Impact Area Review Team
Handouts Distributed at Meeting:
Agenda Item #1. Welcome, Agenda Review, Approval of September 28, 2004 IART Minutes
Mr. Murphy convened the meeting at 6:00 p.m. and the Impact Area Review Team (IART) members introduced themselves. Mr. Murphy reviewed the agenda and Mr. Hugus asked him to add to the Open Discussion portion of the agenda the topic of the availability of plume maps to the public. Mr. Murphy asked if there were any changes or additions to the September 28, 2004 IART meeting minutes. No changes were offered and the minutes were approved as written.
Agenda Item #2. Late-Breaking News and Responses to Action Items from the 9/28/04 IART Meeting
There was no late-breaking news to report at this time.
Responses to Action Items from the September 28, 2004 IART Meeting
Mr. Schlesinger asked if the J-2 Eastern Boundary plume map is available to the public at tonight's meeting. Ms. Curley of the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program (IAGWSP) confirmed that the map is included in tonight's presentation handout, which is available to the public.
Agenda Item #3. Remediation Update
Demolition Area 1 Groundwater Rapid Response Action
Mr. Nixon thanked those, including David Dow, who attended the October 5, 2004 event to recognize the IAGWSP's transition from investigation to cleanup.
Mr. Nixon noted that the Rapid Response Action (RRA) groundwater system at Pew Road began operating in late August and the system at Frank Perkins Road began operating at the end of September. The two systems are treating to nondetect close to a half-million gallons of water per day, and there has not yet been any breakthrough in the primary treatment filters. At Pew Road, influent concentrations of perchlorate have been between about 2 and 5 parts per billion (ppb), and the maximum RDX concentration seen was 0.56 ppb. As expected, higher influent concentrations have been seen at Frank Perkins Road: perchlorate at 36 to 38 ppb, and RDX at 3.5 to 4.8 ppb.
Soil Rapid Response Actions
Mr. Nixon reported that the soil RRA at Demo 2 has been completed and the soil RRAs at Demo 1, the J-3 Range, the J-2 Range, and the Central Impact Area are almost completed, with about 4,000 tons of soil left to be excavated. He also noted that the thermal treatment unit (TTU) was used to treat some soils from the Chemical Spill 19 (CS-19) site, which is being excavated under the Installation Restoration Program (IRP). Mr. Nixon further noted that the TTU was temporarily shut down while the remaining RRA soils are being excavated, but will resume operating at the end of November to complete soil treatment. He also mentioned that the TTU was used to treat contaminated soil excavated from blow-in-place (BIP) locations.
Mr. Nixon said that once the TTU resumes operating in November, it's expected to run for one to two weeks to treat soil from the sites that are currently undergoing unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance and remaining excavation work. He noted that so far the TTU has treated about 43,000 tons of soil, all of which met the treatment criteria. He also mentioned that in a few instances it was necessary to re-treat 100-yard batches of soil that didn't meet the criteria after the first time through the unit. However, since the last IART meeting, all the soil that went through the system passed the criteria after its first time through.
Mr. Hugus asked when the TTU is scheduled to be taken off site. Mr. Nixon replied that treatment is expected to be completed sometime in early December. He also noted, however, that the TTU can be brought back to site in the future, and the plan is to keep the infrastructure (concrete pads, electricity, and so forth) in place. Mr. Hugus said that his understanding from reading the September IART meeting minutes is that there's some concern that it might not be easy to get the TTU back once it leaves the site.
Mr. Gonser stated that one thing being discussed with the contractor is leaving the unit at the site for storage, in which case it would be available for use if anything comes up. He also noted that the IAGWSP had no difficulty in getting the TTU that's currently at the base, which is not the only one available. He added that it takes about three weeks to set up the treatment unit, but availability would of course depend on other work that the contractor has. Even so, if all the units were being used elsewhere, given that they operate 24-hours-a-day, treating about 20,000 cubic yards of soil per month, they can get through big projects quite quickly.
Mr. Hugus questioned whether it would save money to buy, rather than rent, a TTU. Mr. Gonser replied that in this case it's less expensive to rent the unit, the cost of which includes the trained staff to operate it. Mr. Hugus then asked if the TTU could be kept busy if it remained at the base. Mr. Gonser explained that because the unit goes through so much soil so quickly, it's necessary to have a large quantity of excavated soil stockpiled and ready to go. He said that it costs more to treat a small quantity of soil than it does a large quantity since the contractor would charge the same amount for mobilizing the staff. Mr. Gonser noted that it would probably be significantly less costly to ship small quantities of excavated soil off site rather than treat them in the TTU, unless it's operating at full productivity.
Mr. Schlesinger said that he left last month's IART meeting with the sentiment that the IAGWSP really doesn't want to clean up the Central Impact Area and therefore saw no problem with the TTU leaving the base. He then asked whether that sentiment was misplaced. Mr. Gonser replied that the IAGWSP and the regulators have been talking about these exact issues recently, and he believes that everyone agrees to the approach of continuing to look for RRA opportunities for both soil and groundwater, some of which may very well exist in the Central Impact Area. However, the timing wasn't right to hold the TTU on the base as the rental charges would become exorbitant. Mr. Gonser said that it's better to develop plans, review priorities given the funding that's available for each fiscal year, and then execute the plan. In this case, the IAGWSP brought the TTU to the base to handle a particular package of RRAs, and now it's time to start planning and preparing for more packages.
Mr. Schlesinger asked why the IAGWSP couldn't declare the Central Impact Area one RRA location and begin going after the various targets that way. Mr. Gonser said that he agrees that there's some value to that approach. However, it's a matter of having plans made and setting priorities for funding, and much of the focus for the upcoming year is going to be on groundwater remediation: the final system at Demo 1, the RRA systems at the J-3 Range and the J-2 Range, and further investigation at the J Ranges that will lead to plans for long-term solutions there. Mr. Gonser explained that timing is an issue, and while the IAGWSP doesn't necessarily disagree that soil RRAs are a good idea, having the equipment on base isn't the driving factor because cost-wise there are alternatives that are just as good. For example, the IAGWSP is looking at some innovative technologies to treat soils at the Central Impact Area, including in situ treatment.
Mr. Hugus suggested that the IART members need a comprehensive presentation about the soil contamination in the Central Impact Area so they can understand the situation and prioritize. He said that he thinks it's time to zero in on the problem and a comprehensive presentation might provide a way to start proceeding logically. Mr. Schlesinger recommended that someone from Natural Resources be in attendance when that presentation is made, given that he's heard that that is one of the stumbling blocks associated with cleaning up the Central Impact Area. Mr. Pinaud said that he thinks that's a great idea and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) supports it.
Mr. Nixon noted that he'd forgotten to mention earlier that the excavation at Demo 1 is about 80% complete at this time. He showed a photograph of a test pit at the bottom of the bowl at Demo 1 and pointed out the UXO expert on site. He reported that no metal had been found there, and he pointed out the soil layers that indicate that natural, undisturbed soil had been reached. He further noted that an EM-61 magnetic survey is being conducted at the site to ensure that there are no metals. Mr. Nixon said that once results from the EM-61 survey and from post-excavation sampling become available and confirm that all cleanup goals were met, treated soil will be pushed into the bowl and restoration work will begin soon thereafter.
Agenda Item #4. Investigation Update
Demolition Area 1 Recent Results
Mr. Nixon reported that perchlorate was detected in profile samples collected at one of the two sentry wells recently installed for the Demo 1 plume. Perchlorate was detected at 1.1 ppb in profile samples at MW-352, which is out ahead of what was thought to be leading edge of the plume. No perchlorate, however, was detected in MW-353, which is located about 200 feet to the north. The plan is to consult with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DEP project managers about locations for a couple of additional monitoring wells to ensure that the downgradient portion of the plume is understood. Mr. Nixon noted that this leads to the issue of whether or not a sixth extraction well is needed to address the toe of the plume as part of the comprehensive remedy. He also said that three screens were set in MW-352, groundwater results are expected to be available in a couple of weeks, and the plume outline would be redrawn, if necessary.
