but the work ended because of a lack of funding. In fight of the tremendous cost of improper
wood usage, it would be wise to resurrect the program for a specific Navy facility to be used as a
model for other activities.
Technical guidance updates to ensure environmental compliance must be given on an
activity specific basis. The development of a central point of expertise that could provide
technical advice and guidance for those activities wishing to take a proactive stance or those
facing imminent local environmental restrictions on the use of marine treated wood should be
considered. For activities facing regulatory restrictions, information on similar situations
occurring elsewhere and the actions taken by the regulators, the regulated, and other affected
entities can be centralized, summarized, and made available to those faced with difficult choices.
For those activities wishing to take a proactive approach to minimizing environmental risk at
reasonable cost, the summary information would be valuable. In addition, the development and
implementation of procedures that activities could use to estimate related costs and environmental
impacts for various options from the banning of treated wood and the use of alternative materials
to the unrestricted use of wood should be considered.
The WWPI program for estimating treated wood impact in aquatic environments could
prove extremely useful in estimating environmental risk for various options. An evaluation of its
efficacy and utility should be given high priority.
End-Use Leachability Determinations
Since salt-treated wood leachability and creosote "bleeding" are central to their
performance and environmental acceptability, consideration should be given to the development
and implementation of additional quality assurance procedures that would address that issue. This
can be done at the activity level or Navywide. Factors to consider include (1) determining
maximum acceptable leachate levels or creosote loss, (2) required sampling and testing
procedures, (3) assigning responsibilities, and (4) writing additional procurement specifications.
Alternatives to land disposal of treated wood must be explored. There is apparently no
choice in some areas now because of state and local regulations and this may soon be the norm.
In addition, landfill managers, concerned about shrinking landfill space, are promoting mandatory
waste reduction and recycling programs. Life cycle management techniques for treated wood
may include (1) reuse as landscape timber, fence posts, etc., (2) resawing to recover untreated
wood portions, (3) recycling as fuel, (4) decontamination procedures such as chemical extraction
or biological breakdown, and (5) reconstitution of chipped treated wood.
Alternatives to Preservative Treatment for Wood
Even if it is determined that preservative-treated wood is unacceptable for a specific
marine environment or the life cycle cost of treated wood use is too high, the use of wood may