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News | Nov. 30, 2023

Press Release: Audit of Environmental Threats to Naval Dry Docks (DODIG-2024-030)


Inspector General Robert P. Storch announced today that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General released the “Audit of Environmental Threats to Naval Dry Docks.” The audit highlighted potential vulnerabilities in the master planning for environmental threats to dry docks and focused on actions to address changing sea levels and flooding at four naval shipyards located in Norfolk, Virginia; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Puget Sound, Washington.

All four shipyards complied with Federal and DoD guidance regarding weather response plans and considerations for sea level change and flooding impacts. However, we found that three of the four installations lacked updated master plans to incorporate an installation resiliency component, a requirement introduced in 2020. The reasons for not incorporating installation resiliency into master plans varied, including adherence to the statutory ten-year update requirement instead of DoD’s more stringent five-year update requirement, lack of funding, and avoiding duplication with ongoing shipyard optimization.

“Our audit revealed that the naval shipyards’ are at an increased risk of sustaining catastrophic damage from environmental threats due to lack of current, comprehensive master plans that include installation resilience components,” said IG Storch. “We recently identified climate change as a top management and performance challenge facing the DoD, with potential impacts to missions, operational plans, and installations.  Delaying essential infrastructure initiatives could lead to the shipyards deteriorating and ultimately hinder their ability to carry out their mission,” IG Storch added.

Additionally, the audit concluded that the Navy lacked key guidance and clarity of roles and responsibilities to execute master and project planning efforts. Without providing clear guidance to Navy planners, officials experienced inconsistent direction in master planning and individual project development.  According to Navy planners, the inconsistent direction impacted the development and approval of critical infrastructure projects. 

The DoD OIG made several recommendations to address the audit’s findings, including that the Navy update their master plans to comply with DoD requirements and include the installation resiliency component, and that the Navy document prioritization efforts for master plans to comply with Federal and DoD requirements.