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Sustainability Plan
Oregon Department of Corrections
Sustainability Plan

Introduction

Our Department´s core mission deals with promoting public safety by holding offenders accountable for their actions and reducing the risk of future criminal behavior. The cornerstone of promoting public safety is providing safe, secure correctional facilities for housing felons convicted and sentenced by the courts. The operation of these correctional facilities requires, in effect, providing the same public services as those required in a small city. In addition to providing the public services, we have the responsibility to educate our staff in the concepts of sustainability. As our staff adapts their work practices toward these concepts, they will tend to employ the same practices in their private lives.

The first and foremost sustainability goal of the Department of Corrections is the Department´s Oregon Accountability Model. This program is to improve public safety. The model ties together many concurrent and interrelated efforts of the department and its partners into a cohesive strategy to reduce recidivism and influence inmates into becoming productive citizens.

This goal will have a positive effect on all three areas of sustainability: economic, aid the agency in meeting the established sustainability goals and reduce our cost of doing business; community, assisting in making our communities sustainable; and serving as an example for our clients to follow when they are released and reintegrate to society; and environment, ensuring that our natural capital are used wisely and preserved now and for future generations.

Communication and Responsibility

Our Director has designated the Business and Finance Administrator to lead the agency´s efforts as our sustainability coordinator. We will utilize our existing Executive Management Team to review and approve Intra-Agency efforts, construction designs for new prisons and internally oriented sustainability projects. We will use our currently established team composed of our facility Physical Plant Mangers to research and develop sustainability opportunities in facility operations, and staff education. Agency staff will be encouraged to propose concepts that will assist in moving our agency toward its sustainability goals.

Goals

Our Executive Management Team has established four additional goals for our Sustainability efforts.

Sustainable Construction and Maintenance Projects-
The design and construction alternatives for projects within the Department´s existing and new prisons have an impact on the local community and environment. The Department will incorporate energy conservation opportunities, use of recycled products, and limit environmental impact to the extent possible.

Minimize Solid Waste Production-
The Department recognizes the need and the importance of reducing the generation of solid waste from its operations. The Department will establish polices and processes that will reduce the generation of solid waste through reduction, reuse, and recycling.

Efficient Use and Conservation of Energy, Water, and Other Resources-
The Department recognizes the need and the importance of conservation efforts and the efficient use of our resources during it´s every day operation. The Department will minimize the consumption of energy, water and other resources by eliminating wasteful practices and promoting efficient use.

Environmentally Responsible and Strategic Purchasing-
The Department recognizes the need and the importance of making purchases that will obtain the best value by balancing short and long-term costs when purchasing product, goods and services. With strategic purchasing polices in place the Department will look to standardizing products, etc., which will create opportunities for bulk purchases and lower costs.

What We Have Accomplished

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville was constructed based on design specifications that incorporated the following features:

The site was constructed in an area served by mass transit with bicycle racks and car pool/HOV parking provided. The facility was constructed using low flush (1.6 gallon) toilets in the minimum custody section and a vacuum system requiring 0.5 gallons per flush in the medium custody section. Food waste from the Kitchen is scraped from the trays for composting instead of processing through a garbage disposal to the municipal sewer. A mechanical grease separator/skimmer (Superceptor) reduces contamination of the out flowing water to the sewer. The landscaping for the site incorporates bio-swales and on-site retention of storm water. The gypsum board, rubber shower mats, and metal studs used in the construction were specified requiring recycled content. The construction materials used that are easily recycled at the end of life include; CMU block, structural steel, metal studs, glass, concrete, carpet, gypsum board, doors, and engineered wood framing. The ventilation system provides 100% outside air to the buildings and includes CO2 sensors and a heat recovery process with out going air preheating incoming air. The design of the facility further incorporates natural day-lighting, automatic dimming ballasts for electric lighting in dayrooms during daylight hours, irrigation systems with soil moisture sensors, and pest/disease resistant plants. Coffee Creek Correctional Institution received an "Earth Advantage Green Standard" Award from Portland General Electric.

The Regional Laundry at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla was constructed incorporating a water reuse system to decrease domestic water consumption and recover waste heat. The heat recovery system results in decreasing the energy required to heat the incoming domestic water to acceptable wash and rinse temperatures.

The Burner Conversion Project on #1 Boiler at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution reused the burner assembly from a failed boiler. The reuse of the burner assembly required minor modifications on the refractory. Following installation of the burner assembly, a full range combustion tuning was performed to ensure peak efficiency and decrease emissions. This maintenance project was accomplished to support use of alternate fuel on #1 boiler during the ensuing overhaul of #2 boiler.

