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Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP)

What is it?

The MMRP addresses non-operational range lands that are suspected or known to contain unexploded ordnance (UXO), discarded military munitions (DMM) or munitions constituent (MC) contamination. Through the MMRP, the Army can most effectively respond to unexploded ordnance and military munitions waste at areas other than operational ranges.

 

It is one of two restoration programs under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program which was established to address hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants and military munitions remaining from past activities at active military installations and formerly used defense sites (FUDS). The other program is the Installation Restoration Program (IRP).

 

Congress established the MMRP under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) to address unexploded ordnance (UXO), discarded military munitions (DMM) and munitions constituents (MC) located on current and former defense sites. MMRP Eligible sites include other than operation ranges where UXO, DMM, or MC are known or suspected. Properties classified as operational military ranges, permitted munitions disposal facilities, or operating munitions storage facilities are not eligible for the MMRP.

The MMRP provides a focused program to address the challenges presented at sites called munitions response sites. Munitions responses are response actions, including investigation, removal actions and remedial actions that address the explosives safety, human health or environmental risks presented by UXO, DMM, and MC. The DoD established the MMRP to better reflect the statutory program goals established in its environmental restoration program, to enhance the understanding of the nature of munitions response sites and to manage munitions response activities more effectively. The Army maintains an inventory of its munitions response sites and assigns a relative priority to each.

What has the Army done?

The U.S. Army's inventory of closed, transferring and transferred (CTT) military ranges and defense sites (also known as the Phase 3 Range/Site Inventory) with UXO, DMM, or MC was completed in 2003 and identified sites eligible for action under the MMRP. The Phase 3 Range/Site Inventory of the installations is considered to mark the completion of the PA phase of work under CERCLA. A Site Inspection (SI), the next phase in the CERCLA process, was conducted at each inventory muniton site between 2005 and 2010. The SI helps determine whether a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) is required at a site; whether an immediate response is needed; or whether the site qualifies for no further action (NFA).

 

Program Management Manual for Military Munitions Response Program was published in September 2009. This guide provides information, resources, and tools to implement the MMRP at U.S. Army active installations.  The Army also published an MMRP RI/FS Guidance document in 2009.  The RI/FS Guide provides a process and the tools needed to successfully plan and execute an RI/FS under the MMRP in a manner consistent with CERCLA, the Naitonal Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan and the Department of Defense and Army explosives safety policy for munitions responses that involved munitions an explosives of concern. The guide applies to RI/FS conducted at munitions response sites located on active installations, installations affected by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions, Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) and other properties under the Army's purview.  It was created for both government and contractor remedial project managers who provide oversight or execute an RI/FS under the MMRP.

 

Munitions response actions will be conducted under the process outlined in the National Contingency Plan (NCP) (40 CFR 300) as authorized by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, 42 United States Code (U.S.C.) 9605, as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Pub. L. 99-499, (hereinafter CERCLA).

 

To assist with educating the public on the dangers of UXO and the Army’s policy on UXO safety, a number of information products have been created and are available for download and printing at http://www.denix.osd.mil/uxo/.  There are areas for children, photos of actual UXO and fact sheet, safety guides and posters which may be useful, some in languages other than English.

What does the Army have planned?

By DoD policy, the Army seeks to focus efforts on addressing the MRS posing the highest relative risk before addressing ones of lower relative risk. Generally, these are MRSs where access cannot be controlled and MEC are known or suspected to be present on the surface. The relative ranking system that is applied to the MRSs is the Munitions Response Site Prioritization Protocol (MRSPP). It ranks sites based on a variety of criteria and allows the Army to address the sites that have the highest relative risk first.

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Why is this important?

After decades of munitions-related activities required to maintain our military's readiness, UXO, DMM, and MC may be present to some degree at many active and former military installations. The MMRP addresses the potential explosives safety, health, and environmental issues caused by past Department of Defense (DoD) munitions related activities. The program addresses the potential explosives safety hazards presented by munitions and explosives of concern (MEC), which include UXO, DMM, and MC concentrations high enough to pose an explosive hazard and potential environmental contamination. Previously, the Defense Environmental Restoration Program had focused generally on the restoration of sites with potentially hazardous contaminants.


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