Postal Service Considering Ban on Inert Munitions Shipping

Washington, D.C. The Postal Service is proposing new standards to prohibit the mailing of replica or inert munitions and other simulated explosive devices. The proposed ban is meant to ensure the safety of postal employees as well as to minimize disruptions. In 2006 alone, the Postal Service recorded 849 suspicious incidents involving mail that exhibited characteristics of possible explosives. Postal facilities were evacuated on 100 separate occasions due to these occurrences. Postal Inspectors or local emergency first responders reacted to each of these occurrences to assess the items which resulted in budget impacts as well as creating unnecessary stress for employees.

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Colorado Gets Tough on Development at the Former Lowry Range

Denver, Colorado Colorado law makers are debating a Bill introduced in the State Senate regarding the real property associated with the Former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range located in Arapahoe County.

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Emergency Closure Notice of Public Lands on Fort Ord

Fort Ord, California  the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a Notice of Emergency Closure of Selected Public Lands to the Establishment of new "Geocaches". The driver behind the emergency closure notice is to limit the public's exposure to UXO at the installation and to reduce off-trail use that can have considerable adverse effects on the environment.

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RRPI Clarification Language Proposed for FY08

DoD's infamous Range Readiness Preservation Initiative (RRPI) that DoD has been pushing for several years with limited success appears to be still lingering around. Although no longer widely referred to as RRPI, the intent is still alive. DoD proposed two RRPI-like initiatives in the FY08 Defense Authorization Act (DAA) currently in Congress. The first, Under Section 314 "Range Management", seeks to clarify when UXO is considered a solid waste and when it can be considered a hazardous waste. This was previously referred to as the RCRA / CERCLA initiative because it helps to clarify the criteria or circumstances under which cleanup authority applies at ranges and UXO sites.

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Bill Introduced in Congress to Amend Safe Drinking Water Act to Include Perchlorate

A Bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to require a national primary drinking water standard for perchlorate was introduced in Congress. HR 1747 known as the "Safe Drinking Water for Healthy Communities Act of 2007" would require a draft standard be published in the Federal Register within 12 months after the date of enactment and a final standard in place 18 months after that.

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DoD Updates MMRP Prioritization Protocol

DoD is reportedly updating the Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) Prioritization Protocol that was published in the Federal Register back in October 2005. The updates appear to be focused on the Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) module of the protocol. The changes include expanding the HHE module to include evaluations of groundwater (GW), surface water (SW), sediment, and surface soil data elements for each MMRP site. The SW and sediment data elements are further evaluated for potential human receptors and ecological receptors separately. The October 2005 version of the protocol did not differentiate between the various pathways (i.e. GW, SW, and sediment) or the receptors (i.e. human or ecological).

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Israel May Have Violated Submunition Agreements

Reportedly, State Department officials plan to notify Congress that Israel may have violated Arms Export Control Act agreements established with the United States when it used submunitions against Hezbollah targets last summer. Submunitions were deployed in populated towns and villages where Hezbollah rocket launchers were known or suspected to be located.

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EPA Updates Air Emission Factors for Ordnance

The EPA released final emission factors for the following ordnance categories: Fuses [Fuzes] and Primers; Mines and Smoke Pots; Grenades; Projectiles, Canisters and Charges; Large Cartridges (>75mm); and Small Arms. The air emission factors for ordnance are documented in Chapter 15 (Ordnance Detonation) of EPA's AP-42 (5th edition, Volume I). EPA's effort to develop and capture air emissions factors for ordnance has been a work in progress which started several years back when the Army first developed emission factors for nine ordnance items through testing conducted at Dugway Proving Grounds (a.k.a. bang box tests) and the Army Environmental Center. The ordnance for which emission factors were first developed included a 155mm illumination round, green and white star signal flares, and simulators (flash artillery, booby trap, and hand grenade).

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EPA Releases Draft MEC Hazard Assessment Guidance for Public Comment

The EPA published a notice of availability of the Draft Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) Hazard Assessment Guidance in the Federal Register. The hazard assessment model was put together by the Technical Working Group for Hazard Assessments which was made up of representatives from the EPA, DoD, Department of the Interior, various State regulatory agencies, and Tribes. The MEC Hazard Assessment model evaluates explosives safety risk by looking at three components severity, accessibility, and sensitivity. There are various input parameters that make up each of the 3 components. In all, there are nine separate input factors or parameters that are assessed for each site including 2 for the severity component, 5 for the accessibility component, and 2 for the sensitivity component.

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International Treaty Addressing UXO Left Over From War Takes Effect

An international treaty negotiated through the United Nations governing the cleanup of UXO left from war went into effect when it was ratified by 26 states. The treaty known as the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War requires parties to an armed conflict to:

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