The Department has completed several projects to decrease the environmental impact of our operations. We have constructed environmentally compliant vehicle wash stations at EOCI in Pendleton and at MCCF in Salem, removed Underground Storage Tanks at OSP, OSCI, SCI, and MCCF, and we have reduced the quantity of asbestos containing material within the agency through asbestos abatement projects at OSP, EOCI, OSCI, SCI and SCCI.

The Department has been proactive in reducing our utility expenditures for natural gas by constructing our new facilities, and retrofitting our existing facilities with alternate fuel systems. These alternate fuel systems enable the Department to qualify for a lower cost utility service schedule.

We have undertaken similar efforts to decrease our electrical consumption. We have completed major electrical upgrade projects at OSCI and MCCF that included installation of energy efficient building and site lighting. We have accomplished de-lamping and lighting surveys at our existing institutions.

Coffee Creek was selected to be the agency´s first correctional facility to receive an "in vessel" composting system. The benefits from composting and recycling almost all kitchen waste products save in several ways. First of all it saves on the environment by not sending large volumes of waste to landfills daily. The other big reason is cost avoidance. By not requiring food services to have another eight-yard dumpster, it cuts down on the institutions monthly sanitation bill. Currently Coffee Creek is processing approximately 2500 pounds of food waste a day from two kitchens. The food waste that is generated is from the preparation, serving and tray scraping of over 3,000 meals daily.

Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton has constructed and installed solar heating panels to reduce energy costs by preheating water for use in the boilers. The active open-loop solar heating system consists of an array of three 4´ x 10´ solar collectors for a total of 120 ft⊃2; of heating area, a 1,500 gallon insulated solar storage tank, 1" circulation lines, pumps, and a series of electric and pneumatic valves that automatically control the circulation and drain systems. The preheated water results in burning less natural gas during the steam generation process.

In addition to the solar panels, EOCI has implemented a program to reduce waste going into the institution´s 20-yard trash compactor, which then goes to the landfill. The waste reduction supports the Oregon Accountability Model and increases Measure 17 compliance. The program consists of recycling all scrap lumber and other building materials, old or damaged wooden pallets, sawdust from the carpentry shops, and scrap iron from the metal shops. These scrap materials are used to build various projects, such as: doghouses, birdhouses, feline entertainment centers, decorative bowls, pizza paddles, children´s toys, jewelry boxes, etc. The sawdust is sold for 25¢ per 5 lb. bag to various contacts within our local community. Any profits derived from the program are used to fund new woodworking and metal fabricating equipment and shop supplies to support the Creative Products business, thus taking the burden off of the taxpayers.

Another benefit from our sustainability program is a partnership with Eastern Oregon Psychiatric Center (EOPC), located just west of the institution. This program consists of the EOCI Carpenter Shop taking mill ends that would otherwise be disposed of and making birdhouse kits for the EOPC Clients to assemble. The partnership started in February 2003, with ten birdhouse kits and has since evolved into 150-200 kits.

All of the institution´s cardboard, newspaper, magazines, office paper, and grease from the kitchen are recycled. Any additional wood pieces are bagged and donated to the Pendleton Senior Center, for seniors to burn in wood stoves during the winter months. Also, low flow showerheads were previously installed to reduce water consumption on all of the housing units.

The Auto Shop at EOCI is located inside the secure perimeter of the institution. The institution has established a program in partnership with local auto parts and repair vendors. This partnership involves working with the vendors to comply with government mandated environmental requirements. The Automotive Services Program is one part of the Ecological Business Program. This automotive services program recognizes vehicle service and repair shops that reach the highest standards in minimizing their environmental impact. The Auto Shop at EOCI has completed all requirements to become a certified ecological business and we are currently waiting for our permit to be issued. Now that the shop has met the requirements and continues to take voluntary steps to help protect the environment, the local Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has let other state agencies know that we are certified. In doing that, the Auto Shop has developed partnerships among state and local government business that support and promote sustainability.

Vision

The vision of the Department of Corrections is multi-faceted. The sections of our vision that apply to sustainability are listed below.

Vision
We create partnerships with Oregon communities to hold offenders accountable, engage victims, and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Oregon.
We require sound fiscal management of public resources using outcome-oriented strategies

How are we going to accomplish this vision?

Employing the concepts of sustainability and sound fiscal management in our decision-making processes will result in enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Oregon.

Sustainability Actions

Over the next year, our agency will focus its initial sustainability actions in four broad categories:
  1. New Prison Construction,
  2. Environmental Impact,
  3. Resource Management, and
  4. Operational Efficiency.

Under each of these categories, we have identified specific actions that are currently underway or that will be initiated over the next year. Our Executive Management Team will periodically review our sustainability plan and will evaluate our success at accomplishing these tasks; identify actions to build upon prior efforts, and new actions for achieving balance and sustainability.

