Area Review Team
Handouts Distributed at Meeting:
Agenda Item #1. Welcome, Approval of December 4, 2001 Meeting Minutes, Review Draft Agenda
Mr. Murphy convened the meeting at 6:04 p.m. and welcomed the attendees. Team members introduced themselves and Mr. Murphy asked if there were any changes to the December 4, 2001 Impact Area Review Team (IART) meeting minutes. Mr. Hugus referred to the third paragraph from the bottom on page 5 and said that base-wide should be inserted so that the sentence reads "so few profile samples base-wide indicate radio-activity interference." He then referred to the top of page 13 and pointed out that there is an extra of in the first sentence. The minutes were then approved with the changes.
Mr. Murphy reviewed the agenda and asked if there were any additions to be made. No additions were recommended at this time.
Agenda Item #2. Review Action Items
Mr. Murphy also noted that the "Fate and Transport Laboratory Study", an item that was carried over from the September IART meeting, has been distributed to team members.
Agenda Item #3. Late-Breaking News
Mr. Judge announced that he will have to leave early tonight to attend the Sandwich town meeting. He then stated that he is concerned about the new water supply well in Sandwich, and is also concerned about protecting the artesian well that is located in downtown Sandwich and is frequented by thousands of people. He referred to a map that depicts the December 28, 2001 validated detects, and noted the map includes the outer boundaries of the Central Impact Area and a line of wells identified as MW-52, MW-53, MW-54, MW-55, and MW-63. He then noted that MW-52, MW-54, and MW-55 are located in the recharge area for well sites 2 and 3.
Ms. Dolan asked Mr. Judge to name the analytical parameter to which the map is refers. Mr. Judge replied that the map he’s discussing metals; however, he believes that semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) also have been detected there. He asked that the Guard take a close look at this area.
Mr. Hugus asked if this issue could be addressed further under the "Investigations Update." Mr. Gregson suggested that the team discuss this issue at the next IART meeting. Mr. Judge said he would appreciate a comprehensive overview of the issue, including dates of testing and the location of the wells in relation to the ZOC.
Mr. Schlesinger added that he thinks the discussion should be extended to include all of the wells from the Coast Guard Transmitter to Demo Area 2.
Ms. Pepin requested that the November 2000 DEP letter regarding well sites 2 and 3 be distributed to the team.
Agenda Item #4. Investigations Update
Mr. Gregson reported that the "Phase IIb Draft Report for the Former A, Former K, and Demo 2 Areas" will be released this week. Also, the "Additional Characterization Report for the Gun and Mortar Firing Positions" will be released February 21, 2002. He noted that the team will be asked to review and make comments on both documents.
Central Impact Area
Mr. Gregson displayed a map depicting the Central Impact Area and pointed out the five new perchlorate detections, which are located in the middle of the Impact Area. He reported that the levels are relatively low and range from 0.38 parts per billion (ppb) in MW-98 up to 1.98 ppb in MW-105.
Dr. Feigenbaum said that he read something about a change in the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for perchlorate, having to do with one health advisory (HA) for children and another for adults. Mr. Gregson displayed a graphic depicting the different limits for perchlorate that the Guard currently is using. He noted that the current laboratory reporting limit is 2 ppb, which is the lowest calibration value that the lab runs when it does its analysis. The EPA HA, which is based on the drinking water limit, is 1.5 ppb, and the current method detection limit is 0.35 ppb.
Mr. Walsh-Rogalski noted that there is an EPA report out for peer review that recommends a drinking water standard of 1 ppb. Mr. Gregson concurred and explained that the toxicity value was adjusted, which resulted in the 1 ppb value. He also added that this is still in the review stage.
Mr. Schlesinger said that he does not understand the laboratory reporting limit. Mr. Gregson explained that the laboratory has known standards against which it calibrates in order to adjust its instruments when doing an analysis for a compound. The reporting limit is the lowest concentration in one of its calibration standards. Beyond that, there are J values, or estimated value, which are below the laboratory reporting limit. He said that the lower the concentrations are, the less confidence there is that they are accurate.
Mr. Taylor asked why the laboratory does not shift to a calibration of 1 ppb, which seems to make more sense than a 2 ppb calibration. Mr. Gregson replied that he is not sure what the lowest calibrations are or what standards are set. Mr. Taylor said that he thinks the standard for drinking water and the calibration ought to be the same. Mr. Gregson noted that everything is in a state of flux right now and pending review.
Mr. Schlesinger asked Mr. Gregson to identify the direction the perchlorate detects are headed. Mr. Gregson replied that the detects are running cross-gradient. Mr. Schlesinger asked if there are downgradient or upgradient detections of perchlorate. Mr. Gregson replied that so far perchlorate has only been detected in "these wells" in this part of the Impact Area.
