Base Closure at Federal Facilities
To sustain and streamline military readiness, the Department of Defense (DoD) recognized the need to close some installations and redefine the department’s mission at others. To date, DoD and Congress have implemented five Base Realignment and Closure BRAC rounds: 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2005. In BRAC rounds I-IV, EPA assists in the transfer of both BRAC and National Priorities List (NPL) sites, also known as Superfund Sites.
Because these facilities often encompass hundreds of acres with buildings, roads and other infrastructure, their effective and efficient cleanup and reuse can play a pivotal role in a community's economic development. A large portion of BRAC property was designated for transfer to other federal agencies or non-federal entities, such as states, tribes, local governments or private industries. Thirty-four DoD installations from BRAC I-IV are also listed on the NPL. You can view the different BRAC site locations by state or agency at the Federal Facilities National Priorities List (NPL) and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Sites Where You Live Web page.
- Federal Facilities National Priorities List (NPL) and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Sites Where You Live
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Program
Key Base Closure and Property Transfer Documents
The purpose of the 2010 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was to establish responsibilities and funding for EPA's assistance and support in accelerating environmental restoration and cleanup decisions in support of reuse at selected Department of Defense (DoD) BRAC Rounds I-IV installations.
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Defense and Amendment #1 to the MOU
Under the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 (BRAC) a number of communities have military installations that are slated to close. Turning Bases Into Great Places: New Life for Closed Military Facilities outlines the steps for creating a redevelopment vision using smart-growth principles.
EPA also helps accelerate the transfer of federal property by coordinating environmental cleanup activities and crafting innovative property transfer arrangements.
Policies and Guidances
- Interim Guidance for EPA’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Program (April 27, 2006)
This guidance supersedes the February 1996 EPA Guidance for Implementing the Fast-Track Cleanup Program at Closing or Realigning Military Bases.
BRAC 2005 (BRAC 5)
The BRAC Commission’s recommendations for reshaping the Defense Department’s infrastructure and force structure officially took effect on November 9, 2005. The 2005 BRAC recommendations represent the most aggressive BRAC ever proposed, affecting more than 800 installations. Whether a DoD facility is included in the BRAC 2005 (BRAC 5) list for realignments and closures does not change EPA’s core environmental responsibilities relative to characterization and cleanup of an installation on the Superfund NPL. However, EPA’s involvement at non-NPL BRAC is limited to site-specific situations.
- 2005 Proposed Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Installations on the NPL
- U.S. Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure 2005
- 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission Report
On August, 11, 2005, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission met to receive testimony from federal, state and local government officials, professional associations and the general public regarding the issues related to the appropriate environmental stewardship of installations recommended for closure and realignment. The meeting was open to the public. See the EPA’s prepared statement before the commission.
Department of Defense (DoD) BRAC Cleanup and Property Transfer
- Memoranda of Understanding Between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense:
- Transmittal of "Interim Guidance for EPA’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Program"
- Fast-Track Cleanup at Closing DoD Installations
- DoD Guidance and Policies on Fast Track Cleanup at Closing Installations (9 September 1993)
Additional Federal Agency Resources
- U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Resources
- GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. The GAO website offers links to Issue Summaries and Key Reports such as:
BRAC and EPA’s Federal Facility Cleanup Program
EPA serves the public by supporting innovative, cost-effective cleanups at federal facilities and the return of those facilities to productive use. We work extensively with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and community representatives to ensure that facilities meet environmental standards and are ready for redevelopment.
EPA assists in the transfer of properties and provides regulatory oversight at many types of Department of Defense (DoD) sites, including Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) sites. Because these facilities often encompass hundreds of acres with buildings, roads and other infrastructure, their effective and efficient cleanup and reuse can play a pivotal role in communities’ economic development.
September 30, 2016 marked the end of thirty years of EPA’s involvement at BRAC facilities that are not on the National Priorities List (NPL). The BRAC and EPA’s Federal Facility Cleanup Program: Three Decades of Excellence, Innovation and Reuse report takes a closer look at EPA’s work in support of DoD and its BRAC environmental restoration and reuse efforts over the past three decades. At more than 100 BRAC sites nationwide, EPA has provided resources to accelerate environmental restoration activities, maintain remedies that protect human health and the environment, support public involvement, and facilitate property transfer.