Mr. Schlesinger remarked that he finds it amazing that it's taken so long for the IAGWSP to find perchlorate contamination in this area where "we personally supposed" it to be many months ago. He also questioned why the new proposed monitoring well locations couldn't be discussed now at the meeting, rather than later with the regulators. Mr. Nixon stated that at this time the two proposed locations that are leading candidates are D1P-25A, which is downgradient of MW-352 and shouldn't involve any access problems, and D1P-27A, which is farther south.
Mr. Hugus said that it seems the IART has been talking about the leading edge of the Demo 1 plume for about six years, and it continues to be farther out than anticipated. He also said that he thinks it's reasonable that the Demo 1 plume has traveled so far, given the distance traveled by the plume affecting the Monument Beach wellfield in Bourne. Mr. Nixon pointed to three downgradient wells and said that data from them indicated that the toe of the plume had been reached, which is why MW-352 was expected to be a clean location. Mr. Hugus asked if the profile results from MW-352 are thought to be an anomaly. Mr. Nixon replied that the perchlorate detection in the profile samples was double-checked by the laboratory. He said that he doesn't doubt that the detection is real, but added that typically test results are lower in a sample from a monitoring well screen than from a profile sample taken from the same elevation. Mr. Hugus then inquired about the depth at MW-352. Mr. Nixon replied that the 1.1-ppb perchlorate detection occurred at 52 feet below the water table (bwt) and a 0.43-ppb perchlorate detection occurred at 102 feet bwt. Mr. Hugus commented that the detections were pretty deep. Mr. Nixon noted that they were in line with the rest of the Demo 1 plume.
Mr. Hugus then asked when results from the "D1P" wells are expected. Mr. Nixon replied that drilling of those proposed wells should happen in about one month. Mr. Hugus said that he recalls that there was going to be a long-range water supply well in that area. Mr. Nixon replied that that is correct: however, that well is very shallow and so isn't of help to the cleanup program. Mr. Hugus asked if the new wells are going to be installed in the Rod & Gun Club area. Mr. Nixon confirmed that they are and noted that the Rod & Gun Club has been informed about the drilling that will occur on the base property that it occupies. Mr. Hugus then asked if the Rod & Gun Club has a water supply well on that property. Mr. Nixon replied that he doesn't know, and Mr. Hugus said that it would be a good idea to find out, in order to protect the health of the club members.
Mr. Hugus asked how the ultimate cleanup of the plume would be affected if it turns out that concentrations of perchlorate above 1 ppb exist near Route 28. Mr. Nixon replied that modeling would have to be done to determine what the fate and transport would be, and this is part of the supplemental modeling planned for the next couple of months. Mr. Hugus said that he doesn't see any reason to have a model when actual sampling results indicate to him that the plume should be cleaned up at the toe. Mr. Nixon asked, hypothetically, if letting that part of the plume go uncaptured would be a problem if it were not going to affect anyone. Mr. Hugus replied that it would be problem, since that would be knowingly allowing contamination into the aquifer, and the goal is to restore the aquifer.
Mr. Pinaud said that the inclusion of cross-section figures during the next presentation on the Demo 1 plume would be helpful. Mr. Nixon replied that groundwater results from MW-352 will be available by that time, and cross-section figures could be provided.
Mr. Borci said that he wants to clarify that the IAGWSP still wants a five-well system and the regulators still a want a six-well system for the Demo 1 plume. He also noted that the influent concentrations at Pew Road are between 3 ppb and 5 ppb. Mr. Nixon agreed that those are the concentrations being captured at Pew Road. Mr. Borci then said that RDX has also been seen there, and added that based on the data that already existed prior to this latest perchlorate detection, EPA believed that there was sufficient justification for an extraction well downgradient of Pew Road. He said that EPA thinks that this issue should not be dragged out any longer and is in discussions with the IAGWSP regarding the additional modeling it wants to do, and whether it should wait for more data to do that. He noted that higher concentrations already have been detected at Pew Road, and he questioned the wisdom of waiting several more months to investigate the detection at MW-352 since he thinks a decision could be based on data that are available now.
