Environmental Contamination: Corps Needs to Reassess Its Determinations That Many Former Defense Sites Do Not Need Cleanup

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) estimates that cleaning up contamination and hazards at thousands of properties that it formerly owned or controlled will take more than 70 years and cost as much as $20 billion. These formerly used defense sites (FUDS), which can range in size from less than an acre to many thousands of acres, are now used for parks, farms, schools, and homes. Hazards at these properties include unsafe buildings, toxic and radioactive wastes, containerized hazardous wastes, and ordnance and explosive wastes. The U.S. ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. August 23, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) estimates that cleaning up contamination and hazards at thousands of properties that it formerly owned or controlled will take more than 70 years and cost as much as $20 billion. These formerly used defense sites (FUDS), which can range in size from less than an acre to many thousands of acres, are now used for parks, farms, schools, and homes. Hazards at these properties include unsafe buildings, toxic and radioactive wastes, containerized hazardous wastes, and ordnance and explosive wastes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for identifying, investigating, and cleaning up hazards resulting from military use. GAO found that the Corps lacks a sound basis for its conclusion that 38 percent of 3,840 FUDS need no further study or cleanup action. The Corps' determinations are questionable because there is no evidence that it reviewed or obtained information that would allow it to identify all the potential hazards at the properties, or that it took sufficient steps to assess the presence of potential hazards. GAO also found that the Corps often did not notify owners of its determinations that the properties did not need further action, as called for in its guidance, or tell the owners to contact the Corps if evidence of DOD-caused hazards was found later."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • August 23, 2002

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Environmental Contamination: Corps Needs to Reassess Its Determinations That Many Former Defense Sites Do Not Need Cleanup, report, August 23, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293091/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.