FUDS Overview

During the past 200 years, some activities supporting military readiness have resulted in the need for environmental cleanup within the United States and its territories. DoD, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are committed to protecting human health and the environment and improving public safety by cleaning up these properties. Formerly Used Defense Sites are properties used by the military prior to October 1986 to train and support Soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines, as well as to test new weapons and warfare capabilities. When no longer needed, many of these properties were cleaned up according to the best practices available at the time and then transferred to other owners such as private individuals or federal, state, tribal, or local government entities. Congress created the FUDS program in the mid-1980’s. The Army oversees the program for DoD using the Corps of Engineers to identify eligible properties, investigate their condition and manage required cleanup. Teams from Corps’ districts consult with state environmental and health offices, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, landowners and the public in performing the work. The Corps responds to DoD-generated contamination and munitions that remained on the property when it was transferred. The Corps is committed to addressing this contamination in as safe, timely, and responsive manner as possible. The more than 9,900 potential FUDS properties can range from less than an acre to tens of thousands of acres, and can be found in industrial or residential areas as well as federal or state properties. Cleanup projects are planned or ongoing at more than 3,000 of the properties evaluated for possible inclusion in the program. A single property may have more than one cleanup project. Currently, there are more than 4,600 projects with more added each year. The type of cleanup required varies from property to property, and can include cleaning up hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste sites; removing munitions and explosives of concern and munitions constituents; and doing building demolition and debris removal. The program employs a risk management approach in accomplishing the cleanup. Work also is prioritized to meet DoD goals: achieving remedy in place or remedy complete at 100 percent of the hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste sites by the end of fiscal year 2020; completing 100 percent of the preliminary assessments at military munitionsresponse program sites by the end of fiscal year 2007; and achieving 100 percent completion of the military munitions response program site inspections by the end of fiscal year 2010. Most projects take several years to complete, and each is unique. Active communication, coordination, consultation and collaboration with property owners, state and federal regulators, tribal and local governments, and local communities are critical in planning and carrying out cleanups. The Corps works hard to keep all interested parties informed and offers opportunities for dialogue throughout all cleanup phases. FUDS program expenditures through fiscal year 2006 total $3.9 billion. Program completion is projected at $18.7 billion. Annual funding has been about $250 million a year.