Sediment contamination is a significant liability for the DoD, with overall liabilities estimated to approach $2 billion. Historic releases at current and former DoD facilities resulted in impact to environmental receptors. Chemicals of concern include PCBs, PAHs, metals, and military-unique chemicals such as munitions constituents. Environmental restoration and closure of these sediment sites is a top priority for DoD. These on-going closure activities include completing feasibility studies, designing and implementing remedies, or engaging in long-term monitoring of implemented alternatives at sediment sites. Developing cleanup levels that consider point and non-point contaminant loading remains a significant challenge.
SERDP and ESTCP have invested in research and demonstration projects supporting DoD restoration goals since 1996. These projects develop sound science and effective restoration tools to characterize, remediate, manage, and monitor these sites in a manner that reduces risks. To prioritize the investments, several workshops have been conducted that identified high priority needs for research, development, field demonstrations, and technology-transfer that would facilitate both long-term management decision making and long-term monitoring of these sites. The most recent workshop, Workshop on Research and Development Needs for Long-Term Management of Contaminated Sediments (2016):
- provides a summary of the work conducted by SERDP and ESTCP to date,
- provides a review of where DoD facilities are in their restoration implementation,
- contains input from the Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) regarding what specific research, demonstration, or technology transfer needs will facilitate both restoration decision making and long-term monitoring of these sites, and
- contains input from the regulators on what should be demonstrated in those tools to encourage broad implementation and acceptance.