Project Summary


Why is this Important?

This project will provide installation and formerly used defense site (FUDS) managers with the risk characterization analysis tools needed to assess contaminant exposure potentials in unique and/or remote Arctic landscapes.

Why is this Needed?

Alaska comprises 10% of total Army training lands and contains the second highest number of Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) in the U.S.
  • Restoration options for treating contaminated sites in these largely remote and austere terrestrial ecosystems are lacking and/or cost prohibitive.
  • Uncertainties surrounding climate change effects on the fate and transport of persistent, recalcitrant military contaminants in at-risk Arctic/subarctic locations hinders risk-based or sustainability-based decision making.

What is the Desired End State?

We will develop:
  • Scientifically defensible, data driven fate and transport models for risk based determinations and prioritization of remediation options in adaptive site management.
  • Metagenomic markers (molecular biology tools or MBT) identifying contaminant transformation pathways in Arctic/subarctic ecosystems.

What is it?

An application of a multi-disciplinary approach to obtain new knowledge of site specific Arctic/subarctic biotic/abiotic factors affecting contaminant degradation for use in enhancing fate and transport projections.

Developed predictive models will support risk-based determinations for use in prioritization of on-site remediation technologies/approaches to facilitate adaptive installation management under the paradigm of a continually changing Arctic climate.

What does it offer?

  • Process knowledge of bio-geochemical factors responsible for contaminant degradation/transformation in Arctic/subarctic soils
  • Understanding of contaminant migration patterns in Arctic/subarctic soils following changes in vegetation patterns and permafrost integrity
  • Improvements in risk-based management technologies and strategies will reduce both short- and long-term liabilities associated with current cleanup costs estimated to be 16 billion dollars for Army IRP and FUDs sites.