The Environmental Quality Department
(EQD) laboratories at Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock are celebrating 30 successful
years of advancing environmental enhancement for ships and submarines.
In that time, EQD scientists and engineers have earned more than 23 patents
and have installed waste management systems
on nearly every ship in today's
Through many name and location changes, the department has maintained a
dedication to providing quality science and engineering research,
development, testing and evaluation that allows Navy ships and submarines to
comply with existing laws, regulations and policies.
The Navy's shipboard pollution abatement program was established in the late
1960s in response to environmental protection legislation and executive
orders, and in 1971 the Navy's Environmental Protection Technology Program
was established. The objectives then are almost identical to those now.
Among the original objectives was to develop systems and procedures that
will permit the Navy to meet present and future environmental regulations
without impairing the military readiness of its operational units.
The groundbreaking for the Pollution Abatement Facility laboratory took
place in Annapolis, Md., in February 1972. For much of the 1970s, the lab
worked to solve the problems of oily waste, oil pollution
treatment issues--a liquid waste incinerator developed in the lab during
this period is still in use today.
The energy conservation measures
of the late 1970s and early 1980s meant
water conservation challenges for the lab, which began looking at all the
ways water was used aboard ships.
An innovative reduced-flow, hand-held showerhead was invented and more than
three thousand "Navy Showers
" were installed on 50 ships. The showerheads,
some of which are still in use today on water-critical ships, enabled the
ships to avoid the dreaded "water hours," during which the use of potable
water was secured for showers.
As a result of the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, the
Annapolis lab closed and the department moved to its new, modern laboratory
facilities in West Bethesda. To stay ahead of today's complex and demanding environmental regulations and policies, the EQD employs 117 experts in the field. In addition to the Navy, the EQD supports industry, cruise ships, shipyards, the U.S. Coast Guard
, the Office of Naval Research
, other Federal
agencies and foreign militaries.