Aspects and impacts the mission has on the environment

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- [Editor's Note: This is part two of a three-part series. The third part will discuss the objectives and targets for resolving environmental impacts]

As discussed in last week's article, the Air Force has adopted a standardized Environmental Management System to establish policy associated with management of the environmental issues faced in doing our mission to the best of our ability. To effectively meet these guidelines, we will discuss the aspects and impacts the mission may have on the environment and how we plan to manage them.

Knowing the aspects and impacts Malmstrom's mission has on the environment helps us plan the actions and procedures for insuring we remain in compliance with all the regulations governing the environment.

What are aspects? Aspects are activities, products or services that can interact with the environment.

For example, as stated in the previous article, the mission requires driving in the missile field and this activity affects the environment of Montana.

The Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence has standardized the aspects and impacts of the Air Force mission. Some of the listed aspects are air quality, cultural resources, energy, fuel, natural resources, noise, water, and hazardous materials and waste.

What are impacts? Impacts are any change (complete or partial) to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, resulting from the mission or activities of Malmstrom.

Impacts are the degradation or improvement/preservation the mission has on the aspects that have been identified, such as storm water runoff from construction projects on Malmstrom that could affect the Missouri River or the impact of our energy usage. On the positive side, we are reducing harsh chemicals used in the shops by buying green, less harmful products and have made improvements to Powwow Pond for the benefit of the base residents. These impacts, good or bad, all have an effect on the mission and the environment.