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Loading supersacks into a railcar at the Painesville site.

Loading supersacks into a railcar at the Painesville site. (Photo by Bob Simmington )

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Background

The Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) was initiated in 1974 to identify, investigate and clean up or control sites through the United States that had became contaminated from the nation’s early atomic weapons and energy programs during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Activities were performed by the Manhattan Engineer District or under the Atomic Energy Commission, prior to the Department of Energy being formed. 

FUSRAP focuses on protecting human health, public safety and the environment at these sites, contaminated with low-level radioactive materials, throughout the investigation and cleanup phases.  Although FUSRAP sites may contain radioactivity levels above current regulatory guidelines, none of the sites pose an immediate health risk to the public or environment given current land uses.

In October 1997, Congress transferred management of FUSRAP to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The Corps continues the cleanups the Energy Department began and also cleans up additional sites identified by Congress or designated into the program by the Energy Department.  The Corps conducts its work in accordance with federal laws, following the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan.  Cleanup activities are coordinated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and/or state regulators. The Corps is committed to informing and involving the public as it progresses through the decision-making process for each site.

Today’s Activities
This program currently includes 24 active sites in 10 states – Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Each FUSRAP site may include multiple operable units with multiple phases depending upon the work being done at each operable unit. 

Seven Districts work on FUSRAP sites: Baltimore, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New England, New York and St. Louis. The Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise and Kansas City District also provide assistance.

Program funding was relatively level between $130 million and $140 million a year since the Corps began administering FUSRAP.  Funding has decreased below $110 million starting in fiscal year 2011.  In FY 2009 through 2011, the program received an additional $99.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, allocated to nine projects.

The latest edition of The FUSRAP Update, a yearly stakeholder report, is available at: www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/FUSRAP