Impact Area Review Team

River River Drops of rain on a leaf

Impact Area Review Team
Falmouth Holiday Inn
August 23, 2005
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Meeting Minutes

Members: Organization: Attendees: Organization:
Hap Gonser IAGWSP Lori Boghdan IAGWSP
Ben Gregson IAGWSP Kris Curley IAGWSP
Mike Minior AFCEE/MMR John McDonagh IAGWSP
Lynne Jennings US EPA Paul Nixon IAGWSP
Margery Adams US EPA Doug Karson AFCEE/MMR
Len Pinaud MassDEP Bill Sullivan E&RC
Ellie Grillo MassDEP Jane Dolan US EPA
Kevin Hood UCONN/TOSC David Dow Sierra Club
Peter Schlesinger IART/Sandwich Amanda Lehmert Cape Cod Times
Judy Conron IART/Bourne Chuck Raymond GeoSyntec
    Mark Hutson Weston Solutions
    David Heislein MacTec
    Rick Carr STL
Facilitator: Organization: Jennifer Washburn Portage Environmental
Jim Murphy US EPA Jane Moran Portage Environmental

Action Items:

  1. Mr. Schlesinger requested that the IAGWSP provide more precise information regarding the locations where UXO discoveries are found.
  2. Mr. Pinaud agreed to look into comment opportunities on the DEP perchlorate occurrence report.
  3. Mr. Schlesinger requested that the IAGWSP consider developing a plume shell to depict RDX contamination coming from the J-1 Range.
  4. Mr. Schlesinger asked that renewable energy, as a supplemental energy source to run groundwater cleanup systems, be considered by both the IAGWSP and the IRP.
  5. Mr. Dow suggested examining the size of explosive particles at the site of the August 4, 2005 detonations, which may help in the Central Impact Area Study.
  6. Minior recommended that the IAGWSP show Demolition Area 1 RDX and perchlorate plume contours to risk-based concentrations, rather than to nondetect, especially for graphics used for the upcoming public hearing on the Demo 1 Remedy Selection Plan.

Future Agenda Items:

  • Natural Resources Discussion
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health Update

Handouts Distributed at Meeting:

  1. Responses to Action Items from the July 26, 2005 IART Meeting
  2. Presentation handout: Remediation & Investigation Update
  3. Presentation handout: Remedy Selection Plan Demolition Area 1 Groundwater Plume
  4. IAGWSP fact sheet: Remedy Selection Plan for the Demolition Area 1 Groundwater Plume
  5. UXO Discoveries/Dispositions Since Last IART (Ending 8/19/05)
  6. News Releases, Neighborhood Notices and Media Coverage 7/27/05 - 8/19/05

Agenda Item #1. Welcome, Agenda Review, Approval of July 26, 2005 IART Minutes

Mr. Murphy convened the meeting at 6:05 p.m. and reviewed the agenda. The Impact Area Review Team (IART) members introduced themselves and Mr. Murphy asked if there were any changes or additions to the July 26, 2005 IART meeting minutes. No comments were offered and the minutes were approved as written.

Agenda Item #2. Responses to Action Items and Late-Breaking News

Late Breaking News

Mr. Gregson reviewed the series of events associated with the open detonations of 20 munitions that occurred on the base on August 4, 2005 at about 9:00 p.m. He noted that the rounds, which were discovered as part of the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program's (IAGWSP's) investigation of the Impact Area (most of them several years ago) were too large to be destroyed in the contained detonation chamber (CDC) and were being kept in the Ammunition Supply Point (ASP) in the west-central part of the base. The safety inspector from Fort Drum determined that the rounds were unsafe, their immediate destruction was ordered, and the following day an explosives ordnance disposal (EOD) team from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey transported the rounds to the center part of the Impact Area known as the High-Use Target Area (HUTA), where the rounds were detonated.

Mr. Gregson said that the detonation area was inspected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) unexploded ordnance (UXO) safety specialist who observed two partial rounds that remained after the detonation and required further destruction. On August 5, 2005, the IAGWSP, using its standard post-BIP (blow in place) protocols, collected samples from the detonation craters, the analysis of which showed no RDX in the soil, but some low levels of perchlorate as well as TNT and TNT breakdown products. Additional sampling in response to those detections is being conducted. Mr. Gregson also noted that in a letter dated August 12, 2005 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the IAGWSP and the Massachusetts Army National Guard (the Guard), EPA requested additional details on the destruction of the rounds. He said that an information package is being prepared in response to EPA's request.

Mr. Gregson further reported that on August 17, 2005 a public meeting on the detonations was held at Christ the King Parish in Mashpee to discuss the event and present a notification protocol for similar types of events that might occur in the future. He also noted that an additional open detonation was conducted on August 18, 2005 to destroy the two partial rounds that remained after the August 4, 2005 detonation, after which additional samples were collected. Based on results from those samples, any contaminated soil will be excavated, characterized, and sent off site for disposal in accordance with the IAGWSP's BIP protocol.

Mr. Pinaud asked if the munitions had been destroyed as part of the IAGWSP or as part of the Guard's compliance program. Mr. Gonser explained that although the munitions were discovered as part of the IAGWSP's investigations, their destruction was executed by the Guard as part of its ASP safety program. The safety inspector from Fort Drum directed the action and the Guard took it through to its EOD team. The IAGWSP was not involved with the detonations, other than the destruction of the remaining two rounds and the subsequent sampling.

Mr. Pinaud asked if the IAGWSP is preparing the response to EPA's letter. Mr. Gonser replied that the Guard is taking the lead and providing the bulk of that response, but the IAGWSP will probably provide a separate response that pertains mostly to the sampling. Mr. Pinaud noted that while he wouldn't second guess the expertise of the compliance officer, he finds it hard to understand why the destruction of the munitions (which were considered safe to move twice - from the Impact Area to the ASP, and from the ASP to the detonation site), was deemed "such an emergency." Mr. Gonser said that although the Guard would have to address this, he thinks that when an item is determined safe to move, it means that it shouldn't be handled any more than absolutely necessary, and then without doing anything unusual such as putting it on a truck or tapping it with a hammer.

Mr. Schlesinger asked why the notification list wasn't used. Mr. Gonser explained that the IAGWSP's notification protocol is oriented toward BIPs that occur close to the Sandwich community. The detonations on August 4, however, dealt with a large amount of explosives and occurred at night in the middle of the Impact Area. In that particular case, there was a concern about urgency, but the IAGWSP was not involved in that part of the process. Mr. Gonser also said that he thinks that the Guard has acknowledged that it should have done a better job of notification, and held the public meeting on August 17 to ask for input on developing a notification protocol for BIPs or for any other activity on the base that would create interest or concern in the community.

Mr. Schlesinger said that he was surprised at the quantity of C4 that was used for the detonations, which was noted in the newspaper as having been 100 pounds. Mr. Gonser replied that the IAGWSP usually uses the perforators, which don't create such a big boom, but in this case the EOD military unit used its standard procedures and the fact that the IAGWSP didn't find any residual RDX indicates that it was a fairly effective explosion.

Ms. Conron inquired about the number of attendees at the public meeting. Ms. Curley replied that in addition to the representatives from the Guard, EPA, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the meeting was attended by two citizens from the community and two individuals from the Environmental Management Commission. Ms. Conron asked if it was noted how many community members called the police on the night of the detonations to find out what had happened. Ms. Curley replied that this wasn't discussed at the meeting, but it's her understanding that enough individuals called in that some emergency systems became overloaded.

Ms. Conron also asked Mr. Gonser to clarify what he means when he refers to the IAGWSP as not being part of the military. Mr. Gonser explained that the EOD detachment he'd mentioned was active-duty military, and not part of the IAGWSP, its contractors, or the USACE. Ms. Conron also asked if Mr. Gonser had been notified about the detonation. Mr. Gonser said that he thinks that the original expectation was that the IAGWSP would be detonating the rounds, but the Guard deemed the situation to be urgent and notified Mr. Gregson late that afternoon that it would be handling the detonation event, and the IAGWSP notified Ms. Jennings. Mr. Gonser added that he thinks everyone was a bit surprised that the event occurred that same night. He said that the EOD team and inspector apparently felt that the sooner the munitions were destroyed, the better, but perhaps weren't very sensitive to the noise that they would create and the community's reaction. He also noted that the Guard is trying to develop a protocol in order to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

