Impact Area Review Team

River River Drops of rain on a leaf

Impact Area Review Team
Falmouth Holiday Inn
August 26, 2003
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Meeting Minutes

Members: Organization: Telephone: E-Mail:
Mike Dette (sitting in for Hap Gonser) USAEC 410-436-6841
Ben Gregson IAGWSP 508-968-5821
1LT Jerrime Oliver (sitting in for LTC Cunha) HQ Camp Edwards 508-968-5888
Todd Borci US EPA 617-918-1358
Bill Walsh-Rogalski US EPA    
Margery Adams US EPA 617-918-1733
Len Pinaud MA DEP 508-946-2871
Ellie Grillo MA DEP 508-946-2866
Tom Cambareri Cape Cod Commission 508-362-3820
Peter Schlesinger IART/Sandwich 508-888-0262
Richard Hugus IART/ABC/Falmouth 508-540-6034
Janet Pepin IART/Falmouth    
Michael Butler IART/Bourne 508-564-6972
Bob Mullennix IART/Bourne 508-759-8319
Judy Conron IART/Bourne 508-759-1559
Dick Judge IART/Sandwich    
James Kinney IART/ABC 508-362-7680
Jim Stahl TOSC 781-255-5537
Amine Dahmani TOSC/UCONN 860-486-2781
Facilitator: Organization: Telephone: E-Mail:
Jim Murphy US EPA 617-918-1028
Attendees: Organization: Telephone: E-Mail:
Tina Dolen IAGWSP 508-968-5629
Kris Curley IAGWSP 508-968-5626
Lynda Wadsworth E&RC    
Jane Dolan US EPA 617-918-1272
Bob Lim US EPA 617-918-1392  
Will Kingkade MDPH 781-774-6611
Kevin Hood TOSC/UCONN 860-486-2546  
Dave Jacobson MAARNG 508-968-5148  
David Dow Sierra Club 508-540-7142  
Martin Greene Bourne firefighter 508-759-9178
Nancy Hayward Falmouth resident    
George Seaver CCA 508-564-4404  
Minos Gordy PACERS 508-775-2839
Amanda Lehmert Cape Cod Times 508-548-9300
Dave Heislein MACTEC 781-245-6606  
Gregg Myers ECC    
Paul Nixon ECC    
Darren Smith ECC
Steve Denahan Ellis Environmental Group 352-333-2657
Jim Quin Ellis Environmental Group 303-963-9346
Lori Boghdan CH2M HILL 508-968-5635
Jennifer Washburn CH2M HILL 508-968-5631
Jane Moran CH2M HILL 508-759-9114

Action Items:

  1. Mr. Schlesinger requested a verbatim transcript of statements he believed Mr. Gonser made at the July 22, 2003 Impact Area Review Team (IART) meeting stating that the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program (IAGWSP) is removing the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from the cleanup process.
  2. The IART requested information on testing for perchlorate in monitoring wells downgradient of Demolition Area 2.
  3. Mr. Judge asked whether the pumping rate at water supply well 2 (WS-2) has been adjusted in light of the recent detection at monitoring well 289 (MW-289).
  4. Mr. Judge asked to be informed about the results of Dr. Dahmani's and the IAGWSP's future discussion on a flux-based approach to assessing potential risk at Snake Pond.
  5. The IART requested information on whether monitoring wells associated with the J. Braden Thompson plume have been and/or could be tested for perchlorate.
  6. Mr. Walsh-Rogalski requested that future Northwest Corner maps/graphics include data pertaining to Royal Demolition Explosive (RDX) detections.
  7. Mr. Mullennix requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) respond to his question of whether it considers levels of perchlorate recently detected in soils at the Northwest Corner to pose an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health, and if so, what is EPA's response.
  8. The IART asked to be provided with information regarding the effectiveness of thermal desorption technology in treating perchlorate.

Future Agenda Items:

  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health Update
  • Gun and Mortar Firing Positions Workplan
  • Recent Fuel Spill at Camp Edwards
  • IAGWSP Fact Sheet
  • Cranberry/MMR Issues
  • Videotaping IART Meetings
  • Northwest Corner Hydrology Update

Handouts Distributed at Meeting:

  1. Responses to Action Items from the July 22, 2003 Impact Area Review Team Meeting
  2. Organizational chart: Impact Area Groundwater Study Program
  3. Presentation handout: Investigation Update
  4. Data Tables
  5. Presentation handout: Demolition Area 1 Update
  6. Presentation handout: Thermal Desorption for Soil Remediation
  7. Diagram: Portable Thermal Treatment Unit
  8. Fact sheet: Thermal Desorption
  9. Press Releases, Neighborhood Notices, and Media Coverage: 7/22/03 8/22/03
  10. Impact Area Groundwater Study Program Update: August 2003

Agenda Item #1. Welcome, Review Draft Agenda, Approval of July 22, 2003 IART Meeting Minutes

Mr. Murphy convened the meeting at 6:05 p.m. and the IART members introduced themselves. Mr. Gregson announced that Mr. Dette of the U.S. Army Environmental Center (USAEC) would be filling in for Hap Gonser, who's recovering from surgery. Mr. Murphy reviewed the agenda and noted requests to add the following topics: recent fuel spill at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), and cranberry issues associated with MMR. He then asked for comments on the July 22, 2003 IART meeting minutes. No comments were offered and the July 22, 2003 IART minutes were approved as written.

