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Ft. Gillem Home
by Lenny Siegel [PDF, 13 pages]
February, 2015
Chlorinated volatile organic compounds and petroleum hydrocarbons from Ft. Gillem, a mostly closed Army base near Atlanta, Georgia, have migrated off post. U.S. EPA and the state of Georgia believe that air contamination inside neighboring residences is vapor intrusion, but the Army disagrees. Meanwhile, local activists are more successful than the Army in bringing the neighbors to public meetings.
Westside Aquifer Treatment System
by Peter Strauss [PDF, 9 pages]
February, 2015
The lease of Moffett Field from NASA by Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures could bring numerous environmental benefits, including the restoration of the massive historic landmark, Hangar One; mitigation of vapor intrusion at Hangar One and the connecting utility tunnel; and the protection of wildlife including burrowing owls. But managing the contaminated Moffett environment will be a challenge.
Explosive Destruction System
by Lenny Siegel [PDF, 3 pages]
September, 2013
Globally, chemical weapons demilitarization has been difficult, slow, and costly, but with technologies that have been developed over the past two decades, the safe destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile is feasible. While the diplomats work out the principles for sequestering and eliminating Syrian chemical warfare materiel, our government and others should be developing a strategy for safe, secure demilitarization. That work must begin now, not only because it will take time, but also because it is likely to raise issues that the diplomats will need to resolve.
Hangar One and Moffett Runways
by Lenny Siegel [PDF, 3 pages]
September, 2013
To ensure that the planned lease of Moffett Field serves the interest of neighboring communities and to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, any proposed change in the operation of the runways or significant new activities on the former Navy base should be the subject of a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). … The total transformation of Moffett Field and closure of its runways does not have to happen overnight. But we must act now and let our community leaders, NASA, and the GSA know of our desire to see that Moffett is used for the community’s needs and higher purposes vs. subjecting our communities to unwanted noise, environmental pollution, and accident risks sanctioned under the current GSA lease proposal request.
Camp Butner demo site
by Lenny Siegel
December, 2012
The people who live in the communities where teams look for and destroy unexploded ordnance—in some cases directly on project sites—are the ultimate customers of munitions response. At the November 27, 2012 Stakeholders’ Forum on the Use of Geophysical Classification for Munitions Response, ten geographically representative stakeholders from some of the nation’s best known former range sites met to learn about and discuss the use of this emerging technology. Participants were uniformly positive about the technology, but they raised important questions about the ways that the technology will be implemented.
by Lenny Siegel
July, 2011
The Northrop-Grumman facility in Bethpage, Long Island, New York illustrates some of the challenges that may emerge when wellhead treatment is a primary component of a groundwater remedy. In 2010 the Massapequa Water District sought federal intervention in the state-regulated cleanup when data indicated that a groundwater plume was likely to impact its drinking-water supply aquifers within the next few years.
Newport Chemical Depot flowers
by Lenny Siegel
June, 2011
The 7,000-acre Newport Chemical Depot, nestled in western Indiana’s Wabash Valley, is about to be returned to civilian use. The former home of the U.S. Army’s production program for VX nerve agent, it is slated for transfer to a Vermillion County-sponsored Local Reuse Authority sometime this year. Local residents and official are now debating how the former ammunition plant can best provide some of the prairie habitat that once characterized much of this portion of the country.
Pump & Treat  and Hangar One
by Lenny Siegel
May, 2011
The “Regional Plume” of volatile- organic-compound (VOC) ground- water contamination in Mountain View, California ranks as one of the nation’s more serious remediation challenges. For two decades, community oversight in Mountain View has served as a national model. Now discussions among U.S. EPA, federal and private responsible parties, and the local community may serve as a model for conducting long-term cleanup where the application of conventional technologies is diminishing in effectiveness and where existing remedies have been found to be unprotective.
Coronado solar canopy
by Lenny Siegel
April, 2010
A systematic program to install rooftop solar systems at Defense facilities throughout the United States is perhaps the quickest, most dramatic way for the U.S. government to increase renewable power generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The roofs are there. The technologies exist. The Department appears to have the will to move forward. All that is needed are financial decision-making mechanisms that internalize the benefits of alternative energy.
