Overarching Vision for Army Environmental Cleanup
The Army will be a national leader in cleaning up contaminated land to protect human health and the environment as an integral part of its mission.
Vision/strategy: The Army’s Overarching Vision for Environmental Cleanup communicates its commitment to cleaning up past contamination for which the Army is responsible. To achieve this vision, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment) directed the Army staff to manage each of their restoration programs under a unified vision and overarching strategy. In April 2003, the Army Environmental Cleanup Strategy was developed to create consistency and accountability across the Army’s Cleanup Program. The strategy also describes cleanup resource and strategy management to guide cleanup program area managers.
Background: The Restoration Directorate provides direction/guidance and oversight of the Army’s environmental cleanup programs that follow the Army Environmental Cleanup Strategy and reflect the Army’s Overarching Vision for Environmental Cleanup. Environmental restoration activities at a facility or site owned, leased, or possessed by the Army within the United States at the time of actions leading to contamination fall under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP). DERP handles restoration of sites contaminated by the Army prior to the enactment of the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA) in October 1986. DERP programs include the restoration of Active Installations, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) sites, or Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS). There are three environmental restoration activity categorized under DERP:
- Installation Restoration Program (IRP): A comprehensive program to identify, investigate and cleanup of hazardous substances and pollutants or contaminants; petroleum, oil, or lubricants; and hazardous and radioactive waste or waste constituents. Munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) (unexploded ordnance (UXO), discarded military munitions (DMM), or munitions constituents (MC) contamination that are present in high enough concentrations to pose an explosive hazard) and MC are included if contamination is incidental to an existing IRP site.
- Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP): Addresses hazards from MEC and MC which occurred prior to September 2002 but is not already included with an IRP site cleanup activity.
- Building Demolition/Debris Removal (BD/DR): Program addresses demolition and removal of unsafe buildings and structures and the removal of unsafe debris. This program is used primarily in the case of FUDS.
Additionally, other contamination that occurred after DERP establishment is cleaned up under non-DERP. Non-DERP programs include the compliance cleanup of Active Installations or BRAC sites.
Actions: The Army actively communicates and coordinates with stakeholders, such as state and federal regulators, tribal and local governments, and local communities to plan and carry out cleanup operations through the use of a Restoration Advisory Board (RAB).
Priority of cleanup and funding distribution is made using a risk management approach that assesses relative risk to human health, safety, and the environment. The risk assessment evaluates the degree of contamination or types of munitions/constituents present, whether the contamination is migrating, and whether humans, animals, or plants could come in contact with contamination.
The Defense Environmental Programs Annual Report to Congress (DEP ARC) is an annual report containing details on the accomplishments and progress in Department of Defenses (DoD) Environmental Programs during a particular fiscal year. Restoration activities from Active Army sites, Army BRAC sites, and FUDS can be found in the DEP ARC. Current and previous DEP ARC documents are located at: http://www.denix.osd.mil/arc/.
Army Environmental Restoration Program Areas:
- Active Installation Restoration Program
- BRAC Restoration Program
- Formerly Used Defense Sites Program
- Compliance Cleanup Program