We have incorporated sustainability projects into our agency´s long-range maintenance plan and will continue to include sustainability issues in strategic planning processes, rulemaking, and budget development.

New Prison Construction
Goal: Sustainable Construction and Maintenance ProjectsNew XCurrently Underway
Link to Sustainability? Our New Prison Construction Program administers the design and construction of correctional facilities with a target life span of fifty to one hundred years, dependent on the construction materials used. This projected life span creates a potential long-term impact on the environment and the communities in which we build meaning a sustainable focus is essential. The established goal of the agency is to design and construct correctional facilities that are energy efficient with a minimal environmental footprint to accomplish that focus.
Action: We will begin construction of the Warner Creek Correctional Facility in Lakeview during March 2004, with substantial completion targeted for September 2005. Our intention is to utilize a closed loop geothermal (renewable energy source) system for institutional space heating and heating domestic water. All of the geothermal water from the production well will be returned to the aquifer by a standard low-temperature geothermal effluent disposal system. (re-injection).
Target: The Town of Lakeview will plan, design, and supervise installation of the Geothermal Facilities (wells, heat exchangers, piping and incidentals) for the intended use of providing Geothermal Services to the DOC. In performing such work, the Town shall use efforts reasonably calculated to result in Geothermal Services that produce 8 million peak, 4.7 million average, but no less than 2.7 million BTU/hour of heated water at the Point of Delivery and 150 GPM at 200° F at the heat exchanger, located in proximity to the reinjection well.
Responsible Party: Manager of New Prison Construction
Potential Agency Partners: DOC has and will continue to engage the Town of Lakeview and the Department of Energy to ensure the completion of this project.

Environmental Impact
Goal: Minimize Solid Waste ProductionNew XCurrently Underway X
Link to Sustainability? Our Department continues to look for ways to support sustainability by reducing waste and therefore operational costs. One approach is to compost the waste generated in the kitchens of our facilities. Composting this waste will result in substantial reductions in waste and operating costs.
Action: Our Department has already begun a composting program at our Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. This program uses an in-vessel composting system to process the waste generated within the facility.
Target over the next three years: Incorporate the in-vessel composting system in the design specifications for the Medium Custody Correctional Facility to be constructed in Madras, Oregon. Construction is expected to begin during the Summer of 2005.· Purchase a central composting system for use by the Salem area institutions if fiscal resources are available. DOC will attempt to complete this project during the 2003-2005 biennium.
Responsible Party: New Prison Construction and Facilities Services Managers
Potential Agency Partners: Our Department is willing to share this information with all interested agencies, and will contact other like operations (such as Mental Health) to share our results.

This diagram illustrates a tray being inserted into a tunnel. This action moves all trays in the tunnel forward. Composting materials on the last tray to be loaded (i.e. the second tray in the tunnel) move forward as the new tray is inserted, leaving a void above the new tray.

Resource Management
Goal: Efficient Use and Conservation of Energy, Water, and Other ResourcesNew XCurrently Underway X
Link to Sustainability? Our Department is actively researching and testing renewable energy sources as a method of supporting sustainability through conserving non-renewable resources.
Action: Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton has constructed and installed solar heating panels to reduce energy costs by preheating boiler make up water. The active open-loop solar heating system consists of an array of three 4´ x 10´ solar collectors for a total of 120 ft⊃2; of heating area. The preheated water results in burning less natural gas during the steam generation process.
Target over the next year: · Evaluate the efficiency of the solar heating system by comparing current and historical natural gas usage as a measure of performance.· Refine the operation of the solar heating system at EOCI.· We will investigate opportunities to implement the use of solar heating at other institutions within the Department during the 2003-2005 biennium.
Responsible Party: Facilities Services Manager
Potential Agency Partners: DOC will continue to involve the Department of Energy in discussion of these projects.

 

Resource Management
Goal: Efficient Use and Conservation of Energy, Water, and Other ResourcesNew XCurrently Underway X
Link to Sustainability? Our Department is committed to reducing the total quantity and consumption rate of energy resources for long-term conservation.
Action:Our Department has installed programmable burner controllers on several of our small boilers and water heaters to increase efficiency. Additionally, we are performing full range combustion tuning on our large boilers to maximize efficiency and decrease total emissions. We operate lighting in areas of our Institutions that are unoccupied at night to be able to view any unauthorized movement.
Target over the next year: · Evaluate boiler efficiency using natural gas consumption data as a measure of performance, to be complete by June 2004. · Install motion sensors on lighting circuits in areas that are unoccupied at night to activate the lighting if movement occurs. We will compare current and historical electrical consumption rates as a measure of performance. This will be done during the 2003-2005 biennium to the degree we have resources
Responsible Party: Trades Maintenance Coordinator and Agency Supervising Electrician
Potential Agency Partners: Our Department is willing to share this information with all interested agencies, and will contact other like operations (such as Mental Health) to share our results.

