|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Mon, 18 May 1998 08:57:51 -0700|
|Subject:||UXO Report Executive Summary|
(Here follows the complete, official executive summary of the Defense Science Board Report on unexploded ordnance clearance. My summary last week, and as far as I can tell, the executive summary, neglect to mention one controversial issue. In the main body of the report the DSB task force recommends that funding for addition UXO clearance research and development come from monies now devoted to actual UXO clearance. - Lenny) Report Of The Defense Science Board Task Force ON UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE (UXO) CLEARANCE, ACTIVE RANGE UXO CLEARANCE, AND EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL (EOD) PROGRAMS April 1998 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 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 and/or 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. DoD's 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 Kaho'olawe, which has funding projected to total about $400M). RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT The key to more efficient UXO remediation lies in the products that can come from an aggressive development of cost effective remediation technology to replace currently fielded tools and practices. The Task Force concludes, however, that DoD is not yet positioned to execute the required technology program. Except for the recent Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiatives, DoD's RDT&E base lacks a coherent set of technology requirements specifically designed to support UXO remediation needs. The Services' RDT&E base reflect the warfighting needs of the Military Departments, and the UXO support is incidental. DoD's current UXO related RDT&E effort to develop the needed tools is estimated to be about $20M per year. CURRENT APPROACH: "MAG AND FLAG" The technologies currently used for sub surface UXO remediation requires walking with metal detection devices, placing a flag at each location of a detection and manually digging up detected objects - traditional "Mag and Flag". These techniques are not cost effective for large areas of land nor feasible for all terrain. Most important, "Mag and Flag" surveys are plagued by excessive false alarm rates. Some sites will have more than 100 subsurface non-ordnance items (clutter) flagged and excavated for each actual ordnance item found and removed. Under normal circumstances UXO remediation costs could be as high as $20,000 per acre. However under emergency situations, the cost could be much higher. (For example, UXO remediation efforts at Spring Valley in Washington, DC, performed between Jan 1993-Jan 1995 under RCRA emergency procedures, cost about $45,000 per acre). Highly cluttered sites may require complete excavation due to the number of false alarms. Of the approximately $125M per year spent on UXO remediation, about $70-80M per year is expended by using such labor-intensive practices. In the near term, the biggest potential improvement in the detection and discrimination of UXO to depths of three feet or more is expected to come from a special configuration of magnetometers, electromagnetic induction (EMI) and data processing. A magnetometer can measure the change in the earth's magnetic field due to the presence of a nearby object having magnetic permeability. An EMI detector imposes an external, time-varying magnetic field on the region and detects the effect caused by objects which are electrically conducting (magnetic or nonmagnetic). By using arrays of both instruments, and three axis EMI drive, in concert with appropriate computer algorithms, and fusion of that information, the operator will be able not only to detect and determine the position of an object, but also determine if it is magnetic, estimate whether it is a single piece or a cluster of pieces, and estimate its aspect ratio (length to width) and orientation. The proper development and application of these technologies is expected to reduce the false alarms by about a factor of 10. To obtain such a capability, the Task Force recommends a two track approach. Track 1. The first track calls for the aggressive development and demonstration of a baseline system-of-systems approach to reduce the false alarms by about a factor of 10. In our view, it would be appropriate to conduct a competitive effort by at least two industrial systems integration teams. The development and demonstration efforts are expected to require 3-5 years to achieve the objective and would include demonstration of integrated, ground and aerial precision navigation, aerial survey detections of surface and near surface objects, vehicular and man portable equipment to detect and categorize objects and the appropriate computer architecture, data base and processing algorithms. The Task Force emphasizes contractor integrated, to assure common communications, navigation, data bases, etc. Over the next 3 to 5 years we would expect these activities to average about $20M per year. Track 2. The second track would involve an aggressive research and development effort, running in parallel with the effort described above. The objectives would be to explore some avenues which have received too little attention in the past (e.g., seismic/acoustic, neutron activation, synthetic dog's nose, motion of subsurface objects over time, etc.) and also to conduct research on those pacing elements used in the baseline approach which will benefit from continuing and competitive research, such as the characterization of clutter at different sites, clutter rejection algorithms, design of sensor arrays, etc. The Task Force proposes that this second track be performed largely by universities coupled with industry, and also funded at about $20M per year. Since the current UXO-related R&D is funded at about $20M per year, the proposed program can be judged as about a two-fold increase. The basic justification for such an increase is that the DoD is spending about $125M per year on UXO remediation using a very inefficient approach. Current understanding of the physics and experimental data to date suggest that by developing the proper tools, DoD will save about $60-70M per year. As such, it would be a good and urgent investment. Once the baseline program demonstrates the required reduction in the false alarm rate, the Task Force recommends that DoD rely on industry to commercialize the technologies into systems for use in UXO remediation. It will be important to continue the second track activities because of its value to DoD range clearing and countermine operations, specifically the detection of non-metallic landmines and the detection and characterization of more deeply buried objects (5-20 feet). If DoD is to be successful in introducing major technological improvements, it will be necessary not only to verify the improvements but also to initiate educational and training programs to accomplish two objectives. First, to convince the operational experts that the new systems are safe and can be trusted. And second, to train the operators in the use of the computer and associated software. EASING FUTURE UXO PROBLEMS A number of steps should be taken to reduce future deposits of unexploded ordnance and ease its clean-up. For example, the use of navigational and positioning systems can help map UXO locations more precisely, active ranges may employ "fire-finding" instrumentation to accurately track ordnance to impact points during tests, and the development of taggants for ordnance and explosive materials to help