Mr. Gregson pointed out MW-200, which is located out here on Bergoine Road. He explained that MW-200 was drilled as on off-set to MW-135 immediately to the south in an attempt to obtain more information on the nature and extent of the royal demolition explosive (RDX) in that area. This well is also downgradient of chemical spill 19 (CS-19), which is located in the west central portion of the Impact Area. Mr. Gregson reported that profile results for MW-200 show RDX at 18.6 ppb, and 2,4-DANT at 2.12 ppb. He noted that these detections are located between 30 and 80 feet below the water.
Mr. Gregson then referred to ongoing work at the Southeast Ranges in the J Range area. He stated that RDX was detected at 0.32 ppb in well 90WT0019, which is a Fuel Spill 12 (FS-12) well located on Greenway Road near the FS-12 source area. He added that other interference compounds have been detected in that well, and it had a previous detection of 2,6-dinitrotoluene (2,6-DNT).
Mr. Gregson also reported that there was a 0.78 ppb RDX detection at MW-34. He noted that there was a lot of interference from hydrocarbon compounds at that location, and added that these compounds have not been detected immediately upgradient. Mr. Gregson stated that MW-34 will continue to be monitored.
Mr. Gregson further noted that there was a 1.2 ppb perchlorate detection in the M1 screen and a 1 ppb perchlorate detection in the M3 screen at MW-143, located north of the J-3 wetlands on Greenway Road. He added that MW-148, located a little farther to the northwest on Greenway Road also had a perchlorate detection of 1.12 ppb.
Mr. Walsh-Rogalski asked if Mr. Gregson has a hypothesis that might explain why perchlorate is being detected in the Central Impact Area. Mr. Gregson said that he does not. He also noted, however, that he has heard that the charge for some artillery rounds may have contained perchlorate, although this is yet to be confirmed. He also stated that perchlorate has been identified in a number of areas, which may be due to rocket propellant from rocket testing.
Mr. Schlesinger asked at what depths the perchlorate was detected. Mr. Gregson replied that perchlorate was detected in MW-143 between 115 to 125 feet below the water table, and it was detected at MW-148 between 75 and 80 feet below the water table. He also noted that the perchlorate probably originated farther up on the southeast ranges.
Mr. Hugus said that he read in the progress report something about perchlorate showing up in granular activated carbon (GAC). Mr. Gregson replied that work is under way to conduct a pump test in the Central Impact Area where there have been perchlorate detections, and perchlorate was detected in the water that was pumped from the initial step test. He noted that GAC has limited effectiveness in treating perchlorate and the pump test was stopped until an effective method to treat the perchlorate is identified. He also said that the next step is to conduct a column test with carbon to determine whether the concentrations that need to be addressed are low enough that GAC would effectively remove perchlorate on a short-term basis. Mr. Gregson added that the water from the pump test was not discharged into the ground, but was contained in tanks. He also noted that the observation wells were tested for perchlorate before the pump test, and so the precaution was taken to contain the water.
Ms. Dolan noted that the perchlorate detections in MW-148 generally can be tracked back to the central portion of the J-3 Range, and the detection in MW-143 can be tracked back somewhere above the L Range.
Ms. Hayes asked if the main risk posed to humans by perchlorate is thyroid disease. Mr. Gregson said that it is correct. Ms. Hayes inquired about a prevalence of thyroid disease surrounding the contaminated area. Mr. Gregson replied that he is not aware of such a situation. He also noted that at this point perchlorate hasn’t been detected in any public or private drinking water supplies, and therefore the exposure pathway is not complete.
Dr. Feigenbaum asked if there’s been an effort to look for perchlorate in public drinking water. Mr. Gregson replied that the on-post detections of perchlorate are not near any drinking water supplies. However, Bourne wells and the Schooner Pass well were tested for perchlorate. Dr. Feigenbaum said that he thinks it would be a good precaution to test all of the production wells, and asked if there is a way to test for a lower minimum detection level. Mr. Gregson replied that that work is ongoing, and noted that recently the detection limit for perchlorate was 5 ppb. Dr. Feigenbaum stated that information he read on the Internet indicated that the perchlorate level for children was quite low, less than 1 ppb. Mr. Gregson stated that the 1.5 ppb limit established by EPA is based on child exposure. Dr. Feigenbaum said that he is under the impression that the 1.5 ppb limit is in flux, and he thinks it would be wise to use a more protective level. He asked that the IART continue to be updated on the latest information regarding the perchlorate limit.
