The Army is committed to protecting special-status wildlife species and their habitats at PRFTA by complying with all applicable Federal, State and local regulations that include but are not limited to, the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Protection Act, and various Army regulations. The Endangered Species Act mandates all federal agencies to use their authority to carry out programs that conserve listed species and the ecosystems on which they depend. Army Regulation 420-74 requires the Army to take active measures to avoid jeopardizing listed species and to increase population of these species. All visitors to PRFTA, including civilians and military personnel, are required to comply with these regulations that protect special-status wildlife species and their habitat. Military training and field exercises at PRFTA will be conducted in a manner that will least endanger the environment while still accomplishing training objectives.
"Enabling Training Through Environmental Stewardship"
PRFTA covers about 2500 acres and supports a number of habitat types: grasslands, riparian forest, seasonal wetlands, seeps/springs, and ponds. These habitats in turn support a diversity of wildlife species, many of which are legally protected under state and federal Endangered Species Acts or other regulations or are considered sufficiently rare by scientists to qualify for such listing. Three of these species (California tiger salamander and red-legged frog, Congdon's tarplant) are considered endangered by the federal Endangered Species Act.
The areas directly bordering PRFTA have similar habitat types and include grasslands, riparian drainages, wet meadows, valley and foothill woodlands. Grassland is the primary plant community found at PRFTA. It is typically made up of perennial bunchgrasses and annual plant species with a few trees and shrubs. California grasslands have changed significantly since the European settlement and introduction of many exotic plant species. The California grassland system is now composed of non-native annual grasses, annual forbs and perennial forbs. Common grasses include soft chess, wild oat, ripgut brome, and Italian ryegrass. Forbs that are found within this community include yellow-star thistle, fiddleneck, California poppy, field bindweed, arrowleaf balsamroot, and Ithuriel's spear. A few trees are also found in this community: valley oak, eucalyptus, and pepper tree. The installation has small areas of riparian forest along its larger drainages. Riparian species typically grow along streams and rivers and the plant species require more soil moisture than other species. Riparian habitat has decreased 90% in California. Wet meadows are one common type of wetland on PRFTA and found along the bottoms and edges of drainages, near pond margins, and in depressions within the annual grassland habitat. PRFTA presently has four artificial (man-made with earthen dams) ponds in the training area.
Flora surveys at PRFTA focused on special-status plant species that are more likely to occur on the installation based upon its location within the two counties and the types of habitat that exist and none of the four federally listed species that have the potential to exist have been found on the installation.. Congdon's tarplant is the only rare plant that has been found on the installation to date. There are a number of special-status animal species, including several federally listed species, which have been identified by the FWS as species that could occur in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties Only two federally listed species have been observed: the California red-legged frog and the California tiger salamander. Although no kit foxes have been observed on the installation, it is possible for them to be found in the future.
There are developed areas within both the cantonment and the training areas. The cantonment area consists primarily of landscaped and highly disturbed areas due to previous development. PRFTA also has a large burrowing owl population in both its training and cantonment areas.
Other Environmental Programs at PRFTA
The Water Resources Program at PRFTA consists of maintaining the Storm Water program, the Drinking Water program, Protection of Wetlands, and the Waste Water program. The Storm Water Program requires implementation of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), which the environmental office is responsible for maintaining. Protection of wetlands are governed by the Clean Water Act (CWA) and enforced by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) for CWA Section 401 and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for CWA Section 404.
The Spill Response Program uses a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan. Any facility that generates over 1,320 lbs. of oil is required to implement an SPCC Plan per 40 CFR 112. The SPCC plan and Hazardous Material Business Plan set guidelines and procedures for PRFTA to follow in order to avoid fuel and petroleum spills and other hazardous substances from entering navigable waterways or leading to unsafe environmental conditions.
The Hazardous Waste Program ensures compliance of Federal and State regulation for the proper storage, inspections, and disposal of hazardous and universal waste and the recycling of batteries.
The Air Quality Program at PRFTA is responsible for keeping air emissions, from an array of activities, as low as possible to meet the standards and requirements of the Clean Air Act, which are enforced by the California Air Resources Board and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The program involves maintenance of permits, registrations, notifications, and inventory reports.
The objective of the Pollution Prevention Program is to ensure that CSTC reduces non-hazardous waste, as well as hazardous material use. By reducing the amount of sources used and waste generated, and by recovering material to be recycled, it cuts down on the costs of hazardous and solid waste disposal, and protects the public health and the environment.
The Pest Management Program uses an Integrated Pest Management Plan, of which its focus is to use non-chemical control efforts to the fullest extent possible before applying pesticides. The Pest Management program uses contract pest management technicians to control pests, including weeds, insects, and rodents. The Integrated Pest Management Coordinator is DOD-trained in accordance with Para 2-8, AR 200-5.
The Restoration Program involves cleanup of contamination resulting from past operations. The program provides guidance to all cleanup personnel, indicating that cleanup to protect human health, safety, and the environment is an integral element of supporting the Army mission. The Restoration Program is responsible for plans, procedures, and projects related to clean up activities.