For more than 200 years, our military forces have carried out activities such as maneuvers and live-fire training and testing on various properties throughout the United States in preparation to defend our national interests. Some of these activities resulted in a possible need for an environmental response. Properties that the Department of Defense, or DOD, used for these purposes and transferred 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 that resulted from the Military Services’ past use and pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment.
Army is the lead agent for the FUDS Program and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers executes the program on behalf of Army and the DOD. The Army 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 and collaboration with property owners, state and federal regulators, tribal and local governments, and affected communities are critical to Army’s activities. While conducting these activities, the Army Corps of Engineers ensures that its actions are protective of human health and the environment and conducted in a safe, timely, and transparent manner. It also works hard to keep interested parties informed of its activities, including offering affected communities and property owners opportunities to express their views early and continuously throughout the process.
Notification and Safety Education Initiative
Given the number of FUDS, it may be some time before the Army Corps of Engineers is able to address the potential hazards present. For this reason, and in the interest of public safety, the Army is implementing notification and safety education activities as part of the DOD’s Interim Risk Management initiative. The Army Corps of Engineers will implement these activities at eligible FUDS 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 are initiated. The goal is to educate property owners and others about how to reduce risk from hazards that may remain from the DOD’s use of the property. The Army Corps of Engineers uses cost-effective methods to help safeguard affected communities, maintain transparency, and allow for early and continuous engagement with property owners, affected communities and other stakeholders.
Types of activities the Army Corps of Engineers implements at a FUDS include:
- Notifying property owners 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 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.