DDESB 6055.09 Standard Update Released

Washington, D.C. The Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board (DDESB) Administratively Reissued their Explosives Safety Standard "DoD Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards: 6055.09-M". In the re-issue process, the 6055.09 standard was reclassified as a "Manual" and was issued in a series of eight separate volumes.

The volume which impacts the UXO industry the most is Volume 7: "Criteria for UXO, Munitions Response, Waste Military Munitions, and Material Potentially Presenting an Explosive Hazard (MPPEH)". Specifically within Volume 7 are enclosures on several topics including enclosures for UXO, Real Property Known or Suspected to Contain MEC and chemical agents (CA), and MPPEH.

The revised Manual is close to the version that was updated and released in February 2008. However, the revised manual does have some interesting new or revised requirements that are worth noting.

For starters, in the manual, the DDESB recognizes that environmental regulators and safety officials may "challenge a DoD field expert's decision as to whether or not a munition item found is safe to move". The manual states that such challenges may need to be elevated to higher levels of authority for resolution. It was not clear as to what is meant by "higher-levels" or who has the ultimate authority in the process.

Another requirement added is the requirement that the MMRP UXO Safety Officer (UXO SO) ensure that all detonation sites are inspected after each detonation or misfire. The UXO SO is required to declare the area safe before personnel are allowed within minimum separation distance (MSD) from the detonation site. For the most part this was being done in the field anyway but at some sites it was not the UXO SO who carried out this duty.

The Manual also allows a UXO Technician Level I to perform UXO escort duties without supervision if the responsible commander or authority, based on a risk assessment and implementation of methods to mitigate any potential exposures, authorizes it. Other guidance including DDESB Technical Paper 18 (Minimum Qualification Standards for UXO Technicians and Personnel) and the USACE 75-1-2 (MEC Support During HTRW and Construction Activities) require that UXO escorts be a minimum of a UXO Technician Level II.

Although the DDEBS retained the requirement to maintain permanent records of MEC/UXO areas including operational ranges, munitions response sites, and current or former munitions manufacturing facilities, they added the requirement that the records be "readily available" to current and future users of the property. In our attempts to develop a comprehensive UXO inventory, UXOInfo.com can attest that finding accurate data on munitions sites is very difficult and that accurate data is hardly ever "readily available".

DDESB clarified when an approved ESP, ESS, or CSS, is required including for UXO construction support sites and for sites where a determination of "no DoD action indicated" (NDAI) or "no further action" (NOFA) is made.

The manual also requires that any land transfers involving areas known or suspected of containing UXO from DoD control be approved by the Chairman of the DDESB. The purposes of the Chairman's review is to "ensure the recipient of the property is fully informed of both the actual and potential hazards relating to the presence or possible presence of UXO and/or chemical agents and restrictions or conditions placed on the use of the property to avoid harm to property users". The only exceptions to this requirement are real property transfers from DoD to the Coast Guard. This requirement is rather interesting as it potentially presents a future liability for the Chairman of the DDESB should any explosives related accidents or incidents occur on the property post transfer.

Use the link below to download Volume 7 of the re-issued (August 2010) DDESB 6055.09-M from UXOInfo.com.

Comments are not allowed for this entry.

BlogCFC was created by Raymond Camden. This blog is running version 5.5.002.