Dr. Feigenbaum noted that it was mentioned that the perchlorate might be a result of a charger, which is an unfamiliar term to him. Mr. Gregson replied that a charge is part of a leader round. Dr. Feigenbaum asked whether the liter rounds contained perchlorate. Mr. Gregson replied that he does not know, but is looking into it. Ms. Dolan stated that there are other components of munitions that have percentages of perchlorate in them. She suggested that the team be provided with a list of such munitions.
Mr. Schlesinger said that it would be helpful to know which items stored in the ammunition supply point (ASP) contain perchlorate. LTC Cunha stated that Mr. Borci is welcome to visit the ASP at any time. Mr. Schlesinger stated that he is interested in finding out the constituents of the munitions in the ASP. LTC Cunha said that he is not able to provide that information because he is not allowed to provide a detailed inventory of the ASP. However, he is willing to work with Mr. Borci to develop some type of sheet. Mr. Walsh-Rogalski said that perhaps Mr. Borci will visit the ASP again. He also noted that it would be helpful to have access to MIDAS to follow up on the perchlorate issue.
Mr. Jasinski stated that the EPA document containing recommended perchlorate action levels for adults and children was out for peer review. Then, last week it was discovered that the document contained an error, and the information was retracted. Now however, the document is out for peer review with 1 ppb as the suggested perchlorate action level.
COL Bleakley clarified that Dr. Feigenbaum had referred to a press release from Center for Public Environmental Oversight (CPEO), not EPA. He explained that a group of environmental organizations developed its own recommendation for the standard for perchlorate. He also noted that Mr. Jasinski was referring to an EPA document that will be peer reviewed in March 2002. Dr. Feigenbaum stated that the CEPO news release cited EPA. Ms. Adams stated that the revised EPA announcement can be found at www.epa.gov/safewater/ccl/perchlor.
Mr. Gregson continued with his presentation by reporting that MW-193, located in the J-3 Range, has unvalidated detections of RDX and High Melting Explosive (HMX), both at 0.75 ppb. He noted that these data help to define the lateral extent of the RDX and HMX coming from the disposal burn pit at the J-3 Range.
Mr. Gregson then reported that MW-194, which is located east of the melt/pour building on the J-3 Range had a 2.69 ppb RDX detection. He also noted that MW-195 was nondetect, and explained that these data help to define some plume boundaries between the HMX detections to the east and the RDX to the west.
Mr. Gregson reported that MW-192 recently was installed at the end of the J-2 Range. He noted that this well was drilled downgradient of the central portion of the J-1 Range, he mentioned that groundwater there flows in a northerly direction. The well, which is also located in the uppermost portion of the ZOC of water supply well 1, had a trace level of 2,4-DANT at 0.28 ppb in a profile sample.
Mr. Hugus inquired about the detections at the observation wells. Mr. Gregson replied that RDX was detected between 2 to 3 ppb, and HMX was detected between 0.3 to 0.7 ppb.
Mr. Gregson then stated that MW-196, MW-197, and MW-198 were drilled to help define the extent of the RDX plume originating from the central part of the J-3 Range and heading out to the south. He reported that MW-196 had a detection of trinitrotoluene (TNT) and TNT breakdown products in the shallow screen, and a 37 ppb HMX detection. He noted that the TNT detection level was 7 ppb, which is above the HA. He also reported that MW-197 had a detection of HMX at 1.2 ppb, and MW-198 had a RDX detection at 19 ppb and an HMX detection at 3.2 ppb.
Mr. Schlesinger asked how many of these constituents would be captured by the FS-12 fence, if left unattended. Mr. Gregson replied that he does not have that information, but will try to find out in time for the next meeting.
Mr. Gregson stated that he reported to the team last month about the work that was conducted on the northern part of Snake Pond. He said that approximately 100 diffusion samplers were installed in the pond. Some explosive compounds were detected in the samplers, but it was thought that the detections were a result of interference due to organic muck from the pond bottom. Then the United States Geological Survey (USGS) was tasked to install shallow drive-points in an effort to obtain a clearer picture of detections. Sampling tubes were installed two feet down to bypass the layer of muck, and the results were nondetect for RDX. However, one location did have a validated detection of perchlorate at 0.89 J ppb, an estimated value that is below the EPA limit of 1.5 ppb. Mr. Gregson also reported that last week AMEC collected a surface water sample from this location and results were nondetect.
Mr. Schlesinger asked why the drive-points were installed south of the detection and not upgradient. Mr. Gregson explained that the yellow circles on the map indicate validated explosive detections, but they are not RDX. They are other compounds such as nitroglycerin, TNT, and TNT breakdown products. These detections were assumed to be the result of interference from organic matter. He noted that RDX was not detected in any of the diffusion samplers, but was identified in MW-171, which is located on the spit. The location of the drive-points is based on the explosive detection, and the next step is to determine whether additional drive-points are necessary.
