EPA-Approved Protocol for Range Characterization


Multi-increment sampling approach provides accurate assessment of energetic compounds in range soils.

  • Mr. Alan Hewitt, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (ERDC-CRREL)
    Validation of Sampling Protocol and Promulgation of Method Modifications for the Characterization of Energetic Residues on Military Training Ranges

The use of munitions during live-fire training exercises on DoD ranges presents a risk of contaminants leaching into the soil and groundwater and potentially migrating to areas outside the range. To determine the likelihood of such impacts, the military needs methods that provide accurate estimates of the amount and type of contaminants in the soil. Traditional environmental sampling techniques have proved inaccurate and expensive when deployed on ranges, where the form and distribution of contamination is qualitatively different from industrial pollution.

Mr. Hewitt and his team demonstrated a scientifically defensible sampling protocol designed specifically for characterizing energetic residues on training ranges, an approach for which they gained the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This new approach, EPA Method 8330B, addresses the uncertainty due to the heterogeneity of energetic residues on military ranges and provides an accurate sampling process. Cost savings for sample handling, processing, and analysis using these techniques are estimated at 50-80%.

“DoD needed a sampling approach that addresses the unique conditions of military ranges and that is accurate, reproducible, cost-effective, and accepted by environmental regulators, and this team has provided just that,” said Dr. Jeffrey Marqusee, SERDP and ESTCP Director.

For this work, Mr. Hewitt received a Project-of-the-Year award at the annual Partners in Environmental Technology Technical Symposium & Workshop held December 1-3, 2009, in Washington, D.C.

In Memoriam: It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the death of Mr. Hewitt in January 2010. Mr. Hewitt, a research scientist at ERDC-CRREL, was well known for his work to develop sampling methods and protocols for energetic residues on military training ranges.

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