Impact Area Review Team

River River Drops of rain on a leaf

Impact Area Review Team
Bourne Best Western
March 25, 2003
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Meeting Minutes





Hap Gonser




Ben Gregson



LTC Dave Cunha

HQ Camp Edwards


Marty Aker




Todd Borci



Bill Walsh-Rogalski



Margery Adams



Len Pinaud



Peter Schlesinger



Dick Judge



James Kinney



Evelyn Hayes



Janet Pepin




Jim Stahl



Amine Dahmani








Jim Murphy








Tina Dolen



Bob Muhly



Jane Dolan



Meghan Cassidy



Bob Lim




Will Kingkade



Kevin Hood




David Dow

Sierra Club



Minos Gordy



Michael Butler

Bourne resident



Stanley Krakoff

Bourne resident



Bob Mullennix

Bourne resident


Patrick Skelly

Bourne resident


Judy Conron

Bourne resident



Jim Rohlf

Bourne resident


George Seaver

Bourne resident



Peter Murphy



Kim Harriz


Christopher Abate


Jim Quin

Ellis Environmental Group


Eric Banks


Rob Paine



David Cobb

Shaw Environmental



Joanne Tingle




Rick Carr



Kris Curley



Lori Boghdan



Jennifer Washburn



Jane Moran



Future Agenda Items:

  • Fate and Transport Presentation
  • Environmental Data Management System (EDMS) Web Site Demonstration
  • Gun and Mortar Firing Positions Workplans

Handouts Distributed at Meeting:

  1. Responses to Action Items from the February 25, 2003 Impact Area Review Team Meeting
  2. Presentation handout: Groundwater Modeling Overview & Update
  3. Presentation handout: Investigations Update
  4. Data Tables
  5. Presentation handout: Northwest Corner
  6. Press Releases, Neighborhood Notices and Media Coverage 2/25/03 – 3/24/03
  7. Impact Area Groundwater Study Program Update/March 2003

Agenda Item #1. Welcome, Review Draft Agenda, Approval of January 28, 2003 and February 25, 2003 Meeting Minutes

Mr. Murphy convened the meeting at 6:05 p.m., the IART members introduced themselves, and Mr. Murphy reviewed the agenda. He then asked if there were any comments on the January 28, 2003 or February 25, 2003 IART meeting minutes. No changes or additions were offered and both sets of minutes were approved as written. However, Mr. Gregson noted that page 7 of the February 25, 2003 IART meeting summary reflects two statements indicating that the Army Environmental Center (AEC) is the supervising contractor for the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program (IAGWSP). He clarified that those were inaccurate statements, and in fact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the supervising contractor, while Mr. Gonser of AEC is the project coordinator.

Agenda Item #2. Discussion with IART Applicants

Mr. Murphy stated that as a result of EPA’s outreach effort, eight citizens from Bourne have applied for IART membership, including Mr. Mullennix, who had applied some time ago. He said that the applicants are here to introduce themselves, ask questions, and answer any questions that team members might have. He also asked that IART members submit their applicant recommendations to him by close of business, Tuesday, April 1, 2003, so he can forward them to Robert Varney, EPA Regional Administrator.

Ms. Hayes questioned whether it would be appropriate at this time to inform the applicants of the number of positions available on the team. Mr. Murphy replied that there is no set amount, but added that a number of towns are represented by two to three members. He then introduced IART applicant Michael Butler.

Mr. Butler introduced himself as a resident of Pocasset village in Bourne, a single father of three, and a federal government employee with the Federal Highway Administration in Rhode Island, where he serves as both the environmental officer and the realty officer. Prior to working for the Federal Highway Administration, he was employed with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), where he handled real property management issues, including the realty master plan for the base. Before working for the USCG, he was employed with the northeast region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) out of Hadley, Massachusetts, covering 13 states.

Mr. Butler stated that he is a lifetime resident of eastern Massachusetts, who spent his summers in Pocasset, and was born and raised in Boston. He said that he is very interested in all environmental issues, for the safety and welfare of the community and his family.

Mr. Judge inquired about Mr. Butler’s knowledge of the grounds at MMR. Mr. Butler replied that he knows the base very well in terms of real property and the agreements among the agencies. Also, he’s familiar with agreements having to do with the Landfill 1 (LF-1) and Chemical Spill 10 (CS-10) plumes. Mr. Butler further noted that he transferred out of the USCG in April 2000.

Ms. Hayes asked whether Mr. Butler had attended any past IART meetings. Mr. Butler replied that after having seen a notice in the Bourne Enterprise to solicit new members, he attended the February 2003 IART meeting, which he found to be very interesting. He also mentioned that he doesn’t belong to any other committees, so would have plenty of time for the IART.

Mr. Schlesinger inquired about Mr. Butler’s technical background. Mr. Butler replied that as a long-time federal employee – first with the USFWS and now with the Federal Highway Administration – he’s attended many federal courses on the environment, contamination, wetlands, and the like.

Mr. Walsh-Rogalski asked Mr. Butler to discuss his understanding of the "actual ground" at MMR, such as the ranges and the different facilities. Mr. Butler noted that he’s familiar with base leases, LF-1 and CS-10, and the many interagency agreements pertaining to use of MMR facilities, including the installation of monitoring wells. He also noted, however, that when he was working at MMR he was not involved in reading technical reports having to do with actual contaminants.

LTC Cunha asked if it’s correct that Mr. Butler holds two federal jobs at this time. Mr. Butler explained that, as a result of downsizing, he wears two hats at the Federal Highway Administration – realty officer and environmental officer for highway projects in the state of Rhode Island.

Mr. Murphy asked if Mr. Butler belongs to any community groups. Mr. Butler replied that he does not, and noted that he spends his spare time fishing. He also explained that as a single father of three teenaged children, he doesn’t get involved in too many other activities.

Mr. Kinney said that he thinks most of the citizen members on the IART want to ensure that the Department of Defense (DoD) "makes the Cape whole" in terms of cleaning up the pollution. He then asked what Mr. Butler thinks of the term, "make the Cape whole." Mr. Butler noted that when the Federal Highway Administration has to relocate residents, the process is "to make them whole." He said that the Federal Highway Administration not only locates these people in a replication of what they had, it improves their former status, and, likewise, he would like to see the Cape not only made whole, but improved.

Mr. Murphy introduced IART applicant Judith Conron.

Ms. Conron, a five-year resident of Gray Gables village in Bourne, stated that she wants to preserve the water supply for everyone and ensure that "we don’t regress." She noted that she retired from teaching chemistry at Needham High School, had worked for a financial consultant in Mashpee, and is currently the state program administrator for the Bourne Housing Authority. Also, she has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in chemistry, and previously worked for Polaroid Corporation in a program called Project Bridge, which was developed to bring teachers into industry and show them how their subject would play out as a field. Ms. Conron also noted that she was a member of the Open Space Committee in Bourne, is currently a member of the finance committee, and had been active in the group that passed the first town charter.

Ms. Hayes remarked that she’s impressed with Ms. Conron’s community involvement. She then noted that membership on the IART is a time-consuming responsibility, and questioned whether that would be any kind of a deterrent to Ms. Conron. Ms. Conron noted that she works only 16 hours a week at the Bourne Housing Authority, and is accustomed to "doing homework" from the finance committee. Also, she thinks it goes without saying that one couldn’t participate on the IART without understanding some of the data and concepts, and she’s interested in knowing how much a citizen can understand. She mentioned that as part of her work for the finance committee, she interprets financial language so it can be understood by citizens at the annual town meeting. Ms. Conron also noted that she attended the IART meeting when the Bourne perchlorate issue was discussed, and was delighted to see so many people there.

Mr. Schlesinger asked whether Ms. Conron had attended any other IART meetings. Ms. Conron replied that she had not. Mr. Schlesinger asked if Ms. Conron has been following the base cleanup issues. Ms. Conron replied that she has, and mentioned that she usually attends the Bourne selectmen’s meetings, where selectman Linda Zuern, a member of the Senior Management Board (SMB), brings these issues to the selectmen.