Mr. Nixon began responding to Mr. Borci, who said that he didn't want to get into a debate, which he thinks would not be helpful, and who suggested that Mr. Gonser might want to make a statement. Mr. Nixon noted that he simply wanted to correct the assertion that the IAGWSP had definitely said that there shouldn't be a sixth extraction well, as it had never categorically said that.
Mr. Schlesinger asked when the additional extraction wells for the comprehensive remedy, including the one at the toe of the plume, would be installed. Mr. Nixon replied that the sixth well, if it's ever built, would be in place and operational at the same time as the rest of the system. Ms. Jennings inquired about the schedule for the system. Mr. Nixon replied that it's scheduled to be up and running in calendar year 2006. Mr. Schlesinger asked if it's correct that the system wouldn't be constructed in a piece-meal fashion. Mr. Nixon confirmed that that is correct, and noted that construction of an extraction well at the toe of the plume probably would take less lead time because it wouldn't require a very big treatment system.
Mr. Schlesinger requested clarification as to what exactly the issue is, given that the data needed to make a decision appear to exist. Mr. Nixon replied that he's not sure that everyone is in agreement about whether or not a sixth well is needed, and even if there were concurrence on that, at this point an exact location for that well wouldn't be known. Mr. Schlesinger inquired about the process for reaching concurrence.
Mr. Gonser explained that a draft feasibility study (FS) was done, and now the IAGWSP is doing an FS addendum, which will include additional data and modeling and will lay out the alternatives. Everyone will review the finalized FS and the remedy selection process that follows will lead to a decision document. Mr. Schlesinger clarified that his question pertains to how disagreements are resolved. Mr. Gonser replied that if there is a dispute within the agencies that they can't resolve after having compared the alternatives against the standard criteria, the issue becomes elevated within the agencies until agreement is eventually reached. The first attempt, however, is for the local staff to try to reach agreement.
Mr. Schlesinger inquired about the crux of the disagreement - whether it has to do with the concentrations at the toe of the plume, or whether it has to do with the IAGWSP not wanting to clean up perchlorate at 1 ppb, for example. Mr. Gonser said that he thinks it's the concentrations at the toe of the plume. He said that if they are very low and a treatment system is installed there, the influent concentrations could very well be nondetect. He also noted that the toe is located in a somewhat difficult area, just on the other side of the moraine where there are a number of clay layers. Given the low, inconsistent concentrations there, it would be hard even to determine where to locate an extraction well in order to achieve effective capture. Mr. Gonser said that he thinks the issue is how much information is needed in order to make a good decision, and then how to go about making a good decision given "the fact that it isn't black and white" because of the low concentrations.
Mr. Nixon offered to explain the technical side of the issue, pointed out the direction of the plume's migration, and said that the concentrations at the toe are very low. He said that the question is whether it's worth installing a well at the toe, when, in the same period of time and at no cost, that part of the plume would just dissipate on its own through natural processes, according to the current model. He added that he believes that the FS indicates a cost of $5.5 million to accomplish the same thing that would be accomplished by nature. Mr. Nixon also noted that the new detection farther downgradient needs to be fed into the model to determine whether it will continue to make the same prediction.
Ms. Jennings told Mr. Schlesinger that the regulators and the IAGWSP are aggressively discussing the issue to which he referred. She also said that Mr. Borci made it clear that EPA believes that a six-well remedy is needed. However, the IAGWSP wants more time to look at the information and do some more characterization work. She said that right now the agencies are trying to reach agreement on the language in the proposed plan that goes with the FS in order to be able to put it out for public comment and receive feedback. She also noted that discussions about this issue have not yet reached a standstill, and she wants the team to know that there a lot of active discussions taking place. Ms. Jennings further stated that the public will have the opportunity to comment, whether on a five-well system or a six-well system, but EPA has made it clear that it wants six wells.
