SERDP focuses on cross-Service requirements and pursues solutions to the Department’s environmental and resilience challenges. The development and application of innovative environmental and resilience technologies will reduce the costs, environmental risks, and time required to resolve environmental problems while, at the same time, enhancing and sustaining military readiness.
Congress established SERDP in 1990 to address DoD environmental issues. DOE and EPA share management authority and responsibility with DoD. A truly integrated program, SERDP involves all three agencies in the development of its research agenda and management of resulting projects. Designed to address issues common across all of the Armed Services and DOE, the Program is a catalyst for cooperation and collaboration.
SERDP issues an annual solicitation for proposals from the Federal government, academia, and industry and employs a competitive selection process to ensure that SERDP funds the highest quality research. As program goals and funding levels change, supplemental solicitations are occasionally necessary; these are announced on the web site and through the SERDP and ESTCP listserve.
SERDP Directors and Staff – SERDP is funded by DoD with oversight and policy guidance from the SERDP Council, which is composed of members from the DoD, DOE, and EPA. The SERDP executive director, deputy director, and program managers lead the day-to-day program activities. A Scientific Advisory Board provides advice and recommendations to the SERDP Council on the technical quality of proposals and projects. The SERDP Council and executive director established the organizational structure shown below to execute the Program. The SERDP office is co-located with ESTCP in Alexandria, VA.
SERDP Council – The SERDP Council oversees the management of SERDP and is the sole funding approval authority. The Council is a multiagency body that is intended to maximize exchange of information and to minimize duplication of environmental research activities through close coordination with the Military Departments and Defense Agencies, the DOE, the EPA, and other departments and agencies of the federal, state, and local governments. Members of the Council are designated in the SERDP statute.
Scientific Advisory Board – Established in accordance with the SERDP statute, the SERDP Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) ensures that the Program maintains a clear focus on technical quality. The SAB is a formal Federal Advisory Committee. The SAB has the authority to make recommendations to the SERDP Council regarding technologies, research, projects, programs, activities, and funding. The SAB is composed of between six and fourteen members who are jointly appointed by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
SERDP Technical Committees – For each of the four technology program areas, a SERDP Technical Committee (STC) assists in identifying solicitation topics, reviews technical proposals, and formulates and recommends the annual program plan. Each committee also conducts technical reviews of the ongoing projects, and facilitates technology transfer according to the needs of their users in the field. STC members are selected by the Services and Agencies represented on the SERDP Council. They bring a wealth of understanding of the needs of their organizations and knowledge of related research efforts. This knowledge helps SERDP avoid duplication of effort and promotes joint and cooperative funding of projects. Many members of the STC are also members of the ESTCP Technical Committees (ETC). This relationship fosters communication between the Programs and promotes technology transfer.
SERDP Program Areas – SERDP projects are managed within four Program Areas. The Program Areas are listed below.
The Environmental Restoration program area focuses on cleaning and managing contaminated lands on current and former military installations. It supports the development and demonstration of innovative technologies to characterize, remediate, and scientifically manage contaminants in soil, sediments, and ground, surface and waste water.
The Resource Conservation and Resilience program area supports the development of the science, technologies, and methods needed to manage DoD’s installation infrastructure with the goal of maximizing the number of training days and mission readiness. Areas of investment include managing threatened, endangered, at-risk, and invasive species; improved wild land and beneficial fire management for test and training ranges, and enhancing the resilience of DoD infrastructure.
The Weapons Systems and Platforms program area supports the development and demonstration of innovative technologies that enable the Department of Defense to: reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous materials in its production and maintenance processes; reduce hazardous waste streams; better understand and mitigate emissions and other environmental impacts that result from its operations; and ensure that alternative technologies, materials, and processes are adequately vetted from an environmental perspective.