Mr. Judge asked Ms. Conron to talk about her impression of the term, "make the Cape whole." Ms. Conron said that to her, this means preserving the water and wildlife resources "for our children and our children’s children." She also said that initially she was scared about the Bourne perchlorate issue, but added that she does still drink the water, and still believes "what they tell me."

Mr. Kinney asked Ms. Conron how much perchlorate, Royal Demolition Explosive (RDX), and 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) she thinks Cape Codders ought to be drinking. Ms. Conron replied that she would start out at none, and then let someone convince her that she ought to drink a little. Mr. Kinney said that the thinks that’s a good way to look at it, but noted that he thinks there’s an important difference between "none" and "a little." Ms. Conron said that it’s her understanding from the Bourne Water District that she isn’t drinking any contaminants now.

Ms. Conron then stated that when her husband was in the Army in the 1960s, the instruction was "not to come home with any" unused artillery. Therefore, if there weren’t enough fuses to explode all the projectiles, they would just be shot off, "and they’d land with a big thud." She joked that her husband thinks she should join the IART so she can clean up after him. Ms. Conron noted that when her husband was in the Army, she was a chemistry teacher "playing with mercury, carbon tetrachloride, benzene…" but later did the same kinds of experiments using household chemicals considered to be safe.

Dr. Dahmani asked whether Ms. Conron’s background is in organic or inorganic chemistry. Ms. Conron replied that high school chemistry is primarily inorganic, but she does have some background in organic chemistry as well.

Mr. Murphy introduced IART applicant Stanley Krakoff.

Mr. Krakoff, a resident of the village of Pocasset in Bourne, noted that while he doesn’t have much background in technical requirements pertaining to water, through his work as a salesman, he dealt with EPA on and off over the years. Mr. Krakoff added that he is "just a retired guy who lives in Pocasset, who doesn’t have much to do sometimes," and who thinks it might be worthwhile to be part of the IART if he can be of any value.

Mr. Walsh-Rogalski asked, "How do you feel about EPA?" Mr. Krakoff replied that he has good thoughts about EPA because he likes a clean environment, but having dealt with EPA in his industry, he thinks that the agency "walks around blindfolded sometimes." He again noted that he likes a clean environment, and therefore sees the need to have an EPA.

Ms. Hayes commented that she admires Mr. Krakoff’s forthrightness. She also said that when she joined the IART, she was told that one of the goals was to obtain diversity of thought as well as background, and she believes that that is "what the United States is all about." She then asked if it would be correct to say that Mr. Krakoff is interested in the community, and is willing to give his time and effort to contribute to the team. Mr. Krakoff indicated that that is a correct assessment. Ms. Hayes said that Mr. Krakoff is very gallant to "take a chance," and she thinks he would be a good candidate.

Ms. Pepin inquired about the industry in which Mr. Krakoff had worked. Mr. Krakoff replied that he had sold dry-cleaning and laundry supplies to local retail cleaners, and has been retired for five years.

Mr. Schlesinger asked if Mr. Krakoff had ever been in the military. Mr. Krakoff replied that he was in the military during World War II. Mr. Schlesinger asked if he had ever trained at MMR. Mr. Krakoff replied that he hadn’t, and noted that he had been in the Navy.

Mr. Judge asked Mr. Krakoff to talk about his impression of "making the Cape whole." Mr. Krakoff replied that there’s no question that he wants to see clean water and clean air. He also said that he thinks that usually "there’s a happy medium between the pros and the cons," but sometimes people don’t find the happy medium.

Mr. Kinney stated that he doesn’t think that a technical background is necessary to be a member of the IART, so he doesn’t consider that to be an issue. He also asked Mr. Krakoff to say what he thinks is more important – military training or clean drinking water. Mr. Krakoff replied that he thinks both are very important. He noted that military training is important for self-preservation, but people also need clean water, and "you shouldn’t let one get in the way of the other." He said that if the problem of having both without causing difficulty can be solved, "we’re all right."

Dr. Dahmani asked if Mr. Krakoff is aware of the major environmental problem associated with the dry-cleaning business. Mr. Krakoff replied that EPA’s complaint about the business had to do with pollution in the air, and the agency "foisted" certain regulations that were "completely overbearing" on the industry. He explained that dry-cleaners were required to build a room that isolated the dry-cleaning machine, and install a certain ventilation system, which was "really overburdening." Dr. Dahmani asked if Mr. Krakoff was aware of any groundwater issues associated with dry-cleaning. Mr. Krakoff replied that the water that was expelled from the machines "was usually gotten rid of by simple methods," and "it didn’t necessarily go into the groundwater." Dr. Dahmani inquired about Mr. Krakoff’s knowledge of perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) contaminating groundwater. Mr. Krakoff indicated that it was his understanding that "the perchloroethylene was blamed," but noted that that problem was corrected by upgrading the machinery over the years.

Mr. Murphy noted that IART applicant Norman McLinden was not present, and then introduced IART applicant James Rohlf.

Dr. Rohlf introduced himself as Boston University physics professor who’s been interested in science all his life. He noted that he’s involved in elementary particle physics, which is concerned with looking inside matter – inside the proton and the quarks within the proton – in order to see how the forces work and understand the fundamental structure of matter. He also said that his personal role as an experimentalist is to build equipment, most of which is high-tech electronics, "and take it away to far away accelerators and, and smash these protons or electrons together and look and see what comes out." Dr. Rohlf said that this is really fundamental science, as far removed from practical applications as can be, and he thought it would be nice to use some of his scientific training to give back to the community a little bit, and try to work on something that’s practical.

Ms. Hayes inquired about Dr. Rohlf’s involvement with the community. Dr. Rohlf replied that other than an unsuccessful attempt to become part of the school board in Bourne, this is his first effort to become involved with a community group. He also noted, however, that several months ago he wrote a centerpiece editorial for the Cape Cod Times, which addressed the PAVE PAWS issue scientifically and pointed out that it is a "particularly safe" facility. He added that there’s a big committee involved with this issue, which is "studying something that’s not worth studying, because it’s known scientifically." Dr. Rohlf further noted that he’s had two articles published in Cape Cod Life magazine – one was called "Saving the Bay," a very pro-Buzzards Bay Coalition piece, and the other was called "Shellfish Under Attack," another pro-environment piece.

Ms. Pepin asked if it’s correct that Dr. Rohlf is not only a professor, but also a research scientist. Dr. Rohlf confirmed that he actively does research, and has a program in Geneva, Switzerland, where the largest accelerator in the world is being constructed. He said that he usually teaches one class a year, but is on sabbatical at this time. He also stated that while teaching is fun, his life is really driven by research. Ms. Pepin asked if Boston University funds Dr. Rohlf’s research. Dr. Rohlf replied that the research is funded by the Department of Energy, from which he has a grant of about $2 million to build the electronics for the experiment.

Mr. Schlesinger asked whether Dr. Rohlf would anticipate any problems in addressing the military or the federal agencies either because of his standing as a professor or because he’s in receipt of federal grants. Dr. Rohlf replied, "No."

Mr. Judge asked if Dr. Rohlf has ever received grants from DoD. Dr. Rohlf replied that he has not. Mr. Judge also asked if Dr. Rohlf has ever spoken with LTC Ruscio. Dr. Rohlf replied that he has not. Mr. Judge then said that more than one major group is involved with looking at the PAVE PAWS issue; the Armed Services Epidemiological Board is conducting an investigation, in addition to the independent National Academy of Sciences. Mr. Judge also asked Dr. Rohlf to talk about his thoughts on "making the Cape whole."