Ms. Adams asked if it's correct that the detonations took place in an area that had already been cleaned up, the HUTA. Mr. Gregson replied that the HUTA was an investigation site as opposed to a remediation site, and while he doesn't remember whether there were contaminant detections at the specific area where the detonations took place, the IAGWSP does have the data that indicate what the pre-BIP conditions were. He also said that based on his recollection of the results, there probably was minimal contamination at that particular area.

Ms. Adams stated that it seems that detonating 100 pounds of C4 in an area with low levels of contamination is something that clearly should be avoided in the future. She also noted for the record that EPA is going to look into whether or not the event was a violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) statute, since "a planned detonation is arguably a disposal."

Mr. Schlesinger said that it was stated in the July IART meeting minutes that the monthly reports contain "a cumulative listing that breaks down by grid which items were found at which locations." He noted that he is unable to find that information in the monthly report, but maintains that it would be useful to know, at that level of specificity, where UXO discoveries were found. He explained that he believes that having this knowledge would help in making better decisions about well placement and investigative resources to better guide the study. Mr. Gregson replied that the IAGWSP could provide this information.

Mr. Dow mentioned the fate & transport discussion at the July IART meeting and recommended that the IAGWSP look at the size of perchlorate and TNT particles at the site of the August 4, 2005 detonations.

Responses to Action Item from the July 26, 2005 IART Meeting

Mr. Schlesinger thanked the IAGWSP for the additional Central Impact Area RDX cross-sections that were provided in response to his request and asked that the program continue to provide a variety of cross-sections so that team members can learn more about the structure of the plumes.

In response to a previous action item request, Mr. Pinaud announced that the draft "Occurrence Report for Perchlorate in Massachusetts" is now available on DEP's web site under the "What's New" category, and a hard copy of the report is available at tonight's meeting. Mr. Pinaud also noted that some data from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth perchlorate study is included in the occurrence report, but the availability of that study as a separate piece (in which IART member Bob Mullennix had expressed an interest) is still forthcoming. Mr. Murphy said that he'd forgotten to mention that Mr. Mullennix had contacted him to say that he wouldn't be able to attend this meeting.

Mr. Gregson inquired about opportunities for the IAGWSP and the community to comment on the occurrence report. Mr. Pinaud replied that the document is marked draft and said that he would look into an answer to this question.

Mr. Schlesinger asked Mr. Murphy to add an item about wind power to the Open Discussion portion of the meeting agenda.

Agenda Item #3. Investigation & Remediation Update

Southeast Ranges Boundary Investigation

Mr. Gregson reminded the group that, as reported at last month's IART meeting, RDX was detected in drive-point 384 (DP-384) on the base boundary at levels from 5.1 parts per billion (ppb) up to 290 ppb. He then showed a figure of the area and pointed out the Forestdale section of Sandwich, the Grand Oaks neighborhood, the Forestdale School, the base boundary, and the area where the investigation is focused, between the base boundary and the eastern end of the J-1 Range. He noted that in DP-386, which was drilled north of DP-384, RDX was found at a similar depth, but at much lower concentrations, with the maximum there being 6 ppb. He also pointed out a relatively unsuccessful drive-point location between DP-384 and DP-385 and reported that the one sample from there, which was taken from an approximately similar depth, tested nondetect for explosives and perchlorate.

Mr. Gregson also noted that in response to the detections at the boundary and in an effort to get two points in a line to help refine the off-base investigation, additional drive-points were drilled on base near Greenway Road. He reported that RDX was detected in four intervals in DP-389 at concentrations ranging from 2 to 12 ppb, and HMX was detected there at a maximum concentration of 12 ppb. In DP-391 (north of DP-389) RDX was detected at concentrations from 0.71 to 2.1 ppb, while DP-390 (south of DP-389) tested nondetect for explosives and perchlorate.

