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Beale Air Force Base Honored for Environmental Restoration

A SR-71 Blackbird flies over Beale Air Force Base in an undated photo. Blackbird hangars are clearly visible in lower portion of the photo. (Courtesy photo)
A SR-71 Blackbird flies over Beale Air Force Base in an undated photo. Blackbird hangars are clearly visible in lower portion of the photo. (Courtesy photo)

Beale Air Force Base was selected for one of nine 2016 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards for its environmental restoration efforts.

The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations that demonstrated exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices, according to a Department of Defense press release.

Beale won the Environmental Restoration award for an installation.

Several projects helped Beale stand out among the 30 nominations for the awards, including remediation of old fuel storage and munition sites, many of which were left behind by prior occupants, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Vice Commander Col. Christopher Stricklin said.

"We are putting it back the way we found it. Like they say, leave the campground better than you found it," Stricklin said. "We are interested in being good stewards of the money, acreage and the people who border us."

More than 17,000 acres of Beale's nearly 23,000 acres are undeveloped and consist of riparian areas and wetlands, according to a press release from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing.

Beale's Installation Restoration Program has 49 environmental restoration program sites and 122 munitions response sites.

Of the 49 environmental restoration program sites, 38 remain open with active remedial actions being conducted. Of the 122 munitions response sites, 23 remain open and eight of those underwent remedial action and await approval from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, according to the press release.

The base is also conducting green remediation, groundwater and community involvement programs.

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