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Army Munitions Response Topics Environmental Affairs Committee Society of Military Engineers. J. C. King ODASA(ESOH) January 2009. What is the Issue?. Agenda. General Principles Current Topics Collaboration Lessons Learned. General Principles. Army Obligations.

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Army munitions response topics environmental affairs committee society of military engineers

Army Munitions Response TopicsEnvironmental Affairs CommitteeSociety of Military Engineers

J. C. KingODASA(ESOH)January 2009


  • General Principles

  • Current Topics

  • Collaboration

  • Lessons Learned

Army obligations
Army Obligations

  • Moral obligation to protect human health and the environment from DoD-related activities

  • Legal obligation for responding to hazardous military munitions including unexploded ordnance (UXO), regardless of location

  • Inherent obligation to sustain its mission by protection of the environment


  • Risk reduction drives the program

    • Worst first

    • Education considered quickest method of reducing risk

    • Management of residual risks

  • Response actions based on current, determined or reasonably anticipated end use

  • One face to the regulators and stakeholders

    • Early and continuous communication with regulators and stakeholders

    • Transparency of decision making process

  • Munitions response activities must be integrated and designed to minimize impact on environment, while protecting people

3rs explosives safety program
3Rs Explosives Safety Program


  • Consistent nation-wide message

  • Eliminate duplication of effort

  • Rapidly respond, when information is needed


  • Revising website to make more user friendly

  • New materials developed, as necessary

3rs explosives safety program1
3Rs Explosives Safety Program


  • If you have a specific requirement:

    • Check website

    • Ask for assistance

  • Current material allow adding local contact information and inserting relevant photos

  • Local development of material discouraged, duplicates efforts and wastes resources

  • DASA(ESOH) is working on ANSI compliant signage for sites

Rcwm program
RCWM Program


  • Formalize lines of authority and processes for efficiently and consistency

  • Establish funding to avoid cannibalization of other programs


  • SA signed implementation plan 20 Sep 07

  • DASA(ESOH) revising Executive Agent (EA) responsibilities for SA approval

Rcwm program1
RCWM Program


  • Goal: realign current EA CWM responsibilities.

    • ASA(ALT):

      • Demilitarization of CWM stockpile

      • Support ASA(I&E) RCWM Program requirements for assessment and destruction

    • ASA(I&E) for RCWM program

  • Policy for CWM response under development

  • Roles and responsibilities to be resolved

Rcwm program2
RCWM Program

  • ASA(I&E) to be EA for RWCM Program

  • Direction for CWM-related responses (e.g., explosives and munitions emergencies, CWM, other) to be centralized to ensure consistency and attain efficiencies

  • USACE to be single executor of CWM-related responses, exception explosives or munitions emergencies

  • CMA to support USACE and explosive and munitions emergencies

Explosives or munitions emergencies
Explosives or Munitions Emergencies

  • Military Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units respond to emergencies involving military munitions in the public domain

  • Responses limited to addressing immediate threat

  • Required follow on is done as a remedial response

  • EOD reports are reviewed to identify:

    • Patterns

    • Additional MRS

    • Effectiveness of education efforts

Technology transfer
Technology Transfer

GOAL: Break the “Catch-22” of not fielding until technology is “proven”

STATUS: Still experiencing resistance from managers and regulatory community


  • Army wants to use “new” technology

  • Looking for ways to “prove” technology or reduce contractor’s risk of attempting to use new technology

Underwater munitions
Underwater Munitions


  • Protect the public from imminent threats

  • Comply with PL 109-364, Section 314 (Sec 314)

    STATUS: Sec 314’s only deadline is reporting findings of archival research in DoD’s FY09 Environmental Programs Annual Report to Congress

Underwater munitions1
Underwater Munitions

  • Removal actions only required when imminent and substantial threat

  • Sec 314’s only deadline is for report on locations of sea disposal operations

  • Sec 314’s other requirements will be addressed as Congressional funding allow

  • Industry should not view recovery of underwater military munitions as a requirement

Mrspp qa review

GOAL: Ensure consistency in MRSPP scoring nation-wide

STATUS: QA Panel met four times in FY08 and reviewed over 1,050 applications of MRSPP

  • Disapproved 108 scores

  • Administrative corrections to over 200 scores

    • Most fixed EHE or CHE to “no known or suspected hazard” when Tables 1 or 11 scored zero

    • About 20 corrections did not change the MRS Priority

Mrspp qa


  • MRSPP scoring improved significantly over time

  • QA Panel:

    • Approval is primarily based on documentation provided

    • Agreement is more likely when all remarks in the modules are populated

  • Common issues:

    • Rationale and site inspection (SI) references not identified in each remarks section

    • Remarks and SI do not support selections made

Material PotentiallyPresenting an ExplosiveHazard

Material Regulated under EnvironmentalRequirements (e.g., Haz Waste)

Material RequiringDemilitarization for

Trade Security

MPPEH Policy


  • Safely manage MPPEH in compliance with applicable policy and laws

  • Minimize potential for future responses to such material


  • Reconciled with other policy and guidance

  • MPPEH implementing guidance and Technical Manual are being developed

Mec hazard assessment
MEC Hazard Assessment

GOAL: Provide direction to the field on use of MEC HA

STATUS: Voluntary use of MEC HA as a tool for comparison of response alternatives during two year trial period is approved


  • OGC has concerns

  • DoD will resolve concerns during trial period



  • Maximize efficiency

  • Ensure compliance

  • Improve protection of human health and the environment


STATUS: Working with a variety of groups and in various venues

  • Canadian National Defence

  • National Association of Ordnance Contractors

  • Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council

  • International UW Munitions Dialogue




  • Adversarial efforts are counter production

  • Collaboration provides for continuous improvement and reduced uncertainty

  • Need to collaborate early and often – especially at project level

  • Regulations and policy are changeable

Lessons learned1
Lessons Learned

  • Need to:

    • Work collaboratively with regulatory community – regulatory uncertainty can have significant cost and schedule impacts

    • Implement, as early as possible, an aggressive, effective explosives Safety Education Program

    • Determine land’s end use as early in the process as possible – use restrictions may be necessary

    • Involve the local community early and continuously

    • Reduce the “footprint” as quickly as possible

Lessons learned2
Lessons Learned

  • Must acknowledge:

    • Collaboration is better approach, than an adversarial one

    • Current technology has limitations

    • Funding constraints

    • Need for consistent, transparent process


J. C. King, COL (Ret)

Assistant for Munitions and Chemical Matters

Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health

[email protected]