The Navy's environmental cleanup program follows a step-by-step investigation and cleanup process summarized by the following stages:
- Preliminary Assessment / Site Inspection (PA/SI): The Navy gathers and reviews information on use, storage, and spills of known or suspected hazardous substances to determine whether a particular site contains contamination and requires further study.
- Remedial Investigation (RI): The Navy conducts a full investigation of a site by collecting and analyzing samples to determine the types of contaminants and how far they may have spread.
- Feasibility Study (FS): The Navy evaluates possible cleanup alternatives to protect human health and the environment.
- Proposed Plan (PP): The Navy identifies its preferred cleanup alternative from those examined in the FS. A public meeting is held to solicit public input and community concerns about the proposed plan.
- Record of Decision (ROD): A decision document signed by the Navy and the regulators that documents the final selection of a remedial action and presents the selection rationale.
- Remedial Design (RD): The Navy prepares plans and specifications for implementation of the selected remedial action.
- Remedial Action (RA): The Navy conducts the site cleanup action.
- Long-Term Monitoring (LTM) and or five year review assessment: If required, monitoring and periodic review of a site is conducted to verify that the remedial action functions as intended to protect human health and the environment.
In some cases, the Navy and regulatory agencies may conduct a Removal Action of hazardous substances at a site. A Removal Action can be conducted at any time during the Remedial Action process and is used when an expedited cleanup is determined to be in the best interests of the government and surrounding community. Removal Actions are classified as either Emergency Removal Actions, Time-Critical Removal Actions, or Non-Time-Critical Removal Actions depending on the urgency for site cleanup.
For Non-Time-Critical Removal Actions, preparation of the following documents are required:
- Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA): An evaluation of the effectiveness, implementability, and costs of various Removal Action alternatives, with a recommendation for a favored alternative.
- Action Memorandum (AM): A document that summarizes the alternative selected for the action, which is normally announced with a public notice.