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Department of Defense

Regenesis Department of Defense RemediationThe United States Department of Defense (DoD) utilizes over 30 million acres of land around the world. DoD sites are comprised of bases and facilities that house and support the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard and Coast Guard. These sites range in size from relatively small to very large property footprints and can be located in very remote locations. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), and the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) are the primary federal laws governing the investigations and cleanup of DoD contaminated sites. These installations typically have multiple contaminated sites regulated by either CERCLA, RCRA corrective action provisions, RCRA underground storage tank (UST) provisions or all three. Beyond managing environmental stewardship at operating DoD sites, the federal government is also responsible for cleaning up closed or former military bases through the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Program which allows the transfer of federally owned properties to local governments. The funding of DoD site remediation is tied directly to the annual, federal budget and provided through various federal mechanisms. DoD site remediation can be costly due to the nature of the defense-related activities, different types of chemicals/processes used on-site and relatively large volumes of chemicals utilized over time. Remediation at these sites can progress quickly or over long periods depending upon changes in the amount of federal funding available as well as the extent and nature of the contamination.

Resulting Contamination and Environmental Impacts

Soil and groundwater contamination at DoD sites can be the result of many defense-related activities such as: military industrial process operations, fuel dispensing, transport and storage, vehicle/aircraft maintenance and cleaning, munitions use, landfilling, tactical use of herbicides and pesticides, etc. The most prevalent sources of contamination at these sites are related to underground storage tanks (USTs), spill areas, landfills and surface disposal areas. Primary categories of contaminants most often found at DoD sites include: volatile organic compounds, (VOCs), semivolatile organic compounds, (SVOCs), metals, fuels, explosives, and other inorganic compounds such as asbestos, arsenic, corrosives, pesticides, and herbicides. Typically encountered contaminants are as follows: petroleum products, chlorinated solvents, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls.

DoD Environmental Solutions

Soil and groundwater remediation solutions at DoD sites may include the following: extensive source area treatment, free product removal, large dissolved-phase plume strategies, mixed plume treatment, down-gradient barriers, soil mixing, handling and treatment, excavations, biopiles, trenches, metals immobilization (specific to hex-chrome). These solutions can be achieved using well-documented, proven and cost-effective in situ approaches such as in situ chemical oxidation, enhanced anaerobic biodegradation, enhanced aerobic biodegradation and metals reduction. REGENESIS provides a range of technologies for use at DoD sites which include: PlumeStop, 3-D Microemulsion, Bio-Dechlor INOCULUM, ORC Advanced (powder/pellets), RegenOx ISCO for underground infrastructure compatibility and PersulfOx ISCO, CRS and MRC.

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FAQs about Department of Defense Sites

Sites formerly occupied by the DoD often have soil and groundwater impacts related to military activities such as fuel dispensing, transport and storage, vehicle/aircraft maintenance, munitions use, landfilling, and the tactical use of herbicides and pesticides. Contaminants commonly found on DoD sites include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), metals, fuels, explosives, and inorganic compounds such as asbestos, arsenic, pesticides, and herbicides. These compounds pose a risk to both human health and the surrounding environment.

As with the discovery of any environmental impact, the first step should be to immediately address any risk to human health or sensitive ecological site receptors. Once any immediate threats are mitigated, a longer-term remedial plan can be developed in compliance with federal, state, and local requirements. These plans should be developed in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as state and local regulatory bodies. Communication with the local community should also be considered, with the encouragement of public comment as necessary.

While most environmental contamination can pose health hazards due to toxicity, the types of contaminant found on DoD sites can pose additional risks. For example, military munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) are unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other hazardous munitions materials left behind after live-fire training or testing, open burning and detonation, and burial could cause physical harm if dealt with irresponsibly. Besides the obvious danger of explosions, there can also be deleterious effects from exposure to chemical warfare agents or other hazardous substances in the munitions.