PIKA Lone Star AAP MEC Removal and Clearance Operations
Lone Star AAP Removal and Clearance Operations

We employed hardened earth moving machinery (EMM) and mechanized munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) processing operations to separate and screen the MEC and material potentially presenting an explosive hazard (MPPEH) from the soils.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Albuquerque District had nine acres of property associated with past salvage operations managed from Building F-33 at Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant (LSAAP).  In order to re-purpose this property, they needed a Removal Action (RA) of military munitions (MM) and associated munitions debris {MD) from this site.

We were contracted to perform the RA which involved several tasks, including the removal of surface and subsurface MEC, MD, and MPPEH.  A preliminary geophysical-aided visual survey of the project site was performed and the assessment showed the site to contain Improved Conventional Munitions (ICMs).  

Our clearance operations began with magnetometer assisted clearance to one foot below ground surface (bgs).  During our first three weeks of field operations, we encountered an unexpected and unforeseen high density of scrap (i.e., banding material, container lids, hinges of the wooden shipping cases, parts of barrels and lids, etc.) and MD.  To mitigate the risks associated with this high density of scrap and MD, we decided to use hardened Earth Moving Machinery (EMM) and mechanized MEC processing operations using a Sorting and Inspection Area (SIA) to separate and screen out the MEC/MPPEH.  Our SIA process utilized a combination of various soil separation equipment, primarily hoppers, conveyors, trommel/screen, soil processors (when required), ferrous magnets and non-ferrous eddy current separators (as needed) to screen out any MEC/MPPEH/MD from the F-33 Salvage Yard. 

All of our operations were performed in accordance with USACE guidelines, as well as our approved Work Plan, Site Safety and Health Plans, and MEC-related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  Any MEC items we discovered that were deemed not acceptable to move were blown in place (BIP).  The MEC items deemed acceptable to move were disposed of using in-grid consolidation shots and/or as individual items, when required, using demolition explosives.  

MPPEH recovered during the removal activities was inspected by qualified UXO technicians who certified all MPPEH, MD and scrap as Material Documented As Safe (MDAS) using visual inspection procedures in accordance with USACE EM 1110-1-4009, Chapter 14. After MD was 100% visually inspected by two (2) UXO technicians and determined to be MDAS, it was put in covered and secured roll-offs. All MD (a total of 258,610 pounds) was consolidated into roll-offs for transport to recycler.

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