Printer Friendly

Environmental Contamination: Information on the Funding and Cleanup Status of Defense Sites.

GAO-10-547T March 17, 2010

Under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP DERP Defense Environmental Restoration Program
DERP Drug Effectiveness Review Project
DERP Defective Equipment Replacement Program
DERP Design Eye Reference Point (aviation)
DERP Disposable Eye-Respiratory Protection
), the Department of Defense (DOD (1) (Dial On Demand) A feature that allows a device to automatically dial a telephone number. For example, an ISDN router with dial on demand will automatically dial up the ISP when it senses IP traffic destined for the Internet. ) is responsible for cleaning up about 5,400 sites on military bases that have been closed under the Base Realignment and Closure Base Realignment and Closure (or BRAC) is a process of the United States federal government directed at the administration and operation of the Armed Forces, used by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and Congress to close excess military installations and realign  (BRAC Brač (bräch), Ital. Brazza, island (1991 pop. 13,824), 152 sq mi (394 sq km), off the Dalmatian coast in the Adriatic Sea, Croatia. It is a popular summer resort and tourist spot. Supetar (Ital. ) process, as well as 21,500 sites on active bases and over 4,700 formerly used defense sites (FUDS FUDS Formerly Used Defense Sites
FUDS Federal Urban Driving Schedule
FUDS Fluids Utility Distribution System
), properties that DOD owned or controlled and transferred to other parties prior to October 1986. The cleanup of contaminants, such as hazardous chemicals or unexploded ordnance, at BRAC bases has been an impediment to the timely transfer of these properties to parties who can put them to new uses. The goals of DERP include (1) reducing risk to human health and the environment (2) preparing BRAC properties to be environmentally suitable for transfer (3) having final remedies in place and completing response actions and (4) fulfilling other established milestones to demonstrate progress toward meeting program performance goals. This testimony is based on prior work and discusses information on (1) how DOD allocates cleanup funding at all sites with defense waste and (2) BRAC cleanup status. It also summarizes other key issues that GAO has identified in the past that can impact DOD's environmental cleanup efforts.

DOD uses the same method to propose funding for cleanup at FUDS, active sites, and BRAC sites; cleanup funding is based on DERP goals and is generally proportional to the number of sites in each of these categories. Officials in the Military Departments, Defense Agencies, and FUDS program, who are responsible for executing the environmental restoration activities at their respective sites, formulate cleanup budget proposals using the instructions in DOD's financial management regulation and DERP environmental restoration performance goals. DERP's goals include target dates for reaching the remedy-in-place or response complete (RIP/RC) milestone. For example, for sites included under the first four BRAC rounds, the goal is to reach the RIP/RC milestone at sites with hazardous substances released before October 1986 by 2015 and for sites in the 2005 BRAC round by 2014. DOD's military components plan cleanup actions that are required to meet DERP goals at the installation or site level. DOD requires the components to assess their inventory of BRAC and other sites by relative risk to help make informed decisions about which sites to clean up first. Using these relative risk categories, as well as other factors, the components set more specific restoration targets each fiscal year to demonstrate progress and prepare a budget to achieve those goals and targets. DOD data show that, in applying the goals, and targets, cleanup funding has generally been proportional to the number of sites in the FUDS, active, and BRAC site categories. For example, the total number of BRAC sites requiring cleanup is about 17 percent of the total number of defense sites requiring cleanup, while the $440.2 million obligated to address BRAC sites in fiscal year 2008 is equivalent to about 25 percent of the total funds obligated for this purpose for all defense waste sites. GAO's past work has also shown that DOD's preliminary cost estimates for cleanup generally tend to rise significantly as more information becomes known about the level of contamination at a specific site. In addition, three factors can lead to delays in cleanup. They are (1) technological constraints that limit DOD's ability to detect and cleanup certain kinds of hazards, (2) prolonged negotiations with environmental regulators on the extent to which DOD's actions are in compliance with regulations and laws, and (3) the discovery of previously unknown hazards that can require additional cleanup, increase costs, and delay transfer of the property.

Categories: March 17, 2010, Base closures, Base realignments, Contaminants, Contamination, Decontamination decontamination /de·con·tam·i·na·tion/ (de?kon-tam-i-na´shun) the freeing of a person or object of some contaminating substance, e.g., war gas, radioactive material, etc.

de·con·tam·i·na·tion
n.
, DOD Base Realignment and Closure Program, DOD Defense Environmental Restoration Program, DOD formerly used defense sites, Environment evaluation, Environmental assessment, Environmental cleanups, Environmental monitoring, Environmental policies, Environmental protection, Evaluation methods, Federal funds Federal Funds

Funds deposited to regional Federal Reserve Banks by commercial banks, including funds in excess of reserve requirements.

Notes:
These non-interest bearing deposits are lent out at the Fed funds rate to other banks unable to meet overnight reserve
, Federal property, Federal regulations, Hazardous substances, Hazardous waste Hazardous waste

Any solid, liquid, or gaseous waste materials that, if improperly managed or disposed of, may pose substantial hazards to human health and the environment. Every industrial country in the world has had problems with managing hazardous wastes.
 disposal, Hazardous waste site remediation, Hazardous waste sites, Hazardous wastes, Health hazards, Information disclosure, Military bases, Military facilities, Performance appraisal, Pollution control, Program evaluation, Public health, Risk assessment, Risk management, Toxic substances
COPYRIGHT 2010 Stonehenge International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:General Accounting Office Reports & Testimony
Date:Jun 1, 2010
Words:686
Previous Article:Environmental Health: Opportunities for Greater Focus, Direction, and Top-Level Commitment to Children's Health at EPA.
Next Article:Warfighter Support: Continued Actions Needed by DOD to Improve and Institutionalize Contractor Support in Contingency Operations.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters