Significant environmental weaknesses and sensitivities in the AO.
Potential enemy environmental targets.
Critical or unique resources to the area.
Environmental conditions related to the situation.
Applicable laws and regulations.
(2) Staffs identify environmental weaknesses and critical terrain that may be a factor to be
avoided, actively protected, or temporarily exploited to accomplish the mission. They identify potential
enemy environmental targets and plan contingency responses. The following environmental factors
normally require consideration during staff estimates:
Topography and soils.
Vegetation, including crops.
Wildlife and livestock.
Archaeological and historical sites.
Safety and public health.
Land and facility use, occupation and return.
Water quality, including surface water, groundwater, storm water,
HM and HW disposal and potential cleanup requirements.
Socioeconomic and political condition sensitivities and desired end states pertaining
to, or functions of environmental conditions.
(3) The staff develops an OPORD, OPLAN, or CONPLAN and may publish a full
environmental annex/appendix only once. To facilitate changes in environmental requirements, the
command may produce an environmental-protection-level matrix similar to the example in Figure 4-2.
This matrix ties directly into risk assessment and is applied in the MDMP during mission analysis.
Standard levels of environmental protection facilitate planning, communications, and
flexibility. The notional array of protection levels in Figure 4-2 ranges from Level 1
to Level 4. Level 1 is less restrictive and more appropriate for tactical units in
combat. Level 4 is very restrictive and more appropriate for tactical units in garrison,
on fixed installations, during major training exercises, or while performing
humanitarian missions in relatively secure and developed areas. Levels 2 and 3 are
merely intermediate steps between the baseline and optimal levels.