Improving the Department of Defense's Hazardous Waste Cleanup Program

by David Rubenson, John Anderson

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This research brief describes work documented in California Base Closure : Lessons for DoD's Cleanup Program (MR-621-OSD).

Excerpt: The complete cleanup of hazardous wastes — solvents, petroleum products, metals, munitions wastes — from Department of Defense (DoD) bases is mandated by the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 and the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. However, it has become increasingly apparent that, given the available resources, complete cleanup may be many years away, and that interim cleanup goals may have to be established in the meantime. With interim goals, cleanup efforts could be focused on tasks that would contribute the most to reducing risk to human health, readying lands for reuse, or speeding the cleanup process. Lower-priority tasks could be postponed.

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