Environmental Planning Guidelines
This appendix provides guidelines for units to integrate environmental concerns into all phases of operations planning and activities. Unit leaders must consider the environmental impact of unit actions and plan to eliminate or minimize negative effects. These guidelines should be reviewed with installation environmental offices and operational staffs. Once supplemented with state, local, federal, or HN environmental requirements, these guidelines serve as a tool to assist unit leaders in integrating environmental considerations into unit operations.
- Include environment considerations in the METT-TC process.
- Include forecasted weather considerations in planned training.
- Include alternative missions in case environmental conditions or considerations change.
- Review the OPLAN/OPORD for environmental requirements and/or considerations.
- Ensure a recent environmental risk assessment has been performed.
- Confirm coordination with the installation and operational staffs concerning applicable environmental laws, regulations, and considerations.
- Determine whether a recent site reconnaissance has been performed.
- Conduct rehearsals to ensure that all safety and environmental considerations are satisfied.
- Review the environmental protection portion of the unit's SOP, especially the areas concerning spill response and reporting.
- Make provisions for handling medical wastes.
- Make provisions for handling human and solid wastes.
- Check to ensure HM (explosives/POL) are properly labeled and that an MSDS is on hand for each substance before transporting.
- Have tools, equipment, and materials available to respond to environmental emergencies.
- Ensure personnel designated for the spill response team(s) are properly trained and aware of their assignment.
- Ensure team members are aware of the procedure for requesting additional spill assistance, if required.
AREA OF OPERATION
- Review previous AARs for environmental lessons learned concerning the AOs and mission type. Plan preventive measures.
- Obtain land use permits, range clearances, and any other unique requirements.
- During the site reconnaissance verify areas of environmental concern.
- Ensure coordination has been made to perform an EBS.
- Ensure soldiers/Marines understand their responsibilities in reducing generation of HW and minimizing damage to the environment.
- Brief all soldiers/Marines on range or maneuver restrictions; endangered species; vegetation use; and archaeological, cultural, and historic resources considerations.
- During planning discuss the identified environmental risks.
CHAIN OF COMMAND
- Appoint and train an ECO and an alternate, and involve them in planning.
- Brief the plan to the next higher commander and the operations officer.
- Review the risk assessment and have it approved by the appropriate commander.
GUIDELINES DURING OPERATIONS
- Forward the EBS to higher HQ after it has been performed.
- Ensure all unit personnel comply with "off-limits" area restrictions.
- Verify units dig (fighting positions, tank ditches) only in approved areas.
- Ensure all soldiers/Marines know and comply with special environmental requirements.
- Use downtime for conducting opportunity training on environmental concerns.
- Ensure leaders monitor high risk operations and activities.
- Report spills and maneuver damage to the appropriate HQ immediately.
- Verify leaders are making on-the-spot corrections.
- Conduct periodic ECRs as necessary and pass them to the appropriate HQ in a timely fashion.
- Ensure leaders are explaining and marking noise restricted areas.
- Ensure units are complying with community/installation noise abatement hours.
MINIMIZING VEHICLE MOVEMENT DAMAGE
- Ensure personnel drive vehicles on secondary roads and bypasses whenever possible to minimize off-road damage.
- Ensure personnel move vehicles into bivouac or assembly areas in columns.
- Designate personnel to remove mud and debris from roadways.
- Drive carefully in wooded areas to avoid vehicle damage to vegetation.
- Stay on marked trails and routes when driving off-road, minimizing cross-country movement.
- Cross streams and ditches only at approved crossings.
WETLANDS (MARSHES, SWAMPS, BOGS)
- Obtain a special permit (if required) to train in wetland areas.
- Ensure sensitive and "off-limits" areas are designated, well marked, and avoided.
- Limit the use of vehicles and other destructive activities whenever possible.
- Ensure drivers use designated bridges and crossing sites.
- Ensure units observe prohibitions against discharging wastewater into wetlands or waterways.
- Prohibit refueling or field maintenance operations near or in wetlands or surface waters.
- Ensure units are observe prohibition against filling any wetlands areas.
THREATENED/ENDANGERED SPECIES AND OTHER PROTECTED WILDLIFE, VEGETATION AND HABITAT
- Ensure soldiers/Marines exercise due care to avoid disturbing threatened and endangered species, habitats, and sensitive areas.
- Verify sensitive areas are marked.
- Ensure units avoid digging in or near sites or structures designated as cultural resources.
- Verify soldiers/Marines follow instructions not to modify or destroy these sites in any way.
- Confirm soldiers/Marines understand that destroying or defacing archaeological sites, including collection of artifacts, is a violation of the law.
- Ensure soldiers/Marines immediately report the discovery of any artifacts and wait for clearance to resume training.
- Ensure units exercise care to prevent ground covering from being stripped of vegetation.
- Verify units are using camouflage nets instead of live vegetation, whenever possible.
- Brief soldiers/Marines concerning the local guidance on the use of vegetation for camouflage.
- Ensure each unit polices its area.
- Establish designated collection points for proper trash disposal.
- Dispose of field kitchen wastes only as authorized.
- Dispose of medical and human wastes in an approved manner.
- Verify units are disposing of liquid waste from kitchens, showers, and baths correctly.
- Ensure units properly dispose of reverse osmosis water purification unit (ROWPU) discharges.
HM AND HW HANDLING
- Comply with the installation EMO procedures for the turn-in and disposal of HW.
- Obtain approval before using CS and smoke.
- Properly mark and report unexploded munitions.
- Minimize the use of hazardous chemicals.
- Place HW and POL waste products in separate containers.
- Deliver HW and POL waste products to a designated waste collection point.
- Do not dump POL and vehicle maintenance waste products into sewers, ditches, or streams.
- Have spill teams available on site.
- Confirm adequate spill response equipment and material is available.
- Ensure spill teams are responding immediately to reported spill locations.
- Report spills as required by local regulations and unit SOP.
REFUELING AND MAINTENANCE
- Refuel vehicles only at designated sites.
- Protect ground surfaces by using POL-drip pans.
- Use POL-absorbing compounds during refueling operations.
- Use only designated vehicle wash facilities and equipment.
- Confirm fighting positions, gun emplacements, and other excavated areas are properly refilled.
- Collect communications and obstacle wires.
- Properly police and remove all wastes and recyclables (litter, ammo brass).
- Mark and report unexploded munitions.
- Report, contain, and clean up hazardous spills according to directives.
- Inspect all sites before departing the AO.
- Perform a closure EBS to document the condition of the AO before departure.
- Conduct AARs following each phase of the operation.
- Evaluate performance of environmental tasks.
- Identify weaknesses in performance of environmental tasks.
- Discuss compliance with environmental policies.
- Evaluate soldiers/Marines individual proficiency in following environmental requirements.
- Develop a plan to train identified shortfalls.
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