identification of specific UXO on-site. Improved data keeping and archiving as well as periodic sweeping at active ranges will also prove very helpful in reducing uncertainties about the type and number of potential UXO on ranges and help prolong the useful life of the range. The Task Force recommends including "Render Safe Procedures" and "Disposal Procedures" guidance as part of DoD Directive 5000.2R. This action would incorporate these important procedures much earlier than the Milestone III decision point, where they currently begin, and help reduce the number of future UXO. ORGANIZATION FOR AND EXECUTION OF DOD-WIDE UXO REMEDIATION PROGRAM The Task Force recommends the following assignments: * To address DoD's management responsibilities for UXO, the Task Force recommends the assignment of a focal point within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) for oversight of UXO remediation activities in the Department of Defense. This focal point would recommend UXO remediation objectives and policy to the Secretary of Defense, formulate an investment strategy for the allocation of resources based upon the expected performance of advanced technology, promulgate the UXO RDT&E program's priorities (but not set the RDT&E program and budget level), establish goals and requirements, and recommend and support investments in new technology to remedy UXO safety and cost issues. The Task Force believes the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense/Environmental Security (DUSD/ES) is the logical focal point, given its existing responsibilities. * Current DoD Active Range policy has a number of gaps that need to be filled. These include the inadequate dissemination of some "Top Secret" information to the UXO/EOD community and the cessation of practices that threaten the long term viability of active ranges. The Task Force recommends formation of a DoD-wide Active Range Policy that addresses safety issues, advocates range clean-up initiatives to maintain the long-term viability of the range (e.g. avoids creating areas with permanent UXO contamination), and that improves information management concerning the location and clean-up following the testing/training and emergency drops of "Special Compartmented Ordnance." * DoD should develop a risk-based priority system, similar to the Relative Risk Site Evaluation Framework for hazardous waste sites, to weigh the many competing UXO needs, based upon explosive risks, other human health risks, ecological concerns, and other pertinent factors, including current and future property use. Such priority determinations should be made in consultation with environmental regulatory agencies and the affected public. The present approach to clean-up varies widely from site to site and does not have clearly established methods for assessing priorities and risks. A two-stage risk management process should be employed, the first stage focusing on immediate responses to UXO risks, and the second designed to provide subsequent responses to risks. * Many Tribal Lands are Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) and contain substantial amounts of UXO. The Task Force notes that these Lands present an immediate threat to public safety due to insufficient DoD clean-up and lack of tribal government authority to issue land use restrictions. To remedy these immediate safety problems, the Task Force recommends accelerated improvement of UXO remediation efforts on Tribal lands. * To address the fragmented technology base, the Task Force recommends that the Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) develop a DoD-wide RDT&E investment strategy and initiate an aggressive R&D program along the lines of the two track approach described earlier. * To address technical challenges and RDT&E funding shortfalls, the Task Force recommends establishing a specific UXO RDT&E account controlled by OSD (by Director, Defense Research and Engineering) and coordinated with other related RDT&E efforts. The Task Force suggests funding the increase in this account over the next 3-5 years by using offsets from the total clean-up budget. Execution of the RDT&E program will occur through the Services and Defense Agencies, in coordination with the Joint UXO Coordinating Office. OUTSOURCING OF UXO REMEDIATION WORK As the proposed Range Rule and the new Munitions Rule are implemented, we foresee an increase in the demands for near term remediation. The Task Force is persuaded that UXO remediation is not now and should not be a core competence of the DoD. As a consequence it is recommended that incentives be provided to outsource this work to industry. The Task Force believes that it will be necessary for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to modify its contracting process for UXO remediation. Current contracting terms tend to discourage the use of new tools (technologies that have not been formally certified by DoD as acceptable for use in the contract). The current use of a time and materials approach does not provide an incentive for efficiency. Strict liability is frequently required of the contractor, creating exposure to long term suits often deemed unacceptable by larger companies. The contracting is generally for small tasks. As a consequence, most of the remediation is performed by Small and Small Disadvantaged Business (8a) set-asides who have no real technology base to offer and very limited technology assets. In summary, the result is a remediation program that does not build or expand present industrial capabilities. The Task Force recommends that UXO site clean up activities be packaged and outsourced entirely to contractors to achieve more cost effective solutions. Performance-based contracting procedures should be required and the Federal Acquisition Regulations used to relieve private companies of unreasonable third party liability and indemnification burdens. Further contractual arrangements should provide incentives to stimulate industry to invest in and use advanced technology. The objective is to have industry commercialize and apply DoD developed technologies as well as to develop their own proprietary products. Equally important is the need for stable funding. Quarterly funding does not allow the execution of a long-term project, because most work is under the Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) concept. This results in needless temporary duty assignments and a significant unnecessary cost in travel. Future base closures should have full disclosure of any UXO problems, if any, early on, so the public, Congress and the Administration will be aware of any UXO issue and the likely costs for certain land reuse so that property use and transfer plans can be made accordingly. The Task Force review of UXO (and EOD) technologies currently used at active ranges revealed a dependence on outdated techniques and tools. Improvements are needed in the technology and tools used at these ranges to help ensure better safety of personnel and to maintain long term viability of the ranges. Scrap material sold to wholesalers has also inadvertently contained UXO. A policy is needed to direct the processing of all scrap material that is potentially contaminated with UXO. Active ranges should have ready access to suitable processing equipment, such as flash furnaces, to process this scrap material. Lenny Siegel Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight c/o PSC, 222B View St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545 Fax: 650/968-1126 firstname.lastname@example.org
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