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A sustained optimization effort is an important element of the remediation approach to ensure efficiency and effectiveness at each site. The Department of the Navy (DON) optimization efforts span the entire environmental restoration (ER) process from investigation through remedy implementation and long-term monitoring.  In accordance with DON policy, green and sustainable remediation (GSR) is incorporated into the optimization process to emphasize and promote sustainability practices within the ER program.  Detailed procedures for implementing optimization practices are provided in NAVFAC guidance as noted below.

Jump to Resources to access Policies & Guidance, Publications, Related Sites, and Tools



The goal of optimization is to maximize the effectiveness of cleanup actions, while minimizing costs and negative environmental and societal impacts. This must also be accomplished without sacrificing data quality and the ability to make environmentally protective decisions. The DON Optimization Policy addresses the requirement for optimization efforts to be conducted throughout the ER process.

According to the policy, optimization efforts are to be considered during site characterization, remedy evaluation and selection, design and construction, remedy operation, and long-term management. In addition, the policy addresses implementing green and sustainable remediation (GSR), requirements for new pump and treat systems, and documentation of response complete/site closeout milestones. Consideration of optimization and sustainability concepts throughout the ER process improves performance of the remedial action and reduces the remedy footprint. 

For sites where final remedies are not yet selected or implemented, remedy selection optimization efforts utilize scientific advances to select a more effective remediation strategy, develop a flexible Record of Decision (ROD), and use life cycle design concepts. For sites that have operating remedies, optimization offers opportunities for improving the existing remediation system performance, revising the remediation strategy, and streamlining the monitoring program. Remedy optimization efforts ensure that remedial action objectives (RAOs) are met and site closeout or long-term management is achieved in a timely and cost-effective manner.

By applying key optimization concepts, ER managers can ensure that remedial action selection, design, implementation and site closeout are completed efficiently and cost-effectively at each Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) site. 

To further enhance optimization opportunities, the DON Installation Restoration Program (IRP) implements its optimization efforts with the reviews noted below:

  • Remedial Alternatives Analysis (RAA): The RAA provides for early review of the key elements of the conceptual site model (CSM), remedial action objectives, and the proposed remedial approach

  • Quality Document Review (QDR) Directive: The QDR Directive was established to improve resource utilization in support of the continued optimization efforts throughout remediation lifecycle of IRP sites. The QDR process applies to Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), or State equivalent documents that directly or indirectly evaluate, select, or modify a remedy or path forward at DON IRP sites. The QDR process emphasizes collaborative efforts and provides feedback mechanisms among the Remedial Project Managers (RPMs), Contractors, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), First-level Supervisors, and ER Managers.. 

  • Ad-Hoc Portfolio Sites Review: This review process is a NAVFAC HQ initiative that brings together a team of both internal NAVFAC and external industry SMEs to provide optimization reviews on IRP sites. In many cases these sites are pre-ROD and complex and have not met the response complete (RC) goal. In other cases, they are post-ROD sites with long-tail operations and maintenance (O&M) and monitoring. NAVFAC headquarters (HQ), along with the ER Managers, selects the sites to be included in this portfolio review.


For more information, Chapters 6 to 11 of the DON Environmental Restoration Program Manual describe how the Navy incorporates optimization throughout the CERCLA process.




Title & Description

ERP Manual

DON Environmental Restoration Program Manual: Chapters 6 to 11 (February 2018)
Discusses optimization principles throughout all phases of site investigation and remediation, including Navy guidance and policy regarding remedy optimization. 

Remediation Technology

Optimizing Remediation Technologies User Guide (October 2022)
This document provides a description, an example performance plot and a summary of common operational problems with corresponding optimization recommendations for 15 selected remedial technologies. 

Remedial Alternatives Analysis (RAA)

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Guidance for Remedial Alternatives Analysis (October 2020)
This guidance document describes the requirements for RAAs, the procedures for RAA preparation, and the review process for RAAs. This document updates the RAA guidance issued in April 2012. A detailed template for preparing the RAA is attached.

Document Review

NAVFAC ER,N Program Directive for Quality Document Review (QDR) of DON Installation Restoration Program (IRP) Sites (June 2018)
Summarizes the process for obtaining the required internal reviews of key documents.

Federal Sustainability Goals

Executive Order 13693: Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade (March 2015)
Promotes Federal leadership in energy, environmental, water, fleet, buildings, and acquisition management to support greenhouse gas reductions and to prepare for the impacts of climate change. Executive Order (EO) 13693 was released in March 2015 and supersedes EO 13514 and EO 13423. 

