The examples are not all-inclusive.

The EFR can be somewhat disruptive to normal operations; however, we will attempt to minimize any inconvenience. Please ensure that there is access to all areas. The Environmental Office has always had great support from the entire facility, and we look forward to having the same cooperation for this review.

For additional information or assistance, please contact Bonnie Crawford in the Environmental Office at ext. 2234.