Agenda Item #2. Late-Breaking News and Responses to Action Items from the July 22, 2003 IART Meeting

No late-breaking news was reported at this time.

Mr. Hugus referred to Action Item #7, his request that the issue of sovereign immunity be included on this meeting's agenda. Mr. Murphy agreed to add this topic to the agenda.

Mr. Cambareri referred to Action Item #3 and inquired about the timeframe for constructing a capture zone for well 4036011. Mr. Gregson replied that the IAGWSP is in the process of searching for well screen depth information in order to construct that zone of contribution (ZOC). If that information cannot be obtained, an assumed screen depth could be used.

Mr. Hugus referred to Action Item #5 and asked that the IAGWSP invite Denis LeBlanc of the U.S. Geological Survey to an IART meeting to discuss groundwater flow and the saltwater/freshwater interface at the Cape Cod Canal area. Mr. Gregson agreed to do so.

Agenda Item #3. Discussion on Sovereign Immunity

Mr. Murphy asked the IAGWSP to comment on the statement that sovereign immunity is not an applicable IART agenda item since the military has not formally claimed sovereign immunity. Mr. Dette stated that the military has not made any claim of sovereign immunity and is doing everything possible to work with EPA and DEP to clean up the base. Mr. Judge requested that it be put in writing that the military will not pursue sovereign immunity in the future. Mr. Dette explained that sovereign immunity is not something that can be granted; rather, Congress decides whether or not sovereign immunity exists. Mr. Judge stressed that he wants to see a letter stating that the Department of Defense (DoD) will never seek or allow sovereign immunity to be granted in this case, and he questioned why the issue was raised originally.

Mr. Pinaud said that while DEP mentioned this issue at the previous IART meeting, it was originally raised by the Army as a discussion item during a meeting with DEP. Mr. Walsh-Rogalski noted that the issue was raised during discussions about an IAGWSP document that didn't address compliance with the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). He also noted, however, that Mr. Dette is saying that sovereign immunity is no longer an issue, and then asked Mr. Dette if it's correct that future documents will address the MCP. Mr. Dette replied that future documents would address all of the substantive standards of the MCP. Mr. Pinaud added that the Army has not submitted a sovereign immunity claim to the state, has indicated that it has no intention of doing so, and has agreed to comply with any promulgated state regulation or standard. Mr. Judge said again that he'd like to see these assurances in writing.

Mr. Kinney asked whether cleanup targets would comply with the lowest standard, whether state or federal, or if the cleanup goal would be, like that of the IRP, nondetect levels, which is his preference. Mr. Dette assured him that the Army is going to comply with all substantive cleanup standards, as required, while anything past that would be subject to negotiation. Mr. Kinney noted that he'd like to see that in writing, and explained that because of the history of the base cleanup, he's concerned about discrepancies between "statements made and then actual actions done."

Ms. Grillo mentioned that as part of its regulation revision package, DEP is working with the Scientific Advisory Group to determine a cleanup standard for perchlorate, with a target timeframe of late fall/early winter.

Mr. Hugus said that concern about the sovereign immunity issue came about because of: the Army's response to DEP's notice of responsibility (NOR) regarding perchlorate detections in a private well on Foretop Road in Bourne; DEP's comment letter on a Demolition Area 1 (Demo 1) document, which indicated that the Army had expunged all MCP references in the document; and a July 21, 2003 letter to DEP from the Army, which included the statement, "The Army's legal analysis has identified potential constraints upon our authority to comply with procedural MCP-based requirements." He noted that Mr. Gonser had said that the IAGWSP would comply with the MCP except with respect to the paperwork involved. Mr. Hugus also disagreed with the agencies' indication that the sovereign immunity issue isn't relevant to IART discussions.

Mr. Hugus then inquired about the status of the Army's response to DEP's NOR. Mr. Dette replied that the Army had identified perchlorate upgradient of the Foretop Road property, and had informed DEP that fiscal law presents extreme problems in terms of the Army's ability to provide relief to the residents of that property, after which DEP took actions to provide that relief. It was also noted that some time in the future, should DEP so desire, it could make a claim against the federal government for the costs of those actions. Mr. Hugus said that he views the Army's claims of being constrained by Congress and fiscal law to be an attempt to avoid responsibility. He then asked whether the Army is willing to fully comply with MCP requirements, including paperwork. Mr. Dette replied that the Army will comply with all substantive cleanup requirements of the MCP, and will work with DEP, EPA, local authorities, and the IART to clean up contamination caused by Army activities on Camp Edwards.

Ms. Conron asked for clarity on the definition of sovereign immunity. Mr. Walsh-Rogalski noted that the definition mailed out to the team was written by John McDonagh, the IAGWSP attorney, although he himself had provided comments on it. He then said that sovereign immunity, which is a legal theory that the federal government is not liable to citizens or the state, is generally considered a defense, but is usually part of a plaintiff's case in that the plaintiff would attempt to prove the existence of a waiver in sovereign immunity when suing the federal government. In the situation at hand, however, the federal entity probably would first raise the issue. He also said that until recently, the IAGWSP was complying with the MCP in full. The basis for less-than-full compliance was the theory of sovereign immunity. Ultimately it would be up to a judge to decide whether a sovereign immunity claim was valid or not. In this situation, there's some disagreement about the complex legal question of whether Congress already has waived sovereign immunity.

Mr. McDonagh noted that in this case, the issue of sovereign immunity arose during inter-agency discussions between the Army and DEP. He agreed that sovereign immunity is a very complicated legal issue and that differing opinions are likely to persist. He also said that a more important point is the need to move forward with a cleanup program that addresses cleanup standards, involves the state's full participation, and comports with the law. He further noted that a sovereign is immune unless Congress waives immunity, as in the Federal Torts Claims Act, and various environmental statutes such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Mr. McDonagh said that what remains unclear is the extent to which Congress has waived sovereign immunity.

Mr. Dette stated again that the Army intends to comply with all federal and substantive state standards, which are applicable and relevant to the cleanup process. In response to an inquiry from Ms. Conron, Mr. Dette also clarified that perchlorate would be cleaned up to whichever standard turns out to be lower, state or federal.

Mr. Hugus made a point of noting that the Army is claiming that it will meet all cleanup standards, yet it is not providing water to residents of the home on Foretop Road. He then asked whether DEP is seeing a full response from the Army on Demo 1 documents. Mr. Pinaud replied that DEP is reviewing the Demo 1 Rapid Response Action/Release Abatement Measure (RRA/RAM) groundwater plan, which includes some, but not all, MCP requirements. Mr. Hugus said that citizens at this meeting want the MCP to be in that document and to followed to the letter.

Mr. Schlesinger inquired about a public comment period on DEP's perchlorate cleanup standard. Ms. Grillo replied that a public comment period is associated with that process and the team and the public will be notified of it. Mr. Schlesinger also said that he'd thought that at the July IART meeting Mr. Gonser had made statements about removing DEP from the cleanup process; however, those statements were not included in the meeting minutes. He asked to be provided with a verbatim transcription of that portion of the meeting.

Mr. Judge asked Mr. McDonagh to explain the difference between MCP requirements and substantive MCP requirements. Mr. McDonagh said that, to make a parallel, the requirements of the National Contingency Plan (NCP), which is the federal counterpart to the MCP, can be divided into a process side and a substance side. The substance side pertains to issues such as "how clean is clean"—the types of issues about which the IART is very and rightfully concerned. Mr. Judge indicated that he'd like a clear answer as to whether or not there's a difference between substantive requirements and requirements. Mr. McDonagh replied that substantive cleanup standards are a subset of all requirements, which can be broken down into substantive and procedural. Mr. Judge expressed concern over what he called "a legal loophole," and referred to the word substantive as "fuzzy language."

Ms. Pepin said that the length of this discussion indicates to her that the subject matter is very relevant. She also said that she thinks that the number of attorneys who attend IART meetings versus the number of citizens who attend is somewhat "unequal in strength." She also noted that she and her family don't want the National Guard Bureau or the Army to find loopholes, and they don't want any contaminants from the base in their homes.

Dr. Dahmani asked who decides which requirements are substantive. Mr. Pinaud said that DEP is waiting to hear what the Army considers to be substantive. Mr. Walsh-Rogalski added that EPA also has some say, given that the administrative orders call for compliance with all substantive cleanup standards under state law. Mr. Mullennix said that he thinks that substantive MCP requirements would pertain to state maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). He also said that the large amounts of MCP paperwork would do nothing to expedite cleanup.

Mr. Judge stated that he thinks that the issue has to do with more than just paperwork; rather, he thinks that it's a loophole that's been initiated by the Army. He said that he wants to make sure that the Army wants to do "the whole cleanup."

Mr. Walsh-Rogalski said that substantive requirements can also apply to action-specific standards, such as certain construction standards associated with building an incinerator, for example.

Mr. Dow asked when the state expects to implement its new perchlorate standard. Ms. Grillo replied that this should occur sometime after submission of the regulation package to the Secretary of State and after the public comment period, but she's unable to provide a firm date.

Agenda Item #4. Investigations Update

Demolition Area 2 Update

Mr. Gregson showed a map of Demo 2, located north of the Impact Area and west of Goat Pasture Road. He noted that 2.2 parts per billion (ppb), in MW-160, was the maximum RDX concentration there, and all other detections were less than 2 ppb. He also said that three additional monitoring wells are proposed: two at what's currently believed to be the toe of the plume, and one downgradient of the toe. Mr. Gregson also noted that perchlorate has not been detected at Demo 2.

Mr. Schlesinger asked about testing for perchlorate in more downgradient locations. Mr. Gregson agreed to come back to the team with information on perchlorate testing in wells downgradient of Demo 2. Mr. Judge said that he's concerned about the Sandwich power plant's potential to draw in perchlorate-contaminated water that would be discharged through the plant as steam, and asked Mr. Gregson to keep that in mind. Mr. Gregson replied, "Okay."

Southeast Ranges Recent Detections

Mr. Gregson showed a map of the Southeast Ranges and reported that the most recent sampling at well SMR-2, which had tested nondetect in the first two rounds, yielded a 0.97-ppb perchlorate detection, and MW-168 had a 1.6-ppb perchlorate detection. Also, after 14 rounds of nondetect results, two shallow drive-points on the edge of Snake Pond had perchlorate detections at 0.75 ppb and 0.58 ppb in samples collected on May 30, 2003. Samples collected on June 30, 2003 also tested nondetect. Mr. Gregson then mentioned that biweekly surface water sampling conducted at Snake Pond has yielded no perchlorate detections.