O&M Optimization

NAVFAC Guidance for Optimizing Remedial Action Operation (October 2012)
Focuses on the most significant ways to design and optimize remedial action operation in order to maximize cost efficiency and minimize the remedy footprint, while maintaining effectiveness. Includes technology-specific recommendations and lessons learned from case studies.

Optimization Policy

DON Policy for Optimizing Remedial and Removal Actions at all DON Environmental Restoration Program Sites (April 2012)
Clarifies when to perform optimization reviews and provides effective remedial strategies to meet RAOs. Requires consideration of: 1) GSR metrics; 2) remedial alternatives analysis (RAA); and 3) the monitoring and management approach (MMA).

GSR Metrics

DON Guidance on Green and Sustainable Remediation (April 2012)
Discusses how to incorporate GSR metrics into projects. Methods for evaluating remedy footprint are discussed, along with case studies and recommended strategies for footprint reduction.

ROD Toolkit

NAVFAC Guidance on Toolkit for Preparing CERCLA Records of Decision (November 2011)
Provides direction for the preparation of Navy decision documents using the EPA ROD Toolkit (2011). Note: the EPA OSWER ROD Toolkit is linked in the Publications section below.

Monitoring Optimization

DON Guidance for Planning and Optimizing Monitoring Strategies (November 2010)
Provides information on the planning and optimizing of monitoring programs. Monitoring for specific media types or site types include groundwater, sediments, groundwater discharge to surface water, ecological resources, vadose zone, landfills, and land use controls.

Optimization FS, ROD, RD

DON Guidance for Optimizing Remedy Evaluation, Selection, and Design (March 2010)
Provides a general overview and explanation of key optimization concepts as they pertain to the Feasibility Study (FS), ROD, and Remedial Design (RD) and provides specific recommendations for optimizing remedy selection and design.

Streamlined ROD

DON Strategy Memo Streamlined Record of Decision Strategy (August 2007)
Promotes the use of a streamlined ROD, which utilizes an innovative format to present the remedy selection for a site.

Site Closeout

DON Guidance to Documenting Milestones Throughout the Site Closeout Process (March 2006)
Outlines a consistent approach for documenting specific milestones for achieving site closeout.




Title & Description

High-Volume Sampling

High-Volume Sampling for Vapor Intrusion Assessments Fact Sheet (June 2023)
This fact sheet covers high-volume sampling (HVS) as a method to characterize the nature and extent of volatile organic compound (VOC) vapor distributions under large buildings. Case studies at NAS Corpus Christi and NS Norfolk are included as well as a summary of the advantages and limitations of applying HVS.

Optimization & Site Close Out

A Review of Exit Strategies and Site Closeout Challenges at Navy Clean Up Sites (March 2022)
This report identifies specific milestones along the path to site closeout (SC), as well as an array of approaches available to develop exit strategies. Three Navy case studies are provided as examples of sites that have implemented successful exit strategies that resulted in SC.

Case Study: Navy Petroleum Sites

Case Study Review of Optimization Practices at Navy Petroleum Sites (September 2021)
This report provides an overview of optimization concepts as applied to the cleanup of Department of the Navy (DON) petroleum sites. This case study review was conducted to identify specific examples where optimization concepts and best practices advocated for petroleum site management were successfully implemented at DON sites.

Remedial Action Completion in the Navy’s Site Closeout Process

Remedial Action Completion in the Navy’s Site Closeout Process
This fact sheet clarifies documenting remedial action completion activities supporting National Priorities List (NPL) delisting under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).


Environmental Statistics Fact Sheet (September 2019)
This fact sheet provides a condensed selection and discussion of important statistical methods used for the analysis of groundwater and soil data. The following topics are discussed: When is it appropriate to use statistics?, Which statistical methods can be used for groundwater and soil data sets?.  

Groundwater Sampling

Repeatable Multilevel Groundwater Sampling Fact Sheet (September 2019)
Repeatable multilevel groundwater sampling refers to any method of groundwater sample collection from a single location, but at multiple depths below ground surface repeatable over time. It is an additional tool to help characterize the site

Production   Well O&M

NAVFAC Production Well Construction and Maintenance Fact Sheet (April 2017)
Describes how to maintain the functioning of production wells (including groundwater extraction and reagent injection wells).


