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Defense Infrastructure: Environmental Cleanup of Former Naval Facilities on Vieques
[Technical Report, Letter Report]
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
This report responds to your request that we determine the status and estimated costs of environmental cleanup on the island of Vieques. For decades, the U.S. Navy conducted ship-to-shore bombing exercises and other live-fire training activities on the island, which is located off the coast of Puerto Rico. The Navy ceased its operations on Vieques in 2003. The Navy has transferred the land to the Municipality of Vieques and the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust for conservation purposes and to the Department of the Interior. Although the land has been transferred, the Navy remains responsible for environmental cleanup. The cleanup is being carried out under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program DERP that consists of 1 the Installation Restoration Program, which addresses cleanup of hazardous substances, and 2 the Military Munitions Response Program, which addresses cleanup of munitions. We obtained information on the status and estimated costs of environmental cleanup on Vieques from the Department of the Navy. We performed our work from January through March 2007 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. The Navy has identified 37 potentially contaminated sites on Vieques that fall under the installation restoration program. The Navy concluded that no further action was required for 9 of these sites, and the remaining 28 sites are in various phases of the cleanup process. The Navy has allocated about 18.1 million for the investigation and cleanup of these sites through fiscal year 2006 and estimates that an additional 15.2 million is needed to complete cleanup. The Navy has begun the surface removal of munitions on both the east and west sides of Vieques under the munitions response program.
[A, Approved For Public Release]