Dr. Feigenbaum said that he thought the consensus was that the perchlorate limit was going to change to 1 ppb. Mr. Gregson explained that that is yet to be determined, and the Guard is working with the 1.5 ppb limit. Dr. Feigenbaum stated that he wished this situation was straightened out because he thinks there is no point in conducting a whole series of analyses if the limit is going to change. He suggested that the Guard use 1 ppb as the limit. He also said that he thinks that the 0.89 ppb, which is a J value, can not be determined to be less than 1 ppb. Mr. Gregson stated that at the time of the analysis the laboratory reporting limit was 2 ppb. He said that the EPA limit has really nothing to do with how the laboratory runs its analysis other than letting it know how low it needs to go in order to find something below that limit. Dr. Feigenbaum proposed that the team adopt the 1 ppb limit. He said that he did not think that Mr. Gregson would want his children drinking water that has a 0.89 ppb if the limit was 1 ppb.
Dr. Feigenbaum then asked how the draft plume map will be redrawn in light of these detections. Mr. Gregson stated that the current map is a preliminary depiction of the plume, many wells are being drilled in the J Range area to help better define the plume boundaries. Dr. Feigenbaum asked if the latest detections are within the boundary of the plumes as previously depicted. Ms. Dolan pointed out that three plumes were drawn, one for RDX, one for HMX., and one for perchlorate. The detections at MW-197, MW-198, and MW-196 are within the three plume shells. Mr. Gregson said that it is safe to say that these new detections will not significantly alter the plume boundary.
Mr. Hugus said that he would like to see, as soon as possible, a rendition of the RDX plume released to the public. Mr. Gregson said that he would discuss the request with Ms. Dolen. He also explained that the thought is to release a comprehensive update on the whole J Range investigation, which would include the plume outlines, the compounds that are being detected, and the next steps. Mr. Hugus said that he thinks this is important because the area in question is a recreational pond.
Mr. Judson, a Bourne resident, stated that he has attended a number of IART meetings and finds it increasingly difficult to keep up because the meetings tend to drag. He explained that he thinks the meetings drag because he is interested in hearing from the Guard, but that the information is stalled by people asking too many unnecessary questions. He said that some of the questions are valid, but some are not, and added that he believes the Guard is doing a good job in pursuing the situation and would he like to see that continue. He said that he thinks that the delays and the stymieing make it difficult to come away from one of these meeting fulfilled.
Mr. Schlesinger pointed out that MW-166, which had a validated detection, is not represented on the map. Mr. Gregson replied that the map will be updated as the investigation continues.
Status of Demolition Area 1 Plume Delineation Strategy
Mr. Gregson displayed a graphic of the toe of the Demolition Area 1 plume, and he reported that the Guard is in the process of drilling some additional wells in this area to better define the toe. He said that he has been working with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFW) to develop a plan to reach the area while minimizing impacts to this area of wildlife habitat sensitivity, and he thinks that the situation has been resolved. He reported that the first well scheduled for installation is D1P9, and profile samples will be taken for perchlorate and explosives. Well D1C3, which is farther out, will be drilled next if either perchlorate or explosives above the HA are detected at D1P9. Well D1C4 will be installed to the south. If D1P9 is below the HA, then D1C2 will be installed to the north and D1C1 to the south. If any of these wells exceed the HA, the strategy will be reevaluated and further discussion will take place with the regulators and the team about additional wells.
Mr. Hugus said that he read in the progress report that it is expected to take seven months to build the necessary access roads for the new wells between Frank Perkins and Pew Road. Mr. Gregson stated that he believes the seven months timeframe includes drilling the wells also.
Mr. Hugus noted that DEP indicated that the feasibility study (FS) can not be finalized until the plume is defined. He asked Mr. Pinaud to comment further on this sentiment. Mr. Pinaud stated that DEP reviewed the draft report and concluded that the area between Frank Perkins Road and Pew Road was not well defined. He added that at least one alternative for extraction located an extraction well at the toe of the plume, which has not been defined. Therefore, DEP does not think it is feasible to select a remedy without fully understanding the downgradient extent of the plume. He reported that DEP, EPA, MDFW, and the Guard have discussed this issue over the past several weeks and they developed the plan Mr. Gregson just presented. Mr. Hugus asked if the IART members will discuss treatment options again, as they did at the last meeting, or if the will have to wait until data from the new wells are available. Mr. Pinaud replied that he believes that the final FS is due in August 2002. He said that that the team will discuss possible remedies as the data become available. Mr. Hugus said that he agrees with DEP that the team needs to know where the plume is before it seriously discusses treatment.
