The Seattle District Corps of Engineers, Environmental/IIS Branch provides project management and technical support services. For information on doing business with us, please contact Robert Frazier, Branch Chief, at 206-764-6546.
Corps environmental cleanup and compliance programs focus on reducing risk and protecting human health and the environment in a timely and cost-effective manner. The Corps manages, designs and executes a full range of cleanup and protection activities, such as:
- Cleaning up sites contaminated with hazardous, toxic or radioactive waste or ordnance through the Formerly Used Defense Sites program
- Supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by cleaning up Superfund sites and working with its Brownfields and Urban Waters programs
- Supporting the Army through the Base Realignment and Closure Act program
- Ensuring that facilities comply with federal, state and local environmental laws
- Conserving cultural and natural resources
The Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental professionals are key resources for anyone inside or outside the Army family, wherever and whenever environmental solutions are sought. The breadth and depth of skills found within the workforce gives it the ability to seek the best solution to environmental challenges.
The seven Environmental Operating Principles, or the Corps’ green ethics, are being incorporated into all Corps business lines to achieve a sustainable environment
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides comprehensive planning, design, construction and engineering management support to the Army and the nation. Within the scope of this mission, Department of Defense entities can engage the Corps, on a cost reimbursement basis, to act as an extension of their staff. In cases where unique engineering support is unavailable through private sector architect-engineer firms, the Corps may be permitted to provide technical support to non-DoD federal agencies, to states and to localities. The Thomas Amendment, Section 211, Water Resources Development Act of 2000, discusses when the Corps can provide specialized or technical services to a state or local government. USACE supports the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund Program, upon EPA request, by managing design and construction contracts and providing technical assistance in support of remedial response cleanup of hazardous waste sites. USACE also is a partner with EPA and other federal agencies in helping communities prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse Brownfields. Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.
BRAC is the process DoD has previously used to reorganize its installation infrastructure to more efficiently and effectively support its forces, increase operational readiness and facilitate new ways of doing business. DoD anticipates that BRAC 2005 will build upon environmental restoration services at installations affected by the BRAC program. Working closely with the commands and installations in this complex program, the Corps responds to frequently changing requirements while maintaining the demanding schedule for cleanup and property transfer. The Corps has had real estate responsibilities for conveyance of closing Army and Air Force installations under BRAC.
The U.S. Army Corps is a partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies in helping communities prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse Brownfields. Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Livable communities are towns and cities in which people's everyday needs are met without placing the needs of future generations at risk. They are communities that have good schools, meaningful jobs, safe streets, healthy environments, and plenty of natural green spaces. A livable community is one that people can take pride in. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a key partner in helping communities across America achieve greater livability and sustain a high quality of life.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts strive to achieve sustainability while providing a full range of Environmental Quality (Compliance, Conservation and Pollution Prevention) support to military installations throughout the world; seeking ways and means to assess and integrate natural resource laws, values, and sound environmental practices. A Corps District Project Manager is fully empowered to coordinate EQ compliance and stewardship initiatives in support of installation activities. Corps personnel provide support in National Environmental Policy Act documentation, Base Realignment and Closure Act environmental initiatives, Resource Management plans, Low Impact Development, Invasive Species Management, and in all military conservation, compliance, and pollution prevention efforts. USACE technical and project management support sound environmental stewardship.
The Department of Defense (DoD) is responsible for environmental restoration of properties that were formerly owned by, leased to or otherwise possessed by the United States and under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense. Such properties are known as Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS). The Army is the executive agent for the program and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages and directs the program's administration. The scope and magnitude of the FUDS program are significant, with more than 10,000 properties identified for potential inclusion in the program. Information about the origin and extent of contamination, land transfer issues, past and present property ownership, and program policies must be evaluated before DoD considers a property eligible for Defense Environment Restoration Account (DERA) funding under the FUDS program. Environmental cleanup at FUDS properties is conducted in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
Although the FUDS program is part of the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) and cleans up properties in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) as amended and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan (NCP), it differs from the environmental cleanup program at active military installations in several ways. The Department of Defense no longer owns FUDS properties as it does at active installations, nor does it have a long-term presence. There is no installation commander per se at a FUDS property, although the commander of the Corps of Engineers District doing the cleanup work serves as a de factor installation commander. The Defense Department also doesn’t control the land use of FUDS properties. The FUDS program cleans up only DoD-generated eligible contamination, which occurred before the transfer of the property to private owners or federal, state or local governments. The FUDS program also does not certify that the property is clean, particularly where contamination may be present as the result of actions of parties other than DoD.
The FUDS program is not part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program, nor is it part of the DoD Installation Restoration Program or the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program.
- What kinds of projects are found at FUDS properties?
- Hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste (HTRW);
- Building demolition and/or debris removal (BD/DR);
- Military munitions response program (MMRP);
- Containerized hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste (CON/HTRW), such as underground storage tanks; and,
- Principal responsible party actions (PRP), which involves defense of government interests or cost recovery on behalf of the government associated with CERCLA contamination requiring cleanup on a FUDS property.
Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund Program, enacted by Congress in Public Law 96-510, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980. The legislation made provisions for the Superfund program's use of the existing capabilities of other federal agencies in meeting its objectives. The EPA and Corps signed agreements in 1982 and 1984 stating, that upon EPA request, the Corps will manage design and construction contracts and provide technical assistance to EPA in support of remedial response cleanup of hazardous waste sites. Under these agreements, the Corps may be assigned the following responsibilities:
Environmental Impact Statements
Obtaining Real Estate
Remedial Design and Remedial Action activities
Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study activities
Technical Assistance to EPA on Potentially Responsible Party, State and EPA contractor lead projects