The mission of the Federal Sites Section of the Hazardous Waste Remediation Bureau is to oversee the cleanup of current and former US Department of Defense (DoD) sites in New Hampshire and provide support services to DoD through the Defense/State Memorandum of Agreement (DSMOA). The DSMOA Program is funded by Department of Defense grants. Environmental Geologists and Engineers within the Federal Sites Section work closely with project managers and scientists at the federal agencies. The Federal Sites Section provides technical expertise and field oversight of the federal environmental investigations and cleanups, and communicates state priorities and regulatory positions to the federal agencies.
The Federal Sites Section of the Hazardous Waste Remediation Bureau in the Department of Environmental Services (DES) administers the Defense/State Memorandum of Agreement (DSMOA) through which DES provides regulatory oversight, technical guidance and support services of the US Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) environmental restoration activities in the state. The mission of the Department of Defense’s Environmental Restoration Program is to address contamination at sites where hazardous substances were abandoned, accidentally spilled, or illegally dumped and pose current or future threats to human health or the environment. In New Hampshire, DoD is currently involved in the clean up of four facilties. This Web site provides links to site-specific information developed by DES staff and links to DoD and USEPA webpages that include information about site descriptions, contaminants, cleanup approach, response actions, progress, and status.
The establishment of the New Hampshire Defense/State Memorandum of Agreement (DSMOA) program in 1993 marked the beginning of a partnership between the state and Department of Defense (DOD) installations. Mutual goals and an understanding of each others' program has created a synergy with many positive impacts on the DOD cleanup program. Under this federal grant DES provides timely review and comment on cleanup documents designed to develop and implement remedial alternativesand provides timely technical and regulatory assistance in the implementation of those cleanup actions. The Federal Sites Section also participates in technical work groups with DoD and other state/federal/local environmental agencies to develop mitigation alternatives for contaminated sites; provides oversight for leaking underground storage tank cases; reviewing and commenting on technical reports/studies; and achieving public outreach and education through participation in public meetings, e.g., Restoration Advisory Boards.
Under the DSMOA program, the Federal Sites section provides oversight of contaminated site cleanups for three active DoD facilities, one Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) facility, and XX Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS). With environmental jurisdiction over cleanups at all military installations in New Hampshire, DES sets the performance standards these installations must satisfy to ensure protection of human health and the environment. The partnerships formed under this program have had many positive impacts on installation cleanup programs including:
- Accelerating Cleanups - Agency response times for review and comment on cleanup plans and reports have been reduced. As a result, installations can meet accelerated schedules leading to expedited cleanups, or expedited transfer of Federal land for private development.
- Building Community Trust - DES involvement on Restoration Advisory Boards (RABs) has been shown to increase the credibility of installations' cleanup programs with the public. Our involvement also assists RABs with understanding the interplay of funding limitations and cleanup priorities.
- Staying in Compliance - Open communication has provided the installations with a clear understanding of this agency's regulatory requirements and performance standards. This awareness by the installation has allowed them to take appropriate response actions and avoid costly and divisive litigation and enforcement activity which would likely have resulted in fines and penalties as well as caused delays to the cleanup program.
- Maximizing use of limited cleanup funds - State DSMOA program staff work closely with base environmental staff and RABs to prioritize sites based on risk, thereby achieving maximum protection of human health and the environment per cleanup dollar spent.
- Saving Money – It estimated that millions of dollars in cleanup costs have been avoided by state participation in the cleanup process under the DSMOA program.