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Fuels management helps fight the good environmental fight

  • Published
  • By Airman Sadie Colbert
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The high operations tempo of an active Air Force base like Ellsworth can often result in high quantities of fuel being consumed.

Ensuring this vital resource is handled and managed correctly while safeguarding the environment rests on the shoulders of people like Tech. Sgt. Timothy Mancini, 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels and safety NCO in charge, and the Airmen who make up the 28th LRS Fuels Flight.

The 28th LRS issues approximately 20 million gallons of fuel per year for aircraft, as well as vehicles, aircraft support equipment, organizational fuel tanks and generators.

Mancini, who has been a part of the fuels flight for 11 years, oversees the environmental aspect of fuels management, which encompasses everything from hazard safety and training, to responding to fuel spills.

Contaminated water from fuel spills can reach navigable waterways, rivers and lakes that people use for fishing. It can also harm local plant life, and result in air pollution because of the toxicity of benzene in the fuel.

"That [contaminated water] is definitely harmful to the environment," Mancini said. "It takes a lot more money to filter that water to a drinking stage."

To help offset pollution in the environment, the flight looks for ways to help conserve and be mindful of their use and maintenance of fuel.

One way they do this is through their use of biodiesel fuel because it is safer, biodegradable and produces less air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel fuel, according to Mancini. Also, during the winter, the flight uses a winterized version of biodiesel fuel to prevent it from damaging engines.

From spill prevention control and countermeasure to storm water pollution prevention and environmental management system awareness, Mancini trains all personnel, ensuring fuel operations are performed to the highest standards, safeguarding a clean and healthy environment.

"We make every effort to make sure fuel is not spilled onto the ground," Mancini said. "Our mission is to provide safe and clean fuel, anytime, anywhere, without incident."

The 28th LRS helps fuel our ability to provide expeditionary combat power while safeguarding the world we live in by using biodiesel fuel, having environmental awareness, and taking fuel safety measures to maintain the health of the area around them.