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Cleanup of Chemical and Explosive Munitions - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9781437734775, 9781437734782

Cleanup of Chemical and Explosive Munitions

2nd Edition

Location, Identification and Environmental Remediation

Author: Richard Albright
Hardcover ISBN: 9781437734775
eBook ISBN: 9781437734782
Imprint: William Andrew
Published Date: 13th December 2011
Page Count: 328
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Unexploded military ordnance and toxic chemicals, some dating back to the two World Wars, are a global concern, especially when former military bases are redeveloped for housing or other civilian uses. Internationally, there are the added challenges of cleanup of battlegrounds and minefields. Experts estimate that the United States alone could spend between $50–250 billion to clean up these sites, many of which are in areas of high population density, where the demand for land for development is high.

This book is unique in providing detailed guidance for cleaning up military ordnance sites – listing explosives, chemical warfare materials and breakdown products which can contaminate soil and groundwater and the tests needed to detect them, as well as cleanup techniques. Also included are remote sensing techniques, geophysical techniques, safety issues, the particular challenges of chemical weapons, etc. The author illustrates these techniques with case studies, including former battlegrounds in Europe and Asia, storage and waste disposal sites in Russia and former Soviet territories, and an extended study of the remediation of the large and complex Spring Valley site in the District of Columbia,.

The second edition has been fully revised and updated, and also includes new and expanded sections on:

  • geophysical techniques for discovering buried ordnance
  • underwater sites and remediation techniques
  • use of robotics, including remotely operated vehicles
  • compliance and regulatory issues
  • guidance documents from US Department of Defense and other sources

The focus on test procedures, environmental remediation techniques, and learning from past case studies, makes Albright’s book the most comprehensive and practical guide on the market for a topic of international importance.

Key Features

  • The only book available with clear and complete guidance for the cleanup of military ordnance sites and battlefields
  • The author illustrates his recommendations with real world cases including Spring Valley, DC, former battlegrounds in Europe and Asia, and storage and waste disposal sites in Russia and other former Soviet states
  • An essential reference for the test and environmental remediation procedures required to put former military sites back in to civilian use (e.g. housing)
  • 30% revision, with key updates concerning regulatory changes, US Dept of Defense guidance documents, use of robotic vehicles, underwater sites and discovery of buried ordnance


Environmental Engineers, Environmental Scientists, Military Explosive and Ordnance Demolition (EOD) personnel, private companies involved in the cleanup of military munitions and explosives, first responders, construction industry. Professors teaching Environmental Remediation Courses; Homeland Security professionals and terrorism experts dealing with Weapons of Mass Destruction

Table of Contents








1. Cleaning Up Old Munitions Sites

1.1. A Primer on the Science and Concepts of Cleaning Up a Range Site

1.2. A Historical Background of Old Munitions Sites

1.3. New Requirements for Old Munitions

2. Limitations and Expertise in Remediating Munitions Sites

2.1. State and Local Regulators Need to Develop Their Own Expertise in Remediating Munitions Sites

3. The Extent of the Munitions Problem

3.1. Introduction

3.2. Extent of the Munitions Problem Generally

3.3. Land Mines

3.4. Munitions Burials by the Civilian Conservation Corps

3.5. Extent of the Explosive Munitions Problem

4. Explosive Ordnance

4.1. Danger From Explosive Ordnance

4.2. Explosive Contamination

4.3. Methods of Destroying Military Explosives

5. Chemical Warfare Material

5.1. Introduction to Chemical Warfare Material Issues

5.2. History of Chemical Warfare

5.3. Extent of the Chemical Warfare Material Problem

5.4. Unique Problems in CWM Site Remediation

5.5. Potential Chemical Agents That May Be Encountered

5.6. Radioactive Facilities

6. Introduction to Underwater Unexploded Ordnance and Its Impact on the Environment*

6.1. Introduction

6.2. Location

6.3. Migration

6.4. Density

6.5. Wide-Area Assessments

6.6. Human Death or Injury from Underwater UXO

6.7. Chronic Illness from Munitions Constituents in Seafood and Drinking Water

6.8. Environmental Damage from Spontaneous Detonations

6.9. Environmental Damage from Leaking Toxins and Chemical Agents

6.10. The Great Lakes Underwater Ordnance

6.11. Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

6.12. Baltic Sea

6.13. Factors Affecting Leakage

6.14. Lost Underwater Nuclear Weapons

7. Ordnance Detection and Analysis

7.1. Introduction

7.2. General Types of Metal Detectors

7.3. UXO Location Technologies

7.4. Choosing a Metal Detector or Magnetometer

7.5. UXO Analysis

7.6. Other Geophysically Intrusive Techniques

7.7. How to Conduct a Correct Search for Buried or Range Impact Ordnance

7.8. Historical and Archival Data Sources

8. Excavation and Removal of Ordnance

8.1. Excavating the Ordnance Item after Proper Identification

9. Recommendations

9.1. Basic Site Requirements

9.2. Time is Running Out

Introduction to Part II

10. A History of the American University Experiment Station (AUES) Site

10.1. Introduction

10.2. The History of the AUES Site

10.3. The District of Columbia’s First Report on the World War I Poison Gas Production at the AUES

11. Concerns over the Adequacy of Previous Remediation Efforts

11.1. Introduction

11.2. Concerns about Remaining Unexploded Ordnance and Chemical Containers

11.3. Community Right to Know

12. The District of Columbia’s Initial Success as a State Regulator on AUES

12.1. Success Results from Hard Work and Providence

12.2. Myths and Falsehoods Regarding the AUES

12.3. The Glass Stopper

12.4. The Child Development Center at American University

13. The Continuing Search for Burial Sites

13.1. Many Clues Must Be Used to Find Burial Sites

14. Expanding and Enlarging a Remediation Site

14.1. Finding the Range Impact Areas

14.2. Expanding the Boundary

14.3. New Points of Interest

14.4. Aerial Photographic Interpretation

15. The Dangers of Lewisite and Arsenic

15.1. The History of Lewisite and a Speech by W. Lee Lewis

15.2. Arsenic Contamination Cleanup

16. Sampling Conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers

16.1. Secret Sampling for the AUES List Conducted by the Corps

16.2. Effort to Deny the Existence of Additional Burial Sites

16.3. Requests Directed to the Corps

16.4. Requests Directed to the EPA

17. Conceptual Site Model for the AUES

17.1. Introduction

17.2. Historical Records, Drawings, and Maps

17.3. Aerial Photographs and Reports

17.4. Still Photographs

17.5. Toxicity and Exposure Data

17.6. Site Contaminant Data

17.7. Geophysical Data

17.8. Geologic Data

17.9. Residents

17.10. Other Environmental Receptors

17.11. Site Development Infrastructure Information

17.12. Anecdotal Information

17.13. Professional Conjecture

18. Summary

18.1. Future Necessary Work at the AUES Site

18.2. Role of the States in Environmental Remediation of Military Sites

18.3. Conclusion

Appendix I. Major State Reports on the AUES

Appendix II. National Archives Record Groups with Military Information

Appendix III. World War I Range and Ordnance Sites Likely to be Unknown to the Military

Appendix IV. U.S. Military Installation List with Some Foreign Sites

Appendix V. List of U.S. Military Ranges Worldwide

Appendix VI. Related Titles




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© William Andrew 2012
13th December 2011
William Andrew
Hardcover ISBN:
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About the Author

Richard Albright

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of the Environment Defense Unit, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

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