State Regulation Bans Geophysical Surveys in Waterways

Boson, Massachusetts MassDevelopment reported that three UXO items were found by magnet fishers at two locations in the Nashua River on two separate occasions. A heavily corroded mortar shell and hand grenade were found July 24, about a half-mile south of the Hospital Road Bridge. Another corroded hand grenade was found Aug. 12 just off the south side of the Hospital Road Bridge.

MassDevelopment reportedly notified the U.S. Army, USEPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and the towns of Harvard, Shirley, Ayer, and Lancaster.

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Joint Region Marianas Reaches Agreement on Guam UXO

Article Source: http://Navy.mil

WASHINGTON (NNS)- Culminating over three years of negotiation, Department of the Navy leaders today signed an agreement to establish a disciplined process for the Commander, Joint Region Marianas (CJRM) to have the authority to implement prudent explosive safety principles on Guam. The agreement will have an immediate impact on billions of dollars in military construction activities being undertaken by all military services with missions on Guam, including the relocation of United States Marines from the Island of Okinawa, Japan.

The ceremony marks submission of the Guam Munitions Response Explosive Safety Submission to the Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity (NOSSA). To acknowledge this historic occasion, Mr. Dale Sisson, Executive Director of NOSSA, and Mr. Jim Balocki, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations, Energy and Facilities) signed a memorandum of agreement.

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DoD Replaces 6055.09M with Defense Explosive Safety Regulation 6055.09

Washington, D.C. The Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board (DDESB) released Defense Explosives Safety Regulation (DESR) 6055.09, to replace DoD 6055.09-M, DoD Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards.

Changes to the old Volume 7, now titled UXO, Munitions Response, Waste Military Munitions, and MPPEH incorporates some interesting new requirements for DoD Components. Examples include:

  • Notifying DDESB and the respective explosive safety offices of "repetitive explosives or munitions emergency responses to a discrete geographic area, where the circumstances surrounding the explosives or munitions emergency response are similar."
  • Work "collaboratively with environmental regulators and safety officials toward resolving, in a mutually agreeable manner, any concerns with the planned disposition of UXO during a response action."
  • Acknowledging that environmental regulators and safety officials "may challenge a DoD field expert's decision and seek to elevate their concerns to higher levels of authority for resolution."

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Munitions Response RI/ FS QAPP Guidance Released

Washington, D.C. The Intergovernmental Data Quality Task Force Munitions Response Subgroup, a group of representatives from DoD, EPA and select States released a guidance for preparing Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs) for conducting a Remedial Investigation (RI) / Feasibility Study (FS) on Munitions Response Site. The RF/FS QAPP guidance is Module 1 of the "Munitions Response QAPP Toolkit."

The MR-QAPP RI/FS guidance is designed for project teams in planning for the characterization and remediation of UXO at Munitions Response Sites (MRS). The guidance presents a crosswalk to the previously developed Uniform Federal Policy for Quality Assurance Project Plans (UFP-QAPP) and optimized UFP-QAPP Worksheets which consisted of a series of 37 worksheets.

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USACE Releases Update to EM 200-1-15

Washington, DC The USACE quietly and without coordination with industry released an update to EM 200-1-015, Technical Guidance For Military Munitions Response Actions. The changes to the Engineer Manual primarily include the addition of quality processes involving geophysical systems which "are required to provide defensible data that can support environmental decisions when characterizing munitions response sites and when making risk management decisions involving MEC." The changes also attempt to minimize performance deficiencies known to exist in products from analog geophysical methods such that they are not precluded from consideration in environmental risk management decisions.

The updated EM 200-1-015 dated October 30, 2018 can be downloaded from UXOInfo.com.

New Version of USACE ER 385-1-95 Released

Washington, D.C. The USACE released an updated version of ER 385-1-95, Safety and Health Requirements for Operations and Activities Involving Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC). The revised Engineer Regulation (ER) dated 31 December 2014 supersedes the previous version dated March 30, 2007.

The new guidance, which can be downloaded from the UXOInfo.com's UXO Library, contains updated safety and health requirements and responsibilities for military munitions response actions and MEC related operations, including operations involving CWM.

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Kansas Seeks to Reinstate Explosive Regulations Accidentally Eliminated in 2010

Topeka, Kansas Kansas State Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen hopes to reinstate some explosive storage regulations which were apparently accidentally eliminated in 2010. In addition, there are plans to create new rules to better track the explosives industry. For example, new regulations would require new licenses every three years and annual inspections of explosives storage sites.

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Disposed Ammunition Recovered, Then Disposed of Again?

Red Cliff, Wisconsin Last summer the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior (a Chippewa Tribe) and their support contractor recovered 25 barrels from the Lake Superior Barrel Dump Site under a DoD funded project. The barrels reportedly contain thousands of old detonators but the Tribe was unable to properly dispose of the material since there are no federally approved facilities authorized to receive hazardous explosive materials on the Great Lakes.

The Tribe did not have the proper permits in place to transport the material on land through Minnesota or Wisconsin so the Tribe and the contractor had no choice but to re-package the detonators into six bright orange containers and dump them back into the waters of the Great Lakes. GPS positions were recorded; plans for follow up retrieval and proper disposal of the containers are pending based on the Tribe's ability to get a federal waiver to transport and process the explosive hazardous waste.

Federal Safety Standards for Fireworks Disposal Recommended

Article from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board website.

Washington, DC In a final report set to be considered today, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said an explosion and fire that killed five workers during a fireworks disposal operation in Hawaii in 2011 resulted from unsafe disposal practices; insufficient safety requirements for government contractor selection and oversight; and an absence of national guidelines, standards, and regulations for fireworks disposal.

The draft document, scheduled for a board vote at a public meeting in Washington, DC, today, recommends that federal agencies develop a new government-wide safety and environmental responsibility requirement for contractors, and calls for new regulations on the safe disposal of fireworks, a growing problem across the U.S.

Article continued on the CSB Website.

Are UXO Escorts Getting Short-Changed?

Washington, D.C. Several years ago the Department of Labor (DOL) added UXO Technician categories to the list of occupations and skill sets under Service Contract Act (SCA) contracts. SCA rates are the minimum hourly rates that companies are required to pay employees working under SCA contracts. The scale or wages vary by location including by State and county.

UXOInfo.com conducted an evaluation of SCA wage lists from over a dozen of locations and came across some interesting results. All wage determinations examined had five categories for UXO technicians under the 30000 series (Technical Occupations). These included:

  • Code 30491 - UXO Technician I
  • Code 30492 - UXO Technician II
  • Code 30493 - UXO Technician III
  • Code 30494 - UXO Safety Escort
  • Code 30495 - UXO Sweep Personnel

In all cases examined from the DOL website, the minimum hourly rates for the Sweep Personnel and Safety Escort were equal to the rate for a UXO Technician Level I. However, what is more interesting is that the DDESBP and USACE policy requires escorts to be performed by a UXO Technician Level II or higher. Specific language from the respective policies are highlighted below:

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