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Bombs In Your Backyard Data

Bombs in Your Backyard is an interactive map and database of military sites that contain toxic pollutants and contaminants in the soil or water, as well as sites that contain explosives or discarded military munitions. The data, which ProPublica obtained through a Freedom of Information Request, comes from the Defense Environmental Restoration Program, which is administered by the Department of Defense. The program measures and documents cleanup efforts at current and former military locations. The data was last updated in 2015.

The original dataset contained 4,785 military installations with at least one hazardous site, and 40,688 total hazardous sites. It also contained information on the type and amount of contamination, the past and estimated future cost of cleanup, the type of restrictions to public access or future land use, the method of cleanup, and the date at which cleanup ended or is expected to end, among other things. In some cases, we added descriptions of military installations from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

The Bombs in Your Backyard database, which is a simplified and restructured version of the original DERP database, contains 9 tables. The tables are available in the download both as 9 individual CSVs and as a single SQL dump file containing the 9 tables. The tables are:

  • installations
  • sites
  • media
  • contaminants
  • controls
  • restrictions
  • phases
  • remedies
  • states

To request additional information and download documentation for this dataset, please complete the form on this page.

Note: Our interactive database contains 4,785 military installations with at least one hazardous site, and 40,688 total hazardous sites. Because not all sites came with location data, only 3,611 installations and 24,809 sites appear on our maps (see “Site Locations” for more information), but all installations and sites in the DOD data appear in our tables.

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Part of these collections:

Department of Defense, Toxic Materials, Federal Government, Federal Agencies, States, Bombs in Our Backyard, and Government Spending

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