Report | Aug. 6, 2013

Cost Increases and Delays Occurred During Closure and Land Transfers of Army Ammunition Plants and Chemical Depots Under Base Realignment and Closure 2005

DODIG-2013-114

Objective

We reviewed the closure and land transfer at four Army ammunition plants and two chemical depots closed under Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005. We identified factors contributing to increased costs and delays in cleaning up and transferring the land. We also determined if changes in requirements or additional laws contributed to the increased costs and delays.

Findings

Army BRAC officials experienced increased costs and delays at Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant (RBAAP), California; Kansas Army Ammunition Plant (KSAAP); Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant (LSAAP), Texas; Newport Chemical Depot (NECD), Indiana; and Umatilla Chemical Depot (UMCD), Oregon, closed under BRAC 2005. Specifically, Army officials experienced cost increases ranging from $665,000 to an indeterminable dollar value and indeterminable amount of delay because:

  • Army officials and contractor personnel identified additional contamination at RBAAP, KSAAP, LSAAP, NECD, and UMCD that was unknown at the time of the BRAC recommendation;
  • Army, Environmental Protection Agency, state environmental, and local redevelopment authority officials disagreed on clean-up requirements at RBAAP, KSAAP, and LSAAP; and
  • Army officials identified additional factors at KSAAP, NECD, and UMCD.

Army officials did not incur major cost increases or delays when completing the cleanup and land transfer at Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant because Army officials completed a permit termination. In addition, Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental agency officials did not identify any new environmental regulations or additional laws that increased the cost or delayed the transfer of land at the Army ammunition plants and chemical depots.

As a result, the Army still owns a portion of the closed properties for an indeterminable amount of time and retains financial responsibility for cleaning up the properties.

Recommendations

We recommend that the Chief, BRAC Division, Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, establish a disputeresolution plan to resolve problems and disagreements between the Army, Environmental Protection Agency, state environmental officials, and local redevelopment authority officials, as they occur.

Managment Comments

The Army did not agree with the audit finding or recommendation. We did not consider the Army’s comments responsive, and we made revisions for clarification purposes throughout the report. We request additional comments by September 5, 2013.

This report is a result of Project No. D2012-D000CG-0206.000.