For more than 200 years, our military forces participated in maneuvers and live-fire training and testing on properties throughout the United States in preparation to defend our national interests. Some of these activities resulted in a need for an environmental response. Properties the Department of Defense (DOD) used for these purposes and transferred to private or public uses before October 1986 are known as Formerly Used Defense Sites or FUDS. The DOD is committed to responding to environmental contamination and military munitions on FUDS resulting from the military services’ past use that may pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. Before transferring these properties to public uses, the DOD responded using the best technologies and procedures available at the time.
The Department of the Army is the leading agency for the FUDS Program and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers executes the program on behalf of the Army and the Department of Defense. The Corps is committed to responding to contamination and military munitions (e.g., unexploded ordnance) present on these properties to allow for their safe use. Active coordination, consultation and collaboration with landowners, state and federal regulators, tribal and local governments, and affected communities are critical to the Corps’ activities. While conducting these activities, the Corps ensures its actions are protective of human health and the environment and conducted in a safe and transparent manner. It also works hard to keep interested parties informed of its activities, including offering affected communities and landowners opportunities to express their views early and continuously throughout the process.
Notification and Safety Education Initiative
With approximately 5,400 FUDS, not every site can be addressed immediately. For this reason, and in the interest of public safety, the Army is implementing notification and safety education activities. The Corps of Engineers implements these activities at eligible FUDS at least once every five years beginning with military munitions sites that pose the greatest potential risk. These activities are designed to help reduce impacts to human health, safety and the environment until further response activities can be initiated. The goal is to educate landowners and others about how to reduce risk from hazards that may remain from the defense department’s use of the property. The Corps uses cost-effective methods to help safeguard affected communities, maintain transparency, and allow for early and continuous engagement with landowners, affected communities and other stakeholders.
Types of activities the Corps implements at a FUDS include, but may not be limited to,:
• Notifying landowners whose land is within a FUDS boundary;
• Coordinating with government officials whose constituents reside within a FUDS boundary;
• Staffing a toll-free FUDS information telephone line: 1-855-765-FUDS (3837);
• Providing 3Rs (Recognize, Retreat and Report) Explosives Safety Program (www.denix.osd.mil/uxo/) materials at those FUDS where military munitions may be present; and,
• Conducting public education activities tailored to specific projects.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will implement these notification and safety education activities at designated FUDS at least once every five years. For more information about the FUDS Program see www.fuds.mil.