Dr. Rohlf stated that for him it’s an issue for his four-year-old daughter. He mentioned chemistry sets that contained real chemicals, back when he was young, and said, "The stuff that’s going to kill me, I probably have already eaten." He added, "And it’s not for me, it’s for my child and for everybody else’s children." Dr. Rohlf stated that he thinks the wording "making the Cape whole" is important, and he believes that there’s nothing as important as water.

Mr. Kinney asked Dr. Rohlf to describe the sort of mix of chemicals and quantities that he thinks would be appropriate for his daughter’s drinking water. Dr. Rohlf identified Mr. Kinney’s inquiry as the 50-thousand-dollar question – "How much of this stuff is safe?" He then said that he doesn’t know the answer, but his objective would be to learn enough to be able to make an educated decision on how much is safe. He added that he doesn’t think zero is realistic, but he thinks that everyone’s goal should be "to find out what that small number is, justify it, and then shoot for it." Mr. Kinney stated that the IART is not charged with determining what those levels are. However, he believes that the team has insisted on, and the military is committed to, getting all the chemicals to nondetect. Dr. Rohlf agreed that it’s not the charge of the IART "to go out and make those measurements," but he believes that it is the IART’s charge "to understand the measurements that have been made, and to make an independent judgment of whether it’s reasonable or not."

Dr. Dahmani inquired about the amount of free time Dr. Rohlf would have to spend on IART membership. Dr. Rohlf replied that he understands that in order to give back to the community as an IART member, he would have to spend enough time to understand the issues. He also said that until he looks into it more, however, he couldn’t say how much time that would be.

LTC Cunha said that Dr. Rohlf appears to be very open minded and very analytical – two attributes that are needed on the team. He then asked whether Dr. Rohlf believes that military training and protection of the environment can coexist. Dr. Rohlf replied that he’s sure that they can coexist.

Mr. Murphy introduced IART applicant Bob Mullennix.

Mr. Mullennix stated that he’s been attending IART meetings for the past years, and has lived in Bourne for the past 12 years, during which he’s followed base cleanup issues. He also noted that he was born and raised in Cambridge, has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Florida, and a master’s degree in environmental engineering with a specialty in water resources engineering from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health.

Mr. Mullennix reported that he applied for IART membership in June 2002, and was rejected by EPA in December 2002. He also noted, however that there has been "a tremendous amount of interest from the residents of the Town of Bourne," and he thinks that everyone who has applied for IART membership would be excellent on the team. He also encouraged those applicants who are not chosen for membership to continue to attend IART meetings, as he believes that doing so would serve the town and the IART well.

Mr. Mullennix stated that now he is being reconsidered for IART membership, along with seven other applicants. He then read a letter dated February 26, 2003 from the Bourne selectmen to Mr. Varney. The letter stated that on February 25, 2003 the selectmen interviewed four very qualified town residents interested in serving on the IART, and are recommending that the EPA appoint Mr. Mullenix and Dr. Seaver to represent the town because of their "extensive experience in the field of environmental science," and because they would "represent the interests of the Town of Bourne in a thoughtful and constructive manner."

Mr. Mullennix noted that he has the support of the Bourne Board of Selectmen, as well as the support of the National Guard, the Air Force, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), all of which also wrote letters. He said that those who oppose his membership – which, he noted, is a matter of record – are "the environmental activists’ group within the team," and EPA. Mr. Mullennix also said that he really doesn’t know why he was rejected. He noted that he is an environmentalist, he believes in clean air and clean water, and in fact chose the environmental field for his career. Also, he’s been an environmental engineer for the past 12 years and works for Ocean Spray Cranberries in Lakeville, Massachusetts. Mr. Mullennix said that he would welcome the opportunity to be part of the IART, he thinks he could bring a lot to the process from a technical standpoint, and he believes he could bring some balance to the team, which he thinks "is sorely needed."

Mr. Schlesinger asked how many parts per billion (ppb) of perchlorate Mr. Mullennix thinks is safe for the residents of Bourne to drink. Mr. Mullennix replied that he would depend on and accept the health advisory standards and guidelines set by EPA.

Ms. Hayes said that she thinks it is important to have a positive relationship with the team. She then asked, given the process that Mr. Mullennix has gone through, how he feels about establishing a comfortable working relationship with the other team members. Mr. Mullennix replied that the only thing he can say is that he has worked with teams all his life – a common practice, particularly in the environmental field. He noted that in his work reviews, he is always called "a good team player," and he tries to foster excellent team relationships. He also said that when individuals on a team have different opinions, it’s necessary to work though those differences and arrive at a commonality of purpose and a solution. Ms. Hayes said that she thinks the major thing is to be respectful of other people and their abilities, and she believes that Mr. Mullennix would be able to provide that.

Mr. Judge recalled that he was fairly disturbed when Mr. Mullennix initially introduced himself to the IART and declined to identify his place of work, although the team requested that information. Mr. Judge noted that it’s no secret that he himself works for a roofing company, and has no background in chemical engineering. He also said that he doesn’t "pigeon-hole" anyone on the IART, and is bothered that Mr. Mullennix appears to view the team as being broken up into factions of environmentalists and "non-environmentalists." Mr. Judge then asked Mr. Mullennix to say what he thinks Mr. Schlesinger is, and later answer the question about "making the Cape whole." Mr. Mullennix replied that he thinks Mr. Schlesinger is a gentleman, but added that he doesn’t really know what Mr. Judge is asking. Mr. Judge said that Mr. Mullennix had stated that there was an environmental faction within the IART.

Mr. Mullennix stated again that he himself is an environmentalist. He also explained that earlier he was saying that there were certain members on the team who opposed his application, while others supported it. Mr. Judge said that his concern is that Mr. Mullennix used the term "environmental activist." He then asked if Mr. Mullennix considers Mr. Schlesinger to be an environmental activist. Mr. Mullenix replied that he does. Mr. Judge asked whether the environmental activists on the team had supported Mr. Mullennix’s membership. Mr. Mullennix replied that they had not. Mr. Judge then asked Mr. Schlesinger if he had supported Mr. Mullennix’s application for team membership. Mr. Schlesinger said that he wrote a letter recommending that Mr. Mullennix’s membership be denied, because he was concerned about a lack of candor on Mr. Mullennix’s part. He also noted, however, that at the next IART meeting he told Mr. Murphy that he was willing to take back his recommendation, having heard whom Mr. Mullennix works for.

In response to Mr. Judge’s question about "making the Cape whole," Mr. Mullennix stated that that is a legal question, which he thinks is beyond his capability to really address. He also said, however, that, as an environmentalist, he thinks everyone would like it if the air and water quality of Cape Cod could be returned to the level where it was "before the white man came on these shores." He added that maybe that could be considered "making the Cape whole."

Mr. Schlesinger asked what Mr. Mullennix meant when he said he thinks he could bring to the team some balance that’s "sorely needed." Mr. Mullennix explained that he it seems to him that a number of team members are driven to reach zero constituents in the groundwater, and his opinion is that that is an unrealistic and unjustified goal. He said that in terms of bringing balance to the team, he would instead "drive it towards levels that are set by risk analysis, and levels that are set by EPA and Mass DEP."

LTC Cunha said that he would like to take the opportunity to applaud Mr. Mullennix for his "stick-to-it-tiveness," as he has been working on this process for a year and has attended more IART meetings in that time than some of the sitting team members, including himself. LTC Cunha told Mr. Mullennix that this tells him, "that you have this in your heart, you have this in your soul, and this really means a lot to you." He also said that he appreciates Mr. Mullennix’s openness and candor.

Mr. Kinney commented that Mr. Mullennix’s statement that a faction of the IART is "driving for zero contamination" concerns him because he thinks that one of the goals of the team is to push in that direction, while understanding that in real life it’s no longer possible to achieve zero contamination. Mr. Kinney then said that his understanding is that in a legal sense, in terms of EPA, "making the Cape whole" means restoring the environment to what it was before it was degraded by contamination. Therefore, he thinks that the goal of the team is "pushing towards zero contamination," and ensuring that DoD does everything it can to do that. Mr. Kinney also said that while in a sense "making the Cape whole" is a legal construct, he thinks that the team has been asking the question in the sense of what one is willing to have their children endure in terms of drinking-water contamination, air contamination, and so forth.

