Use the following steps for assessing environmental impacts on planned activities:
Identify hazards to the environment: degradation of wetlands, polluting streams, disturbing endangered
species habitat and archeological sites and/or structures, creating oil spills, and improperly handling HW
Assess probability of environmental damage/violations using environmental risk-assessment matrices.
Make decisions and develop measures to reduce high risks.
Brief chain of command and installation environmental office, if applicable, on proposed plans and
pertinent high-risk environmental matrices.
Integrate environmental measures into plans, SOPs, training performance standards, and rehearsals.
Supervise and enforce environmental standards. Train to the standards.
Controls to Reduce Risks. Once the risks are identified, plans must be developed and implemented
to control and reduce the risks. The development of environmental risk controls can come from AARs and
environmental risk assessments. These controls are identified from known and previous risks that have
been identified. Some examples of risk controls that can be implemented are:
Restrict high-risk land areas, if practical, from vehicular operations.
Sensitize personnel on performing maintenance or other tasks involving hazardous materials and
substances near water sources.
Use portable containment systems for field handling of hazardous substances.
Be prepared to correctly respond to spills (have qualified personnel and correct equipment on hand).
Have highly qualified leaders supervise high-risk tasks/operations.
Supervise and Evaluate Risk Controls Implemented. As part of environmental risk reduction
measures, implementing risk controls involves incorporating them into mission planning, orders, SOP,
training performance standards, rehearsals, and other activities where environmental considerations should
be addressed. The supervision and evaluation of environmental risk controls can involve the following
considerations: the mission, the enemy, terrain and weather, troops and equipment, and time.
Anticipate or assess environmental risks during planning.
Analyze the effects of environmental risks on mission operations.
Simplify scheme of maneuver.
Issue complete and concise orders.
Ensure key leaders track the exercise and render timely reports.
Identify alternative training scenarios or techniques.
Use large-scale battalion or brigade sector sketches for detail.
Set the environmental standard within the unit, and ensure soldiers are aware of and comply with that
Keep the chain of command informed of environmental problems and concerns.
Take immediate, effective action in response to spills and other emergencies.
Enemy (Opposing Forces [OPFOR]).
Ensure the OPFOR commander understands environmental problems and concerns.
Know enemy characteristics and equipment.
Identify environmental impacts of decisions.
Terrain and Weather.
Ensure high-risk areas (surface waters, archeological sites, and endangered species) are
Navigate accurately; know your location.
Ensure that there are redundant navigation aids or checks.
Know weather effects (dry/windy or wet/soggy conditions) and limit/alter operations accordingly.
Troops and Equipment.
Ensure that soldiers are briefed on environmental concerns/standards.
Demand situational awareness units, enemy, hazards, and environment.
Anticipate where maneuver density will be highest.
Use validated SOP to simplify operations.
Insist on accurate and timely spot reports.