Mr. Mullennix asked Mr. Nixon to remind him about the cleanup that's occurred and is occurring at Demo 1. Mr. Nixon replied that about 16,000 yards of Demo 1 source area soil has been excavated and treated. He also noted that the plume that had generated from that source area contains perchlorate and RDX, and pointed out on the map the currently operating Pew Road and Frank Perkins Road treatment systems, which, according to hydraulic monitoring done to date, are capturing the plume as intended. Mr. Nixon stated that these RRA systems are operating at a total of 320 gallons per minute and have treated about 15 million gallons of groundwater over the past month and a half. He also pointed out where additional extraction wells will be located as part of the comprehensive remedy, and noted that the question that remains unanswered at this point is whether an extraction well is needed at the toe of the plume in order to protect the public.
Mr. Mullennix concluded that the RRAs that have been implemented thus far focus on the hotspots of contamination within the plume, a couple additional wells are going to be added, and the IAGWSP is going to look at the toe of the plume to determine how far that last little bit of perchlorate contamination has traveled in order to decide whether or not treatment is needed there.
Ms. Jennings asked when the IAGWSP expects to have the information it needs to make that decision. Mr. Nixon replied that drilling of the two monitoring well locations he'd mentioned, if chosen, would begin in about one month. Data, including groundwater results from those wells, would be seeded into the model, which is a time-consuming process, and the model would be run. Mr. Nixon said that he thinks an updated plume depiction and an updated model are about six months away.
Mr. Hugus said that he wants to remind everyone that the IART has been discussing the toe of the Demo 1 plume "forever," perhaps for so long that "it's traveled quite a bit in the meantime." He also said that it does in fact matter whether or not the toe of the plume has traveled farther, and he doesn't think that dispersion is an acceptable alternative. He added that nature eventually would take care of the entire Demo 1 plume or any of the plumes; however, the whole purpose of the cleanup program is to intervene and stop the pollution. He said that the military put the contamination into the ground and is therefore responsible for cleaning it up. Mr. Hugus also said that he thinks the team should be provided with an update on Demo 1 at the next IART meeting.
Ms. Grillo asked if the 2006 budget accounts for the installation of a sixth extraction well. Mr. Gonser explained that the 2006 budget was established by someone else long ago, but the IAGWSP does have the flexibility to move funds around within that budget. Therefore, it would be possible to expand the scope of the Demo 1 project, if needed.
J-2 Range Plume Results
Mr. Hill showed a map depicting contamination emanating to the north and east from the J-2 Range. He reported that profile results from a new well, MW-351, showed no perchlorate, but did show RDX detections in three intervals, which was fairly consistent with what had been seen upgradient. He also reported that MW-354 tested nondetect for both perchlorate and explosives.
Mr. Hill said that the IAGWSP is conducting investigations to fill in some of the details around the J-2 Range Eastern Boundary plumes, including an effort to determine whether perchlorate detections in MW-319 and MW-158 are connectable. He noted that this southernmost Eastern Boundary plume migrates off base into the Forestdale area of Sandwich, where the IAGWSP has established three monitoring well locations. Drilling of the first location (J2P-47), on Forestdale School property, began last week and results are expected for review next week. Mr. Hill pointed out the next two off-base drilling locations, as well as some contingency locations not depicted on the map, and a location northwest of MW-339, also not depicted on the map.
Mr. Hill stated that sampling of the Upper Cape Water Cooperative (the Co-op) chemical monitoring wells associated with water supply wells #1 and 2 showed no detections, nor did a handful of off-base irrigation wells that were tested. He also said that the investigative work at the J-2 Range includes some source area investigations that the IAGWSP plans to begin soon, perhaps within the next week or two. He noted that the Eastern Boundary plumes appear to involve several different point sources, and are not as "tidy" as the J-2 Range Northern plume, for which there was a very well defined source area. He said that the ability to predict the depth and distance that the plumes have traveled will be enhanced through information obtained from the source area investigation and a general understanding of release histories.
Mr. Hill also announced that the public is invited to attend an information session at the Forestdale School on November 10, 2004, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. He noted that posterboards will be on display and staff from the regulatory agencies and from the IAGWSP will be available to speak with members of the public.