Mr. Mullennix replied that he respects Mr. Kinney’s opinion. He also said that he believes that "we live in a world of limited capabilities, that we can’t do all things all the time." Mr. Mullennix also noted that he had neglected to mention that he’s been a member of the America Waterworks Association for over 12 years, and is a member of both the Water Environment Federation and the International Association of Water Quality. He noted that many questions remain about contaminant levels and risk analysis, and in his opinion, EPA does a very good job of answering these questions, erring on the side of conservatism when setting health advisory standards and maximum contaminant levels so that the odds of a person being affected are very, very small. Mr. Mullenix said that he thinks it is entirely appropriate to drive cleanups to those levels – and if cleanup levels can be even lower without costing a great deal more, they should be driven to that lower level. If, however, it would cost tens of millions of dollars to drive a cleanup to a lower level, he thinks it makes sense to evaluate the difference between reaching the maximum contaminant level (MCL) and zero, and then decide whether that money and those personnel resources wouldn’t be more wisely spent elsewhere.

Dr. Dahmani inquired about Mr. Mullenix’s knowledge of hydrogeology and water treatment. Mr. Mullennix replied that he is not a hydrogeologist, but did take one class in groundwater modeling at the University of North Carolina. He also noted that he’s taken extensive classes in water treatment and has toured a number of facilities. He said that his specialty is wastewater engineering, and he is in charge of the overall operation of several wastewater plants at Ocean Spray.

Mr. Murphy introduced IART applicant George Seaver.

Dr. Seaver stated that he’s lived in the village of Cataumet in Bourne for 35 years, and has been involved in cleanup issues since 1992. He noted that he works for Sealite Engineering, which develops optical sensors for use under water, and has research relationships with scientists at Woods Hole and elsewhere. He also mentioned that he was a member of the Technical Environmental Affairs Committee (TEAC) for a number of years, was president of the Cataumet Civic Association (CCA), and in 1993 started the LF-1 Plume Committee.

Dr. Seaver said that if he were selected for the IART, he would try to use the regulations, the science, and the evidence to come up with a thorough and speedy resolution to the problems at Camp Edwards, so that it could return to its normal function. He also said that he would try to represent and protect the interests of Bourne. He then noted that in the case of the LF-1 plume, there was a proposal to install a $30-million-dollar containment system in the village of Cataumet and post the harbors there as toxic waste point discharges from the military. Dr. Seaver said that this proposal was not justified, nor was in the interest of the people of Cataumet, "and nobody said so until we did."

Dr. Seaver then referred to the Impact Area and said that the quality of the drinking water is foremost in people’s minds, and "gets everybody’s attention, in a religious way." He also suggested, however, that there are other considerations, such as costs. He noted that Bourne’s water bills have gone up about 120% in the last few years, with a 10% increase last year alone because of the water that was purchased. Dr. Seaver also said that because of the standards being demanded, Bourne is "inching towards chlorination," which he predicts would receive a "a horrendous response" from the residents. He remarked that "trihalomethanes" not only destroy the taste of the water, but also are "vastly higher than perchlorate in what they might do." Dr. Seaver further noted that as a member of the team, he would e-mail a report to the Bourne selectmen after every IART meeting.

Dr. Seaver stated that his experience in the Navy led him to become an oceanographer. He also mentioned that that there are many retired military people living in Bourne, and he formed Friends of the Massachusetts Military Reservation (FMMR) because it was thought, "there was an abuse of the military point of view going on." He then noted, however, that by far the greatest of his citations are in the environmental field. He reported that since 1988 he has been collecting one-liter water samples, on what is now a quarterly basis, from Red Brook Harbor, Scotch House Cove, Squeteague Harbor, and the groundwater table in between, and taking them to the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) for analysis. He noted that about a month ago he submitted to a publication a report on this 15-year program – which involves perhaps the best data set in southeastern Massachusetts, given that sampling is conducted year round.

Dr. Seaver also talked about the "goose busters" effort at the harbors, developed to scare the geese away without harming them so that the harbors, which are closed to shellfishing on a seasonal basis because of goose feces, can be opened up for shellfishing. He said that the program, which re-instills in the geese "the fear of the presence of loud noises," has been successful. He explained that coast-watchers call into his office to report seeing geese, and he also noted that the "goose busters" method is species selective in that the swans and the great blue herons do not notice it.

Mr. Schlesinger asked Dr. Seaver to state what he believes to be the "normal function" of Camp Edwards. Dr. Seaver replied, "To help defend the country, sir." Mr. Schlesinger also asked Dr. Seaver to explain what he meant when he said that groundwater contamination influences people in a religious way. Dr. Seaver explained that he believes that there are various "environmental points of view." One is the political environmentalist, who gains public office based on environmental issues. Another is the philosophical environmentalist, whom he had earlier referred to as "religious." These are people who feel that nature has intrinsic virtue, and it must be protected and preserved. Dr. Seaver then stated that he is a scientific environmentalist. He believes that what is thought about the environment should be based upon evidence, known concepts of science, and the regulations.

Mr. Schlesinger then asked if Dr. Seaver believes that "an abuse of the military point of view" still exists. Dr. Seaver replied that he thinks it exists "less so" now because the FMMR was formed. He then described a December 1998 meeting where a woman stood up and said that the National Guard people in attendance were no better than South American juntas in the way they destroy democracy. He noted that other speakers at that meeting made similar remarks, and so the FMMR was formed "to say that’s not true."

Ms. Hayes stated she thinks the IART needs a member from Bourne, as she believes that Bourne and Sandwich are the most affected towns, and are integral to the work that goes on in the cleanup program. She then said that Dr. Seaver is extremely involved with his community on every level, and has dedicated a good deal of effort and energy in protecting his town and its residents. She asked if this is why Dr. Seaver thinks he’d be a good team member.

Dr. Seaver replied that he would be willing to put in the time, and already does. He also said that he is "obsessed with using the evidence." Dr. Seaver then stated that he doesn’t think everything can be cleaned up. He said that the ground is composed of minerals, and as water passes through, it dissolves those minerals, such as lead and aluminum. He also said that it would be necessary to drain the oceans in order to remove chloroform from the groundwater, because it’s in the salt spray. He noted that chloroform is the highest chemical concentration found in Bourne’s water, at 1.6 ppb. Dr. Seaver said that it’s not possible to remove all chemistry from the groundwater, and he objects to "not being able to remove them all and scaring people at the same time."

Dr. Dahmani said that a scientific environmentalist would have to become a philosophical environmentalist when it comes to an acceptable level for perchlorate, about which a "raging debate" is ongoing. He then asked Dr. Seaver to state his philosophy about an acceptable level for perchlorate. Dr. Seaver replied that he hasn’t done any research on this, but also noted that the "raging debate" involves a range of levels well above any that have been seen in Bourne. Dr. Dahmani agreed. Dr. Seaver then talked about the importance of an approach that considers all risks. He noted, for example, that the notion to "provide close to zero risk for drinking the water" forced people to drive to Fort Drum, and someone from Bourne died on the way there. Dr. Seaver again emphasized the importance of looking at the totality of risks, including the risk to our national defense.

Dr. Dahmani asked Dr. Seaver what he thinks would be an acceptable amount of perchlorate "based on this." Dr. Seaver replied that he would go along with EPA, 4 to 18 ppb. He also said that he would go along with Dr. Thomas Zoeller, an EPA peer review team member, and an expert, from a research point of view, on perchlorate in cells, who says that perchlorate is not a carcinogen.

