Cleanup of Chemical and Explosive Munitions

2nd Edition

Location, Identification and Environmental Remediation

Authors: 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.


Primary: 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

Secondary: 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


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William Andrew
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About the Author

Richard Albright

Affiliations and Expertise

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