The Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) is an environmental remediation program. It addresses radiological contamination generated by activities of the Manhattan Engineer District and the Atomic Energy Commission (MED/AEC) during development of the atomic weapons in the 1940s and 1950s.
From 1942 to 1957, the Mallinckrodt Chemical Plant extracted uranium and radium from ore at the St. Louis Downtown Site (SLDS) in St. Louis, Missouri. During this time and until 1967, radioactive process byproducts were stored at an area adjacent to St. Louis Lambert International Airport (once known as Lambert-St. Louis Airport). This area is now referred to as the St. Louis Airport Site (SLAPS).
In 1966, certain SLAPS wastes were purchased, moved and stored at Latty Avenue. Part of this property later became known as the Hazelwood Interim Storage Site (HISS). During this move, improper handling and transportation of the contamination caused the spread of materials along haul routes and to adjacent vicinity properties forming the St. Louis Airport Site Vicinity Properties (SLAPS VPs).
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Dow Chemical Company in Madison, Illinois, operated as a uranium-extrusion and rod-straightening facility leaving contamination in dust located on roof beams at the Madison Site.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District, is conducting a radiological cleanup program for these five St. Louis Sites (SLDS, SLAPS, SLAPS VPs, Latty Avenue Properties and Madison). The sites contain soils contaminated with radium, thorium and uranium as a result of federal defense activities performed under contracts with the Manhattan Engineer District and the Atomic Energy Commission (MED/AEC) in the 1940s and 1950s. (See "Contamination and Chronology" for more information.)
The 1998 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, through which Congress transferred management of the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), was signed into law Oct. 13, 1997. Prior to the signing of this bill, FUSRAP was managed by the U.S. Department of Energy.
How hazardous are FUSRAP sites?
Even though FUSRAP sites contain levels of radioactivity above current guidelines, none pose an immediate health risk to the public or environment given their current land uses. The contaminated materials have very low concentrations and people aren’t exposed to them for long periods of time.
Although these materials don’t pose an immediate hazard, they will remain radioactive for thousands of years, and health risks could increase if the use of the land were to change. Under FUSRAP, each site is cleaned to levels acceptable for the projected future use for the land, such as residential development, industrial operations or recreational use.
What are FUSRAP's objectives?
The objectives of FUSRAP are to:
• Protect human health and the environment;
• Execute the approved alternative for cleaning up the radioactive contamination above health-based cleanup guidelines; and
• Minimize adverse effects on area business operations.
How does FUSRAP work?
FUSRAP sites undergo several steps that lead to cleanup. Information about the site is collected and reviewed. A Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) is conducted to develop cleanup alternatives.
The Remedial Investigation identifies the type and location of the contamination. The Feasibility Study develops and evaluates cleanup alternatives. The public is informed about the development of the RI/FS cleanup alternatives through public meetings and the media. Public participation is especially encouraged during the selection of the final remediation, or cleanup, method.
When a cleanup alternative is chosen, a Proposed Plan (PP) is written to explain why it was chosen. Members of the public are asked to comment on the cleanup options, including the selected remedy. After public comments have been considered, a final decision is made and documented in a Record of Decision (ROD). The Remedial Design follows the ROD and includes technical drawings and specifications that show how the cleanup will be conducted.
Cleanup, or Remedial Action, begins after the Remedial Design is complete. This phase involves site preparation and construction activities. When these remediation activities are completed, verification surveys are conducted to ensure that cleanup objectives for the site have been met and are documented in a Post-Remedial Action Report (PRAR).