Detailed Information on the
Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program Assessment

Program Code 10004360
Program Title Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program
Department Name Corps of Engineers-Civil Works
Agency/Bureau Name Corps of Engineers-Civil Works
Program Type(s) Direct Federal Program
Assessment Year 2005
Assessment Rating Moderately Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 100%
Program Management 86%
Program Results/Accountability 74%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $138
FY2008 $140
FY2009 $130

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

The Corps is using available funding to efficiently complete remediation activities at sites already undergoing remediation.

Action taken, but not completed

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

In March 2006, the Corps put together a project delivery team (PDT) to consider the FUSRAP assessment, findings, and improvement plan and to identify ways to implement the plan. The program will use the regular telephone conferences and twice yearly meetings to discuss and document the success that each project has with these activities. 1. To accomplish task #1, the Corps is completed the following tasks: ?? Reviewed partnering agreements with contractors to assure that program goals are referenced ?? Contractor performance is documented in the corporate contractor performance assessment reporting system. Where appropriate for cost reimburseable contracts a specific contract quality assurance surveillance plan is also developed. ?? Reviewed systems for tracking and documenting meetings with local and national stakeholders ?? Reviewed content of yearly meetings with state regulators ?? Looked for opportunities to highlight program goals - A ceremony and tree planting to commemorate completion of environmental cleanup and restoration work at the Ashland FUSRAP Sites in the Town of Tonawanda, NY was held on 14 September 2006. The Ashland Sites Project has been one of the largest environmental cleanup projects in Western New York. Over 258,000 tons of contaminated material was safely excavated from approximately 25 acres comprising the Ashland Sites (over 312,000 hours of on-site work was conducted with no lost-time accidents). The Civil Works Five Year Development Plan for FY 2009 through FY 2013 will include a 5-year schedule for FUSRAP activities.


Work with stakeholders to document goals and objectives at three sites in 2006 and three more sites in 2007.

Completed The program met its goal for 2007. Stakeholder's were extensively involved with activities at the St. Louis Airport Site, Ashland , and Colonie sites. The Corps has participated in local oversight committee meetings, produced quarterly newsletters, and conducted regular technical planning meetings for stakeholders.

The Corps should identify ways to increase the program's efficiency while protecting the health and safety of the public and the environment, increasing competition where warranted.

Completed The Corps is meeting this goal. For example, at the Shpack site, the elimination of water treatment saved approx. $18,000 per month. For Phase 1of the project, this resulted in a total savings of $180,000 over 10 months. For Phase 2 this figure could be $400,000 or more. Project managers at the Colonie site are currently negotiating a Cooperative Agreesment with the state of New Jersey.

To accomplish task #2, the Corps has taken the following actions: ?? Captured lessons learned from annual meetings to EKO ?? Regularly discussed project improvement successes and failures at regular phone conferences and meetings ?? Continued to attend national meetings and participate in national studies to learn from the successes of others ?? Continued to encourage collaboration between Corps and outside technical disciplines such as chemists and health physicists and rely heavily on these technical assets ?? Supported national look at disposal of radioactive waste disposal contracting issues Milestones: ?? Ten properties were completed in FY06. ?? The Corps disposed of 174,500 cubic yards of contaminated material in FY06 ?? Two national meetings have been held in FY07. ?? The Corps will publish an updated Stakeholder's Report in June FY07.

Completed During 2007, the Corps has been consistently completing the tasks identified in the Improvement Plan.

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Number of individual properties returned to beneficial use on a cumulative basis


Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 146
2006 10 10
2007 18 27
2008 34
Long-term Efficiency

Measure: Cumulative percentage of FUSRAP funding that is expended on cleanup activities rather than studies

Explanation:This metric helps the Corps to move from studying a problem into actual cleanup activities more quickly.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 77%
2008 80%
2016 100%
Annual Output

Measure: Cubic Yardage of Contaminated Material Disposed

Explanation:Target values may be adjusted pending budget decisions. Baseline will be updated as RODs are signed.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 2,926,945
2005 167,538 242,750
2006 213,450 174,500
2007 147,000 185,646
2008 130,000
Long-term Output

Measure: Number of Records of Decision (RODs) signed on a cumulative basis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 21
2005 2 3
2007 6 5
2008 8
2009 4
2010 1
Annual Output

Measure: Number of Remedial Investigations Completed

Explanation:The Baseline may be adjusted if additional sites are added to the program.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 12
2005 4 5
2006 4 2
2007 1 0
2008 2
2009 2
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Number of Remedies in Place or Response Complete


Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 31
2005 1 2
2006 2 0
2007 2 4
2008 1 1
2009 1
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Total cost of disposing of contaminated material as measured in cubic yards

Explanation:This measures the Corps ability to control and futher reduce overall costs.