Mr. Schlesinger inquired about measures to inform the public about the Forestdale information session. Ms. Curley replied that the event will be publicized via a newspaper ad, mailers to residents of the Forestdale neighborhood, a news release scheduled to be issued the end of this week, and another news release to be issued closer to the event. Mr. Schlesinger asked if a representative from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health would be at the event. Mr. Williams indicated that he would attend.
Mr. Schlesinger referred to the Eastern Boundary plumes and asked if the U.S. Coast Guard wells are being included in the sampling scheme. Mr. Hill replied that the contamination tends to be very deep, and many of those wells, which were installed by the IRP, tend to be too shallow to be of use. He also noted that the IAGWSP did look at all the screen intervals and sampled those that appeared to be well positioned for providing information about the plumes.
Mr. Schlesinger asked why the proposed well locations aren't farther out beyond the toe of the plumes, especially given how quickly perchlorate is known to travel. Mr. Hill pointed out that RDX, not perchlorate, was detected in the downgradient well MW-351. He also noted that the source release history in the J-2 Range is very uncertain. Although it's known that disposal and burning activities occurred there, the events were episodic, and the releases are likely to reflect that episodic nature, which means there may be holes in the plumes. He said that the IAGWSP is first trying to determine the size of the study area and then will fill in the details as necessary to determine appropriate cleanup strategies. He also noted that there's been a learning curve with respect to implementing the protocols associated with securing easement agreements for off-base drilling locations. Access to a number of locations has been obtained, however, and the IAGWSP expects to keep very busy in the Forestdale area for the next several months until the extent of the problem becomes understood.
Mr. Schlesinger noted that an easement is not needed to drill downgradient of MW-334 (at the toe of the central Eastern Boundary plume.) Mr. Hill said that although they have not yet been identified and are not depicted on the map, the IAGWSP is working on selecting drilling locations to the north. Mr. Schlesinger remarked that he hopes the IAGWSP uses the knowledge gained from previous locations and installs new wells "out there a ways," rather then reliving past experiences throughout the base, particularly with regard to perchlorate.
Mr. Gonser noted that the IAGWSP generally agrees with the approach of trying to bound an area of contamination, which is why MW-354 is out in front of one plume, and MW-351 is out in front of another. The effort is being made to go out a little farther to bound the area, as opposed to "just creeping out from the source area."
Mr. Hugus inquired about the square-shaped markings depicted on the map. Mr. Gonser replied that they are zones of contribution (ZOCs) that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) created for one of its water supply studies. He explained that the USGS didn't smooth out the contour line, so the squares reflect the particular grid used in the model.
Mr. Hugus also asked about the perchlorate concentration at MW-339. Mr. Hill replied that it was 11 ppb in profile sampling. Ms. Curley noted that the groundwater sample came back at 5.6 ppb.
Mr. Hugus then asked whether the Forestdale information session would begin with a presentation. Mr. Hill replied that the event is going to be a posterboard session. Mr. Hugus encouraged the IAGWSP to make a coherent presentation at the beginning of that session so that "everyone can hear everything the same way," which he thinks would help with communication. He also said that the thinks that such a presentation should include the results from the Peters Pond investigation area. He then inquired about the status of that investigation, which, he noted, was not part of Mr. Hill's presentation this evening.
Mr. Hill stated that Peters Pond Drive is a street populated by homes on private wells, one of which had some detections of perchlorate. He said that work being done upgradient might help determine attribution and nature and extent of that contamination, and is all part of the same investigation. Mr. Hugus asked why it wasn't included in tonight's presentation. Mr. Hill explained that the information was not left out deliberately; rather, the presentation was meant to focus on new information, such as recent detections. Mr. Hugus asked if no work had been done in the Peters Pond area. Mr. Hill replied that right now the investigation is moving out from known detections, one of which is at the base boundary and might take the investigation in that direction.
