The Department of the Navy (DON) Installation Restoration Program (IRP) was established to reduce the risk to human health and the environment from past waste disposal operations and hazardous substance spills at DON activities, including certain oil spills that are not addressed by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) regulatory framework. The program goal is to provide for cost-effective and timely site assessment, planning, and remediation of identified releases consistent with Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) requirements. Most DON installations provide a variety of support functions for aircraft, submarines, and ships. Historic waste management practices associated with these activities have resulted in the release of contaminants to the environment at numerous DON sites. Some examples include:
- Petroleum hydrocarbons released to soil and groundwater at leaking underground storage tank (UST) sites, tank farms, or former firefighting training areas.
- Historic equipment cleaning and degreasing operations that lead to chlorinated solvent releases to the environment.
- Sediments that become contaminated with chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) through a CERCLA release.
- Other contaminants including emerging contaminant releases that could have occurred as a result of various activities at DON installations, including municipal solid waste landfills, paint shops, plating shops, firefighting operations, dry cleaners, and firing ranges.