NAVFAC Green and Sustainable Remediation Best Management Practices (BMPs) (September 2016)
Summarizes GSR BMPs for commonly used remediation technologies to further promote their adoption. The technologies covered include air sparging, biosparging, soil vapor extraction (SVE), enhanced reductive dechlorination (ERD), in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO), thermal treatment, groundwater extraction and treatment (GWET), and excavation.

Landfill Long-Term Management

NAVFAC Sustainable Long-Term Management of Landfills under the Navy's Environmental Restoration Program (April 2016)
Sustainable long-term management of landfills helps to minimize the lifecycle depletion of energy, material, and financial resources.


NAVFAC Management and Monitoring Approach (MMA) Toolkit - Update (November 2015)
This addendum to the NAVFAC MMA document provides example report formats and shares streamlining ideas for conveying information in reports.

GSR Sediment Sites

Sustainable Sediment Remediation White Paper (September 2015)
Provides a connection between DON optimization and sediment policies to support sustainability evaluations of sediment remedies.


NAVFAC Review of Green and Sustainable Remediation Practices at NAVFAC Environmental Restoration Sites (June 2014)
Reviews best practices and lessons learned from the application of GSR metrics at Navy and Marine Corps sites nationwide.


Green and Sustainable Remediation Fact Sheet (May 2014)
Provides a brief introduction to GSR metrics and footprint reduction practices.

GSR Metrics

Integrating Green and Sustainable Remediation Metrics within the CERCLA Process during the Feasibility Study (July 2012)
Focuses on Navy GSR metrics and their incorporation into the nine criteria for alternatives analysis during the remedy evaluation phase. A case study is also provided.

Monitoring Reports

NAVFAC Management and Monitoring Approach (MMA) Toolkit (May 2012)
Provides a format for documenting the application of these principles with a focus on decision-focused data management, evaluation, and reporting.

ROD Toolkit

Toolkit for Preparing CERCLA Records of Decision, EPA OSWER (September 2011)  
Summarizes communication and graphical tools to effectively convey information in a concise manner, while presenting the full rationale for remedy selection in a streamlined ROD.

Risk Management

NAVFAC Groundwater Risk Management Handbook (January 2008)
Provides an overview of challenging site conditions for groundwater plumes and summarizes risk management strategies such as establishing points of compliance (POCs), ACLs, performing mixing zone analyses, and TI waivers.



Title & Description

Optimization Findings 

Portfolio Optimization (P-Opt) Review: Phase 1 Overview and Findings (August 2017)
This webinar provided an overview and summarized key findings from the Phase I P-Opt review of DON Installation Restoration Program (IRP) sites. Additional optimization-related webinars for petroleum sites, dilute plumes, and pump-and-treat systems can be found on the NAVFAC OER2 Web page.

GSR best management practices 

NAVFAC Green and Sustainable Remediation BMPs Screening Table
A spreadsheet that allows the user to identify GSR BMPs applicable to the site remedy. The technologies covered include air sparging, biosparging, SVE, ERD, ISCO, thermal treatment, GWET, and excavation.

Complex Sites

Managing the Navy's Complex Groundwater Sites: Alternative Endpoints and Approaches (April 2015)
This webinar provided an overview of the attributes and technical challenges that lend complexity to soil and groundwater sites.

Environmental Footprint Tool

SiteWiseTM Tool Version 3.2
An updated version of the SiteWiseTM tool, specifically designed to calculate the environmental footprint of remedial alternatives for sediment sites.
For a copy of this tool, please send an e-mail to or

EPA Optimization

EPA Optimization Program (March 2019)
This webinar presented an overview of the USEPA’s Superfund Optimization Program. It presented the basic optimization components, reviewed the optimization process, and summarized the optimization accomplishments.

Dilute Plumes

Dealing with Dilute Plumes (April 2017)
This webinar discussed the roles of source depletion, matrix diffusion, and various natural and aggressive attenuating mechanisms in determining a suitable path forward for the plume.


Recent Developments in Petroleum Site Management (October 2016)
This webinar reviewed new developments in the cleanup of groundwater and soils at contaminated petroleum release sites.

Rehabilitation Wells

Rehabilitation and Maintenance of Pump and Treat Systems (January 2018)
This webinar provided an overview of key design aspects and maintenance practices needed to achieve optimal performance and to minimize life cycle costs for environmental remediation wells.

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