Mr. Gregson reported that in a new well, MW-289, located north of the J-2 Range, RDX was detected at six profile sampling intervals at concentrations ranging from 0.59 to 10.7 ppb, and perchlorate was detected at 14 intervals at concentrations ranging from 0.58 to 370 ppb, at 170 feet below ground surface. He noted that MW-289 is located within the ZOC for WS-2, and Dan Mahoney of the Upper Cape Water Cooperative was notified yesterday of these profile detections. Mr. Gregson stated that the IAGWSP is working with the regulators on a plan for additional monitoring locations east, west, and downgradient of MW-289.

Mr. Schlesinger inquired about studies of perchlorate that might exist in pond vegetation. Mr. Gregson replied that he's not aware of any such studies, but doubts that any have been undertaken, given the state of perchlorate science at this point. Mr. Schlesinger also inquired about next steps. Mr. Gregson replied that additional wells are being drilled and the feasibility of using the Fuel Spill 12 (FS-12) treatment plant to treat the contamination is being assessed at this time. He said that the plume is a top concern because of its off-base location, and he noted that the suspected source area for this contamination is Disposal Area 2, also known as Polygon 2.

Mr. Hugus said that because MW-289 falls within the ZOC for WS-2, it is a serious matter that should be a higher priority than Demo 1, which doesn't currently threaten a public water supply.

Dr. Dahmani asked why there are no drive-points on the other side of Snake Pond. Mr. Gregson replied that the drive-points were installed by the Installation Restoration Program (IRP), while the IAGWSP has installed a number of monitoring wells around the pond, all of which tested nondetect except for MW-218, where a one-time perchlorate detection at less than 1 ppb occurred some months ago. Also, the IAGWSP plans to conduct further characterization of the contamination while simultaneously pursuing the possibility of using the FS-12 treatment system as part of an interim action. Dr. Dahmani noted that, as he'd mentioned at a recent IART meeting, he recommends a flux-based approach to assessing potential risk at Snake Pond. Mr. Gregson agreed to discuss this approach with Dr. Dahmani.

Dr. Stahl inquired about the depth below water table (bwt) of the 370-ppb perchlorate detection. Mr. Gregson replied that the depth bwt was about 70 feet. Dr. Stahl mentioned calculating the travel timeframe between that detection and the end of the particle backtrack. Mr. Gregson noted that there is a plan to do such a calculation.

Mr. Pinaud stated that DEP is very concerned about the detection at MW-289 and wants the extent of contamination to be investigated as quickly as possible. He also noted that Sandwich Water District's Jeff Rose, who has a role in the Upper Cape Water Cooperative, informed him that the ZOCs were modeled on a pumping rate of 1 million gallons per day (mgd) per well, although actual withdrawal rates were much lower than 1 mgd on average. He said that Mr. Rose also reinforced the fact that MW-289 is about 9,200 feet away from WS-2.

Mr. Judge said that he believes that the Upper Cape Water Cooperative system has the capacity to pump up to 6 mgd. He also asked whether the pumping rate at WS-2 had been or would be adjusted in light of the recent detection at MW-289, and he noted his concern about possible affects on Shawme Ponds and the power plant. He said that he thinks a "bunch of wells" should be installed in order to determine the threat to WS-2, without relying on modeling. Mr. Judge also asked to be informed about the results of the future discussion on a flux-based approach to assessing potential risk at Snake Pond.

Mr. Schlesinger agreed that many wells should be installed. He also mentioned that an administrative order led to the work at Demo 1, and suggested that the rapid response action process should be initiated in this case as soon as possible. Mr. Borci explained that it's important to install wells that provide information about the width of the plume in order to key in on the location of the plume's core, and he noted that downgradient wells also are planned. In addition, he noted that the sampling frequency of the WS-2 sentinel wells would be reviewed. Mr. Borci also said that the IAGWSP has been willing to put its resources into problems that are encountered, and next steps will be laid out at the upcoming technical meeting. Mr. Judge expressed concern that the towns around the base are making long-range plans for Upper Cape Water Cooperative supplies, and added that he'd like to see a monitoring well close to WS-2 as soon as possible. Mr. Borci said that these concerns would be noted at the technical meeting.

Mr. Schlesinger requested that both the IAGWSP and DEP look into perchlorate testing at monitoring wells associated with the J. Braden Thompson plume.

Ms. Adams asked for a description of the open burn/open detonation area at Polygon 2. Mr. Gregson noted that the area was discovered because of some surface debris, the geophysical investigation, and interview information. Ms. Dolan added that Disposal Area 2, or Polygon 2, was used prior to Demo 1, from the mid- to late-1960s to the mid-1970s. Ms. Adams also inquired about the distinction between steady-state and transient ZOCs. Dr. Dahmani explained that steady-state ZOCs represent very long periods of pumping, while, perhaps more importantly, transient ZOCs represent the area from which water is being pumped at present. He also said that the current situation requires actual delineation of the plume, although a transient ZOC could be used to estimate the urgency of the problem.