Camp SLO gate
by Lenny Siegel
January 26, 2010
The 2,101-acre Formerly Used Defense Site at Camp Luis Obispo, California, contains a munitions impact range where unexploded ordnance has been found on or near the surface. Because the site is accessible by the public, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control wants the Army Corps of Engineers to return to its original plan to conduct surface clearance as part of a Time Critical Removal Action.
Morgan Bridge
by Lenny Siegel
April, 2009
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operates the Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge (BONWR) on 50,000 acres at the former Jefferson Proving Ground in southern Indiana. In many ways, the Refuge is like any other expanse of preserved habitat, but access is limited because the property contains millions of rounds of unexploded ordnance. The Refuge wants the Army to clear land so it can build a visitor center and replace a bridge, but the Army refuses to use BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) funds to conduct any form of area clearance. Congressman Baron Hill is seeking funds to conduct munitions response and building the proposed visitors’ center.
by Lenny Siegel
October, 2008
New York’s former Lake Ontario Ordnance Works (LOOW) and the associated Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS) are not the largest or most complex of the cleanup sites owned by the Departments of Defense and Energy, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) community relations program there has recently become one of the most controversial. Despite the current stalemate between the Corps and the local community, it appears that differences could be solved relatively easily by looking at the Defense Department’s RAB [Restoration Advisory Boards] Rule and the process that led to its development.
Hangar One Skeleton
by Lenny Siegel and Peter M. Strauss
September, 2008
We appreciate the Navy’s efforts to both inform our community and hear our concerns about the proposed Removal Action for Moffett Field’s Site 29, Hangar One, but we remain disappointed in both the quality of the July 2008 Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) and the limitations of the Navy’s proposed action. The Navy should plan to fully restore Hangar One after removing toxic substances from the cladding (roof and siding) and short of that, it should explain why it does not wish to and does not have to....
Lake Michigan
by Lenny Siegel
July, 2008
Reviewing U.S. underwater munitions sites, CPEO Executive Director Lenny Siegel found enormous variety in scale, the type of the munitions, and the nature of the waterways. Despite the diversity, he found that community members and officials share a risk management perspective, where the need for cleanup is primarily determined by the potential for exposure.
by Lenny Siegel
July, 2008
CPEO Executive DirectorLenny Siegel explores emerging conflicts between the Defense Department and the renewable energy industry. Siegel focuses on land competition in California’s Western Mojave Desert among energy development, national security, habitat preservation, and off-road vehicle recreation, as well as the intereference to radar caused by wind turbines. Siegel suggests cooperative approaches to resolving such conflicts, before it’s too late.
by Lenny Siegel
July, 2008
Executive Director Lenny Siegel evaluated community perspectives on the cleanup of trichloroethylene (TCE) plumes at the closed Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) in Minnesota (New Brighton and Arden Hills) and former Moffett Naval Air Station in the San Francisco Bay Area (Mountain View and Sunnyvale). Specifically, Siegel reviewed the decision to shut down treatment at TCAAP’s Operable Unit 3 (OU3)—the South Plume emanating from the former arsenal—and the debate over future treatment at Moffett Field’s Site 26, the Eastside aquifer.
Pinon Canyon
by Lenny Siegel
February, 2008
The Army proposes to nearly triple the size of the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site in Southern Colorado. Ranchers, supported by a diverse coalition, oppose the expansion. They are fighting to hold on to their property and preserve their way of life—multi-generational, sustainable cattle-raising. With support from Congress, they have delayed the plan, but the threat of future eminent domain depresses the region’s economy.
by Lenny Siegel
September, 2007
CPEO Executive Director Lenny Siegel visited communities hosting Defense Installations and discussed Volatile Organic Compound response technologies with community members. In the course of this project, he visited four bases with large environmental restoration programs, known contamination with TCE and/or PCE, and a history of significant community involvement and controversy. He talked with members of Restoration Advisory Boards and other community groups at the following five installations:
  • Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, North Carolina
  • the Army’s former Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Colorado
  • former Kelly Air Force Base, Texas
  • Otis Air National Guard Base, part of the Massachusetts Military Reservation
  • former Moffett Field Naval Air Station, California. (Siegel has served on the Moffett Field Technical Review Committee and Restoration Advisory Board for more than 17 years.)
