The Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency announced today that they have reached a major milestone in their partnering efforts to address unexploded ordnance (UXO) on closed, transferring, and transferred ranges.
After months of discussions on specific UXO policy and technical issues, DOD and EPA have completed the Interim Final Management Principles for Implementing Response Actions at Closed, Transferring, and Transferred Ranges Report. This consensus document was developed jointly by DOD and EPA under the leadership of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri W. Goodman; the Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Timothy Fields Jr.; and the Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Steven A. Herman. The document will assist DOD and EPA personnel in their efforts to conduct response actions at closed, transferring, and transferred ranges.
The principles provide interim guidance for on-going response actions and will be in effect until the final version of the Range Rule is promulgated later in the year. The principles set forth areas of DOD and EPA agreement in the following important areas: response activities under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, Liability Act of 1980; characterization and remedy selection; UXO technology; land use controls; public involvement; enforcement; federal-to-federal transfers of property containing UXO; funding for characterization and response; standards for depth of clearance; and handling of other constituent hazards.
At the Mar. 7 meeting between DOD and EPA marking the completion of the principles document, Fields said, "We have a lot of common ground between us, and I believe we are well on our way to addressing the fundamental issues surrounding UXO with the completion of these management principles." Goodman stated that the interagency effort was one of the "most successful working arrangements we've had in seven years." She went on to say that the principles document was a "significant accomplishment," and emphasized, that both agencies had "learned a lot about each others' concerns during the process of reaching consensus."
DOD and EPA underscored their commitment to meet with state and native American tribal representatives in the very near future to explain the essence of the principles document and allow for discussion and exchange. Herman remarked that these principles "provide a common approach to address human health, environmental and explosive safety concerns at closed, transferring and transferred ranges."
DOD and EPA will finalize the document following discussions with the states, native American tribes and other stakeholders. The agencies will distribute copies of the final principles document to their field counterparts, and to state and tribal agencies and their stakeholder organizations later this spring.
The complete text of the interim final management principles are on the DOD and EPA web sites at the following locations: http:// www.dtic.mil/envirodod/ and http:// www.epa.gov/swerffrr/ .