Mr. Dow asked if the shallower RDX contamination detected in MW-289 is thought to be from a different source than the perchlorate contamination. Mr. Gregson replied that, given the depth, the RDX is thought to be from a source nearer to the well. Mr. Dow inquired about the condition of Disposal Area 2 soils. Mr. Gregson replied that contamination has been detected at Disposal Area 2, which is about 100 x 100 feet in size, and a soil removal workplan is being developed.

Mr. Schlesinger mentioned the existence of an east/west road in the ZOC area. Mr. Gregson noted that several east/west roads provide relatively easy drilling opportunities, including Wood Road, Jefferson Road, and Gibbs Road, where far-field and sentry wells already exist. Mr. Schlesinger asked if any existing wells aren't shown on the map. Mr. Gregson said that he thinks that the only wells not shown are chemical monitoring wells that were installed for the water supply wells.

Western Boundary Recent Unvalidated Detections

Mr. Gregson reported that profile sampling yielded a 1.07-ppb perchlorate detection in MW-276, and a 0.99-ppb perchlorate detection in MW-280, two new wells located upgradient of the Monument Beach wellfield. He also noted that the next well locations, to be drilled in the near future, are CBP-6 and CBP-7.

Mr. Schlesinger asked whether a plume shell is being prepared for this area. Mr. Gregson replied that construction of a plume shell will occur after more information on the upgradient portion and the source becomes available. Mr. Schlesinger also asked if particle tracks from the recent profile detections point to a source. Mr. Gregson replied that they provide some information, but not an exact source area, although the detection at 9 feet bwt in MW-276 indicates something nearby.

Northwest Corner Recent Unvalidated Detections

Mr. Gregson stated that perchlorate was detected at 6.7 ppb at the water table in MW-277. He also pointed out that the Northwest Corner area map shows particle backtrack segments for screen intervals of varying depth in MW-277, MW-278, and MW-279, and he noted that perchlorate detections in the shallow screens are higher than in the deeper screens. Mr. Gregson then reported the following perchlorate detections in MW-278: 19.8 ppb in the water table screen, 2.5 ppb in the screen from 10 to 15 feet bwt, and 1.1 ppb in the screen from 25 to 36 feet bwt. Also, in MW-279, perchlorate was detected at 16.7 ppb in the water table screen, at 6 ppb in the screen from 13 to 18 feet bwt, and at 2.7 ppb in the screen from 25 to 35 feet bwt. Mr. Gregson further reported perchlorate detections at three profile intervals in MW-284, at the north end of the skating rink parking lot. Those detections, which occurred from 15 to 35 feet bwt, ranged from 1.8 to 2.7 ppb. He also said that a plume map is being developed and should be available by the next IART meeting.

Mr. Gregson then a showed a map depicting soil sampling locations along Canal View Road, and noted that samples were collected on July 2, 2003 and on July 7, 2003. The first round of sampling yielded a 4.2-ppb perchlorate detection at a location near Gun Position 16 (GP-16) and a 3.8-ppb detection near GP-19. The second round yielded the following results: nondetect, 4.8 ppb, 2.9 ppb, 7,560 ppb, 1,260 ppb, 1,330 ppb, 202 ppb, nondetect, 3 ppb, and nondetect. Mr. Gregson noted that additional soil sampling locations have been scoped.

Ms. Pepin inquired about impacts to the skating rink and the nearby tech school. Mr. Gregson replied that both are on town water and are therefore not affected from a drinking water standpoint. Ms. Pepin asked about the SDWA terminology for a community supply well such as well 4036011. Ms. Adams said that she would have to check on that answer.

Mr. Judge asked who owns the perchlorate that was detected in the private well on Foretop Road. Mr. Gregson replied that this answer is not known; however, potential perchlorate sources include munitions used at GP-16, and fireworks displays. Mr. Judge warned of liability issues that could arise if DoD doesn't take responsibility for that contamination, and he encouraged DoD to do so.

Mr. Schlesinger suggested that it would take some time for the perchlorate that was detected in soils to reach the water table. Mr. Gregson agreed, and said that perchlorate detected in the wells is thought to be from an earlier source. He also noted, however, that perchlorate does dissolve very quickly. Mr. Schlesinger asked if past activities at GP-19 could be contributing to the perchlorate contamination. Mt. Gregson said that no specific records have been found, but it is a possibility. Mr. Dette clarified that the IAGWSP is not making the statement that fireworks are the sole cause of perchlorate contamination in the area, only that they might be contributing to it.

Mr. Borci stated that the soil sampling was conducted without EPA approval or review. He also noted, however, that EPA had written a letter requesting that soil sampling be conducted along Canal View Road, based on historical training diary entries that referred to explosives and pyrotechnics being used in that area. He noted that the soil sampling locations map includes locations proposed by EPA, some of which are co-located with sites that were already sampled. Mr. Borci also said that the investigation includes the entire area between GP-19 and GP-16, and it's being assumed that GP-16 was a source of perchlorate at one time. He further noted that EPA will be involved in the additional soil sampling.

Mr. Schlesinger asked if the IAGWSP is conducting a fireworks study. Mr. Dette clarified that the IAGWSP is conducting a study of perchlorate, a contaminant of concern (COC) that should be of concern regardless of its source. Mr. Hugus expressed a great lack of faith in the soil sampling results, given that EPA was not involved with the work. He said that he thinks the IAGWSP is trying to prove that the Bourne fireworks are the reason for the groundwater contamination so it can avoid responsibility.

