‘Worst First’ is Army Environmental Priority

‘Worst First’ is Army Environmental Priority

Soldier conducting soil remediation
Photo by: U.S. Army/Sgt. Aaron Ellerman

The Army is 90% finished with its cleanup of environmental sites but still has about 1,200 locations needing attention. 

Testifying before a House subcommittee, Amy Borman, deputy assistant Army secretary for environment, safety and occupational health, said the Army continues a “worst first” cleanup strategy that addresses the highest-risk sites before those with lower risks. The Army is committed to treating every site, she said. 

“While the Army is proud of our successes and remains focuses on continuous improvement of our cleanup program, we know that cleanup at many of the remaining sites is more complex and requires additional time and/or remedy based on more advanced technology,” she said.

Environmental cleanup has been conducted by the Army since the 1980s, she said, and “has come a long way.” 

“We will continue to prioritize and address sites where the risk to human health is the highest,” Borman said, while acknowledging progress has slowed but remains steady. Some sites requiring long-term remediation are “technically challenging,” she said.