Operational Efficiency
Goal: Environmentally Responsible and Strategic PurchasingNew XCurrently Underway
Link to Sustainability? The Department recognizes the need to conserve resources and the importance of making purchases that will obtain the best value by balancing short and long-term costs when purchasing product, goods and services.
Action: With strategic purchasing polices in place the Department will look to standardizing products, etc., which will create opportunities for bulk purchases and lower costs. The Department has implemented a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to develop a maintenance database for the agency.
Target over the next year: · Utilize the CMMS database to develop lists of products commonly used at multiple institutions for bulk purchase. To be completed by June 2004.· Utilize the CMMS database to identify similar products that can be standardized for agency wide use and bulk purchasing. To be completed by December 2004.
Responsible Party: Trades Maintenance Coordinator
Potential Agency Partners: DOC will continue discussions with DAS purchasing for price agreement exemptions.

Operational Efficiency
Goal: Increase staff awareness of sustainabilityNew XCurrently Underway
Link to Sustainability? Educating our staff on sustainability is a primary focus of the program. Increased staff awareness will have a positive effect on all three areas of sustainability: economic, aid the agency in meeting the established sustainability goals and reduce our cost of doing business; community, assisting in making our communities sustainable; and serving as an example for our clients to follow when they are released and reintegrate to society; and environment, ensuring that our natural capital are used wisely and preserved now and for future generations. Our staff are also a valuable source of new ideas. Helping them understand sustainability will allow us to tap into their enthusiasm and creativity. The more our staff is involved in our sustainability efforts, the better chance we will have of meeting our sustainability goals.
Action: Our Department has developed and implemented the Oregon Accountability Model. This program is to improve public safety. The model ties together many concurrent and interrelated efforts of the department and its partners into a cohesive strategy to reduce recidivism and influence inmates into becoming productive citizens.
Responsible Party: Facilities Services Manager and Agency Training Manager
Target During the 2003-2005 biennium · Develop sustainability information for distribution to all agency staff. · Develop and conduct sustainability training for target groups (such as Physical Plant Managers) to the extent resources allow.

Connection to the DOC Strategic Plan

In addition to the specific sustainability projects discussed and folded into the budget development process, the DOC also has specific reference to sustainability in it´s strategic plan. This is the document that guides the operation of the agency during the interim. Goal Four of the plan for the 2003-2005 Biennium is "Increase Organizational Efficiency." The main statement reads "The Department of Corrections has a responsibility to manage public resources wisely." The following two bullets fall within that goal-
  • Work toward an agreement with DAS to reduce the cost of commodity purchases
  • Create a sustainability plan and process to monitor progress on the plan.

Challenges

The Department of Corrections will encounter numerous challenges in adopting a sustainability philosophy. The largest challenge of all will be the fact that we are not embarking on a path of modifying a culture in an office building. We will be modifying a culture in thirteen communities ranging in size from 150 to over 3000 occupants. The role modeling the Oregon Accountability Model requires of our staff will demonstrate sustainability in action for the inmates assigned to our custody. This role modeling will be vital in affecting the change in philosophy required. Our success in this area will not be visible until the inmates are released and reintegrate into society. Only then will we see if we have been effective.
The second challenge that we see approaching will be the staffing issues that will arise due to some of the projects we undertake. Our current staffing patterns are based on functions that are currently performed. As we add functions that are not described in the State Classification system, we will encounter the full measure of the challenge that the staffing and associated compensation issues present.

Cross-Agency Opportunities

In addition to the actions identified above, our agency will be working closely with other state agencies to aid our sustainability efforts, including the following:
  • Oregon Department of Forestry - Reforestation and Firefighting
  • US Department of Forestry - Forest Cleanup and Fire Fuel Load Reduction
  • Oregon Department of Energy - New Prison Design
  • DEQ - Groundwater Remediation

Conclusion

In these times of fiscal scarcity, establishing a culture of Sustainability will define the "big picture" the Department of Corrections will need to move ahead. We will meet and overcome the small obstacles that we are sure to encounter. When the large obstacles manifest themselves, we will either overcome them or devise a method of chipping away at them until we have put it behind us. Operating in anything other than a sustainable manner will not be an option in the years to come.

The goals and actions in our Sustainability Plan will ensure that the Department of Corrections embarks on this endeavor on a positive note. As we place this plan in action, we will continue to update and expand on what will truly be a living document.