Mr. Kinney asked if Dr. Seaver thinks that it might be possible that people just cannot shoot artillery shells and howitzers at the base anymore, while at the same time protecting the groundwater. Dr. Seaver said that Mr. Kinney is assigning special value to the chemicals in artillery shells, while sparklers are 56% perchlorate. Mr. Kinney countered that sparklers are not creating a problem that threatens potential well sites on Cape Cod. He also noted that he’s not talking about just perchlorate, but also about RDX, High Melting Explosive (HMX), and the like. He then asked if Dr. Seaver would say that military training is more important than preventing environmental pollution. Dr. Seaver replied that that is a choice to which he cannot subscribe. He also said that if military training were curtailed at MMR, to be fair, it would also have to be curtailed at Fort Bragg, for example. Mr. Kinney questioned whether the same sensitive aquifer exists at Fort Bragg.

Dr. Seaver stated that, again, his point is that he believes that the totality of risk to the country should be taken into account. He said that to curtail military training everywhere, or to use plastic bullets – which, he said, contain TCE – would pose a risk to the country. He stated that he couldn’t go along with curtailing military training if RDX is removed only from artillery shells, and not from fireworks. Dr. Seaver further noted that he wouldn’t want to see jobs taken away from the citizens of Bourne. He noted that about 10% of the employees at MMR live in Bourne – about 1,540 skilled employees.

Mr. Kinney commented that problems associated with the cleanup program often have to do with varying interpretations of existing data, rather than a lack of data. He then asked Dr. Seaver what he thinks about the idea of erring on the side of caution with respect to the cleanup effort. Dr. Seaver replied that he would go back to the idea of "local versus global" risk. He noted, for example, that Mr. Minos Gordy calculated the risk of forcing people to go to other military installations in New Jersey and New York, and found that the risk associated with driving those miles is higher than the risk of "drinking the perchlorate, using EPA’s numbers."

Mr. Judge asked Dr. Seaver to talk more about his earlier statement that chlorination is worse than perchlorate, which, Dr. Seaver had stated, is not a carcinogen. Mr. Judge also asked Dr. Seaver to talk about his "domino effect" theory with respect to effects on other military installations, even though it seems to be understood that MMR is unique because it’s on top of a sole-source aquifer.

Dr. Seaver stated that what he knows about perchlorate he learned from Dr. Zoeller, a very convincing speaker who has influenced his opinion, and he accepts Dr. Zoeller’s conclusion that perchlorate is not a carcinogen. Dr. Seaver also noted that chlorine, or chloroform, is a listed carcinogen, and is ubiquitous in Cape Cod’s water supply. He explained that what he had been trying to say is that if he were to worry about these things, he would worry about chloroform, not perchlorate.

Before Dr. Seaver could answer Mr. Judge’s second question, Mr. Murphy thanked him, noted the late hour, and then introduced IART applicant Patrick Skelly.

Mr. Skelly noted that the IART members already have information about his background. He then said that his perspective is that no one knows the "best answer," and he doesn’t think that there is a "best answer." Rather, it is a matter of bringing together team members’ skills, experience, and backgrounds "to try to put a boundary around a reasonable set of answers and pass on up to EPA, the Army, and all the gods-in-power, our best opinion, and let them make the decisions." He said that this is the attitude he would like to bring to the team, if selected as a member. He added that if he’s not selected, he would nevertheless attend many IART meetings, as he has done on occasion over the years.

Mr. Skelly then said that the limits of what can be done safely are being examined constantly, and continually being brought down. He noted for example, that the perchlorate numbers are coming down, and that at one time, asbestos was considered a good thing. He said that he thinks it’s important to go on the basis of what the investigators and researchers say.

Mr. Skelly then referred to the issue of compatible military training, and said that he thinks that training has to include "the experience of firing a few live rounds," although he doesn’t know how much can be done at MMR. Nevertheless, he believes that the "overall value of these things" should be assessed, and simulators should be used where possible. He acknowledged that every footprint and wheel tread has an impact, and added, "but we’ve got to watch out for those things."

Mr. Skelly addressed the question of "making the Cape whole" by stating that he doesn’t think it can be done. He said that the Cape thrives on its diversity, from Provincetown to Woods Hole. He also noted that some people believe that the only clean water left on the Cape exists in the northern part of MMR, while others call that area a chemical swamp caused by the Army. Mr. Skelly stated that they can’t both be right, and he thinks that it’s important to bring together the different sides of the spectrum, and he believes that the IART may be a way to help do that. Mr. Skelly also noted that he has no background in hydrogeology, but does have some interest in desert geology, as well as a general scientific interest.

Mr. Skelly also stated that it’s his understanding that the members of the IART do not represent their towns, but the interests of the residents of their towns. He said that he would not claim to speak for the Town of Bourne, but would like to talk about his neighbors’ opinions.

Mr. Judge mentioned that at some point he’d like to talk to Mr. Skelly about the PAVE PAWS installations where he (Mr. Skelly) worked. Mr. Judge then asked Mr. Skelly how he would prioritize Bourne residents, the Town of Bourne, and Camp Edwards, with respect to his decision-making process. Mr. Skelly replied that he thinks there has to be a balance looking at not just Bourne, but the entire Cape. He also noted that MMR is one of the premiere training facilities for the military in the northeastern United States.

Dr. Dahmani asked Mr. Kelly to discuss what he perceives to be the community’s thoughts about the problems at the base as they relate to Bourne. Mr. Skelly replied that citizens of the community are worried because they don’t understand the issues; they don’t understand the numbers. Therefore, he believes that communication on the part of the citizen team members is just as important as the advice that they "pass on up the line…"

Mr. Schlesinger noted that the information that Mr. Skelly submitted with his application includes a statement about a need for consensus. Mr. Schlesinger then stated that he wants to clarify that the IART does "very little voting, so there’s very little need for consensus." Rather, the team members offer their opinions to the regulators, who make decisions. Mr. Skelly suggested that the exchange of opinions among the team members moves them toward consensus, or, as he mentioned earlier, "starts to put a boundary around things – as opposed to the entire universe of possibilities."

Ms. Pepin asked how the team could get more information about IART applicant Mr. McLinden, who was not in attendance at tonight’s meeting. Mr. Murphy replied that he would try to contact Mr. McLinden tomorrow and see if he would like to get any additional information out to team members.

Mr. Schlesinger noted that Mr. McLinden’s final statement on the bottom of his application is cut off, and is therefore not readable. Mr. Murphy agreed to ask Mr. McLinden to confirm what was written there. Mr. Judge said that he’d like Mr. Murphy to convey to Mr. McLinden questions about the two most frequently mentioned issues tonight – "making the Cape whole" and compatible military training.

Mr. Murphy thanked the citizens of Bourne for taking the time to address the IART. LTC Cunha asked if Mr. Varney would be receiving complete IART recommendations about the applicants, or a synopsis thereof. Mr. Murphy replied that he would forward the comments in their entirety. He also said that he would ask the IAGWSP staff to prepare a verbatim transcript of this agenda item, to be forwarded to Mr. Varney along with the applications forms, supporting material, and the team’s recommendations.

Agenda Item #3. Review Responses to Action Items from February 25, 2003 IART Meeting

Mr. Murphy noted that Action Item #1 was Richard Hugus’s request that EPA consider enforceable milestone dates for cleanup of the Southeast Ranges plumes.

Mr. Borci stated that a number of plumes of contamination are heading off the base from the Southeast Corner of the Ranges, and IART members want to know what’s going to be done to clean up that contamination, with perchlorate detections as high as 32 ppb, and RDX as high as 10 ppb. He noted that currently there are schedules for all of the investigation phases of the project, but there are no documented schedules for cleanup. This is due, in part, to the fact that investigations are still ongoing, and because the influence of the nearby pond makes it a difficult area to investigate. Mr. Borci also noted, however, that there have been some behind-the-scenes discussions about initiating cleanup. He then proposed to raise this issue at the next weekly technical meeting of the project managers, and by the next IART meeting provide the team with some sort of documented plan for a way forward. Mr. Judge commented that he would very much like to see some kind of rapid response action to address this contamination.