Mr. Hugus said that he would think this area would be a priority because perchlorate was detected in a private drinking water well. Mr. Hill replied that it has been a priority, and he again mentioned the challenge of obtaining easements for drilling locations. Mr. Hugus inquired about steps taken to protect the health of individuals who reside in that area. Mr. Pinaud said that his understanding is that the most recent sampling result from the private well on Peters Pond Drive was about 1.3 ppb. Mr. Hill noted that there have been repeated perchlorate detections in that well, which has been sampled five times. Mr. Pinaud said that the concentration was below 1 ppb in a few of the sampling rounds, but recently it was just over that amount. He also noted that none of the residents in the home with the affected well are part of any of the sensitive subgroups, and they have opted to supply themselves with bottled water.
Mr. Hugus said that he believes that an effort should be made to provide homes on Peters Pond Drive with town water hookups, and he certainly thinks that the Forestdale information session should include the sampling results from Peters Pond Drive. He also said that to him it doesn't seem enough that the residents have been informed about the perchlorate in their well and that they're providing their own bottled water. He said that he thinks the IAGWSP should be providing that bottled water and working quickly toward town water hookups for those residents and those who live near them.
Ms. Grillo encouraged the citizen members of the IART to attend the Forestdale information session, as her experience with similar IRP events has taught her that in many instances individuals prefer to speak with "civilians" rather than the regulators or cleanup program staff. She also acknowledged the recommendation to begin the information session with a brief introduction or overview, and said that she thinks that it is something that could be worked on.
Mr. Minior said that he's interested in the general history of MW-57. Mr. Hill replied that that well, which he believes has two screens, tested nondetect for perchlorate and explosives. He also said that one of those well screens is in a good location for the IAGWSP's purposes, and noted that the well was installed in the 1998/1999 timeframe. Mr. Minior noted that he recalls that some other compound was previously detected in that well. Mr. Gonser said that he thinks that PCE was detected there originally, but he doesn't know if the well is still being tested for that. Mr. Minior said that he'd like to know what those concentrations were and whether the well has been tested for other compounds again, as there could be other impacts, not related to the military, which are perhaps being overlooked at this time.
Mr. Hood asked to hear more about access issues pertaining to off-base drilling locations. Mr. Hill said that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' real estate group is looking at nine areas that the IAGWSP identified off base where it might want to install monitoring wells. Property owners willing to host a monitoring well on their land (should it be determined useful for the cleanup program) are being sought. Mr. Hill also pointed out several off-base locations on public property, and noted that the town has been very cooperative in terms of granting access. Mr. Hill explained that the town has provided a right of entry that allows for installation of a monitoring well and the collection of a few sampling rounds. In order to keep a well on public property, however, the issue has to go before town meeting before the town can have the authority to sell rights to the IAGWSP to maintain and service that well. In other words, easements for public property take more time to obtain than easements for private property. Mr. Hill noted that the three primary off-base drilling locations are all located on public property.
Mr. Gonser provided more details on the process required in order to drill off base. He noted that the process begins with locating a potential well site, and continues with: conducting research to determine the owner of the property: writing a Record of Action, from an environmental standpoint; consulting with the State Historic Preservation Office; consulting with the Wampanoag Indian tribe; requesting a directive to purchase real estate for the United States, which comes from somewhere in Washington; and obtaining approval to purchase the real estate. Once approved, the real estate group begins negotiations with the landowner to get an easement, which involves doing an appraisal, then a Record of Environmental Consideration on the real estate taking, then a Record of Action on the drilling, and also an environmental analysis on the drilling. Mr. Gonser noted that the numerous steps that must be taken are even more numerous when looking to drill on public property, which oftentimes involves school board meetings and selectmen's meetings, and requires going before a town meeting before an easement would be issued.
Ms. Jennings suggested that it would be helpful to produce a map for the Forestdale information session, and for the next IART meeting, that shows the next round of sampling locations in the areas where access is being negotiated. She said that she thinks such a map would illustrate to the public how critical those locations are in terms of being able to characterize the contamination, and would encourage neighbors to work with neighbors. She also said that the map would be helpful in terms of informing the IART where the IAGWSP stands with access.
Mr. Gonser stated that one of main purposes of the Forestdale information session is to explain to the residents why drill rigs are in their neighborhood, including on Forestdale School property, which is a safety concern for parents. Also, the session will include discussion about the investigation and plans for additional monitoring wells so that members of the public understand why wells are being drilled where they are.
