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By Jennifer H. Aldridge Europe District
hange is in the air at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Europe. This summer, not only did the organization welcome a new commander, it also prepared to occupy a new, environmentally friendly distribution center. The 250,000-square-foot Logistics Distribution Center Europe here, is nearing completion. The $25 million construction project, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District, will enable DLA Distribution to more effectively support warﬁghters throughout Europe, the Middle East and Construction nears completion on the Logistics Distribution Center Africa. Upon completion in early 2012, all DLA Disfor Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Europe, headquartered in tribution Europe ofﬁces and supply chain operations Germersheim, Germany. (Photo by Jennifer H. Aldridge) will be consolidated under one roof. distribution center to generate nearly 100 percent of its heatThe new facility will enable DLA Distribution ing onsite. to combine operations such as receiving, storing, issuing, “We have two boilers that are biomass fed. These two cross-docking and transportation, explained Lt. Col. Andre J. boilers will provide all of the heating for the facility,” BalBaldanza, DLA Distribution Europe commander. Combindanza said. ing several outlying warehouses into one building will help This innovative green technology is relatively new to the organization gain efﬁciencies associated with co-located USACE and the Center has “one of the ﬁrst biomass heating functions. “We will be able to receive, store, and transport all of the systems being utilized by the Army in Europe,” according to David Scott, USACE project engineer. items that go through DLA Europe more efﬁciently,” BalBiomass heating is only one of the features helping to danza said. Not only will the new facility be a one-stop shop make the new DLA distribution center sustainable. for daily operations, it will also increase the capacity of the “Solar panels, radiant heat ﬂooring and energy-saving distribution center. lighting will enable the facility to save money,” noted Bal“Right now we have nine bays and [in the new facility] danza. we will have 26,” Baldanza said. “Storage will be right there Solar panels will line the Center’s roof to capture sunlight where the docks are. We will pick, pack and ship right from and generate electricity. Eventually, the DLA would like to our consolidated facility. Everything will be closer.” The additional space and consolidation of operations will add enough photovoltaic panels to satisfy all of the electrical needs of the building. increase DLA’s efﬁciency and eliminate multiple handling of “We will use solar panels to gain daily energy for the materials. Providing items like repair parts, barrier and construction materials, and clothing and textiles to the warﬁghter building. They will provide up to 330,000 kilowatts of electricity annually,” said Daniela Heath, DLA Distribution in a timely manner is a key part of DLA’s mission. Europe facility manager. “We will be able to get items to the warﬁghter faster,” Radiant heat ﬂooring is another unique feature of the said Baldanza. “We worked with engineers and architects building. A grid of piping has been placed under the concrete to design the building to meet our mission. We are building ﬂoor allowing hot water to be pumped throughout the wareto industry standard as opposed to trying to ﬁt our mission house. Hot water will heat the facility, keeping workers more into an existing structure.” Additionally, USACE and DLA comfortable during chilly winter months. The radiant heating worked together to incorporate a variety of energy-efﬁcient will also save on energy expenditure and costs. features into the new facility. According to Baldanza, the In addition, the design of the Center provides for copidistribution center will be almost entirely self-sustainable. ous amounts of natural light through the use of enormous One of the environmentally friendly, sustainable solutions that USACE designed into the Center is a biomass heat- skylights. The natural light allows the facility to consume less electricity and is seen as another bonus in the building ing system, which was selected over more traditional boilers. An advantage of the biomass system is that it will allow the See Green, page 14
Fish, ﬁre and drought on the Rio Grande
By Ariane Pinson Albuquerque District
ish just aren’t expected to drown, and it is almost counter intuitive that dead ﬁsh down in the valley could somehow be the result of a ﬁre high up in the mountains. Yet, in this hot, dry summer, ﬁsh in the Rio Grande have become the latest casualty of the Southwest’s multi-year drought. This year, more than a decade of drought has been intensiﬁed by a warm winter, except for a few days in February, and very little rain or snow since the last monsoon season. Tinder-dry pine forests, low humidity and high early-summer winds combined to create a ferocious ﬁre season. More land in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas burned this year than in any other. And, both Arizona and New Mexico experienced their largest ﬁres ever, including the Wallow Fire in Arizona and the Las Conchas Fire in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. But, just when it seems the worst is over, now that the ﬁres are contained, come reports of rafts of dead ﬁsh. In mid-July, there was a signiﬁcant ﬁshkill in the Gila Box along the Gila River in Arizona, in a drainage badly affected by the Wallow Fire. And, in late July, carp, catﬁsh and white suckers washed up dead along the banks of the Rio Grande. Albuquerque District biologist Sarah Beck explained that ﬁshkills occur on a stream when conditions in a localized segment of the stream become rapidly intolerable for the ﬁsh. “A river ﬂushes itself, diluting bad material and washing dead ﬁsh downstream,” Beck said. In the case of the Rio Grande, Beck said, reports are that the ﬁshkill occurred primarily in the vicinity of Peña Blanca, N.M., where Peralta Canyon enters the Rio Grande. A storm high up in the mountains over the Las Conchas burn area dumped rain on the ash-covered landscape, producing surface runoff rich in ash and charcoal. This runoff entered Peralta Creek and moved swiftly down-canyon to its conﬂuence with the Rio Grande, where the ashy, charcoal-rich water produced
Ash and debris in a tributary of the Rio Grande. (Photo by Ron Kneebone)
a visible plume in the river. The volume of water entering the Rio Grande rapidly raised the main river 8 inches. Although the plume was quickly diluted as it moved downstream, where it ﬁrst entered the main stem it would have been sufﬁciently concentrated to do great harm to ﬁsh. This ashy water would damage the gills of the ﬁsh in a way that would limit or prevent the gills from taking up oxygen from the water. At the same time, oxygen levels in the river fell rapidly because of the addition of organic matter along with the ash. In short, the ﬁsh rapidly began to have difﬁculty breathing, and some couldn’t survive. It’s hard to know if endangered Rio Grande silvery minnows were affected by this plume from Peralta Canyon. Beck points out that only large ﬁsh were found dead along the river, but dead minnows would be harder to see compared to larger ﬁsh, and more likely to be scavenged, so the impact, if any, of this event on the minnow is unknowable. There has been very little rain over the burn scar since the ﬁre, and each of the drainages will need three or four large rain events to completely ﬂush the ash and nutrients from the burned areas. be working in the completed facility were given an opportunity to provide input and suggestions during the design phase. “This building, when opened, will have a lot of ideas from folks who are actually working the ﬂoors of our warehouses,” said Baldanza. “So far there are no delays and we are on track,” said Heath.
The Corps Environment
Continued from page 11
compared to the current facilities which use ﬂuorescents. The current DLA warehouses do not let in natural light; all light is entirely artiﬁcial, explained Scott. All of the environmental solutions in this building have been carefully thought out and planned by DLA Distribution and the Corps.
“We feel very blessed because we were able to build to our speciﬁcations. The Corps [of Engineers] played a deﬁnite role in enabling us to do that. They took every suggestion we had and incorporated it into the design. From my experience I don’t think that happens often [with other construction agents],” said Baldanza. In fact, DLA employees who will
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