Cleanup Highlights

Army cleanups support installation readiness

By Lori Hogan, USAEC Contractor

SAN ANTONIO -- The Army's Environmental Restoration Program, more commonly known as the Army Cleanup Program, addresses a variety of hazardous contaminants and military munitions on Army installations across the globe to bolster readiness. The initiative stemmed from the Defense Environmental Restoration Program, established in 1986 by the Department of Defense.

The mission is to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state environmental regulations, protect human health and the environment, and enable readiness by returning Army lands to usable condition. By performing cost-effective remediation on contaminated sites, cleanup efforts have enabled installations to expand and carry out critical missions.

People doing cleanup

"We deliver cost-effective environmental services globally to enable Army readiness by providing expertise, program management and project management in compliance, conservation, restoration and pollution prevention," explained Hopeton Brown, Chief of Program and Liabilities Branch.

Under DERP guidance, the Army Cleanup Program prioritizes remediation sites into high, medium and low priority categories primarily based on relative risk. The Army evaluates relative risk by the type of contaminant hazard, migration of contaminants, and the potential exposure to humans or plants and animals.

The Army creates an Installation Action Plan for each site with an active environmental restoration project. The IAP is often based on a multi-year approach; however, with Fort Huachuca in southeastern Arizona, the planned construction of a new electronic proving ground facility on a former landmine training site propelled it into a time critical removal action.

Fort Huachuca, a product of the Indian Wars of the 1870s and 1880s, sits at the base of the Huachuca Mountains and offered protection to settlers in southern Arizona. Today it integrates and delivers base support, including training, testing, communications and intelligence, to enable Army readiness. The new EPG includes a much-needed maintenance facility to test and repair unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones.

The area designated for construction was undeveloped but located near existing buildings, making it more likely to contain archaeological artifacts than environmental hazards. Therefore, the first priority was to conduct an archeological survey...

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