Dr. Feigenbaum said that he thinks that the treatment system should proceed in stages because the core of the plume is defined and has detections of 100 ppb. He said that he does not think that it makes sense to wait on treating the core of the plume while attempting to define the toe, which has detections of 2 ppb. He said that he thinks the goal should be to minimize the extent of aquifer contamination. Dr. Feigenbaum said that waiting to take action may foreclose on certain options that are currently viable. He added that he believes that the core of the plume should be addressed as soon as possible, next summer.
Mr. Walsh-Rogalski said that this issue was discussed at the last IART meeting, and EPA has been discussing it internally as well. He said that Mr. Jasinski explained to him why it does not make sense to proceed in a phased approach – because a certain amount of data is needed before the first steps can be taken, such as modeling information.
Mr. Jasinski stated that the extent of RDX and perchlorate west of Frank Perkins Road is unknown. However, it is known where it is nondetect at Pew Road. A system designed for capture upgradient would have to address the downgradient section at some point, it would only take a couple more months to install a few more wells in order to make a full-fledged decision for the whole plume. Dr. Feigenbaum stated that the core of the plume is going to move, probably into an area that will be less amenable for treating the leading edge. Mr. Jasinski said that he thinks that it does not make sense to install a system that will have to later be modified to address the toe of the plume. This approach would cause more damage to the area, which is wildlife sensitive.
Dr. Feigenbaum commented that there has been a tremendous amount of contention surrounding this issue. He said that the team was asked for its opinion, which was to go after the leading edge while continuing to define the toe of the plume. Now the team is being told that this is not going to happen because more data are needed to better define the toe. He said that regardless of the outcome of the toe of the plume, an axial well will have to be installed at the 100-ppb contour because that is where 90% of the contamination is located. Dr. Feigenbaum stated that the core of the plume has been defined, and he suggests that construction on the remediation system commence.
Southwest Corner of the Ranges Excavations
Mr. Gregson said that 64 polygons or magnetic anomalies were identified in the southwest corner of the J Ranges. He displayed a map depicting the anomalies in the middle of the J-1 Range, in the north of the J-2 Range, and in the south of the J-3 Range. He reported that to date 10 polygons have been completely investigated at location number 9 in the middle of the J-1 Range, where 81-millilmeter mortars and 105-millimeter projectiles were identified and found to be inert rounds. Four polygons have been partly investigated at the J-1 Range at locations 14 and 15, where 240 105-millimeter cartridge cases, and 105-millimeter heat rounds were identified. Also in the J-1 Range, in location 10, two 105-millimeter cartridges cases were discovered. He stated 40-millimeter practice grenades, dual purpose flares, fireworks, fuses, and 20-millimeter projectiles and cartridge cases were identified at location 1 in the J-2 Range. In addition, 105-millimeter practice rounds and 105-millimeter cartridge cases were also identified at site 4. He said the sites are under investigation and that the team will continue to be updated as information becomes available.
Mr. Hugus asked why the term polygons is being used, instead of magnetic anomalies. Ms. Dolan explained that polygon refers to a group of anomalies that have a similar signal strength and decay rate.
Monitoring Well 181
Mr. Gregson stated that at the last IART meeting he informed the team about the detection of alpha radiation at well MW-181. At that time the question was asked whether analyses were done on any groundwater wells near this area to see if other wells have detected radiation. Mr. Gregson then displayed a graph depicting gross alpha in groundwater samples at the southeast corner of the ranges, and noted that MW-181 is located near the melt/pour building in the J-3 Range near Greenway Road. He explained that the green dots on the map are nondetect for gross alpha in groundwater and the yellow dots are detections that are below the MCL.
Mr. Gregson then displayed a map of the area around MW-181, which had a detection of gross alpha below the MCL. He noted that there are a couple other detections below the MCL to the south, and several others that were nondetect. He explained that the original detection was based on profile results and indicated that the gross alpha was above the MCL. A gamma spectroscopy scan was conducted, which showed that there was no uranium present. However, it did show evidence of lead-2,10 and potassium 40. Mr. Gregson noted that the total uranium and uranium alpha spectroscopy analysis was consistent with background; the ratio with uranium 234 to 238 was consistent with naturally occurring compound or isotope. He stated that the next step on that particular sample is to perform a thorium, radium, radon alpha spec analysis to see if radon or a similar isotope is what caused the alpha reading in the initial sample. He reiterated that in the groundwater sample from that same interval the gross alpha was nondetect and uranium isotopes were within background.
