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Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS)

Revised On: Feb. 15, 2024 - 12:38 p.m.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has used land throughout Arizona to both train military personnel and test new weapons to ensure the nation's military readiness. As needs changed, DoD obtained property or returned it to private or public use. Today, DoD is responsible for the environmental restoration (cleanup) of properties that were formerly owned by, leased to, or otherwise possessed by the United States and under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense prior to October 1986. Such properties are known as Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS).

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages and directs the FUDS Program on behalf of the U.S. Army and DoD. The USACE is delegated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect human health and the environment by investigating and, if required, cleaning up potential contamination or munitions that may remain on these properties from past DoD activities. Environmental cleanup at FUDS properties is conducted under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) | View EPA Superfund Cleanup Process >


There are 141 eligible properties in the Arizona FUDS inventory. As of June 2022, USACE has identified 62 FUDS projects within the inventory requiring priority investigation and potential cleanup | FUDS Locations Map Coming Soon

Active Site Cleanups

The USACE is currently working on completing investigations at these FUDS-designated properties:

Contaminants of Concern

The type of cleanup required varies from property to property, and can include:

  • Cleanup of hazardous, toxic and/or radioactive waste sites
  • Removal of munitions and explosives of concern, munitions debris, skeet, lead shot and/or munitions constituents
  • Demolition of buildings and debris removal

Contaminants can include, but are not limited to, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals, radioactive waste (including containerized radioactive waste), unexploded ordnance (UXO) and chemical waste associated with explosives.

Public Health Impact

Groundwater, soil, and surface waters may be contaminated at FUDS properties.

For Soil | There is little to no health risk unless there is contact with skin or ingestion of contaminated soil.

For Groundwater | If you are connected to a Public Water System (PWS) there is little to no risk of impact from exceedances because the water is filtered through the PWS for residential and business use | View Drinking Water Notices >

If you have a private well in the vicinity of the exceedance, we encourage you to test the well water. 

Not sure what to test for? | Learn More >

In addition to exposure to contaminants, do not approach, pick up, touch, or move suspected ordnance, munitions, or explosives debris as serious harm could result.  Carefully retreat from the area. See below for information on how to report suspected munitions materials.

How Can I Help?

Residents and recreational visitors should heed warnings and be aware of all signs in the area. Remember the 3Rs:

  • Recognize — when you may have encountered a munition, and that munitions are dangerous.
  • Retreat — do not approach, touch, move or disturb a munition, but carefully leave the area.
  • Report — call 911 and advise the police of what you saw and where you saw it.

Landowners can assist us in this process by providing USACE and its contractors permission to go onto the property for specific purposes, such as testing or conducting cleanup actions.

I Think I Found An Ordnance. What Should I Do?

Do not touch! Always call 911 to report suspected munitions materials to local law enforcement officials. Note the location of the suspicious item. An ordnance can be dangerous no matter how old it appears to be.

Munitions materials can look like ordinary items | View Munitions Examples >


Arizona State Trust Land Hazard Information Project – Sahuarita | Learn More >