Mr. Walsh-Rogalski inquired about RDX detections in the Northwest Corner. Mr. Gregson pointed out several wells where RDX had been detected, all at levels below the health advisory of 2 ppb. Mr. Walsh-Rogalski requested that future Northwest Corner maps/graphics include data pertaining to RDX detections. He also cautioned against getting "caught up in the fireworks issue," and recommended keeping the focus on conducting the cleanup, after which third parties could be pursued.

Ms. Conron inquired about the depth from which the soil samples were collected. Mr. Gregson replied that they were collected from zero to six inches. He also said that he believes the plan is to sample from a couple of depth ranges during the next round of soil sampling.

Mr. Dette reiterated that the Army is not saying that the fireworks are the cause of all the perchlorate contamination in the Northwest Corner. However, fireworks are an issue and the Army is concerned that if fireworks are a continuing source, they might affect the appropriateness and completeness of the cleanup of that area. Mr. Walsh-Rogalski suggested that it would be a logical first step for the IAGWSP, or perhaps Mr. Mullennix, to ask the Town of Bourne to cease its fireworks displays. Mr. Dette said while the IAGWSP doesn't want to do a cleanup that's constantly being re-contaminated, it is not up to the Army to tell the Town of Bourne to stop its fireworks displays. He noted that Mr. Walsh-Rogalski has more authority in this realm.

Mr. Greene, co-chair of the fireworks fundraising committee in Bourne, said that he's glad that the regulators are looking into this issue, but discouraged that he was not informed about some of the testing that's been occurring. He said that no more fireworks will be shot off in Bourne until he hears from DEP and EPA, and reminded everyone that fireworks displays throughout the country could be affected. Mr. Greene also said that for the Bourne display, which is a fairly small show staged at the tech school for the past eight years, pyrotechnics that are four inches or less in length are shot from a rack system that has caps on the bottom of the pipes, while larger pyrotechnics are shot from capped pipes buried in the ground to stabilize them. Mr. Greene also noted that the state Fire Marshall's office licenses the town to put on the fireworks show.

Mr. Seaver remarked that it's unfair to point the finger at the Town of Bourne. He also noted that he's heard about private fireworks displays in the Schooner Pass and Foretop Road area, and that fireworks displays occur periodically around the Cape, including recently at Mashpee Commons and the Barnstable County fairgrounds. He further noted that fireworks are 50 to 60% perchlorate, and that Bourne uses only a few thousand pounds of fireworks for its annual display, as compared to displays at the Esplanade in Boston, which use up to 35,000 pounds.

Mr. Gordy said that he believes that only one pound of perchlorate is needed to contaminate 1.5 million gallons of groundwater above 1-ppb levels. He then suggested that small amounts of fireworks confiscated from children by their parents have probably been buried throughout the Cape, making perchlorate contamination a widespread problem, but one that is not being investigated outside of the military. Mr. Gordy stated that standards should apply to everyone, yet EPA and DEP are erecting standards that appear to apply only to the military.

Mr. Pinaud noted that DEP was not involved with the recent soil sampling effort. However, DEP views this investigation as ongoing and will consider the soil results in the context of the final investigative results associated with the Northwest Corner investigation. He also stated that during the promulgation process DEP is doing its own research on fate and transport and how perchlorate acts in the environment, and will make this information available to the public.

Dr. Stahl made the following comments: that soil sampling is extremely heterogeneous, therefore he concludes that the data provided don't necessarily mean that the perchlorate detected in soil was from fireworks; that details of the soil sampling scheme were not provided to the IART; and that he believes that some research indicates that perchlorate is absorbed and retained in leafy green vegetables, thereby providing an additional route of exposure, while the current EPA reference dose applies just to ingestion through drinking perchlorate-contaminated water.

Dr. Dahmani stated that the IAGWSP's data do show some perchlorate coming from the base. He also said that regardless of the data quality, which he assumes to be fairly good, the data do indicate that there may be some problem associated with fireworks, which he believes should be investigated by parties other than the IAGWSP, including EPA or DEP.

Mr. Judge referred to the soil sampling locations map included in the IART's information packet as a bogus piece of information. He said that he considers the data to be biased and of no value since the sampling effort was conducted without regulator approval and oversight. Mr. Gregson gave his assurance that the data were collected according to standard protocols used throughout the cleanup project. He also objected to the insinuation that the IAGWSP would provide bogus data, which it has no history of having done, and never would do.

Mr. Mullennix thanked the IAGWSP for stating that it is not making any claim whatsoever that the perchlorate detected in soils is solely due to fireworks. He also noted that on the Internet he read that in 2003 the United States imported about 136 million-dollars-worth of fireworks from China. He asked EPA to, at some point, provide an answer to this question — whether it considers levels of perchlorate recently detected in soils at the Northwest Corner to pose an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health, and if so, what its response will be.

Mr. Hugus asked why Mr. Mullennix hadn't requested that the Town of Bourne cease its fireworks displays. Mr. Hugus also said that the business of the IART is to discuss contamination from the base, not other sources of contamination on Cape Cod. Mr. Mullennix stated that he has no right to tell the Town of Bourne what it can and cannot do with respect to setting off fireworks; however, DEP and EPA do have regulatory authority. He also said that "back-pedaling" from the facts and data by some team members indicates to him that their agenda here is "persecution of the Army, rather than environmental cleanup..."