Mr. Schlesinger asked Mr. Hill to point out on the map the nine proposed drilling locations, which, he noted, are important for him to know from a planning perspective and in order to be able to provide advice. Mr. Hill pointed out two primary locations: J2P-47, which could lead to tentatively identified locations along Route 130 if that well has detections; and J2E-3C, which could lead to contingency locations towards the base. He also noted that the IAGWSP has established a relationship with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (MDFW), which has agreed to grant a license to drill on its property, if necessary. Mr. Hill stated that there are a number of locations sweeping both south and north from the first primary location, and the data will indicate which direction to take.
Mr. Schlesinger pointed out an area on the map and asked if a monitoring well is planned for that particular area. Mr. Hill replied that there is, and a Wood Road location also is being considered, as are a couple more locations at the Forestdale School. Mr. Murphy noted that Mr. Schlesinger and Ms. Jennings are recommending that information about potential well sites be available for the Forestdale information session. Mr. Schlesinger added that he hopes that this information is included on the map the next time the IART discusses the J-2 Range investigation; otherwise, he has no way of knowing where the next activity is going to be.
Mr. Hugus remarked that while Mr. Gonser's list of difficulties in securing sites for monitoring wells was impressive, he can only say that it's regretful that the National Guard didn't take as many steps to determine the appropriateness of burning, dumping, and firing along the base border near residential areas. He said that he thinks the military should be humbled by what it has done to the environment in this area, and should be doing everything it can to make up for that damage rather than talking about all the regulations that are standing in the way. He also requested that an update on the Peters Pond private well situation, and efforts to protect the health of the residents there, be provided at the next IART meeting.
Agenda Item #5. Open Discussion
Mr. Hugus said that when a Falmouth summer resident he knows asked to be provided with a map depicting contamination from the base, the only map that he (Mr. Hugus) could find that showed all the plumes base-wide was the one that showed the proximity of the plumes to cranberry bogs on the Upper Cape. He said that as far as he knows, there is no base-wide plume map available to the public.
LTC Tyminski from the Environmental & Readiness Center (E&RC) reported that a recent version of a base-wide plume map is now available at the local libraries. Mr. Hugus said that he looks forward to seeing that map. LTC Tyminski noted that the E&RC could send a copy of the map to the Falmouth summer resident, if Mr. Hugus provides a mailing address. Mr. Minior suggested that copies of the map should be available at the Forestdale information session. LTC Tyminski agreed to provide maps for that event. Ms. Grillo asked when the map was sent to the libraries, and noted that generally the regulators would be notified in advance. LTC Tyminski said that the map went out to the libraries a couple of weeks ago. Mr. Hugus said that he's surprised that the IART didn't have an opportunity to review the map before it was made available to the public. He also asked LTC Tyminski to bring copies of the map to the next IART meeting.
Mr. Schlesinger said that he's not surprised that the map was issued before the team was able to review it. He also said that he imagines that the J-2 Range Eastern Boundary plumes are not included on the map. LTC Tyminski confirmed that that is correct. Mr. Schlesinger remarked that once again "the public doesn't have the entire picture," and he's disappointed that the IART wasn't given the chance to request that those plumes be added to the map before it was finalized.
Mr. Hugus referred to the Central Impact Area map that's typically included in IART mailings and said that there are two problems with it. One problem is that the team should have at least one working map that shows the entire base, not just the Impact Area. The other problem is that the map highlights the training areas (which aren't important to the IART) rather than the plumes, which are not depicted, leaving the user to "connect all the dots and figure out where the plumes might be." Mr. Hugus stated that he thinks this ought to be changed since the team needs a map that emphasizes where the plumes are, not where the training areas are.
Ms. Grillo asked if the public was notified about the availability of the new base-wide plume maps at the libraries. LTC Tyminski replied that he thinks there was a notice about the maps, but he's not sure.
Agenda Item #6. Adjourn
Mr. Murphy noted that the IART would meet next on December 7, 2004 at the Falmouth Holiday Inn. He then adjourned the meeting at 7:35 p.m.