The environmental risk assessment matrix provides an approach to assess the relative risk of generic unit-level
activities on specific environmental areas. Each environmental risk assessment matrix has three main
categories: environmental area, unit operation, and risk impact value.
Archeological and historic sites.
Hazardous materials and hazardous waste.
Threatened and endangered species.
Unit Operations (Company level activities).
Movement of heavy vehicles and systems.
Movement of personnel and light vehicles/systems.
Assembly area activities.
Field maintenance of equipment.
Garrison maintenance of equipment.
Risk Impact Value (Numeric Value). This value represents an estimate of the conditions under which the unit will
operate and is an indicator of the severity of environmental degradation.
Use the following steps for assessing environmental impacts on planned activities:
Identify hazards to the environment: degradation of wetlands, polluting streams, disturbing endangered
species habitat and archeological sites and/or structures, creating oil spills, and improperly handling HW
Assess probability of environmental damage/violations using environmental risk-assessment matrices.
Make decisions and develop measures to reduce high risks.
Brief the chain of command and installation environmental office, if applicable on proposed plans and
pertinent high-risk environmental matrices.
Integrate environmental measures into plans, SOPs, training performance standards, and rehearsals.
Supervise and enforce environmental standards. Train to the standards.
Controls to Reduce Risks. Once the risks are identified, plans must be developed and implemented to
control and reduce the risks. The development of environmental risk controls can come from AARs and
environmental risk assessments. These controls are identified from known and previous risks that have been
identified. Some examples of risk controls that can be implemented are:
Restrict high-risk land areas, if practical from vehicular operations.
Sensitize personnel on performing maintenance or other tasks involving hazardous materials and
substances near water sources.
Use portable containment systems for field handling of hazardous substances.
Be prepared to correctly respond to spills (have qualified personnel and correct equipment on hand).
Have highly qualified leaders supervise high-risk tasks/operations.
Supervise and Evaluate Risk Controls Implemented. As part of environmental risk reduction
measures, implementing risk controls involves incorporating them into mission planning, orders, SOP, training
performance standards, rehearsals, and other activities where environmental considerations should be
addressed. The supervision and evaluation of environmental risk controls can involve the following
considerations: the mission, the enemy, terrain and weather, troops and equipment, and time.
Anticipate or assess environmental risks during planning.
Analyze the effects of environmental risks on mission operations.
Simplify scheme of maneuver.
Issue complete and concise orders.
Ensure key leaders track the exercise and render timely reports.
Identify alternative training scenarios or techniques.
Use large-scale battalion or brigade sector sketches for detail.