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Continental United States Military Housing Inspection - National Capital Region

DODIG-2015-162

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Objective

Our objective was to inspect DoD military housing in United States Army Garrison (USAG) Fort Belvoir and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) for compliance with Federal, DoD, and local jurisdiction health and safety policies and standards.  Those policies and standards included the Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards, the National Electrical Code (NEC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, and international building codes.

Findings

We found deficiencies at both military installations. For accompanied and unaccompanied housing facilities, the majority of deficiencies identified during the inspections resulted from improper installation, insufficient inspection, or inadequate maintenance. We identified a total of 316 deficiencies that could affect the health, safety, and well-being of warfighters and their families: 168 electrical system, 131 fire protection system, and 17 environmental health and safety.

USAG Fort Belvoir’s and JBAB’s installation personnel did not ensure that:

  • housing electrical systems were properly installed, periodically inspected, and maintained in accordance with applicable codes and standards; and
  • housing fire protection systems were properly installed, periodically inspected, and maintained in accordance with applicable codes and standards.

USAG Fort Belvoir did not adequately maintain exhaust ventilation systems in the barracks. In addition, older accompanied housing communities had lead based paint that was flaking, peeling, or chalking. JBAB did not have an asbestos management program, plan, or an appointed asbestos program manager.

Recommendations

We recommend that the Commander, USAG Fort Belvoir:

  • Conduct an effective root cause analysis and implement a corrective action plan for all 132 deficiencies identified in this report;
  • Create and execute a plan for ongoing inspection and maintenance of all housing units to attain compliance with applicable electrical, fire protection, and environmental health and safety codes and standards;
  • Work with the private housing partner to ensure inspection and maintenance plan is achieved;
  • Improve heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) maintenance in barracks; and
  • Work with the private housing partner to abate all defective lead based paint in accordance with their Operations and Maintenance (O&M) plan.

We recommend that the Commander, JBAB:

  • Conduct an effective root cause analysis and implement a corrective action plan for all 184 ideficiencies identified in this report;
  • Create and execute a plan for ongoing inspection and maintenance of all housing units to attain compliance with applicable electrical, fire protection, and environmental health and safety codes and standards;
  • Work with the private housing partner to ensure inspection and maintenance plan is achieved; and
  • Implement an asbestos management plan and appoint an asbestos program manager in accordance with DoD requirements.

Management Comments and Our Response

The Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) responding to the official draft report for JBAB, agreed with all the recommendations. Additional comments are required from CNIC, as they only partially addressed the recommendations. The USAG Fort Belvoir Commander responded to the draft report and agreed with two recommendations, partially agreed with two, and disagreed with five. Additional comments are required from USAG Fort Belvoir, as their comments did not meet the intent of the recommendations.