Innovative Cooking Oil Recovery & Reuse Project, Yellowstone National Park, National Park Service, Wyoming

Mary K. Murphy
Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Xanterra's Yellowstone operations include a sizable food service component. On a typical summer's day, the company prepares over 22,000 meals in seventeen restaurants and eight employee dining rooms. On an annual basis, food preparation produces between 9,000 to 11,000 gallons of cooking oil. In the past, the used cooking oil has been shipped offsite almost 250 miles for recycling. Xanterra also houses up to 2,100 guests in its nine lodges and uses 45,000 gallons of diesel to fuel its facilities.

In 2008, representatives from Xanterra's engineering department designed, tested, and implemented equipment that would allow the cooking oil to be injected directly into the boiler system for fuel. This project achieves significant environmental gains, most notably by reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by 223,800 pounds from the replacement of 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel with cooking oil. The project also eliminates the fossil fuels (and the associated 12,729 pounds of CO2 emissions) needed to transport the material offsite for recycling. Additionally, the potential exists for an even greater environmental gain by utilizing this technology at Xanterra's operations in other national parks, and accepting the cooking oil from the other park concessioner and restaurants in the surrounding communities of Yellowstone.

Energy and Water Conservation, Facilities Management Branch
, United States Geological Survey, Virginia

Robert Sapp

The U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Center is a General Services Administration (GSA) delegated facility, consisting of three buildings and a central power plant totaling 1.1 million square feet on 105 acres in Reston, Virginia.  The USGS facility management has implemented water saving projects and measures that achieved dramatic water savings in FY 2008.  A small group of USGS NC facilities management personnel implemented projects that resulted in a savings of 2.9 million gallons of water, or 14.4 percent, as compared to FY 2007.  The corresponding cost savings was $21,700 or 25 percent of annual water costs.  

Five primary projects were implemented at the National Center in FY 2008; a closed-loop cooling water retrofit for laboratory test equipment, a low-flow plumbing fixture replacement, a landscape irrigation modification, cooling tower process improvements and cafeteria sustainability measures.

The Forest Center, National Park Service
, Vermont

Daniel Laven
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park,

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park celebrated its tenth anniversary in the summer of 2008 with the opening of the Forest Center, a new classroom and meeting space, constructed almost entirely with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. The Forest Center recently received Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. This is the first building in the NPS built using all certified wood.

All framing and interior wood used in the Forest Center, including white pine, ash, black cherry, hemlock and red oak, came from the park's forest, the oldest professionally managed woodland in North America. In 2005, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller was awarded Forest Stewardship Council certification.

Tribal Energy & Environmental Information Clearinghouse, Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development  in collaboration with the Argonne National Laboratory, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington D.C.

Kevin Tennyson

The Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development and Argonne National Laboratory developed the Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse that has supported Indian traditional and renewable energy resource development.  This clearinghouse creates a knowledge base for tribes and tribal organizations to assist them in building the capacity to develop environmental analysis, evaluation programs, and processes in furtherance of the goal of energy and economic development for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The TEEIC can be accessed at The TEEIC also includes in-depth information about conducting project-specific environmental impact analyses and monitoring programs, including data needs assessment and collection, impact identification and analysis, and identification of project-specific mitigation measures. Other TEEIC resources include listings of contact information for tribes, tribal organizations, and federal agencies and programs; a glossary of technical terms; and a list of frequently asked questions. TEEIC users can also request assistance from TEEIC subject matter experts on questions concerning tribal energy development; suggest new content, features, and tools for addition to the TEEIC; and subscribe to receive e-mails concerning tribal energy development and new additional features to the TEEIC.

Rebuilding After Hurricane Rita, Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana

Don Voros, Project Leader
Southwest Louisiana Refuge Complex
(337) 598-2216

The 2005 Hurricane Storm season wrought devastating effects to the Refuge habitats and facilities of the Southeast Region that were located on the Gulf Coast.  Storm surge from Hurricane Rita immersed many of the facilities of the Southwest Louisiana Refuge Complex in over six feet of water while hurricane force winds stripped much of the remaining components of buildings.  Specifically, facilities located at the Sabine, Lacassine, and Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuges, which comprise the Southwest Louisiana Refuge Complex, required extensive structural and cosmetic repairs.  These repairs were typical to boardwalks, buildings, viewing platforms, piers, building siding, and other public use facilities.

For reconstruction, the Complex committed to the replacement of non-structural wood products with environmentally-friendly alternative building materials.  Specifically, the projects requiring wooden decking materials replacements and wood siding replacements were selected for emphasis using recycled (composite) lumber products and fiber cement siding materials.  As commitment to that goad, the Complex has installed the following:

  • 10,258 square feet of composite lumber decking and trim materials in their recovery efforts.  This square footage equates to 24,659 board feet of conventional pressure treated Southern Pine lumber.

  • 14,458 square feet of fiber cement siding materials in lieu of standard wooden, vinyl, or manufactured wood siding materials.  Fiber cement siding  is a well recognized "Green" building material since the siding contains a high level of  recycled content, zero VOC emissions in manufacturing, and has a high durability and pest-resistant rating