2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 19 Nov 2003 19:00:55 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] GFPR at APG Letter
The following letter can be viewed as a PDF online at:
Aberdeen Proving Ground Restoration Advisory Board

Making a Difference for Baltimore, Harford, Cecil and Kent County
Communities since 1995
November 17, 2003

The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes
US Senate
Suite 309
Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510

The Honorable Wayne T. Gilchrest
US House of Representatives
Suite 2245
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski
US Senate
Suite 709
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Dutch Ruppersberger
US House of Representatives
1630 Longworth HOB
Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510


Dear Senator Mikulski, Senator Sarbanes, Congressman Gilchrest and


The Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Army (DOA) are in the
process of
implementing a new contracting and oversight process for environmental
remediation at
Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), known as Guaranteed Fixed Price
Remediation (GFPR) or
Performance-Based Environmental Remediation (PBER) contracting. We have
found little
evidence to suggest these changes will add value to the cleanup process.
We believe, as
demonstrated at Department of Energy sites, this would have a severe,
negative impact to both
environmental cleanup activities and military readiness goals at APG, by
reducing APG’s role in
overseeing its own cleanup, and significantly inhibiting regulatory and
community oversight. We
have built solid relationships and a functional cleanup process at APG
over the last decade
through hard work and perseverance, but now we need your help to keep it
from unraveling.
As detailed on page 3, we need your assistance in halting the
implementation of GFPR at APG,
establishing a multi-stakeholder dialogue to evaluate benefits and
shortcomings of the proposed
contracting process, and initiating a General Accounting Office (GAO)
investigation into the
impacts of GFPR on DOD’s reporting to Congress, regulatory oversight,
and future funding for
cleanup. Our next APG Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting is
scheduled for December
4, 2003 at 7 PM in Edgewood Maryland, and we invite you to come learn
more about this issue
and our concerns, as GFPR will impact not only community health and
protection, but also sustainable range management at APG and future use.

Community Concerns

The APG RAB has been working with APG’s Installation Restoration Program
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region III, and the Maryland
Department of
Environment (MDE) for nine years. Past and current RAB members have
communities and businesses from Harford, Baltimore, Cecil and Kent
Counties, and Baltimore
City. We have tirelessly tried to ensure that our Superfund site is
cleaned up sufficiently to meet
the needs of the installation and its neighbors.

Though we still have groundwater contamination threatening public
drinking water supplies,
unexploded ordnance, and sites where characterization is far from
complete, we have made
significant progress in building relationships and prioritizing risks.
Years of hard work have
established a successful IRP with close to 100 staff-years of
experience, contractors who have
strong institutional knowledge and skills, and federal and state
regulators that provide important
oversight in a reasonable manner. All these parties work with the RAB
and the broader
community. Though we all have our differences and limitations at times,
we believe you will
find agreement among all parties directly involved that APG has a
functional and inclusive
approach to addressing contamination.

The U.S. Army Environmental Center (AEC) is spearheading the
implementation of GFPR
at APG. GFPR consists of awarding one large environmental contract (or
possibly a few) to a
single contractor to achieve Remedy in Place (RIP) or Response Complete
(RC) for all
environmental sites and media included in the contract. The contractor
will be responsible for the
cleanup and obtaining all necessary insurance. The installation will
retain one environmental
program manager (possibly two at APG) to provide oversight on all work.
AEC intends to
convert the APG IRP to GFPR by the end of this fiscal year, noting this
decision apparently
involved little, if any, input from APG and participating state and
federal stakeholders, and
absolutely no input from the RAB and the broader community.

The RAB does not believe the ramifications of GFPR have been fully
considered. We
believe that GFPR will not provide any improvement to the costs and
timeliness of APG’s
restoration efforts. Most importantly, we consider it likely that this
approach will result in less
protection for human health and the environment.

Our overarching concern is that GFPR is the product of DOD/DOA Business
Councils, established, as indicated by AEC, to “improve efficiency of
business opportunities by
identifying and implementing business reform actions.” It appears that
GFPR was conceived
wholly with business goals in mind, with absolutely no consideration for
the impacts to the site
characterization, regulatory oversight and community involvement. Over
time DOD believes the
GFPR will save money; however, we believe that this is unlikely given
the complexity and
extent of APG contamination, challenges in coordinating environmental
cleanup with ongoing
APG activities, and the fact that APG already uses fixed price

Beyond this concern, it has been reported that once the GFPR contract is
signed, APG’s sites
will be designated as RIP/RC and that these sites can be removed from
the Army’s database,
even though another decade lies ahead in the actual field
characterization and remediation. If
true, this misleading claim of site completion will present a false
picture to Congress and the
public, impacting future funding at APG and other sites in Maryland and
across the nation. See
the attached DOD memorandum for other GFPR-target sites in Maryland.

