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Guide for Characterization of Sites Contaminated with Energetic Materials
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HANOVER NH COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB
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One consequence of the development, testing, and firing of ammunition is the potential contamination of test sites by high explosives, propellants, and pyrotechnics. These energetic compounds pose particular environmental concerns because of their unusual chemical, physical, and toxicological properties. For this reason there is a need to scrutinize past and current defense activities to ensure that they have had no adverse effect upon the surrounding environment. The need for environmentally sound policies, especially within the context of base closures and demilitarization, makes studies of the environmental impact of munitions an increasingly important issue. Moreover, in the future the implementation of environmentally benign defense activities should be encouraged. All aspects of the life cycle of munitions can affect the environment or human health. Production and firing of munitions, demolition procedures, and destruction of outdated ammunition can all cause dispersion of energetic compounds into the environment. These various scenarios lead to different patterns of contamination, thereby creating a need for a general protocol that is applicable in all circumstances. The goal of this guidance document is to collate information relevant to the characterization of sites contaminated by energetic materials. This guide will serve as a reference for future sampling campaigns on sites potentially contaminated with explosives. The characterization of training and firing ranges, demolition, and open burningopen detonation ranges will allow assessment of the environmental impacts of these various operational activities. In addition, it will provide information critical to the establishment of future operational requirements and procedures that minimize environmental damage.
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