EPA releases final report on Alternative Treatment Technologies to Open Burning and Open Detonation of Energetic Hazardous Wastes
Washington, DC – December 3, 2019. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a report – Alternative Treatment Technologies to Open Burning and Open Detonation of Energetic Hazardous Wastes.
The report includes chemical treatment as one of the alternatives. Only two chemical treatments are listed and MuniRem Reagent is the only listed that has been successfully demonstrated to date in a sustainable, production-ready demil execution environment. The report lists some of the many sites and demil operations that use MuniRem Reagent for the neutralization of energetic hazardous wastes.
For decades, open burning and open detonation (OB/OD) have been used to treat/destroy energetic hazardous wastes. “Energetic” refers to a class of materials with a high amount of stored chemical energy that can be released, such as military munitions, fireworks, and automobile airbag propellants. OB/OD is an uncontrolled treatment technology compared with enclosed alternative technologies.
In comparison to technologies that are capable of capturing and treating the residual byproducts prior to release, OB/OD of energetic hazardous waste occurs in the open, and the treatment byproducts are released directly into the environment. As a result, OB/OD-related contamination and exposure via emissions of particulates, products of incomplete combustion, or explosives chunks, and the dispersal of munitions and other waste items (kickout), has raised questions on whether alternative treatment technologies are available for energetic hazardous wastes.
In keeping with EPA’s commitment to monitor the progress of the ongoing development of safe alternatives to OB/OD, this report presents alternative treatment technologies that have been developed, and in many cases utilized, for consideration in place of OB/OD.