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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Friday, May 1, 2015
Contact: Office of Public Affairs

ATF National Laboratory Center Receives EPA Award

WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Laboratory Center has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a recipient of the Federal Green Challenge award for 2014. The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort under EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program, challenging EPA and other federal agencies throughout the country to lead by example in reducing the federal government's environmental impact.

The ATF National Laboratory Center in Beltsville, Maryland, was acknowledged for its leadership in minimizing its environmental footprint by reducing waste to landfills and by establishing measures aimed at reducing energy usage.

As a result of the 2014 Federal Green Challenge, 390,000 tons of waste was diverted from landfills, 80 million gallons of water was saved, 15,000 pounds of paper was not purchased, and additional efforts by the 400 plus participating facilities resulted in a combined savings of more than $24 million to U.S. taxpayers. 

Federal offices or facilities start their participation by selecting a minimum two- of the six-target areas —waste, electronics, purchasing, energy, water, or transportation. At least one of the selected target areas must be waste, electronics, or purchasing. Members commit to an improvement goal of at least 5 percent per year in their selected target areas.

In 2014, representing nearly 1.3 million federal employees established successful programs in various target areas (waste, electronics, purchasing, water, energy and/or transportation) and reduced their environmental footprint, which in many cases also resulted in significant cost savings.

ATF’s National Laboratory Center is responsible for facilitating a number of critical investigative practices, including work at the one-of-a kind facility includes state-of-the-art hood and exhaust systems, data acquisition systems and instrumentation that allow researchers to measure data such as the heat release rate, burning rate, heat flux and temperature of burning materials. The facility also includes environmental systems that process and cleanse exhaust air prior to release into the atmosphere and water treatment facilities that eliminate the impact of runoff into area water systems by collecting and recycling water used to suppress test fires.