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Clean Water Rule Response to Comments

Description: A report by the Environmental Protection Agency in which the organization answers questions pertaining to the Clean Water Rule with a specific focus on the miscellaneous.
Date: unknown
Creator: United States. Environmental Protection Agency.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Contamination: Lessons Learned from the Cleanup of Formerly Used Defense and Military Munitions Sites

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), the Department of Defense (DOD) has charged the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) with cleaning up 4,700 formerly used defense sites (FUDS) and active sites that were under its jurisdiction when they were initially contaminated. The 661-acre Spring Valley site in Washington, D.C is one such site. Like many other FUDS, the U.S. Army used the Spring Valley site during World War I for research and testing of chemical agents, equipment, and munitions. Most of the site is now privately owned and includes private residences, a hospital, and several commercial properties. The primary threats at the site are buried munitions, elevated arsenic in site soils, and laboratory waste; perchlorate was also found onsite. This testimony discusses GAO's past work relating to remediation efforts at FUDS and military munitions sites to provide context for issues at Spring Valley. Specifically, it addresses: (1) the impact that shortcomings in information and guidance can have on decision-making; (2) the impact that incomplete data can have on cost estimates and schedules; (3) how funding for a particular site may be influenced by overall program goals; and (4) how better coordination can increase public confidence in cleanups and facilitate effective decision-making. GAO has made several prior recommendations that address these issues, with which, in most cases, the agency concurred."
Date: June 10, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), the Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for cleaning up about 5,400 sites on military bases that have been closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, as well as 21,500 sites on active bases and over 4,700 formerly used defense sites (FUDS), 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."
Date: March 17, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Contamination: Uncertainties Continue to Affect the Progress of the Spring Valley Cleanup

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "During World War I, the U.S. Army operated a large research facility to develop and test chemical weapons and explosives in the area that became the Spring Valley neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Buried ordnance, discovered there in 1993, led to the designation by the Department of Defense (DOD) of 61 acres as a formerly used defense site. Through fiscal year 2001, DOD had spent over $50 million to identify and remove hazards at the site. The government entities involved have identified and removed a large number of hazards, but the number remaining is unknown. The health risks influencing cleanup activities at Spring Valley are the possibility of injury or death from exploding or leaking ordnance and containers of chemical warfare agents and potential long-term health problems from exposure to arsenic-contaminated soil. As of April 2002, the U.S. Army estimated that the remaining cleanup activities would cost $7.1 million and take 5 years, but these estimates are unreliable. This testimony summarized a June report (See GAO-02-556)."
Date: June 26, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Contamination: Department of Defense Activities Related to Trichloroethylene, Perchlorate, and Other Emerging Contaminants

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "DOD defines emerging contaminants as chemicals or materials with (1) perceived or real threat to health or the environment and (2) lack of published standards or a standard that is evolving or being reevaluated. Two emerging contaminants--trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchlorate--are of particular concern to DOD because they have significant potential to impact people or DOD's mission. TCE, a degreasing agent in metal cleaning which has been used widely in DOD industrial and maintenance processes, has been documented at low exposure levels to cause headaches and difficulty concentrating. High-level exposure may cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, unconsciousness, cancer, and possibly death. Similarly, perchlorate has been used by DOD, NASA, and others in making, testing, and firing missiles and rockets. It has been widely found in groundwater, surface water, and soil across the United States, Perchlorate health studies have documented particular risks to fetuses of pregnant women. GAO was asked for testimony to summarize its past work on perchlorate-, TCE-, and defense-activities related to (1) the state of knowledge about the emerging contaminants TCE and perchlorate, (2) DOD responsibilities for managing TCE and perchlorate contamination at its facilities, and (3) DOD activities to address TCE and perchlorate contamination."
Date: July 12, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Contamination: DOD Has Taken Steps to Improve Cleanup Coordination at Former Defense Sites but Clearer Guidance Is Needed to Ensure Consistency

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is in charge of addressing cleanup at the more than 9,000 U.S. properties that were formerly owned or controlled by the Department of Defense (DOD) and have been identified as potentially eligible for environmental cleanup. The Corps has determined that more than 4,000 of these properties have no hazards that require further Corps study or cleanup action. However, in recent years, hazards have surfaced at some of these properties, leading state and federal regulators to question whether the Corps has properly assessed and cleaned up these properties. In this context, Congress asked us to (1) analyze federal coordination requirements that apply to the cleanup of these properties, (2) assess recent DOD and Corps efforts to improve coordination, and (3) identify any issues regulators may have about coordination with the Corps."
Date: March 28, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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."
Date: August 23, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Contamination: Cleanup Actions at Formerly Used Defense Sites

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that it will spend as much as $20 billion to clean up contamination at thousands of properties that were once owned, leased, or operated by the Defense Department (DOD). These properties contain hazardous, toxic, and radioactive wastes in the soil and water or in containers, such as underground storage tanks. The Corps is responsible for cleaning up the hazards, including removing underground storage tanks. DOD's annual report on its environmental restoration activities can provide a misleading picture of the Corps' accomplishments. DOD's accounts of completed projects include projects that were ineligible or that did not involve any actual cleanup effort. As a result, the impression is that--after 15 years and expenditures of $2.6 billion--more than half of the projects at formerly used defense sites have been completed. In reality, only about 32 percent of those projects that required actual cleanup actions have been completed, and those are the cheapest and least technologically challenging. The Corps estimates that the remaining projects will cost more than $13 billion and take upwards of 70 years to complete. The Corps' reporting of completed projects reflects DOD's reporting policies for all of its environmental cleanup programs, including those at closing bases and active installations. As such, progress on those cleanup programs may not be accurately pictured either. In addition, DOD's range survey did not include all formerly used defense sites properties that may contain unexploded ordnance and could be former training ranges. Consequently, DOD's inventory of training ranges is likely incomplete, and its estimated cost to clean up these ranges is likely understated."
Date: July 31, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Contamination: Many Uncertainties Affect the Progress of the Spring Valley Cleanup

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "During World War I, the U.S. Army operated a large research facility to develop and test chemical weapons and explosives in the area that became the Spring Valley neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Buried ordnance, discovered there in 1993, led to the designation by the Department of Defense (DOD) of 61 acres as a formerly used defense site. Through fiscal year 2001, DOD had spent over $50 million to identify and remove hazards at the site. The government entities involved have identified and removed a large number of hazards, but the number remaining is unknown. The health risks influencing cleanup activities at Spring Valley are the possibility of injury or death from exploding or leaking ordnance and containers of chemical warfare agents and potential long-term health problems from exposure to arsenic-contaminated soil. As of April 2002, the U.S. Army estimated that the remaining cleanup activities would cost $7.1 million and take 5 years. But these estimates are unreliable. GAO summarized this report in congressional testimony (See GAO-02-836T)."
Date: June 6, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Contamination from Weapon Tests

Description: Report issued by the Atomic Energy Commission over environmental effects from the fallout of nuclear weapons tests. The long-term effects of nuclear fallout on the environment, and human life are discussed. This report includes tables, and illustrations.
Date: October 1958
Creator: U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Health and Safety Laboratory.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department