Agenda Item #5. Demolition Area 1 Soil Operable Unit

Anomaly Removal

Mr. Nixon of the IAGWSP office stated that the EM61 magnetometer survey of Demo 1 has been completed and the checking of anomalies is under way about one-third complete. Soil excavation, the next step, will be done at depths that increase as the effort moves closer to the center of the source area. Excavated soils will be sifted to ensure the removal of all ordnance, and then transported to the nearby H Range, where they will be treated in a thermal treatment unit. Soil treatment, involving about 15,000 cubic yards of soil, is scheduled for January through March of 2004, after which site restoration, including returning the treated soil to Demo 1, will occur.

Mr. Schlesinger asked whether any blow-in-place (BIP) detonations would have to be done and whether they might lead to chain reactions. Mr. Nixon replied that a couple of BIPs are planned, but there is no expectation whatsoever that they would lead to a chain reaction.

Mr. Judge inquired about the size of the grids where the anomaly work is occurring, and whether any tanks or vehicles were found there. Mr. Nixon replied that the grids are 100 x 100 feet in size, and he believes that nothing the size of a vehicle was detected in the EM61 survey.

Mr. Gregson noted that soil washing was originally proposed for Demo 1 soils. Now, however, the IAGWSP is instead proposing low temperature thermal desorption technology to treat the soils. He mentioned that the regulators have not yet seen the proposed treatment plan, which will be submitted to them in about a week. Dr. Dahmani said that he'd also like to see that plan.

Low Temperature Thermal Desorption

Mr. Meyers, a thermal operations manager for Environmental Chemical Corporation (ECC), stated that the COCs at Demo 1 are RDX, High Melting Explosive (HMX), trinitrotoluene (TNT), and perchlorate. He reviewed the following advantages of thermal desorption technology: the equipment is readily transportable to MMR; the technology is able to treat a wide range of explosive contamination levels; it's a proven process, demonstrated at various sites; it's able to obtain nondetect levels in treated soils; unlike with soil washing, it requires no secondary treatment; and operations are not affected by winter weather conditions.

Mr. Meyers said that the three systems that comprise the thermal desorption process are the material handling system (MS), the drying system (DS), and the air pollution control (APC) system. The MS consists of a feed handling system that introduces soil into the DS, and a product handling system that removes treated soil from the DS and cools and re-humidifies it. The DS evaporates water and contaminant from the soil, after which the contamination is oxidized in the APC. The treated soil, which is discharged through the discharge handling system and is devoid of contaminants, is stockpiled into individual piles and analyzed in order to confirm that treatment criteria have been met.

Mr. Meyers explained that the off-gas from the DS is treated through a hot cyclone, where a portion of the entrained particulate is removed and introduced into the product handling system. The off-gas then continues past the hot cyclone into an oxidizer where it's raised to an elevated temperature and the remaining contaminants are ultimately completed reacted. In the evaporative cooling chamber the off-gas is cooled, and then it's brought into a baghouse, the ultimate control on particulate filter, after which it's vented to the atmosphere. An induced draft blower situated between the baghouse and the vent stack eliminates concern for fugitive emissions. Auxiliary components to the system include propane, electricity, and water, as well as a control room from which the process is monitored.

Mr. Meyers stated that process controls include soil analysis, air monitoring at the site perimeter, and monitoring of the process air stream in accordance with state conditions. An air permit application currently is being filed with the state. Process monitoring involves more than 50 process variables, including temperatures, pressures, and flow rates that are recorded and monitored in real time to ensure a safe and reliable process.

Mr. Meyers noted that ECC recently undertook the Industrial Latex Superfund Project in Wallington, New Jersey, where approximately 94,000 tons of PCB-contaminated soil was successfully treated at a location in a high-profile area directly across from an elementary school and in close proximity to a residential area. Another recent undertaking was the Kansas Army Ammunitions Project in Parsons, Kansas, where RDX-, HMX-, and TNT-contaminated soil was safely and successfully treated. In summary, Mr. Meyers stated that thermal desorption technology is a rapid on-site soil treatment method that offers the lowest cleanup level attainable, and has a proven safety record.

Ms. Pepin asked about the volume of soil treated per day, the use of propane, and management of the stockpiled soil. Mr. Meyers replied that 20 to 30 tons of soil per hour is expected to be treated for Demo 1, an approximately 4-acre site. He also noted that propane is used in both the dryer and oxidizer operations, and that the stockpiles are segregated and covered.

Mr. Mullennix inquired about conservation measures pertaining to heat recovery, and the operating cost of the process. Mr. Meyers replied that there are two specific areas where regenerative heat from the furnace is used to help the process. Mr. Smith said that he doesn't know a total cost figure offhand, as it involves quite a few variables, such as utility costs.

Mr. Schlesinger asked whether perchlorate would oxidize through the process. Mr. Meyers replied that despite a lack of experience with perchlorate-contaminated soils, based on a review of technologies that use thermal treatment to address perchlorate-contaminated water, it's expected that perchlorate will be eliminated in the thermal desorption process. He also noted that a treatability study using Demo 1 soils is planned in order to confirm that objectives associated with perchlorate would be met.

