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Groundwater Contamination: DOD Uses and Develops a Range of Remediation Technologies to Clean Up Military Sites

GAO-05-666 Published: Jun 30, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2005.
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To date, the Department of Defense (DOD) has identified nearly 6,000 sites at its facilities that require groundwater remediation and has invested $20 billion over the past 10 years to clean up these sites. In the past, DOD primarily used "pump-and-treat" technologies to contain or eliminate hazardous contaminants in groundwater. However, the long cleanup times and high costs of using pump-and-treat technologies often make them expensive and ineffective for groundwater remediation. As directed by Public Law 108-375 and as agreed, GAO (1) described current DOD groundwater remediation technologies and (2) examined whether any new technologies are being used or developed outside the department that may have potential for DOD's use and the extent to which DOD is researching and developing new approaches to groundwater remediation. GAO provided the Department of Defense with a draft copy of the report for its review and comment. DOD generally agreed with the contents stating that the report is an accurate summary of DOD's use and field tests of remedial technologies. DOD also provided technical clarifications that have been incorporated, as appropriate.

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Environmental monitoringGroundwater contaminationHazardous substancesMilitary facilitiesPollution controlTechnology assessmentWaste managementWater pollutionContaminantsGroundwater