Mr. Murphy noted that the "Responses to Action Items" document includes a written response to Action Item #2, which pertained to the status of the programmatic agreement being pursued by MMR with respect to cultural resource surveys. There were no questions from the team regarding that written response.

Agenda Item #4. Presentation on Groundwater Modeling

Mr. Gregson stated that modeling is a powerful tool that helps the IAGWSP in its decision process with respect to investigations and cleanup. He then introduced Dr. Chris Abate of AMEC, noted that he would be providing an overview presentation on groundwater modeling, and reported that Dr. Abate has a bachelor’s degree in geology, a master’s degree in environmental pollution control, a Ph.D. in geo-sciences, and 13 years of professional consulting and modeling experience.

Dr. Abate stated that AMEC, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Jacobs Engineering, and others do modeling of the western portion of Cape Cod. These groups get together on a regular basis to share data and approaches, and sometimes the models themselves. AMEC is focused on the northern portion of MMR, the USGS is concerned with western Cape Cod as a whole, and Jacobs Engineering is focused on the southern part of the base.

Dr. Abate showed a map entitled "Western Cape Surficial Geology," and pointed out the saturated portion of the outwash and moraine deposits that constitute the aquifer that the cleanup program is trying to protect. He noted that the apex of the mound-shaped water table on western Cape Cod is located right about at the J-1 Range, and he pointed out the arrows radiating away from the top of the mound, which denote the lateral direction of groundwater flow.

Dr. Abate then showed a figure entitled "Conceptual Hydrogeologic Model," which, he noted, integrates all of the features and processes believed to be important to the groundwater flow system. He pointed out the mound-shaped water table in the upper portion of the aquifer, contained entirely within the outwash sand and gravel deposits that sit atop the bedrock, which is assumed to be impermeable. He noted that water enters the aquifer system through recharge from precipitation, and from septic return flows, which also are incorporated into the numerical model. The outwash sand and gravel deposits are represented in the model with varying permeabilities proportional to the clay content, with the moraines representing a lower-permeability portion of the aquifer because of greater clay content. Water leaves the system through natural drainage to the coastline, withdrawal through supply wells, and by way of some of the streams that cut into the geology there.

Dr. Abate then noted that the saltwater/freshwater interface, the bedrock boundary, and the water table force a pattern of flow, and the numerical model is simply a realization of that pattern of flow. He pointed out the kettle pond shown on the figure, and said that most of the ponds in the area are in fact kettle depressions, and the interaction of those ponds and the groundwater flow system is simulated in the model. He also pointed out the lines on the figure that denote a zone of contribution (ZOC) for a particular water supply well, and said that in fact path lines are modeled in order to define ZOCs.

Dr. Abate next showed a figure of the numerical model, entitled "Regional MODFLOW Simulation." He explained that the MODFLOW program, which is a tool used to develop the grid-based model, was selected because it’s one of the most widely used modeling tools, and because the USGS had used MODFLOW to develop it’s regional model, from which the IAGWSP’s version of the model was adapted. The regional model uses 660-foot by 660-foot cells, which is its resolution. Water pressure, velocity, and direction of flow are calculated at each of the grid cells, and properties that correspond to the boundary conditions along the edge of the model domain are assigned to the cells. There are about 200,000 cells in the regional model, which is fully three-dimensional, and consists of 11 layers.

Dr. Abate described MODFLOW as a water-balance-based modeling tool, because all the water that flows in has to balance all the water that flows out, and that conservation of mass provides confidence that the model is a reasonably predictive tool. He noted that the regional model is used for particle tracking, and explained that MODFLOW simulates the flow field, another program is run to draw the path line within the flow field, and then another program is run to do transport modeling. Modeling work associated with remedial design of specific plumes is done using sub-regional models.

Dr. Abate showed a flow chart entitled, "MMR Groundwater Modeling Process." He explained that it is an iterative process, whereby the regional model is used to guide the field investigations, while, at the same time, data from the field investigations are used to improve the model. The embedded sub-regional models, which are being developed within specific areas of concern, such as Demolition Area 1, the Central Impact Area, and the J Ranges, do the simulation of a remedial system and put forth possible designs to be implemented. Transport modeling is done only at the sub-regional level because it requires a much finer grid. Also, it’s important to maintain a relationship between the regional and sub-regional models because the regional model defines the boundary conditions for the sub-regional model. The regional model is systematically improved by changing the parameters that pertain to rates and directions of flow. Dr. Abate also said that the goal is to reach solution implementation, and once a system is actually installed, performance data can be used to improve sub-regional predictive models that calculate cleanup times and look at system optimization.

Dr. Abate went on to discuss refinements that have been made to the regional model since it was obtained from the USGS. He noted that the bedrock surface has been updated, and mentioned that in the Monument Beach area, the bedrock was determined to be much shallower than previously thought, which affects predictions significantly. Also, supply well pumping rates, provided by Jacobs Engineering, which surveyed the water supply operators to get actual operational pumping rate averages for the year 2000, are now being used in the regional model. In addition, the model was calibrated to several pumping tests at municipal supply wells and other wells.

Dr. Abate showed a figure entitled "Calibration Data," and pointed out the symbols representing the pump test locations, which are the three base supply wells, two wells in the Monument Beach area, and a well in the Central Impact Area installed for the IAGWSP to conduct its own long-term pumping tests – all of which are located in the northern portion of western Cape Cod. Previously the regional model was calibrated in large part to water level data, and the blue dots represent well water levels from 1993, the last time there were average conditions on Cape Cod. The year 1998 was one of the wettest on record, while 2002 was one of the driest; the pink dots on the figure represent well water levels from the year 2000, the most recent average condition. There are more pink dots on the figure because of the additional wells that were installed since 1993.

Dr. Abate noted that the regional model also is calibrated to levels of the ponds and to stream flows. However, most ponds and streams are located in the southern portion, so that isn’t as useful for the focus on the north. He also mentioned that USGS has published papers about the need to calibrate both to flow directions, using tracers, and to water levels and stream flows. Dr. Abate then stated that the regional model is calibrated to revised plume orientations for the northern plumes and areas of concern, as well as to the LF-1, CS-10, and Southwest Operable Unit (SWOU) plumes. He said that the model matches the plume orientations, water levels, and stream flows "pretty reasonably" everywhere. Also, the model currently is being compared to some isotopic data provided by the USGS.

Dr. Abate showed a graph entitled "Water Level Calibration," and noted that it illustrates the comparison of observed water levels with computed water levels in feet above sea level. Ideally, all the water levels would fall right along the match line, the perfect correlation between predicted and observed levels. The levels do "cluster quite nicely" along the match line, although there are a few water levels that don’t agree by five feet or so. On average, however, the water levels match within less than a foot, Cape-wide.

Dr. Abate then showed a figure entitled "Plume Trajectory Calibration," and pointed out that the original USGS model hadn’t matched the trajectory of the Demolition Area 1 plume by about 10 to 15 degrees. He noted that AMEC adjusted permeabilities in the model and got the path line to "agree quite nicely" with the center of mass for both RDX and perchlorate, and therefore now has good confidence in the predictive accuracy of that model. Dr. Abate explained that observing in order to evaluate "whether you’re predicting terribly well," and then adjusting the model to get it to match that prediction is the process of calibration – and simultaneously calibrating to as many independent data sets as possible is the basis for confidence.

Dr. Abate continued by showing a figure entitled "Sub-Regional Models," which illustrated the sub-regional model domains for Demolition Area 1, the J-3 Range, and Central Impact Area plumes. He explained that each box on the figure depicts the extent of a sub-regional model grid, which is embedded within the regional model, and which simulates the transport processes and remedial designs addressing those plumes. The boxes differ in size because of the specific purpose of each particular sub-regional model, but also because of the extent and orientation of each plume. Dr. Abate also noted that the regional model is used to specify boundary conditions for the sub-regional models.

