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A full-service research and evaluation center equipped with safety equipment, a high-bay pilot studies area, and a large-scale pilot studies facility

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Hazardous Waste Research Center (HWRC) is located at the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC’s) Environmental Laboratory (EL) in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Opened in 1988, the HWRC is a full-service research and development laboratory. Under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Superfund Program, and the Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments Program under the Clean Water Act, the HWRC has provided research and development and innovative technology demonstration support to USACE districts and divisions, the 10 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) installations.


Wide-ranging Research Capabilities

The HWRC is part of the larger Center for Contaminated Sediments, an extensive clearinghouse for assessing and managing contaminated sediments.  The HWRC conducts research at all levels, from initial laboratory investigations to developing and applying new and innovative technologies onsite. Research is performed on a cost-reimbursable basis and is executed through a variety of federal funding arrangements, including work with the private sector under cooperative research and development agreements to expedite transfer of remediation technologies to the government and private sectors.


A Leader in Innovative Cleanup Technology Development

Work conducted in the HWRC makes cleanup technologies more complete, more cost effective, and faster. The HWRC has taken the lead in the developing innovative technologies to treat explosives, heavy metals and selected organic compounds. Technologies developed by the HWRC have been transferred to all military services for the groundwater and soils cleanup at many military sites. HWRC technologies have also been transferred to the EPA and states for Superfund site remediation.


Expert Hazardous and Toxic Waste Evaluation

The HWRC has played a major role in developing cleanup technologies for toxic and hazardous waste in military and civilian sites.  ERDC researchers have been evaluating hazardous and toxic waste for more than 25 years, with more than 500 successfully completed projects.  The broad range of innovative technology research and development activities conducted at the HWRC include:

  •  Biotechnology treatment for liquids, soils, sludges, and sediments
  • Solvent extraction/flushing 
  • In situ solidification/stabilization
  • Electrokinetics treatment for contaminants in water, soils, and sediments
  • Physical separation/volume reduction
  • Advanced chemical oxidation and reduction using UV light, ozone, hydrogen per-oxide, peroxene, ultrasonics, and special catalysts (Fenton’s reagent)
  • Synthetic resin ion exchange
  • Sorption studies (activated carbon/activated alumina, specialty resins)
  • Volatile organic thermal treatment
  • Phase transfer technologies
  • Phytoremediation/phytostabilization
  • Contaminant flux modeling
  • Field pilot assessment (industrial base process water, surface water, groundwater treatment systems)

Success Stories/Testimonials/Examples

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Project Delivery Team (PDT) of the Year Merit Award for “Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and Distribution System PDT, Fort Irwin, CA”
  • Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) Project of the Year for “Biopolymers Maintain Training Berms, Prevent Contamination”
  • USACE Green Innovation Sustainability Award for “Electrokinetic Delivery of Electron Donor and Bioaugmentation for Enhanced Bioremediation of a Solvent-Contaminated Low-Permeability Zone”
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for Technology Transfer Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for “Biopolymer Alternatives to Petroleum-based Polymers for Soil Modification”
  • USACE Green Innovation Sustainability Award for “Biopolymer Alternatives to Petroleum-based Polymers for Soil Modification”
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Green Innovation Sustainability Award for “Biopolymer Alternatives to Petroleum-based Polymers for Soil Modification”
  • ESTCP Project of the Year for “HGR Management Environmental Security Technology Certification Program project ER-0216”

ERDC Points of Contact

Questions about the HWRC?
Contact: Dr. W. Andy Martin
Phone: 601-634-3710
Email: Andy.Martin@usace.army.mil