Training Range Environmental Evaluation Characterization System (TREECS)

Forecasting, Modeling and Risk Assessment of Firing Ranges

Published Oct. 9, 2020
TREECS assessments help to identify and avoid dangerous munitions pollution in the environment.

TREECS assessments help to identify and avoid dangerous munitions pollution in the environment.

Training Range Environmental Evaluation Characterization System (TREECS) is a user-friendly system of tools designed to assess the risk of munitions constituents (MC), such as high explosives and heavy metals, escaping the firing range and being absorbed into surface media such as sediment, surface water, and groundwater, thus helping facilities meet protective health and environmental compliance goals.

Learn more and access the latest download package (TREECS v6.1) at the TREECS website.

Flexibility through Three Levels of Assessment

TREECS offers three tiers of capabilities for assessments, providing flexibility while offering savings in time and cost.

·Tier 1 capabilities consist of screening-level methods that require minimal data input and assume steady-state conditions, so they may be easily and quickly applied to assess the worst-case concentrations of MC from the range in surface waters and groundwater, thus, the likelihood of potential problems. Generally, results of Tier 1 can be used to decide whether or not to proceed to Tier 2.

·Tier 2 capabilities allow time-varying modeling applications and require more detailed site data and skill to apply, providing more accurate assessments for more refined range risk assessment and management strategies.

·Advanced Tier 2 capabilities provide more extensive fate/transport and exposure modeling scenarios via a visual conceptual site modeling framework. This tier requires the most experience and skill to apply but provides much greater flexibility to assess more complex site features.


Success Stories/Testimonials/Examples

TREECS™ has been successfully demonstrated and validated through the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), ESTCP Project Number ER-201435 and publication ERDC/EL TR-17-5.  The ESTCP project demonstrated predictive accuracy with substantial time and cost savings when used in support of range environmental compliance efforts.

TREECS™ has also been successfully applied to various Army small arms and artillery impact ranges in support of installation compliance investigations and management plans.  Additionally, Army contractors are using TREECS™ as part of Army ORA support.


Curated Capabilities

Internal databases save time and effort

  • Three physicochemical constituent property databases are available through the TREECS graphical user interface (GUI).   Physicochemical data are pulled transparently from these databases and are made available for use by system models. Most of the models in the TREECS system also allow the user to override any chemical or physical properties obtained from the selected constituent database within the model GUI.
  • A health benchmark database provides risk-based screening levels for human and ecological risk characterization which can be updated or customized through the internal Benchmark Database Editor. 


A unified interface offers flexibility for site conceptualization and modeling

  • Can customize the conceptual site model for describing fate/exposure pathways and modeling or use available templates for modeling site pathways (via Advanced Tier 2 and Tiers 1 and 2, respectively)
  • Can estimate MC residue for range-specific firing activity through a mass loading module that integrates munitions-specific constituent mass content from the Munitions Item Disposition Action System (MIDAS) database with firing rates and other range use parameters
  • Uses mechanistic, mass-balance based fate and transport models for soil source zone, vadose, aquifer, and surface water (including benthic sediments)
  • Links computed media concentrations to protective human and ecological health benchmarks (i.e., risk based concentrations) for assessing potential for health risk concerns


Integrated tools to assist model input development

  • The Hydro-Geo-Chemical Toolkit (HGCT) provides tools for estimating soil properties, soil erosion rates, hydrologic variables, and Darcy velocity for either point estimates or spatially varying data associated with GIS map files.
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) Tools provide a basic set of GIS analysis capabilities for supporting the spatial option within the HGCT. The GIS tools support the ESRI Shapefile, Grid File, and Image File formats.


Advanced features for more complex hydrological and climatic conditions

  • Tier 2 and Advanced Tier 2 provide the option to use daily hydrology inputs, rather than annual average, for highly transient surface water assessments
  • Capabilities for fate/transport modeling in Arctic and sub-Arctic conditions where seasonal freeze/thaw of surface soil occurs and permafrost can exist. Pre-processor models for snow accumulation/melt and soil thermal regime are used to develop daily hydrologic variables needed to drive fate/transport.


Learn more about the system of tools at the TREECS website.


ERDC Point of Contact

Questions about TREECS?

Contact: Jodi Ryder
Phone: 601-631-1852
Updated 23 September 2020

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