The Department of Defense is committed to reducing risk to human health and the environment by using cost-effective response actions. DoD employs a risk management approach in the environmental restoration program and in its management of its ranges. DoD is responsible for thousands of sites contaminated due to the legacy of past activities. These sites exist in upland soils, sub-surface groundwater and freshwater and marine sediments. Sites are contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalky substances ( PFASs), chlorinated solvents, petroleum products, energetics, metals, PCBs, and PAHs.
Testing and training require the firing of live ammunition, which results in residual contamination of the ranges from toxic metals and from munitions constituents, the energetic chemicals that power the munitions. SERDP and ESTCP efforts are focused on improving the military’s ability to assess and predict human and ecological risk from these contaminants.
SERDP and ESTCP research and demonstrations span a wide variety of science and technologies that contribute to improved risk assessment. Efforts include:
- detailed analyses of the fate and transport of contaminants
- improved understanding of exposure pathways to humans and ecological receptors
- contaminant effects on ecological receptors and
- tools and methods to assess environmental impacts
Such studies provide effective tools and science that enable DoD to manage contaminated sites using a risk-based approach.