MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Personnel with the Cherry Point Environmental Affairs Department encourage air station patrons to follow best management practices to ensure stormwater at the air station remains pollutant-free.
Staff with the EAD monitor the stormwater outfalls across the air station through the use of storm water monitoring equipment to ensure clean water is discharged from the air station into surrounding water bodies.
The system is an integral part of maintaining pollutant-free water around the air station, said Judah Emory, an environmental engineer with EAD.
“Using automated data logging sensors and having the monitoring equipment provides a means for continuous monitoring and measurement of water quality at the outfalls,” said Emory.
According to Emory, the stormwater monitoring equipment observes water quality at five industrial stormwater outfalls across the air station.
“Cherry Point benefits from having these systems because the EAD staff quickly identifies and addresses water quality issues throughout the air station,” said Emory. “During a qualifying storm event, the stormwater samplers are programmed to take water quality samples.”
Stormwater is the result of precipitation that flows overland to streams and other bodies of water collecting pollutants. Cherry Point’s stormwater equipment provides calibrated flow metering, automatic sampling, and water quality monitoring equipment that provides the air station with a means for continuous monitoring and measurement of required parameters. Parameters that are monitored daily include pH, conductivity, salinity, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and flow rate. These samples are analyzed to determine the level of pollutants in the water, including pesticides, petroleum and detergents.
“The purpose of the EAD is to support MCAS Cherry Point’s mission by sustaining and enhancing mission readiness through compliance with relevant environmental laws and regulations” explained Emory.
“EAD staff work to ensure the air station is abiding by complex environmental regulations that consider issues such as air quality; water quality; hazardous waste; solid waste; soil and
groundwater remediation,” said Emory.
The air station discharges stormwater to the Neuse River Basin and, as a result, must remain
compliant with the air station’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and municipal
separate storm sewer system permit, while constantly observing parameters to ensure purity.
In his environmental policy, Cherry Point’s commanding officer, Col. Chris Pappas III, recognized that the natural environment is a key asset in the training and support mission of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.
Pappas has directed that the air station will comply with all environmental laws, regulations and policies as well as conserve and enhance natural and cultural resources.
By following simple guidelines during outdoor activities such as performing vehicle maintenance only at designated locations, properly disposing of unused household chemicals, and recycling used motor oil makes maintaining the air station easier while keeping the aquatic environment clean.
“If Cherry Point did not have the stormwater monitoring equipment, we would not be able to monitor stormwater outfalls with real-time data,” said Emory. “Real-time monitoring enables us to quickly identify pollutant discharges that may occur throughout the air station and prevent future problems or mishaps.”