Of equal concern is the large contractor who will take over the cleanup
process. AEC’s web
site suggests that GFPR will make the contractor “highly incentivized to
stay on track and within
budget, while at the same time maintaining a high level of quality to
assure that their work is
acceptable to both the Army and the regulators and that milestone
payments will be made.”
While this approach may work for less complex sites and post-Record of
Decision (ROD)
cleanups, APG does not fit such a category. APG has a long history of
diverse research,
development and testing and significant characterization remains to be
completed. Under GFPR,
the single contractor will be well motivated to reach No Further Action
or NoFA RODs at every
individual APG site possible, adding to the final profits of the
long-term contract. APG will be
unable to counter such a driver, noting AEC plans a 75% reduction for
APG’s IRP over the next
two years.

We believe impacts to the current cleanup paradigm will cause a
domino-effect within the
regulatory oversight process and for community involvement. Without
APG’s daily management
role, the burdens on EPA and MDE will skyrocket. Significant pressure
will be brought to bear
on the remedial project managers by the contractor to push documents
through the approval
process. Yet, the RAB is not aware of planned staff increases for
federal or state regulatory
agencies in response to the military’s proposed reductions in manpower
and contractor oversight.
Furthermore, the current Administration and floundering economy suggest
that these new
regulatory needs will go unaddressed.

The resulting risks to community health and safety will be compounded by
the inevitable
reduction of community involvement – it is likely our RAB will become
irrelevant. While
provisions within the GFPR contract could include language directing the
contractor to comply
with all requirements of CERCLA/SARA and the NCP, any experienced
involvement practitioner knows that for an inclusive working
relationship to exist between the
community and government stakeholders, public involvement requirements
must be the floor and
not the ceiling. Requiring a contractor to only follow applicable laws
and regulations will
effectively shut the community out of the process. Additionally, our
review of a GFPR contract
from another site suggests that including more inclusive, proactive
language within the GFPR
contract at APG is highly unlikely.

Steps to Ensure Successful Cleanup

For the reasons summarized above and discussed in more detail in the
attached background
article written by one of our community/business RAB members, we believe
GFPR at APG will
not only place the local communities at greater risk, but also make
future military use of APG
more difficult, as more contamination will go unaddressed or
undiscovered. This will impact
Maryland’s economy and our nation’s readiness. In turn, we need your
united assistance in
making the following three actions happen:

1. Stopping the implementation of GFPR by AEC at APG until the potential
impacts on
scientific investigation, cleanup decisions, regulatory oversight and
involvement can be assessed;

2. Convening a two-year multi-stakeholder roundtable to evaluate sites
and scenarios
where GFPR is and is not a good fit, to be funded by the Department of
Defense and
Armed Services, hosted by APG and facilitated by the Center for Public

3. Initiating a GAO investigation into the GFPR/PBER Contracting
program, in order to
assess how the new contracting process will impact the legal
responsibilities and
authorities of installations, regulatory oversight, the tracking of
contaminated sites,
reporting to Congress and future funding.

APG has already announced the loss of 130 jobs as a result of
privatizing and streamlining
post support services. While we support government efficiency, we are
concerned about the
myriad of impacts GFPR may bring. Despite DOD’s successes over the last
year to reduce its
environmental responsibilities under the law, we do not believe it is
necessary or appropriate at

We invite you to our December 4 RAB meeting, where we plan to discuss
and AEC. We will be contacting you soon to follow-up. In the meantime,
please do not hesitate
to call our RAB Community Co-Chair, Ms. Christine Grochowski, at (410)
679-1778 if you have any immediate needs.

We deeply appreciate all you have done for Maryland over the years and
hope that you can
work with us to protect our communities and keep APG moving in the right

Christine Grochowski
APG RAB Community Co-Chair

Signing with Permission for the following APG RAB Members:
Glenda Bowling
Arlen Crabb
Roy Dietz
Mandi Elliott-Bird
Ted Henry
Greg Kappler
Tom McWilliams
Dennis Warwick
Ruth Ann Young

Community Technical Advisors:
Dr. Katherine Squibb, University of Maryland
Dr. Cal Baier-Anderson, University of Maryland

Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., Governor of Maryland
Thomas Voltaggio, EPA Region III Assistant Regional Administrator
Kendl P. Philbrick, Maryland Department of Environment Acting Secretary
Mary-Delaney James, State Delegate
B. Dan Riley

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