US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center Website

Training Range Environmental Evaluation Characterization System

Forecasting, Modeling and Risk Assessment of Firing Ranges

Published Nov. 19, 2012
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.

Helping Ranges Meet Compliance Goals

TREECS assessments help determine range management strategies for a wide range of military and civilian firing ranges, allowing the range to be operated as a manageable resource.


Save Time and Money with Two Levels of Assessment

Two Models

TREECS offers two tiers of capabilities for assessments of models, generating savings in cost and time.

  • 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 concentrations of MC from the range in surface materials and the likelihood of potential problems.
  • Tier 2 capabilities allow for far more flexibility in modeling applications and require more detailed site data and skill to apply, providing more accurate assessments for more refined range management strategies.


Success Stories

The Army’s Operational Range Assessment (ORA) Program strives to keep ranges open and available for training and testing while protecting human health and the environment. The program consists of two phases: a qualitative assessment (Phase I), which categorizes the range as either “unlikely” or “inconclusive”, and a quantitative assessment (Phase II). A range categorized in Phase I as “unlikely” requires no further action and is placed into a five-year review cycle, but ranges categorized as “inconclusive” require a follow-up Phase II assessment. TREECS supports the needs of ORA Phase II assessments by

  • Estimating the MC residue mass loading rate to the range as mass per time, given range use
  • Estimate the soil concentration on the range area of interest and the mass fluxes off the range to other media (i.e. surface water and groundwater), given the mass loading rate of MC
  • Estimate the media concentrations at points of interest off-range, given the mass fluxes to other media
  • Determine if protective health benchmark concentrations are exceeded, given the media concentrations at points of interest off the range


Targeted Capabilities

Internal databases save time and effort

  • Four chemical constituent databases available through the TREECS graphical user interface (GUI).   Chemical and physical 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 GUI.
  • Two health benchmark databases Provide 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 for initiating media models offers flexibility

  • Build a custom site specific mass pathway or use available templates
  • Represent range activity with a mass module that integrates accurate dodic information from the MIDAS database
  • Mechanistic, mass-balance based soil source zone, vadose, aquifer, and surface water fate and transport models
  • Link munition constituent fate and transport models with erosion, runoff, leaching, percolation, and groundwater mass fluxes to assess multimedia groundwater, surface water, and sediment concentrations

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 Tier II Hydro features for more complex analysis

  • Advanced Tier II applications may apply daily hydrology inputs
  • Arctic mode (Advanced Tier II) incorporates seasonal thawed active layer and snowmelt runoff models into daily hydrology for use in ranges underlain by permafrost.


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