Chemical and Material Risk Management Program

Accomplishments, Articles and Reports (not chemical specific)


Innovations in American Government Award logo

Emerging Chemicals

  • DOD’s Emerging Chemicals program was selected as a finalist (top 2% of 600+ nominations) for Harvard University’s 2009 “Innovations in American Government” award.
  • We developed and implemented a three-tiered “scan-watch-action” process for identification, assessment, and risk management of emerging chemicals.
  • As of December 2020, we have screened over 1062 emerging chemicals of potential significance to DoD.
  • As of December 2020, we have completed 60 Phase I Impact Assessments that provide an initial evaluation of mission risks associated with specific emerging chemicals. These Phase I Assessments use subject matter experts from various DoD functions.
  • As of December 2020, we have completed 27 detailed Phase II Impact Assessments for those Action Listed emerging chemicals (i.e., those initially thought to warrant risk management due to the initial findings of the Phase I Impact Assessment.
  • As of December 2020, 65 Risk Management Options (RMOs) have been endorsed by the DoD Emerging Chemicals Governance Council (which provides enterprise wide executive/flag officer guidance to the program and ensures broad support for addressing emerging chemicals); we are tracking DoD’s implementation of these measures to proactively reduce risks from emerging chemicals of significance to DoD.
  • We implemented a DoD-wide perchlorate database and public web site with state-by-state summaries on sampling results.
  • We developed a landmark policy, signed by USD(AT&L) for the minimization of hexavalent chromium DoD-wide.
  • We created and co-lead a DoD working group addressing nanomaterial risk management practices and developed a framework for cooperation with the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety on assessment and identification of best management practices.
  • We helped establish and continue to advise an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center to address emerging chemical issues.
  • In partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency and Environmental Council of States (ECOS), we forged consensus on policy “white papers” addressing 3 specific issues related to emerging chemicals. These consensus based policies were endorsed by EPA and by an ECOS resolution and incorporated into DoD policy.


  • We developed a Green Procurement Strategy and training that increased Green Products purchasing by 25% and trained over 5000 procurement professionals.
  • We designed the DoD Chemical Management Strategy to reduce use of especially toxic and hazardous chemicals and improve use of inherently safer materials.
  • We develop and update the annual DoD Sustainability Report and Implementation Plan (SRIP) published by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

ESOH Considerations in Acquisition

  • Integrated ESOH requirements into official DoD acquisition policies.
  • Reviewed and commented on hundreds of major DoD Acquisition activities to ensure adequate consideration of ESOH risks and compliance with policies.

General Information

Emerging Chemicals (ECs) DODI 4715.18
This Instruction establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for the identification, assessment, and risk management of ECs that have the potential to impact the DoD in accordance with the authority in DoD Directive (DoDD) 5134.01 and the guidance in DoDD 4715.1E, DoD Instruction 5000.02, and Defense Acquisition University Risk Management Guide.

The paper covers characterization and cleanup activities conducted under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP); the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA); the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); related state cleanup laws; and parts of other federal/state laws that may involve characterization and cleanup of sites. It does not cover non-cleanup related activities, such as drinking water monitoring carried out solely for regulatory purposes under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The paper is intended to be used by DoD, EPA, and state regulatory personnel to help inform decisions related to characterization and response actions for ECs. It is also anticipated that the paper may support future EC policies by these parties.

The purpose of this document is to provide information and resources on the issues pertaining to risk communications on Emerging Chemicals (ECs). The document also sets forth the fundamental principles the ECOS-DoD Sustainability Work Group believes should be followed by both state and federal stakeholders in conducting risk communication, whether at the internal, interagency, or public level. It is the view of the Task Group that these principles should be part of communications decisions at all stages of action following the identification of an EC. Furthermore, the principles represent a starting point for reconciliation should stakeholders disagree on how the risks of a particular EC should be communicated.

The ECOS-DoD Sustainability Work Group’s Emerging Contaminants Task Group prepared a paper based on discussions held at the February 2006 Work Group meeting that identified the selection of toxicity values/criteria for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and hazardous waste sites in the absence of an Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) value as a specific Risk Assessment issue to be addressed by the Task Group. Risk Assessment was prioritized as an item to be addressed by the Task Group at the November 2005 Forging Partnerships on Emerging Contaminants Forum.

This rule proposes to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to address requirements for minimizing the use of hexavalent chromium in items purchased by DoD. The rule prohibits the delivery of items containing hexavalent chromium under DoD contracts unless an exception applies or has been authorized by the Government. On April 8, 2009, the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) issued a memorandum establishing policy for the minimization of hexavalent chromium use throughout DoD. The rule allows for the codification of the policy outlined in the April 8, 2009, memorandum for the acquisition community to effectively implement the guidance in contract requirements. This rule adds a new DFARS subpart and a corresponding contract clause to address requirements for minimizing the use of hexavlent chromium in items purchased by DoD. The rule enables DoD to comply with the requirements established in Executive Orders 13514 and 13423 to reduce the use of toxic and hazardous substances. Further, the rule is timely and necessary to provide industry guidance and policy to adopt substitutes for hexavalent chromium. Non-hexavalent chromium processes should be less costly due to the use of less hazardous materials and related control and disposal cost.