Dr. Abate began discussing the status of AMEC’s sub-regional modeling efforts by noting that it had been supporting Demolition Area 1 Rapid Response Action/Release Abatement Measure (RRA/RAM) activities, and is now returning to modeling associated with the Demolition Area 1 feasibility study process. He noted that the Demolition Area 1 plume and the flow system there are well defined and understood, and AMEC has good confidence in its simulation of that plume. He also mentioned that "a little more geologic complexity" has been identified in the toe of that plume, and therefore the sub-regional model is in the process of being rectified. In addition, AMEC is using an innovative optimization methodology whereby MODFLOW is run "over and over and over" in order to determine the perfect location for an extraction well.

Dr. Abate stated that AMEC modeling has supported J Ranges workplans. AMEC developed a transient, or time-variant, version of the regional model in order to evaluate the migration of the top of the mound, and developed a transient version of the sub-regional model there as well. He also mentioned that the thought is that transient conditions are not terribly important with respect to the J-3 Range plume; however, the characterization continues to change, so that might not hold true. Dr. Abate then reported that AMEC is no longer modeling in the J Ranges area, as those activities have been transitioned to Environmental Chemical Corporation (ECC) and Jacobs Engineering.

Dr. Abate stated that AMEC is about to initiate sub-regional modeling activities at the Central Impact Area plume, for which the feasibility study process is just beginning. He said that it’s known that this plume has a very complex geometry, with some extremely narrow fingers. The implication of that is that the model will have to be very large, will have many cells, and will take a long time to run.

Dr. Abate then made the following summary statements: the numerical models are based on a conceptual model, therefore confidence in the conceptual model is as important as confidence in the numerical version; all the models are reasonably calibrated to available data, although in areas where fewer data are available, the degree of calibration is somewhat unknown; the high confidence in the model comes from integrating many independent data sets, which "forces you to fit data from a local scale of inquiry, a regional scale of inquiry, into one holistic representation of the system"; and, the sub-regional models maintain a relationship to the regional model, which is the basis for confidence in them.


Mr. Pinaud asked Dr. Abate to talk about the extent to which AMEC uses modeling information from the USGS and Jacobs Engineering. Dr. Abate replied that the 2000 water level data set is a composite of AMEC’s data and Jacobs Engineering’s data, and the stream flow data were collected by the USGS and Jacobs Engineering. He also noted that AMEC has shared its new bedrock surface data. He said that while it’s not "a perfect two-way street everywhere," the groups meet every six months for an open session where presentations are made, and they hold monthly conference calls to share data and discuss model differences.

Mr. Schlesinger said that he’d like to know the percentage of accuracy of the model, and of the data layers that go into it. He also mentioned that it’s been his understanding that the degree of confidence decreases when a model has many grid-based layers. Mr. Schlesinger then questioned whether it wouldn’t make sense to identify the level of confidence in map lines that describe plume shells and ZOCs. Dr. Abate replied that he couldn’t put a numeric value on confidence, as a single percentage. He also said that there are techniques to display confidence intervals about a deterministic prediction, which is what a path line is. He noted that those techniques involve varying all the parameters over reasonable ranges, and running the model for every possible combination, "and then 95% of the answers come out within a zone; that’s your 95% confidence."

Mr. Schlesinger asked whether there’s been a sensitivity analysis of the model so that it’s known which parameters are most important. Dr. Abate replied "absolutely," and noted that the sensitivity of the model is different in every location. For example, the degree of confidence in flow direction at the top of the mound is low, while at the Demolition Area 1 plume, the degree of confidence in the trajectory of groundwater flow is high because it’s not subject to the uncertainties unique to the top of the mound or to the coastline. In addition, the high degree of confidence in the Demolition Area 1 area has to do with the site-specific information that’s available, such as the chemistry from the wells, the distinct plume trajectory, the source area, and the density of monitoring wells there. Dr. Abate also stated that rather than numeric values, he prefers to use the terms "high, medium, and low" with respect to confidence levels. He said that in each location of the western Cape Cod system there are different issues of confidence and uncertainty, so it has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Mr. Schlesinger suggested that it might be useful to label plume maps or ZOC maps with a notation about the confidence level – high, medium, or low. Mr. Gregson said that he thinks a good way to convey that information would be for the presenter to make a point of mentioning it during the presentation. He noted, for example, that when he’s talking about a particle track at the top of the mound, he could remind the team that the level of confidence in the model is lower there than it is at Demolition Area 1, for instance.

Mr. Schlesinger stated that the "Sub-Regional Models" figure indicates that the sub-regional model doesn’t encapsulate the Central Impact Area, and he’d like to know why. He also asked whether there’s a plan to produce another sub-regional model that fully encapsulates that plume, given that it’s the largest, and perhaps the most troublesome and most costly, of the plumes. Dr. Abate replied that the sub-regional model that will be used to remediate the Central Impact Area plume is not yet defined. However, he also pointed out the sub-regional boundary that fully encloses what’s defined as the Central Impact Area RDX plume.

Ms. Pepin inquired about the relevance of the model with respect to a drought year like 2002. Dr. Abate replied that the groundwater system has been operating for a very long time, and the plumes have been evolving over many tens of years – therefore, the concern is with long-term average processes, not with what happens in a drought year. He also acknowledged that it is difficult to use data collected under anomalous conditions to calibrate an average model, which is why the effort is made to use water-level measurements believed to representative of a long-term average condition.

Ms. Pepin noted that because of the drought in 2002, additional pumping wells were operating at that time. She mentioned the concern that was raised about the possibility that the supply wells in the northern part of the base would draw in contamination, and noted that the response to that concern was that modeling indicated that that would not happen. Ms. Pepin then questioned how data from the year 2000 could be relevant during the 2002 drought. Dr. Abate replied that the base supply wells – WS-1, WS-2, and WS-3 – were proposed to DEP many years ago, and the ZOCs associated with those wells were defined as part of the regulatory permitting process. The starting point for the simulation of those ZOCs was a steady-state model of average conditions. He said that an older model was used to simulate those ZOCs, which, in new models, might not still be valid. Dr. Abate again noted that this is an iterative process, whereby new knowledge is used to go back and revise predictions.

Mr. Judge said that he thinks that confidence levels in models are extremely important, especially because there have been incorrect predictions. He noted, for example, that a steady-state model predicted that it would take four or five years for perchlorate detected in sentinel wells outside of the Monument Beach wellfield to reach the supply wells. However, perchlorate was detected in those wells only four or five weeks later. Mr. Judge stated that he feels very strongly that confidence levels, in percentages, should be identified, and asked if Dr. Abate would agree. Dr. Abate replied that he agrees that it would be nice if percentages could be computed; however, "that’s not the case in this particular situation." Mr. Judge also said that the data that go into a model couldn’t be "pre-smoothed" or selected, because choosing particular data would mean being able to determine the finished product.

Ms. Adams noted that the regional model grid cells are 660 by 660 feet, which is ten acres. She then asked, when modeling a particle track from a source area, whether it’s true that the farther out the track goes, the less accurate it’s apt to be with respect to flow direction, given that the cells are so large. Dr. Abate replied that that isn’t true, and explained that particle tracking actually operates within the cells – in other words, a particle can start at any point within a cell, not just at the center or the sides, for example. The path line is tracked explicitly, in three-dimensional space, through a set of cells, which each cell containing calculated velocities and directions of flow. Ms. Adams asked if it’s correct then that each track is not a 10-acre width. Dr. Abate replied that it is, and explained that the resolution of particle tracking is not limited by 660-foot cells. He also said that because there isn’t a computer fast enough to run a regional plume simulation model with as many cells as would be required if the cells were 10 or 25 feet, it’s necessary to embed a finer grid within that larger grid. One is simply a finer resolution.

