2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 10:32:33 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] UXO Response Technology
The following is a revised abstract for a talk I delivered Wednesday,
November 29, 2000, at the Partners in Environmental Technology symposium
in Arlington, Virginia. - LS


At most properties known or suspected to contain unexploded ordnance
(UXO), the people who live, work, learn, and recreate on or near the
sites have a high expectation that action will be taken to ELIMINATE
explosive risk. While the 100% reliability expected by many members of
the public is beyond foreseeable technological capability, there is
obviously room for improvement in both the technology of UXO response
and the supporting science. Many stakeholders are willing to accept
delayed subsurface clearance if the property can be made safe to walk
upon for now, and they can be assured that better technologies are on
the way.

Over the next decade, public stakeholders expect the development of
better, more cost effective technologies to: 1) screen wide areas for
locations likely (and unlikely) to contain surface or subsurface UXO, as
well as buried munitions stocks; 2) characterize impact areas well
enough to develop updatable site conceptual models to assist in the
selection and optimization of remedies; 3) reliably detect almost all
unexploded ordnance in areas believed to contain UXO; 4) diminish the
need to devegetate before clearance, particularly with fires that may
threaten both public health and, in some locations, sensitive species or
habitat;  5) reduced the number of costly, environmentally damaging
excavations of non-explosive anomalies; 6) dispose of detected UXO, of
any size or quantity, without the noise, blast, and emissions associated
with open detonation; 7) characterize and treat toxic explosive
compounds found either as a result of the explosion or corrosion of
ordnance; and 8) quickly and reliably ensure that range scrap does not
contain explosive material.

In addition, scientific research must be advanced, not only to support
directly the development of UXO response technologies, but to better
understand the fate and transport of ordnance and explosive wastes.
Research, the public believes, should better enable us to understand the
migration of buried UXO and well as other processes, such as erosion,
likely to open hazard pathways. Research should also help us better
understand how toxic explosive compounds are released in range areas and
how they might be better controlled, treated, or removed.

Finally, many members of the public recognize, along with UXO
professionals, that both short-term and long-term risk management
strategies usually entail both access controls, such as signs, fences,
and/or patrols, as well as public education. These protective activities
must be supported by the same level of scientific research - to
determine what strategies are generally most likely to be effective - as
the more technical challenges associated with UXO.


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

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