After decades of munitions-related activities required to maintain our military's readiness, unexploded ordnance (UXO), discarded military munitions (DMM), and munitions constituents (MC) may be present to some degree at many active and former military installations. The Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) addresses the potential explosives safety, health, and environmental issues caused by past Department of Defense (DoD) munitions related activities. MMRP is a relatively new (2002) element of the Secretary of Defense's Defense Environmental Restoration Program. 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. The MMRP now provides a focused program to address the challenges presented at sites called munitions response sites that are located on other than operational ranges. 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.MMRP Background
Congress established the Military Munitions Response Program (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 and the release occurred prior to September 30, 2002. Properties classified as operational military ranges, permitted munitions disposal facilities, or operating munitions storage facilities are not eligible for the MMRP.
A Program Management Manual for Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) was published in September 2009. This guide provides information, resources, and tools to implement the MMRP at U.S. Army active installations. The guide is a revision of the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) and also tasks the Department of Defense (DOD) to develop and maintain an inventory of defense sites which are known or suspected to contain unexploded ordnance (UXO), discarded military munitions (DMM), and munitions constituents (MC). The guide creates a prioritization system for the sites, establishes a funding program element for the program and highlights those requirements that deviate from the well established IRP. Because funding and management activities for BRAC and FUDS differ from those for active installations, this guide does not apply to BRAC or FUDS properties. 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).
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 has 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. The SI is the next phase in the CERCLA process and will complete the PA/SI requirement for the MR sites.
The primary goal of the MMRP SI is to collect the appropriate amount of information to make one of the following decisions:
The secondary goals of the SI are to collect data for the completion of the MR Site Prioritization Protocol (MRSPP) for each MR site and to improve the Cost to Complete estimates.
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.