In addition, Siegel drew upon earlier visits to other military facilities and recent visits to contaminated civilian properties across the country.
Lowry Range
by Lenny Siegel
September, 2007
The Center for PublicEnvironmental Oversight evaluated public stakeholders’ views of existing and emerging munitions response technologies. In particular, CPEO sought to find out how impacted communities view munitions response strategies in which project teams selectively excavate geophysical anomalies recorded during site surveys. To answer this question, Lenny Siegel visited munitions response sites at Amaknak (Dutch Harbor), Alaska; the former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range, Colorado; Camp Edwards, Massachusetts; and the Former Mojave Gunnery Range Complex, California. In addition, he drew upon earlier visits to numerous other military ranges as well as correspondence with stakeholders from other munitions response properties. He interviewed landowners, members of Restoration Advisory Boards, and other public stakeholders.
by Lenny Siegel
September, 2007
For the past several years, the U.S. armed services have been confronting “encroachment,” civilian development near the fencelines of military installations as well as under low-level flights paths. While its legislative proposals have had mixed success, its efforts to establish buffer zones have been remarkably successful. Conservation organizations and many local governments are more than willing to partner with the Defense Department. Yet in many locations the armed services find themselves in direct conflict with community activists. Therefore, the Center for Public Environmental Oversight evaluated public stakeholders’ views on encroachment and military range sustainability, particularly in Hawai‘i and North Carolina.
by Lenny Siegel
May, 2007
The Center for Public Environmental Oversight conducted field work to evaluate community attitudes toward the various technologies and approaches to Chemical Warfare Materiel (CWM) response. CPEO Executive Director Lenny Siegel visited five communities where Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) have known CWM issues and interviewed stakeholders, including local, state, and tribal officials. The five FUDS were the American University Experimental Station, Spring Valley, Washington, DC; Amaknak Island, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Aleutian Islands, Alaska; Former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range (also known as Buckley Field), Aurora, Colorado; Black Hills Ordnance Depot, Igloo, South Dakota; and Former Camp Sibert, Steele, Alabama. The stakeholders who took part in this study were remarkably frank, and they offered valuable, though varied opinions about the technologies with which they were familiar.
East Kelly
Lenny Siegel
April, 2007
For years the neighbors of now-closed Kelly Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas, have blamed the installation’s massive groundwater plumes of PCE and TCE for their illnesses, and they have called for more off-post remediation. On a recent visit to Kelly, CPEO Executive Director concluded that the neighbors’ concerns may be justified. High soil gas levels of those compounds in the East Kelly area suggest a need for indoor air testing and a comprehensive evaluation of potential vapor intrusion.
Sandy Run
by Lenny Siegel
March, 2007
In the 1990s, the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina established a new live-fire training area, the 41,000-acre Great Sandy Run Area, just west of the historic base. Since then, neighbors along High Hill Road, sandwiched between Sandy Run and the main post, have complained about excessive noise. Despite the Marines’ active program to reduce conflicts between readiness activities and the interests, existing tools do not adequately address reverse encroachment.
Watertown Arsenal
by Lenny Siegel
November, 2006
The Watertown Arsenal, as a whole, stands as model of successful public participation, cleanup, and reuse. In fact, the 48-acre BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) parcel is slated for deletion from the “Superfund” National Priorities List (NPL) this month. Originally built in 1816 to manufacture cannon balls and other weapons of that era, the Arsenal later became the Army Materials Technology Laboratory, complete with its own nuclear reactor—which was removed in 1994. Lacking the sprawling buffer zones required at 20th century Army Ammunition Plants, the Arsenal at its peak covered only 131 acres.
Joliet Army Ammunition Plant
by Lenny Siegel
August, 2006
The 24,000-acre Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, in Illinois just south of Chicago, was constructed during the early 1940s. The Manufacturing area produced 4 billion pounds of bulk explosive, primarily TNT and tetryl, through 1977. It is listed twice on the "Superfund" National Priorities List, but most of the cleanup is done. Completion will take several more years, but most of land has been made available for reuse. The new uses—Intermodal cargo transportation, warehousing, a national cemetery, a county landfill, and the first National Tallgrass Prairie - are underway, but removing buildings and debris, as well prairie restoration, will take decades."


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