Mr. Hugus said that the November 26, 2001 progress report stated that there was a specific test for uranium 234 (U-234) and U-238 and it’s indicated that U-234 was detected at 0.72 picocuries per liter and uranium U-238 was detected at 1.9 picocuries per liter. He then asked what kind of tests were conducted the first time that led to the information in the November progress report. Mr. Gregson replied that at that point the total uranium and uranium alpha spectroscopy analysis were conducted. Mr. Hugus asked if additional test results are pending. Mr. Gregson replied that the thorium, radon, and radium analysis is pending. He added that the uranium and uranium alpha spec analysis showed that the results were consistent with background.
Mr. Hugus said that he does not think it is that simple because of the uncertainty factor. He said that U-234 was detected at 0.072 picocuries per liter with an uncertainty of 0.084, which is greater than the detection. He also notes that U-238 was detected at 0.19 picocuries per liter with an uncertainty of 0.11, which is 75% of the detected value. Therefore, he thinks there is a gray area and it can not be concluded for certain that uranium is not present. Mr. Gregson said that uranium is present, but at very low levels, and the ratio it consistent with naturally occurring uranium – it is not indicative of depleted uranium (DU) or enriched uranium.
Hugus said that it would make sense that gross alpha was being detected
all over the base at background level, but it is not. Mr. Gregson
replied that it is not an analyte that the Guard routinely tests
for. Mr. Hugus asked whether the Installation Restoration Program
(IRP) tests for it. Mr. Aker replied that the IRP has tested a couple
of wells for uranium for example, the water supply 2 well was tested
and radio-activity was detected and determined to be background.
He said that the IRP does not routinely test for radio-activity.
Dr. Stahl asked when results will be available on the thorium, radium, radon testing. Mr. Clausen replied that the radium will take the longest, approximately 30 days.
Ms. Pepin asked whether anyone has considered that the gross alpha detections may be associated with the x-ray Assembly Building and wastewater discharge areas. Mr. Gregson reiterated that the detections are most likely background, and noted that potential source areas are always under consideration.
Mr. Schlesinger stated that he is not aware of radio-activity being detected in other Cape Cod wells, then asked for a full reference on where the background was developed. Mr. Gregson replied that the background information can be found in EPA publication EPA-570/9-81-001, "Uranium in US Surface, Ground, and Domestic Water." He added that a USGS paper was also referenced, which was special paper number 426, "Uranium and Radium in Groundwater in the US 1954 to 1957."
Agenda Item #5. Thermal Neutron Analysis
CPT Myer stated that recently the Guard has been evaluating an emerging technology called thermal neutron analysis (TNA), which will help support the unexploded ordnance (UXO) discovery and disposition program for the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program (IAGWSP). He noted that he and Mr. Nick Iaiennaro were available earlier this evening at the TNA posterboard session to answer any questions about TNA.
CPT Myer explained that TNA is a non-intrusive method for analyzing the filler content of safe-to-move UXO. He noted that UXO that are deemed unsafe to move are destroyed using the open detonation method; however, many safe-to-move UXO have been identified since the program began in 1997. He explained that sometimes it is not possible to identify the filler content in some of the rounds. For example, between the summer and fall of 2000, 805 items were identified where the filler content could not be visually characterized. TNA allows for the filler content to be determined without having to physically cut into the round.
CPT Myer stated that company in Santa Clara, California, was asked to help the IAGWSP develop an application of an existing technology to help analyze the filler content; the existing technology is used at airports to identify explosives in luggage. The UXO process involves inserting a round into the device, which then bombards the round with low level neutron energy. The result is a "yes" or "no" regarding the filler content. CPT Myer noted that the key element to identify in smoke rounds is phosphorus, and for explosives it is hydrogen and nitrogen. He stated that the analysis is relatively quick and will help to effectively manage safe-to-move UXO. He said that this procedure is useful in that it helps to determine whether a round can be recycled, which means fewer items going to the contained detonation chamber (CDC).
CPT Myer stated that TNA will assist in groundwater protection in that any item that is deemed inert using this method will not have to be destroyed in the CDC, which, therefore, helps to reduce soil contamination, groundwater contamination, and air emissions. TNA will also allow the Guard to let affected neighborhoods know sooner rather than later about any potential risk from UXO.
CPT Myer stated that TNA will also be cost-effective, as it costs an estimated $700.00 to destroy an item in the CDC. When TNA was used on the 805 items found last summer, it saved approximately $560,000 by identifying items that did not have to be sent to the CDC. Thus, the money saved can be used to fund other projects associated with the cleanup program.
CPT Myer reported that the Guard is going to purchase a TNA unit for on-site use. He said that at a future meeting he will provide an overall presentation on the UXO Management Plan, of which TNA is a key part.
