policy guidance from the senior CMA and contractor leadership. An exception is a CMA document, “Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2010–2015,” that defines the goals of having safe closures while minimizing cost and schedule (CMA, 2009). In order to achieve this goal, the CMA document encourages the use of mass demolition wherever possible. As discussed below, the committee agrees that these are appropriate goals, but it believes that additional policy guidance from CMA in key areas is required.
Finding 2-1. The closure managers and their teams appear to be highly competent and to coordinate their needs and approaches well through frequent contacts and meetings. Each site is taking its own approach to the planning activities because of differing end use, facility, and regulatory situations. There does not appear to be sufficient senior policy guidance in key issues such as the critical unventilated monitoring test.
Recommendation 2-1. Senior Chemical Materials Agency management should provide policy guidance for closure in critical areas such as the unventilated monitoring test to ensure that these critical activities are planned and executed in a uniform manner across all facilities.
The committee expended significant effort to evaluate the various regulatory and stakeholder challenges pertaining to closure at each of the facilities. While many of the requirements are common to all four sites, there are significant differences in both the intended end use of each site and the permit and regulatory requirements to which each site is subject. Thus, each facility will have to develop its own particular plan to meet these varying challenges. Nevertheless, the overriding principle of achieving a safe closure that meets the criteria necessary for the eventual end use does not really change from site to site. Closure is an entirely different type of operation from the agent disposal operations that have been carried out for much of the past decade and with which the staff is comfortable. Closure and demolition will require workers having different skills in addition to those residing in the current operations staff. In order to have a safe operation, both groups will have to be knowledgeable in their particular operations, especially with regard to the safety challenges involved. Closure activities will occur over a much shorter duration than will disposal operations. In order to achieve the goals of a safe closure while minimizing cost and schedule, it will be necessary for managers to set goals for a number of new management parameters and to use leading indicators to become aware of potential problems before they actually happen. The committee has provided a number of suggested parameters and metrics for the Army to consider that could help it to achieve its stated goals for the closure of these facilities.
Finding 3-2. Tracking and reporting parameters and metrics will facilitate the safe and successful management of the closure of the Army’s baseline incineration chemical agent disposal facilities.
Recommendation 3-2a. At a minimum, the Army should track parameters and metrics used for disposal facility closure at two levels: the program level and the project level. Thereafter, it should determine whether additional parameters and metrics are required.
Recommendation 3-2b. The Army should ensure that appropriate and timely management reports are developed that enable tracking results for parameters and metrics to be used to make management decisions and take necessary actions.
The Army, through its systems contractor, has developed an improved lessons learned program. This is available to all staff, both those at CMA headquarters and those at the facilities. Unfortunately, not all the lessons learned applicable to closure are in searchable form. This is particularly true of some of the lessons learned during the JACADS closure. It also seems that while there is prompt verbal communication and coordination of lessons learned concerning agent disposal operations, this may not be as true for those involving closure. It is therefore important that lessons learned relevant to closure be promptly entered into the system and be adequately highlighted to bring them to the attention of the working staff.
The Army contractor for both disposal operations and closure administers an electronic database, the “eRoom,” that is a repository for plans, drawings, and reports. Access to this database is limited in that it must be requested, and a person’s access is terminated if he or she has not used the database in 60 days. The committee recognizes the sensitivity of providing access to this corporate database, yet it believes arrangements should be made to make access easier for a broader group of staff members.