Year Target Actual
1998 Baseline $1000
2004 $700 $675
2009 $600
Annual Output

Measure: Number of Action Memorandums Signed

Explanation:The Baseline may be adjusted if additional sites are added to the program.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 1
2006 1 1

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The purpose of the program is to cleanup Radioactive Waste from nuclear weapons development and production activities during the 40's, 50's and 60's, during wartime under the Manhattan Engineering District and subsequent peacetime when such activities were managed under the Atomic Energy Commission.

Evidence: The Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1998 P.L. 105-62, signed into law on October 13, 1997, transferred responsibility for the administration and execution of the FUSRAP from the U.S. Department of Energy to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. USACE has an important but limited objective for the sites: to clean them up. Once USACE has cleaned up these sites, it has no continuing long-term liability for them. The FUSRAP sites are turned over to the US/DOE for long term stewardship.

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: If contamination is found that is connected to the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) or Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) activities, cleanup is authorized under FUSRAP. Some sites with industrial contamination similar to that produced by MED or AEC activities have also been added to FUSRAP by Congress.

Evidence: For sites to be included in the program, they must pass a rigorous testing process, including identification of key contaminants. The contaminants are primarily low levels of uranium, thorium, and radium, with their associated decay products.

YES 20%

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: The program is not redundant or duplicative of any Federal, state, local, or private efforts. The Department of Energy originally identified 46 sites. At the time of enactment of P.L. 105-62, remediation was completed at 24 sites with some ongoing operation, maintenance, and monitoring at those 24 sites.

Evidence: Remedial action was planned, underway, or pending final closeout at the remaining 22 sites. Additional sites have been added to the program since the Corps became involved in 1997. The Corps is following the CERCLA process for remediation of these sites which requires a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study to characterize the contamination, assess the risk it poses, analyze appropriate cleanup standards, evaluate remedial alternates and assess their cost-effectiveness. USACE is actively working with federal and state regulators and potential disposal facilities to determine the most appropriate facilities for disposal of waste for all the FUSRAP sites which will involve off site disposal.

YES 20%

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: The relatively level funding and the absence of ear-marking of program appropriations allows the program to plan, program and execute to an efficient level over the long-term. Projects are therefore able to develop and use high-performing project teams that further enhance efficiency at the project level. Additionally, Federal management/oversight located close to projects results in very effective involvement by communities, which is essential to acceptance of program/project cleanup plans. In addition, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is willing to put their oversight responsibility in abeyance while USACE cleans up FUSRAP sites that also have an NRC license in the expectation that USACE execution of FUSRAP meets their standards.

Evidence: Successful completion of 4 projects with state regulatory support, including one site on the National Priorities List (NPL), which also achieved US EPA approval. Joint signature by EPA on Records of Decision (ROD) for two other NPL sites, which are now in the remedial action stage, and US EPA agreement and signature expected this year on the ROD for two other FUSRAP NPL sites. Memorandum of Understanding between the NRC and USACE.

YES 20%

Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?

Explanation: A large percentage (currently 77%) of the FUSRAP budget goes toward remediation activities versus money spent on studies.

Evidence: The Corps has disposed of more than 1 million cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris through FY2004. Through the use of careful program-wide management of contaminated materials disposal and also -- importantly -- the introduction of competition for disposal services, the Corps has reduced the average cost of disposal from $1000/cy when the program was transferred from DOE to an average of $840/cubic yard. This average has ranged from $1105/cy in FY98 and FY99 (combined) to a low of $651/cy in FY02.

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: These measures express long-term goals and assess the effectiveness of the components that result in program accomplishment and clean-up objectives. The measures are useful, common-sense indicators of program performance.

Evidence: The Civil Works Strategic Plan includes performance measures for achieving the clean-up objectives of FUSRAP. These measures have been updated and are reflected in the measures tab.

YES 12%

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: The Civil Works Strategic Plan defines the long-term program goals as follows: Assist in the cleanup of contaminated, hazardous, toxic, and radioactive waste sites as authorized or requested by others.

Evidence: See Measures tab. Targets and timeframes are ambitious.

YES 12%

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: Currently the Corps has 4 annual performance measures for the FUSRAP program. The performance measures are aligned with the CERCLA process which is the format that clean-up at FUSRAP sites follow.

Evidence: Annual Performance measures include: 1. the Number of sites addressed by Remedial Investigations; 2. the Number of Action Memorandums signed; 3. the cubic yardage of contaminated material disposed; and 4. Total Cost per Cubic yard.

YES 12%

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: Baseline program performance data for FUSRAP exists and is being collated.

Evidence: See Performance Measures Tab. Targets are ambitious.