Mr. Gregson showed a close-up figure depicting the particle track from DP-384 and noted that the IAGWSP plans to drill a conventional monitoring well near the DP-384 location, as the drive-point rig was unable to reach a depth that encompasses the full thickness of the plume. He also pointed out two existing wells that were installed by the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence (AFCEE) as part of its early investigations; monitoring well 52 (MW-52) and MW-10 , which is located at the fire station on Route 130. He noted that both wells tested nondetect for explosives, MW-10 tested nondetect for perchlorate, and perchlorate results are still pending for MW-52. He also said that the AFCEE wells are water table wells and so probably aren't deep enough to reach the plume depth seen in that area. He further noted, however, that the IAGWSP is proposing to reenter MW-10 (which the particle track from DP-384 indicates is a good location) with a drive-point rig in order to achieve greater depth and collect additional samples.

Mr. Gregson then reported that the IAGWSP met with the Sandwich Department of Public Works and identified three drilling locations in the Grand Oak Road neighborhood. On August 11, 2005 the IAGWSP went before the Sandwich Board of Selectmen and received approval for the well installations, and is currently obtaining easements. Two of the proposed locations are on Little Acorn Lane and the other is at the intersection of Grand Oak Road and Little Acorn Lane. In addition, two contingency locations (JP-38 and JP-39) were identified in the median strip of Grand Oak Road. Also, the IAGWSP received approval for the drive-point installation at the existing well at the fire station. That work is scheduled to begin in mid-September, as is the work at the three monitoring well locations, if final approval is obtained in time, as expected. Mr. Gregson noted that the IAGWSP will send out neighborhood notices and fact sheets to notify residents of the drilling activity, has a news release pending, and is planning a neighborhood information session for September.

Mr. Gregson also noted that letters were sent to residents with irrigation wells that were tested in the past either by AFCEE or the IAGWSP in order to determine whether those wells still existed and, if so, whether the residents would allow them to be tested again. Ten letters were sent and five responses were received, three of which indicated that the wells no longer exist or never did exist, and two of which granted permission for testing of the wells. In addition, the IAGWSP identified 18 residential properties on the south end of Peters Pond that are likely to be using private wells. Letters were sent to those residents inquiring about the existence of the wells, their use, any available drilling information, and permission to sample them. To date the IAGWSP has received four responses to these letters, which were mailed about three weeks ago. The responses indicated that two of the wells are used for drinking water, one of the residences is hooked up to town water, and the other well is not used for drinking water. The two wells that are being used for drinking water purposes have been sampled and results are expected by the end of this week. The other 14 residents have not yet provided a response. Mr. Gregson noted that the distance between the 290-ppb detection at the base boundary and the 18 residences is about one mile. He also said that the IAGWSP is developing a workplan for the investigation of magnetic anomalies in the area to try to define the source area of the RDX detections at the base boundary.

Mr. Schlesinger asked Mr. Gregson for information about the contingency well locations and what would trigger their installation. Mr. Gregson pointed out the locations and said that depending on detections at the first wells in the Grand Oak neighborhood, the contingency wells would be drilled in an effort to define the edge of the plume in that area. Mr. Schlesinger also asked if there'd be an effort to "boost the resolution" of the groundwater model in that area to better understand where the particle track ought to be traveling. Mr. Gregson confirmed that the IAGWSP would continue to use the data that are collected to update the model, and added that "there's nothing better to define groundwater flow than a plume detection."

Mr. Schlesinger then inquired about the potential for the plume to upwell into a downgradient pond. Mr. Gregson said that it's thought that the plume would be relatively deep in the area of the ponds, so upwelling wouldn't be anticipated. He further noted, however, that more data are needed to make that determination. Mr. Schlesinger also asked about the HMX detection that Mr. Gregson had mentioned. Mr. Gregson replied that HMX was detected in DP-389 at a level of 12 ppb. He explained that because the health advisory for HMX is 400 ppb, it is the higher RDX detections that are driving the investigation of the plume. Mr. Schlesinger asked about any other HMX detections. Mr. Gregson said that he believes that HMX was detected in some of the other wells, but again at levels much lower than the RDX detections, and therefore causing much less concern from an investigation standpoint than the RDX.