Mr. Kinney inquired about the effect of the technology on lead and other metals, and he also asked about dust control measures. Mr. Meyers replied that inorganic solids are removed through the control device in the baghouse. He also said that inactive piles would be covered with plastic, and that active areas would be controlled for dust by water suppressant methods. It was also noted that the operators would be appropriately protected, that the perimeter of the treatment area would be monitored for dust and organic volatiles, and that Demo 1 is slightly more than one mile away from the nearest residence.

Mr. Kinney then inquired about failsafe mechanisms. Mr. Meyers replied that there are a number of failsafe mechanisms, including certain operating conditions, standard operating procedures for safe shutdown of the unit if required, and automatic waste feed shutoffs. Mr. Nixon added that ECC currently is working on a soil treatment plan that will detail exactly how the plant operates. Mr. Kinney also inquired about the actual efficiency of the system. Mr. Meyers replied that ECC expects to exceed 99% removal efficiency, has continued to demonstrate nondetect levels in stack gases, and would shut off the process immediately if conditions indicating control below that level were suspected. Mr. Kinney asked about the point to which efficiency levels would have to drop in order for the system to be shut down. Mr. Meyers replied that the process would be demonstrated at the site in order to determine certain parameters' acceptable ranges, below which the process would be stopped. Mr. Nixon said that he expects there would be some public input into what those ranges would be. Mr. Kinney then asked how long thermal treatment units have been run. Mr. Meyers replied that he's familiar with systems that have run constantly for 44 days until shutting down for scheduled maintenance. He also noted that the system at the Industrial Latex site operated for about 13 months, while other systems have run for more than three years. Mr. Nixon said that the system for Demo 1 is expected to run for about three months.

Mr. Dow noted that organic matter in soil is important for water retention and nutrient cycling, and asked what happens to organic matter in soil that's subjected to thermal desorption. Mr. Meyers replied that every organic in the soil is removed through treatment, and ultimately the soil would need to be reconditioned in order to support vegetative growth. Mr. Nixon noted that the treated soil would be returned to Demo 1; however, the restoration plan has not yet been finalized. Mr. Gregson added that part of that plan would be to use local sources of topsoil to help restore the site, given that the treated soil that's returned to the site will be sterile when it comes out of the thermal desportion treatment unit.

Ms. Adams inquired about residuals associated with the process, cleanup goals, and whether other permits would be required. Mr. Meyers said that the fines removed by the cyclone and the baghouse are reintroduced into the treated soil, and there are no residuals associated with the treatment process. Mr. Nixon stated that the cleanup levels are under discussion and have not yet been determined. Mr. Meyers said that he knows of no additional permits, other than the air permit that's required.

Dr. Stahl inquired about comparatives costs of thermal desorption and soil washing. Mr. Smith replied that the costs, which include site restoration, are roughly the same. Dr. Stahl said that he would expect a higher site restoration cost for thermal desorption, given that the process destroys all humics and organic matter in the soil. He also asked whether the condensate from the cooling chamber would be checked. Mr. Meyers replied that there is no condensate from the cooling chamber; rather, the water is atomized to cool the gas that comes from the oxidizer, and is then an emission to the atmosphere.

Dr. Stahl also asked about the potential for forming dioxins in the oxidizing chamber. Mr. Meyers replied that dioxin formation is associated with incomplete combustion of organic compounds, which are not present in this case. Mr. Nixon noted that the process was successful at treating PCBs, whose incomplete combustion results in dioxins and furans.

Dr. Dahmani said that he thinks that the feasibility study should have been conducted prior to making this presentation to the IART. Mr. Nixon explained that the technology is being proposed as an RRA, while the feasibility study will occur later in the process. Mr. Pinaud added that because the IAGWSP decided to switch treatment technologies, the decision was made to get the information out to the IART as soon as possible. Dr. Stahl noted the importance of ensuring that the COCs exist in the soil used in the study. Mr. Borci mentioned that the IAGWSP had said that a bench scale test would be conducted to determine whether a low temperature thermal desorption system could destroy perchlorate. Mr. Nixon agreed to provide the IART with information regarding the actual physical chemistry of perchlorate and its boiling point, with respect to the effectiveness of thermal desorption technology treatment.

Mr. Mullennix said that he hopes that EPA and DEP expedite their review of this technology so that the area can be cleaned up as soon as possible.

Agenda Item #6. Other Issues, Agenda Planning, and Adjourn

Mr. Murphy stated that the "Fact Sheet Update" item would have to be postponed due to the late hour; however, comments on the draft IAGWSP fact sheet should be submitted by close of business, Friday, August 29, 2003. He also noted that the following items would be included on a future agenda: Recent Fuel Spill at MMR, Cranberry/MMR Issues, and Videotaping IART Meetings. In addition, it was noted that a more detailed organizational chart had been distributed to team members.

Mr. Kinney asked when the fact sheet is expected to be completed and released. Ms. Dolen said that after comments have been gathered, the IAGWSP would meet with the regulators to finalize the fact sheet. Mr. Borci noted that the fact sheet might be a bit delayed in order to include an updated map that shows the Northwest Corner plume.

Agenda Item #6. Adjourn

Mr. Murphy adjourned the meeting at 10:06 p.m.

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