Mr. Schlesinger inquired about the resolution of the particle track. Dr. Abate replied that the particle track is explicit; there’s no resolution associated with it. Mr. Schlesinger said that he doesn’t understand how that could be done in a grid-based model. Dr. Abate indicated that it would take some time to explain. Mr. Murphy recommended moving on to questions from other team members, and later discussing how to handle getting answers to any outstanding questions.

Ms. Adams asked about Jacobs Engineering’s plans for modeling at the J Ranges. Dr. Abate replied that workplans are being drafted, and it’s currently being decided what modeling tasks Jacobs Engineering and ECC will do. He said that he cannot speak to those details, but can state that AMEC was asked to stop its sub-regional modeling efforts in the J Ranges.

Ms. Adams also asked Dr. Abate to explain why the transient model wasn’t particularly useful at the J-3 Range. Dr. Abate said that this mainly has to do with the timing of that plume. He then noted that from the drought of 1996 until just recently, with highs and lows occurring within a four-year span, there have been relatively average amounts of precipitation. Actual precipitation records were used to drive the model for 60 years, and it was found that "all that did in terms of the direction of that plume was put a little kink in it, and it still went toward Snake Pond." The variation in flow trajectory caused by the drought period was of short duration relative to the 30 to 60 year history of the plume. Therefore, it did not change direction significantly. Dr. Abate also noted that the plume extent continues be revised as new wells are drilled. Until a plume is characterized, there will always be some uncertainty in the prediction; the model is a starting point for understanding the system dynamics.

Dr. Dahmani stated that last month he met with Dr. Abate and the rest of the modelers, and he’s confident in the work they’re doing. He also said that he thinks it’s important to remember that the mathematical representations – of fluid flow through porous media, the various chemical reactions, and the interactions between the soils and the groundwater – are still very primitive; the mathematical model itself is really a primitive model. The groundwater system is so complicated that it’s as though the modelers are trying to "model a jungle," when they’re actually "modeling a desert with a few trees." Dr. Dahmani noted that this is no one’s fault, but is simply the state of the art at this point.

Dr. Dahmani said that there’s a lot of uncertainty associated with putting parameter values into the model because it’s very difficult to obtain field data that actually represent the physical and chemical phenomena that exist in the groundwater system. In addition, it’s difficult to install the wells and collect the data needed to improve the model, so it will be a very long while before there’s a calibrated model "that’s going to work every time." In fact, every time more data are collected – and that could on forever – the modelers will still be changing the model.

Dr. Dahmani then said that it’s important to be careful about using the term "steady-state," because changes, such as varying pumping stresses, occur on a regular basis, which make the model difficult to use. He also stated, however, that he believes that the model is useful, and then further noted that he thinks it would be good to do "a little better job" of explaining the model’s limitations, especially when talking about predictions and ZOCs.

Mr. Kinney thanked Dr. Abate for the good, clear presentation. He then asked if Dr. Abate agrees that the models are only as good as the real data collected in the field. Dr. Abate indicated that he does agree. Mr. Kinney said that this brings him to his point that there’s a need for more field data collection, more investigations, and "more treatment wells in each system than the models would lead us to believe we might need." He mentioned, as examples where lack of data led to problems, "CS-4, which was captured, but not captured," and "CS-10, not being where it was supposed to be."

Mr. Kinney also inquired about a timeline for completing the modeling of the Central Impact Area plume. Dr. Abate replied that that schedule is currently being developed, and he doesn’t have the particulars at this time. Mr. Borci added that the latest schedule indicates that a Central Impact Area groundwater report is due from the IAGWSP on August 19, 2003.

Mr. Pinaud made a point of noting that the model is not reality, but does the best it can to mimic reality. He said that the model is "a tool in our toolbox" to help make decisions, and being overly reliant on it can lead to trouble when predictions don’t pan out. Although the model continues to be improved with new field data, it is just a tool.

Mr. Murphy proposed that team members e-mail any additional modeling questions to Mr. Gregson, Mr. Pinaud, and Mr. Borci, who can decide whether to just provide answers at the next meeting, or invite Dr. Abate back for a follow-up discussion.

Agenda Item #5. Northwest Corner of Camp Edwards

Mr. Gregson showed a map entitled "Northwest Corner of MMR," and pointed out the Cape Cod Canal. He reported that a 0.28-ppb RDX detection had occurred in well 4036011; however, that well has tested nondetect for the last several sampling rounds, which are conducted on a quarterly basis. He also reported that perchlorate was detected at 6.1 ppb in well 4036009DC, which is located near the canal, and he pointed out the particle track from that well.

Mr. Gregson then noted that monitoring well 66 (MW-66), at Gun Position 16 (GP-16), was sampled recently, and perchlorate was detected in well screens at and just below the water table, at 2.9 ppb and 0.72 ppb. Most recently, results from a water table well, well HW-1, became available, which showed a perchlorate detection of 0.9 ppb. Mr. Gregson also said that additional investigation in this area included collecting samples from the 95-15 series of wells, all of which tested nondetect. He also noted that it’s currently being evaluated whether a USGS well at the canal boundary is a viable sampling point.

Mr. Gregson stated that the IAGWSP is proposing to install four new monitoring wells in order to assess the extent of RDX seen at well 4036011, and the extent of perchlorate seen at 4036009DC. The first well, NWP-1, will be located to the south, near the canal. Based on data from that well, and backtracking up to the base boundary, the second well, NWP-3, will be installed. Using information from those two wells, the third well, NWP-2, along a direct particle backtrack from the perchlorate detection at the canal, will be installed. The fourth well, NWP-4, will be installed in a location such that it might indicate whether there’s a connection between the perchlorate detections at MW-66 and well 4036009DC.


Mr. Pinaud inquired about the confidence level associated with the particle tracks shown on the map. Mr. Gregson replied that the canal is not a well-understood flow system at this point; confidence, therefore, is lower near the canal, and becomes higher farther away from the canal.

Mr. Kinney asked why the IAGWSP wouldn’t install additional wells, farther apart, in locations that might help determine the width of contamination along the canal. Mr. Gregson replied that that is what’s going to be done, but on a finer scale. He also noted that if high levels of perchlorate are found at NWP-1, the investigation would step out beyond that, in order to define the extent. Mr. Kinney questioned why the IAGWSP wouldn’t just move forward with installing more wells now so that more information would be available right away. Mr. Gregson replied, "It’s kind of a balancing act." He noted that each monitoring well costs about $100,000, so it’s important to put them in the right location. He also said that using data from one well location to determine the best location for the next well is a proven strategy. Mr. Gregson further noted that currently four wells are being proposed, and based on information from them, it will be determined whether additional wells are needed.

Mr. Schlesinger questioned why there’s concern about the perchlorate going into the canal, and asked if there are any drinking water wells in that area. Mr. Gregson pointed out the location of the drinking water well (well 4036011), at a condominium complex near the canal. He said that the concern is to define the extent of contamination in that area, and see how close it is to that well, which makes that area a high priority. Mr. Schlesinger asked if there are other drinking water wells south of well 4036011. Mr. Gregson replied that no drinking water wells have been identified in that area, but there is an inactive irrigation well that had been used for the athletic fields at the technical school. Mr. Schlesinger inquired about the reasoning behind the NWP-4 location. Mr. Gregson replied that its purpose is to try to define the northern extent of perchlorate and RDX in that area, and determine whether it’s related to the perchlorate detected at MW-66.

Mr. Walsh-Rogalski made a point of noting that the interest in pursuing contamination has to do not only with proximity to an existing water supply, but also with effects on future water supplies. Even if there isn’t a point of exposure, "we think it’s legitimate to take a look at and understand the source and the nature of the contamination."

Agenda Item #6. Adjourn

Mr. Murphy stated that information from the "Investigations Update" originally scheduled for tonight’s meeting would be incorporated into the "Investigations Update" presentation at the next IART meeting, to take place on April 22, 2003 at the First Church of Christ in Sandwich. He then adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m.

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