YES 12%

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: Stakeholders include US EPA, US DOE, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), state regulators, contractors, taxpayers, and residents of the communities where FURAP sites are located. USACE coordinates with stakeholders on a national, regional, and local basis to discuss and establish goals for cleaning up the FUSRAP sites.

Evidence: Monthly program conference calls, quarterly Command Review Boards, and twice yearly program meetings and reviews. Yearly meeting with the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials, the Low-level Waste Forum, and presentations at two yearly industry meetings. Weekly and monthly Corps/contractor performance meetings. .FUSRAP has a memorandum of understanding with the DOE and with the NRC which advances the goals of the program through cooperation in specific areas, for example the NRC MOU eliminates NRC requirements that would be costly and time-consuming to comply where such requirements are duplicative of the requirements the Corps follows under CERCLA . Individual projects have Federal Facility Agreements with US EPA where they are involved. The Corps has cooperative agreements with 85% of states involved in the program (covers 95% of the sites). These agreements fund states to perform specific categories of activities that move sites through the cleanup process and define timelines for doing this. Funds under these agreements are only provided when the work is performed.

YES 12%

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Formal consultation and review with state and/or federal regulators is conducted at major decision points or more often on every project. Public meetings and information sessions where feedback is requested are held regularly and where local interest is sufficient restoration review boards or oversight committees composed of a broad array of stakeholders regularly review project activities. In addition, the Government Accountability Office reviewed management of the program in 1999 and the Army Audit Agency has conducted three audits and one follow-up. The Corps is co-sponsoring a National Academy of Science review on management of low-activity radioactive materials in order to assess current operations within FUSRAP.

Evidence: GAO Audit, AAA #A-2003-0092-IME, AAA #98-723, AAA #AA02-143, 2003 National Academy of Sciences Interim Report titled, "Improving the Regulation and Management of Low-Activity Radioactive Wastes"; 2000 Congressional Hearing. The FUSRAP program has addressed, or is addressing, issues and concerns raised by these evaluation reports

YES 12%

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: The budget is built in increments and the impact of varying increments on performance is displayed. Each increment (program level) defines what is achievable with each additional increment/decrement of funding within each business program.

Evidence: FY2006 budget Engineer Circular (EC 11-2-187) and budget submitted to OMB.

YES 12%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: As demonstrated in the responses to questions 2.1 - 2.7 above, the FUSRAP program is included in the Civil Works Strategic Plan, and the Corps has made significant progress in developing new long-term and annual performance measures that tie to FUSRAP cleanup objectives. As outlined in the Performance Measures tab, FUSRAP has identified measurable metrics. The Corps has developed implementation strategies for it Strategic Plan and is continuing to develop and refine performance metrics.

Evidence: Civil Works Strategic Plan, implementation plan for Goal 2 of Strategic Plan, performance metrics and targets at Measures tab. The display of program performance objectives and performance measures in the Performance Measures Tab clearly gives evidence of the continuing evolution and progress made since the March 2003 Strategic Plan in advancing performance oriented budget development and program execution for this program.

YES 12%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 100%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: Obligation and expenditure data as well as other data is collected and evaluated monthly. Feedback from stakeholders and regulators is regularly sought and incorporated; program accomplishments and issues are presented at industry forums. Strong partnerships between the Corps and its contractors keep control of costs and encourages innovation and risk taking to improve efficiency.

Evidence: Public involvement plans are developed for each site to help assure that community concerns are identified and addressed in a thorough and timely fashion. Monthly program conference calls, quarterly Command Review Boards, and twice yearly program meetings and reviews. Yearly meeting with the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials, the Low-level Waste Forum, and presentations at two yearly industry meetings. Weekly and monthly Corps/contractor performance meetings.

YES 14%

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: Civil Works monthly program review board (PRB) meetings are held to account for program performance in terms of costs and schedules. This oversight allows for adjustments to be made on a monthly basis to keep performance on target.

Evidence: Civil Works monthly PRBs were held on the following dates: 12 Oct 2004, 16 Nov 2004, 14 Dec 2004, 19 Jan 2005, 15 Feb 2005, 16 Mar 2005, 19 Apr 2005, 17 May 2005, and 14 Jun 2005.

YES 14%

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: A major concern of the Corps is the efficient obligation, expenditure and tracking of funds through Project Review Boards and Resource Management Boards that monitor the obligation and expenditure of project funds.

Evidence: FUSRAP has met its obligation goals every year since taking over the program in 1998. In addition, the Corps of Engineers Financial Management System (CEFMS) is a distributed, real-time database that allows project managers to track work orders and their associated costs and funding streams.