Ms. Hayes inquired about the reliability of TNA. CPT Myer replied that although TNA is approximately 99.9% reliable, sawed as a secondary precautionary step, all items will be also be remote. Ms. Hayes asked if TNA is used at other military sites. CPT Myer replied that some other facilities are using similar technologies to help characterize UXO filler content.
Mr. Taylor asked what device was used on the 805 rounds. CPT Myer displayed a posterboard depicting the device, and said that is the same one used in airports to examine luggage. He also explained that the plan is to obtain a smaller device, a more compact unit, because the airport-sized one is too big for the Guard’s needs.
Dr. Stahl asked about the accuracy of the unit. CPT Myer reiterated that the remote saw is used on the rounds after the filler is identified by the machine. Dr. Stahl asked how long it will take to develop a smaller unit for use on the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR). Mr. Iaiennaro replied that it is just a matter of coming up with the specifications, and it should take approximately 45 days after that. He added that the remote saw is oil-cooled so it will not detonate any high explosives (HE). The saw also recycles anything within itself so it is not emitting anything into the air.
Mr. Walsh-Rogalski said that he is encouraged by TNA and is looking forward to the MMR obtaining the smaller unit. He said that he is hopeful that this new technology will drastically reduce the number of blow-in-place (BIP) activities.
Mr. Schlesinger asked when the portable unit will be available. Mr. Iaiennaro said that a meeting is scheduled for later this week to discuss the specifications. Mr. Schlesinger asked whether work will continue at a normal pace until the unit is received. CPT Myer replied that things will proceed as usual.
Dr. Feigenbaum asked if the source of the neutrons is californium. Mr. Iaiennaro replied that it is. Dr. Feigenbaum asked for more information on how the whole process actually works. CPT Myer said that he will provide Dr. Feigenbaum with additional information.
Agenda Item #6. IART Map Revisions Discussion
Ms. Dolen said that she wanted to explain some of the changes that have been instituted in the maps. She noted that team members requested at the December meeting that previous meeting minutes be reviewed and that a list of map comments be developed. She noted that a handout is available that lists those comments as well as the responses to them.
Ms. Dolen stated that map comments were tracked back to January 2000, which provided a comprehensive overview. However, she felt that further discussions were needed and the Guard hosted an in-house workshop on January 7, 2002 to review the comments, look at the maps, and discuss options. She explained that recommendations for improving the maps were developed as a result of the workshop at which point the Guard met with DEP, EPA, United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and contractors to discuss the recommendations. Consensus was reached and the changes were implemented.
Ms. Dolen displayed the recent detection and monitoring well map, and noted that it was part of the handout package A, which Mr. Gregson used in his presentation. She noted that team members had commented that the maps were too cluttered, making it difficult to identify the new detections. The revised map depicts the main body of the wells shaded in a gray scale and the new detections in monitoring wells have been brought forward. She stated that groundwater detects and profile detects above and below the health advisory are now included, as are proposed monitoring wells. She added that the map will serve as a good reference point and is key not only to Mr. Gregson’s presentation, but also to the "Groundwater Study Program Update" handout. She further noted that the map will be displayed in poster size at every IART meeting so it may be easily utilized by the meeting attendees. The inset map will also be available in poster size. Ms. Dolan mentioned that the inset map includes targets, old gun positions, and current gun positions.
Ms. Dolen then referred to reference map handout C-1, which is new. She explained that this map was designed to be used as a companion to the detections map. It depicts the old gun and mortar positions, current gun and mortar positions, the demo areas, combat training ranges, the military training areas, the military targets, areas of concern, Demo Area 1, the Central Impact Area, and the Southeast Corner of the Ranges. She stated that she imagines that this map will be modified every six months to bring it up to date, and added that using this map as a reference tool allows the monthly the maps to be less cluttered.
Ms. Dolen then referred to the monthly progress maps and noted that a new format has been implemented. One of the changes is the inclusion of validated data pertaining to detections above and below the health advisories. Validated nondetects are also included on these maps. She explained that red indicates above the health advisory, yellow indicates below the health advisory, and green represents nondetect. Ms. Dolen stated that there are six of these maps as well as six inset maps depicting the constituents of concern such as herbicides, pesticides, semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC’s), and volatile organic compounds (VOC). She explained that previously the maps only depicted unvalidated data, but now there will be another map showing validated data, which will correspond with the presentation. She said that the implemented changes have resulted in the reduction of duplication and paper clutter. Also, the details provide a more comprehensive look at the big picture. She added that many of the teams’ comments have been incorporated into this map. Ms. Dolen stated that this map and the inset maps now will be available to the entire audience, not just to team members.
