Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) promotes collaboration and innovation by sharing information about the Department of the Navy (DON) Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) teams that have successfully implemented restoration projects nationwide. Recent success stories are presented below related to technology innovations and optimized strategies for managing sites.
Each year, individuals and ERP teams can be nominated for recognition of their outstanding efforts to protect human health and the environment by cleaning up Environmental Restoration (ER) sites in a timely, cost-efficient, and responsive manner. Restoring sites impacted by past defense practices ultimately protects military personnel and the public from potential environmental health and safety hazards. The annual Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards recognizes installations, individuals, and teams for their outstanding achievements and innovative environmental practices.
Success stories from across NAVFAC regions, along with recent award-winning projects are noted below:
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune , North Carolina
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Installation (SECDEF 2022 and SECNAV 2022 Award Winner):
Continued to make great progress in investigating and cleaning up their sites under several environmental programs during FY 2020-21. Remedial Action accomplishments included the implementation of green remediation best practices that saved 52 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the modification of its Base-wide Vapor Intrusion Evaluation that led to the migration of potential volatile organic compound hazards in the air, and the evaluation of alternative treatment technologies to treat contaminated groundwater. The base also supported a taskforce for recovery efforts following Hurricane Florence by ensuring the planned capital improvement projects met Navy and Marine Corps environmental site requirements and PFAS guidance. Click here to read more.
Former Vieques Naval Installation, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Vieques Environmental Restoration Team (SECDEF 2022 Award Nominee and SECNAV 2022 Award Winner):
Prioritized areas for accelerated cleanup leading to beneficial reuse of over 5,000 acres and reduced risk to human health and the environment by expanding public awareness of underwater munitions, implementing and enforcing safety zones and removing munitions from the nearshore environments of the most-frequented beaches. Remedial Action innovations included the utilization of Advanced Geophysical Classification (AGC) to reduce the extent of subsurface digging and removal, the use of water jet cutting to cut inert munitions for disposal, and the development of a novel munitions characterization approach for underwater sires next to public beaches. The Vieques Environmental Restoration Team has also collaborated with community stakeholders, government agencies and academic researchers in projects to allow for safer remediation approaches that protect the environment and reduce costs. Current projects include using inflatable cofferdams for nearshore munitions removal, creating mobile and buoyant artificial reefs for coral mitigation and using autonomous, long-range semi-submersible technology for enhanced data collection capabilities at Underwater Munitions Sites. Click here to read more.
Incremental Site Progress at Superfund Federal Facility Sites (2020 Federal Facilities Program Initiative):
The Federal Facilities program evaluated CERCLA Pipeline Durations for Federal Facility sites with ongoing work and developed guidance to get sites through the CERCLA pipeline efficiently and cost-effectively while providing protective cleanups and facilitating reuse. They addressed six priority issues and outlined corresponding recommendations. The areas where issues could arise included: (1) rightsizing operable units, (2) team dynamics, (3) complex technical and policy issues, (4) complex groundwater operable units, (5) differing goals and priorities of team members, (6) uncertainty with emerging contaminants. Through this initiative, the ongoing projected durations at Federal Facility National Priority List sites reduced by 9% by March 2021.