YES 14%

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: All Corps contracts utilized for FUSRAP are acquired through the competitive procedures outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulations and Engineer supplements. Contract requirements and cost-effective methods for acquiring new contracts are being evaluated for all environment cleanup requirements across the Corps. Requirements for disposal of radioactive waste are regularly evaluated on a national program basis and in conjunction with other customer or federal agency requirements in order to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Every contract acquisition is evaluated for the feasibility of using a performance-based contract. The value engineering is commonly used and its requirement for environmental projects is being institutionalized.

Evidence: FAR and/or EFAR; CAWG Charter; national disposal contracts; draft Value Engineering ER.

YES 14%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: The Corps meets regularly with the DOE to effectively evaluate potential new sites and to transition completed sites back to DOE for long-term stewardship. The two agencies meet regularly to coordinate these issues and to solve problems efficiently. The Corps communicates with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regularly to exchange information and to identify ways to eliminate dual regulation of FUSRAP sites which also have an NRC license. This reduces duplicative administrative requirements while assuring protectiveness of human health and the environment.

Evidence: Separate Memorandums of Understanding with DOE and the NRC leading to efficient addition of two sites to FUSRAP and transfer of two completed sites to DOE. Effective resolution of issues related to Congressionally added sites with NRC. First instance of license abeyance with the NRC is upcoming.

YES 14%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: The Corps has a real time database (CEFMS) which tracks appropriated, scheduled, and expended funds. Projects are scrutinized each month as well as the program analyzed for purposes of enhancing next year's schedule and discerning efficiencies. The Corps has been making substantial progress in producing sound annual financial statements.

Evidence: The 2101's demonstrate actual and current schedules thereby gauging program performance. The Corps has recently developed improved contract management controls as a result of the newly implemented P2 tool; when this change is fully implemented, the agency will have taken an important step towards the implementation of strong financial management practices.

NO 0%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: The Corps uses yearly evaluations at the national, regional, and field operations levels to identify and correct management deficiencies. Management deficiencies are identified through a proven internal control procedure developed by the Corps management audit program and governed by an Engineer Regulation. This management control system is common to all business programs in the Corps. There are mandatory corrective actions as a result of this program.

Evidence: ER 11-1-30 USACE Internal Management Control Program.

YES 14%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 86%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: FUSRAP is on track to meet its long-term performance goals.

Evidence: As demonstrated previously in Questions 2.1 and 2.2, FUSRAP has ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term performance goals. Data provided in the Performance Measures tab demonstrate progress in meeting long term performance goals. For example, by FY08, 80 individual properties are projected to be returned to beneficial use, 12 sites will have remedies in place or a FUSRAP response complete, and 12 sites will have signed RODs.


Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: Annual goals are being met.

Evidence: See Performance Measures Tab. Notable examples: (1) Significantly reduced costs in disposal of contaminated materials. (2) Program has completed two sites and returned them to US/DOE.


Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: The Corps has taken steps to identify alternative options for disposal of radioactive waste which increased competition and dramatically reduced the per unit disposal cost. The Corps is partnering with its contractors to increase the emphasis on cost control. The Corps is continuing to explore alternative contracting mechanisms to further improve efficiency.

Evidence: See Performance Measures Tab. Dollars spent for investigation vs cleanup.Reduction each year in cost per cubic yard of disposed contaminated materials.


Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: The Corps has been applying the lessons learned from the Department of Defense Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) to improve its performance and to avoid problems encountered in that program similar to FUSRAP in purpose and goals. The type of contaminant being addressed is primarily radioactive materials for FUSRAP, whereas FUDS rarely addresses this contaminant and FUDS has many more sites to address. The management practices however, are very similar overall.

Evidence: FUDS deals with DOD-owned sites. FUSRAP deals with non-DOD and "orphan" contaminated sites. Few FUDS sites involve readioactive material. Otherwise the programs are comparable. The Corps plans to develop more precise comparisons, drawing on FUDS experience to develop performance measures for the FUSRAP program.


Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: Formal assessments have been favorable and the feedback from stakeholders, local communities, state regulators, and congressional interests are overall favorable. Stakeholders at several sites were concerned when the management of FUSRAP was transferred between agencies, but all the legitimate concerns have been resolved and indications are that overall response is very favorable to the Corps' management.

Evidence: See evidence cited above in support of the answer to question 2.6. GAO Audit, AAA #A-2003-0092-IME, AAA #98-723, AAA #AA02-143, 2003 National Academy of Sciences Interim Report titled, "Improving the Regulation and Management of Low-Activity Radioactive Wastes"; 2000 Congressional Hearing. The FUSRAP program has addressed, or is addressing, issues and concerns raised by these evaluation reports.

YES 20%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 74%

Last updated: 09062008.2005SPR