Spangdahlem hosts state environmental official
By Staff Sgt. Chad Warren, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 26, 2014
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
Base members hosted a local government environmental representative Nov. 20, 2014, to highlight programs and technology Spangdahlem has in place to ensure no hazardous chemicals are introduced into the environment.
Dr. Ulrich Kleemann, President of SGD-Nord, the environmental protection organization for the Rhineland-Pfalz region, toured the base and met with Airmen from the 52nd Mission Support Group and 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron to discuss the wing's continuing commitment to responsible stewardship of the environment and prospects for partnering with SGD-Nord.
"The cooperation with the American colleagues is very good. I was able to personally witness this at Spangdahlem," Kleemann said following the visit. "The responsible officials at Spangdahlem have had a very good relationship with SGD-Nord for a long time."
The visit represented Kleemann's first trip to Spangdahlem since taking over as SGD-Nord president in 2010. The organization acts as a field agency that reports directly to the state ministries, and oversees regional project planning, environmental compliance issues, water drainage, nature conservation, land acquisition and compensation issues, building standards control and redevelopment of hazardous waste sites.
"We're very proud of our Air Force-level award-winning environmental program here at Spangdahlem," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Meeker, 52nd CES commander. "It's important that Dr. Kleemann sees what we do so that he can communicate with host nation leaders¬-both to highlight successes and to educate them on potential concerns they may have."
During the tour, specialists from various career fields escorted Kleemann, a certified geologist, to several areas involved in the monitoring and treatment of water and chemicals, including the aircraft deicing area, the retention basin and the waste water plant.
Kleeman said the strong relationship was obvious, pointing out the formation of a joint group of U.S. and German experts founded at Spangdahlem a year ago to identify possible sources of contamination.
"We've invested over $100 million in environmental protection over the last decade to clean up legacy problems and to improve our systems to make sure we no longer produce any pollution from this base," Meeker said. "Our 52nd CES team works with (SGD-Nord) daily and proactively to ensure we are fully open and transparent with our host nation team, and it really is a team effort by all of us to vigilantly safeguard the health and well-being of this community."