DoD is consistently working to develop innovative tools and techniques to meet emerging challenges and improve the management and implementation of environmental restoration at BRAC installations. These tools help expedite the environmental cleanup, transfer, and reuse of BRAC property move forward, while still ensuring the protection of human health and the environment. The BRAC tools for environmental cleanup and property disposal discussed in this section can assist in helping the process progress faster without sacrificing protection of human health and the environment.
The following list provides an overview of different strategies and methods for environmental restoration and disposal of BRAC property.
DoD often enters into Performance-Based Contracts (PBCs) with private entities to conduct environmental restoration at active and BRAC installations. A PBC specifies contractual requirements in terms of the results required rather than the methods used to perform the work. PBCs offer contractors more flexibility to identify innovative ways to meet the goals; and because PBCs are results-oriented, this type of contracting saves both time and money without sacrificing the effectiveness of the remedy in protecting human health and the environment. At BRAC installations, PBCs provide DoD with greater assurance that restoration activities will be completed on time and within budget.
DoD ODUSD(I&E)EM will soon be releasing a handbook on Performance-based Contracting for Environmental Restoration. Please check back for a link to this useful guide.
Land Use Controls
There are many situations where cleanup to unrestricted use is not feasible due to technical or economic impracticality. In situations of permissible levels of residual contamination, Land Use Controls (LUCs) are used to restrict the use of, or limit access to the property in order to prevent exposure to contaminants. DoD’s intent for using LUCs are to protect human health and the environment while maintaining the integrity of the cleanup remedy by limiting the future activities that may take place at a particular site.
DoD promotes the development and use of innovative and cost-effective environmental technologies in addressing contamination found at BRAC installations. DoD has two organizations that promote technology innovation– the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). Through these programs, DoD encourages the use of alternative technology pilot projects at installations across the country. The innovations discovered through these pilot projects, coupled with continued innovation underway in the private sector, are enabling better cleanup results in shorter timeframes, often with cost-saving results.
Early Transfer Authority
Early Transfer Authority (ETA) gives DoD the ability to dispose of property with ongoing environmental restoration activities to the community for beneficial reuse faster than traditional cleanup and transfer methods. When Congress amended CERCLA in 1996, ETA was introduced to provide a mechanism by which a State Governor, and/or the EPA Administrator could approve a property transfer before all environmental remediation is completed. Simultaneous cleanup and redevelopment activities enable efficient completion of both steps, taking advantage of the inherent cost savings of addressing remediation requirements in conjunction with redevelopment, planning, and construction.
DoD has written several documents on early transfer authority. For guidance on the environmental review process required to obtain the finding of suitability for use of ETA for property not on the National Priority List (NPL), please click here. DoD has also written a fact sheet and handbook on early transfer. In the near future, DoD will be releasing an on-line training module.
Public sales, in the form of a sealed bid, public auction, on-line auction, or auction by mail, make Federal real property available to the general public. Proceeds from these property sales are returned to DoD. In previous BRAC rounds, public sales had not been a popular form of property transfer; however, in BRAC V, DoD plans to emphasize obtaining fair market value for BRAC properties. Instead of working as the master developer or with a master developer, the LRA will work as an intermediary between the local jurisdictions, Military Departments, environmental regulators and developers.
Military Departments are authorized to convey surplus real property to state and local governments and nonprofit conservation organizations at no cost when the receiving party agrees to conserve natural resources at these properties in perpetuity. This conveyance mechanism enables DoD to dispose of unneeded military land while ensuring protectiveness of the natural resources contained therein, further demonstrating DoD’s ability to improve mission readiness while simultaneously enhancing its record of responsible land stewardship. Such transfers are completed between the Military Department and a Land Trust, who holds the property until remediation is completed.
Transfer Authority in Connection with Payment of Environmental Remediation Costs
Military Departments are authorized to convey property to an entity that will undertake the responsibility for all environmental action on the property. If the fair market value is more than the restoration cost, the purchaser must pay the Military Department the difference. If the fair market value is less, the Military Department may pay the purchaser the difference.
Exchanges for Military Construction
Any real property at a closing or realigning installation is allowed to be exchanged for military construction at that or another location. This authority may be exercised at any time after the date of approval of the closure or realignment. The Military Department may seek offers of military construction in exchange for real property or receive them unsolicited.