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Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Clearance, Active Range UXO Clearance, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Programs

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Final technical rept.

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Contamination of land and sea from unexploded ordnance has grown to a level where it now presents a serious problem in the United States. The contamination prevents civilian land use, threatens public safety and causes environmental concerns. Estimates provided to the Task Force indicate that over 15 million acres in the United States may contain some level of UXO contamination, at about 1,500 different sites. This figure does not include the acreage of UXO contamination undersea. Virtually all UXO contamination in the United States results from weapons system testing andor troop training activities conducted by the Department of Defense DoD. Property containing UXO includes active military sites and land transferring or transferred to private use, such as Formerly Used Defense Sites FUDS and Base Realignment And Closure BRAC sites. DoDs responsibilities include providing UXO site clean-up project management, assuring compliance with federal, state and local laws and environmental regulations, assumption of liability, and appropriate interactions with the public. DoD has no specific UXO remediation policy, goals or program. Current UXO site remediation efforts are based on decades-old technology and use several procedures that are inefficient, labor- intensive and costly. Because the suspect sites have not been surveyed, there is great uncertainty about the actual size of the UXO problem. However, even if only 5 of suspect acreage needs cleanup, remediation costs would still be high possibly exceeding 15 billion dollars and times would be long possibly exceeding several decades to complete using current technologies. UXO site remediation in the United States currently is being funded at about 125M per year, excluding special clean-up programs such as the on-going clean-up at Kahoolawe, which has funding projected to total about 400M.

Subject Categories:

  • Land Mine Warfare
  • Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control

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