Mr. Murphy stated that Mr. Schlesinger sent additional comments to EPA that were not forwarded to the Guard and therefore were not considered during the map revisions. He passed a copy of these comments along to Ms. Dolen at this time.
Mr. Schlesinger said that he is pleased with the effort of trying to provide a comprehensive overall picture of the project. However, he is only able to make comments on past maps since he has not had time to review the ones presented this evening. He remarked that the maps included in today’s progress reports essentially were useless, and added that the biggest problem he sees with the maps is in errors of omission. For example, there are things in the legends that do not exist in the maps, there are things on the maps that do not exist in the legends, and there are poor color and icon choices. He referred to a map titled "Soil Sampling Locations Post Screening Investigation Workplan Demo 1 Soil Operable Unit" as an example of several of the issues he cited.
Ms. Dolen agreed with Mr. Schlesinger and suggested that the team try out the newly formatted maps for the next several months, after which additional comments and revisions can be made. Mr. Schlesinger stated that he spent several days organizing his thoughts and comments on the maps only to be ignored. Ms. Dolen stated that many of Mr. Schlesinger’s comments from previous meetings have been implemented in the new maps. She added that the comments he submitted to EPA will also be considered.
Mr. Schlesinger then referred to a map from a draft report and stated that he thinks that it doesn’t say anything and it is not possible to distinguish what the dots mean. He said that people are supposed to read the reports, view the maps, and make decisions; but the maps do not clearly provide information. He referred to another map that depicted road names, some of which were incorrect. Mr. Murphy pointed out that the first attempt at improving the maps only addressed the maps distributed at IART meetings, and did not address maps included in reports. Ms. Grillo concurred and said that Mr. Schlesinger’s comments on the report maps will also be considered.
Mr. Hugus stated that credit is due for an effort to improve. He added that it would be even more helpful if the plumes were shaded.
Dr. Stahl said that he would like to see all the water supply wells included on the maps.
Mr. Schlesinger pointed out that the groundwater contours are not labeled. Ms. Dolen said that they may have been omitted in an attempt to keep things less crowded. Mr. Schlesinger pointed out that the map presented this evening does not include road names. Ms. Dolen explained that the roads were left out of the reference map because it was too busy with them included. She also said that it would be helpful to have at least some road names listed and she will look into that. Mr. Schlesinger said that it would be especially useful to have road names included on the inset maps.
Ms. Adams stated that she believes a good effort was made in addressing the map issues and she is hopeful that similar advances will occur in the reports.
Agenda Item #7. Open Discussion/Other Issues
Mr. Schlesinger asked Mr. Murphy to comment on their recent conversation regarding the Technical Outreach Service for Communities (TOSC) program. Mr. Murphy noted that he is the EPA regional coordinator of the TOSC program. He explained that TOSC is a national EPA program that funds several universities around the country, which in turn provide technical assistance to community groups at contaminated sites, Superfund sites, and other sites where EPA is involved. He noted that TOSC advisor Dr. Stahl and predecessors have been paid with EPA funds for the last couple of years. However, the program has been restructured, and funding will now be funneled through Johns Hopkins University and subcontracted through the University of Connecticut (UCONN) in Storrs, Connecticut.
Mr. Murphy noted that less funding will be available, although it is not clear at this point how much is going to be available for the IART. A commitment has been made that funding will continue through 2002, but after that it is uncertain. He said that he is attending a meeting next week, hopes to obtain more information, and will update the team at the February meeting. He noted that he does not know whether or not UCONN will maintain the same TOSC representatives. Also, he expects that UCONN will contact citizen team members some time in February to discuss this issue.
Mr. Schlesinger stated that Darrel Deleppo is working on the funding issue as well, and asked if Mr. Deleppo is aware of any developments. Mr. Gregson said that he will contact Mr. Deleppo and report to the team in February.
Dr. Feigenbaum stated that the team works well with Dr. Stahl and hopes that the relationship can continue. Mr. Murphy reiterated that he will find out more information next week.
Mr. Schlesinger asked for an update on the status of the web site. Ms. Dolen reported that a contract recently was awarded to WPI to assist the Guard with the web site.
Agenda Item #8. Agenda Planning & Review Action Items
Future agenda items
Ms. Dolen asked team members to bring the maps they receive in the monthly mailings to the meetings. Mr. Murphy suggested that this request be mentioned in the cover memo to remind team members.
Agenda Item #9. Adjourn
Mr. Murphy stated that the next IART meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 26, 2002 at 6:00 p.m. at the Bourne Best Western. He thanked everyone for attending and adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m.