The DON Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) continues to make significant progress toward cleaning up and closing sites in an efficient, effective, and sustainable manner. To accomplish cleanup, DON's environmental restoration team encourages and supports partnerships among various stakeholders, including state and federal regulators, American Indian tribes, and local communities.
Department of Defense (DoD) uses the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 as a model for environmental cleanups by the military components (Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps). Therefore, environmental restoration efforts at DON installations generally follow the process established by CERCLA. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action requirements and the state-led RCRA Underground Storage Tank (UST) cleanup requirements also may be applied to DON facilities by regulatory agencies.
The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986 mandated DoD to follow the same cleanup regulations that apply to private entities and established the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP). Through the DERP, DoD conducts environmental restoration activities on active installations, installations undergoing Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), and formerly used defense sites (FUDS). The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) provides oversight for the DERP; however, each service is responsible for its implementation.
DON implements the ERP following the guidance laid out in DERP and the DON ERP manuals. The DON ERP is organized into the following program categories: 1) Installation Restoration Program (IRP), 2) Munitions Response Program (MRP), and 3) Building Demolition/ Debris Removal (BD/DR). The BD/DR category provides demolition and removal of unsafe buildings or structures that are subject to CERCLA hazardous substances or pollutants or contaminants. DON conducted these in the past, but the current and projected DON plan has no funds budgeted for this category. DoD approval is required prior to proceeding in this category.
Collectively, these categories address chemical risks and/or other hazards in the environment likely to impact DON installations. DON response actions reasonably interpret and apply United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy and guidance when making cleanup decisions.