Environmental Clean-up Program (Installation Restoration Program)

What is the Installation Restoration Program?

The Department of Defense established the Installation Restoration Program in 1975 to provide guidance and funding for the investigation and remediation of hazardous waste sites caused by historical disposal activities at military installations. The fundamental goal of the Fort Meade IRP is to protect human health, safety and the environment.

The IRP is carried out in accordance with all federal, state and local laws. The primary federal laws are CERCLA, (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act) and SARA (Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act). In 2009, Fort Meade signed a Federal Facility Agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Architect of the Capitol. This document establishes the role that Fort Meade and the EPA each play in the restoration of the installation and the formal mechanisms of this process. The IRP's staff works closely with the EPA, Maryland Department of the Environment and local government agencies to ensure that cleanup processes are conducted properly and efficiently. The staff also receives input from community groups and nearby residential areas.

Where is Fort Meade?

Fort Meade is located in northwestern Anne Arundel County midway between Baltimore, Maryland and Washington DC. The community of Odenton, Maryland, borders the eastern edge of Fort Meade.

Map of Fort Meade: Fort Meade is located in northwestern Anne Arundel County midway between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington DC. The community of Odenton, Maryland, borders the eastern edge of Fort Meade.


The installation began operation in 1917 as Camp Meade, a 4,000-acre World War I training facility. The facility was renamed Fort George G. Meade in 1928. In 1941, the facility was expanded to 13,596 acres to accommodate the additional training requirements of World War II..

In 1988, under BRAC, ranges and similar training areas were identified for closure. To date, approximately 8,100 acres have been transferred to the DOI Patuxent Research Refuge for use as a wildlife refuge. The Army transferred the 366-acre Tipton Airfield parcel to Anne Arundel County in 1999. Following the 1988 BRAC realignment, the installation covers 5,142 acres. The current installation boundaries encompass the area previously referred to as the cantonment area, which is used for administrative, recreational and housing facilities.

Fort Meade's mission is to provide installation operations support for facilities and infrastructure and quality of life and protective services in support of Department of Defense activities and other federal agencies. The wide range of support is provided to over 95 partner organizations from all DoD military services and several federal agencies.

Environmental investigations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed Fort Meade on the National Priority List on July 28, 1998. A Federal Facility Agreement was prepared and directs the comprehensive cleanup of the installation. Environmental cleanups at Fort Meade use a combination of "removal actions," which are intended to quickly reduce immediate threats to human health and the environment posed by contaminants, and "remedial actions," which provide for permanent cleanup of contamination that poses long-term risks to human health and the environment. In order to more effectively manage investigations and cleanups at Fort Meade, the Army, Maryland Department of the Environment and EPA has defined separate "operable units" that include various contaminated sites and areas of potential environmental concern.