New construction and upgrades to existing infrastructure are crucial to Kennedy Space Center’s role as a premier, multi-user spaceport. Thanks to the expertise of Kennedy’s Environmental Points of Contact team, each of these critical projects is managed with environmental concerns and guidelines in mind.
The EPOC team, as it’s known at the spaceport, recently received a Space Flight Awareness Award honoring this group of specialists. NASA environmental biologist John Shaffer nominated the EPOCs for the team award, citing the commitment, expertise, program interaction and “out-of-the-box thinking” each team member utilizes as they guide construction teams through the lifecycle of a project.
Team members are tasked with monitoring and support of these projects — jobs such as installation of the new VAB platforms, upgrading the launch pads, and building the new Data Center and the headquarters building in the new Central Campus. The EPOC team works for the Kennedy Environmental and Medical Contract (KEMCON), the resident contractor for environmental efforts at Kennedy.
Environmental Points of Contact participate in every aspect of such projects, from conception and design, through construction, to completion. Their involvement ensures environmental regulations, permitting and sustainability requirements are incorporated and followed, and waste products are managed and recycled or disposed of properly. They’re also experts on LEED certification.
The four members of the EPOC team are Kristina Herpich, Lisa Ruffe, Nick Aleman and Tim Mrdjenovich. NASA also included Mike McDonnell in the Space Flight Awareness Award based on his years of service on the team prior to taking on new responsibilities with the KEMCON contract.