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Formerly Used Defense Sites Program

Three workers take samples to check for possible contamination at a formerly used defense site in Hawaii. Potential FUDS properties are found in all 50 states.

During the past two centuries, the Department of Defense has used land throughout the United States to both train Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines, and test new weapons to ensure the nation's military readiness. As training and testing needs changed, DOD obtained property or returned it to private or public uses.

Today, DOD is responsible for the environmental restoration (cleanup) of properties that were formerly owned by, leased to or otherwise possessed by the United States and under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense prior to October 1986. Such properties are known as Formerly Used Defense Sites or FUDS. The U.S. Army is DOD’s lead agent for the FUDS Program. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers executes the FUDS Program on behalf of the U.S. Army and DOD. The U.S. Army and DOD are dedicated to protecting human health and the environment by investigating and, if required, cleaning up potential contamination or munitions that may remain on these properties from past DOD activities.

The scope and magnitude of the FUDS Program are significant, with more than 10,000 properties identified for potential inclusion in the program. Information about the origin and extent of contamination or munitions, land transfer issues, past and present property ownership, applicable laws and DOD policies must be evaluated before DOD considers a property eligible for Defense Environment Restoration Account funding under the FUDS Program. Environmental cleanup at FUDS properties is conducted under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

In accordance with DOD Instruction 4715.07 Defense Environmental Restoration Program and DOD Interim Risk Management (IRM) procedures, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is implementing IRM by conducting a Notification and Safety Education initiative at FUDS where investigations, removal actions or remedial actions are not planned to be conducted for an extended period of time.

Safety is a Priority

Follow the 3Rs of Explosives Safety if you suspect you may have come across a military munition.

Click to view the Unexploded Ordnance Safety page of the DENIX Web site Recognize – when you may have come across a munition, and that munitions are dangerous;
Retreat – do not approach, touch, move, or disturb a suspect munition, but carefully leave the area; and
Report – immediately what you saw and where you saw it to local law enforcement – call 911.

Additional information about the 3Rs of Explosives Safety is available from the DOD's 3Rs of Explosives Safety website. The website, which provides information about munitions, contains downloadable educational material such as fact sheets, safety guides and coloring books. You can share the 3Rs educational materials with your children, family members, friends, tenants, employees and others who should know about explosives safety.