The Department of Defense (DoD) faces a difficult cleanup challenge, with thousands of sites at active and closing installations and formerly used defense sites (FUDSs). Efforts to increase the efficiency of cleanup activities, by either reducing costs or accelerating the process, could have a substantial effect on DoD's ability to meet its cleanup obligations within an increasingly constrained budget environment.
Corporate environmental management practices have become more proactive and innovative in recent years. The paradigm shift is from a corrective action perspective to one of prevention and includes self-auditing practices and the integration of environmental considerations into core business processes. While discussions in the literature regarding this “new” environmental management paradigm usually refer to compliance, pollution prevention, and conservation activities, there is no inherent reason that elements of the new environmental management paradigm cannot apply to remediation. For example, proactive remediation program management might include significant voluntary cleanup activities. The notion of going “beyond compliance” in the cleanup context might relate to voluntarily taking steps to enhance the process defined in regulations. It might also mean managing financial liabilities or environmental risks in such a way as to reduce them beyond what is required by standards and regulations. Open, public communication and stakeholder participation—foundations of the new environmental management practices—have been found to facilitate successful cleanup in both the public and private sectors. Similarly, the benefits of good relationships with regulators (e.g., increased flexibility) should theo