Mr. Pinaud pointed out three monitoring wells that DEP installed as part of its J. Braden Thompson Road (JBT) plume investigation, and which might be helpful to the IAGWSP's investigation. He said that DEP would be happy to provide access to the wells and that he would bring more detailed information to Thursday's technical meeting. Mr. Pinaud also said that the IAGWSP might want to consider that the JBT plume "upwells completely" into Mashpee-Wakeby Pond "from fairly deep." Mr. Gregson asked if DEP is finding contaminants on the other side of the pond. Mr. Pinaud replied that no constituents associated with the JBT plume are being found there.

Ms. Adams asked if the IAGWSP had been able to track down any information on the possible melt/pour facility at the J-1 Range that was mentioned at the last IART meeting. Mr. Gregson replied that he hasn't obtained any additional information on that, but acknowledged that it's possible that the plume is the result of disposal of liquid waste from a melt/pour type of operation. Ms. Adams noted that there's a fair amount of information on past J-1 Range activities in the Textron information request responses and archive search documents.

Ms. Conron indicated that she was unfamiliar with DEP's work in that area. Mr. Pinaud explained that the JBT groundwater plume is the result of an illegal landfill on J. Braden Thompson Road. Because the responsible party didn't take responsibility for the contamination, DEP conducted an investigation to define the plume and is currently operating a pump-and-treat system to remediate it. The monitoring wells that he mentioned to Mr. Gregson were installed as part of DEP's investigation.

Mr. Schlesinger requested that at Thursday's technical meeting the project managers begin discussing the development of a plume shell for the J-1 Range RDX contamination at the base boundary. Mr. Gregson replied that this could be discussed.

Mr. Schlesinger then said that he hopes that the IAGWSP and DEP work together on this investigation, as DEP appears to have resources that would be useful. He also noted that DEP's wells are not identified any differently on maps than the military's wells, but he thinks that a graphic representation of the extent of DEP's knowledge in that area would be helpful. Mr. Pinaud said that DEP has shared its information about the JBT plume with the Air Force, and, he believes, with the Army as well. He noted that the Air Force has located DEP's wells in its Geographic Information System (GIS), and stated that anyone who finds the wells useful may have access to them. Mr. Gregson said that the IAGWSP will obtain this information from DEP, and will take a particular interest in sampling the wells that Mr. Pinaud mentioned.

Mr. Dow said that since the RDX concentrations at DP-384 are so much higher than those at DP-389, he wonders if the plume is actually detached from its source area at the J-1 Range. Mr. Gregson agreed that it was somewhat surprising to have 290 ppb of RDX and then just 12 ppb "shortly upgradient, so close to the source area," and this leads to the suspicion that the source area is either depleting or has depleted and isn't driving a lot of mass in that particular area. Mr. Dow remarked that it also raises the question of whether there's more contamination downgradient. Mr. Gregson replied that information from the new wells will be critical in determining the extent of the plume. Mr. Dow asked if the new wells would be drive-points or conventional wells. Mr. Gregson replied that the drive-point rig would be used to reenter the existing well at the fire station. The others, however, will be drilled using a conventional rig in order to ensure getting through the entire thickness of the plume.

EPA Update on Peters Pond Investigation

Mr. Gregson informed the group that the IAGWSP letter to the homeowners on Peters Pond Drive regarding drive-point results from a well on their property, which was mentioned at the last IART meeting, has been sent. He then turned the presentation over to Ms. Jennings of EPA.

Ms. Jennings stated that EPA has reached agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on the first phase of the Peters Pond investigation, which involves collecting hydraulic gradient data. Also, the homeowners on Peters Pond Drive that Mr. Gregson mentioned agreed to grant access for more drilling on their property. Starting next week, the USGS will begin installing three additional monitoring wells, 2-inches in diameter, at varying depths (about 10 feet, 50 feet, and 90 feet below water table). Water level measurements will be taken immediately after installation, and again a week later. The USGS also will be taking water level measurements at additional monitoring wells that were installed by the IAGWSP. Ms. Jennings explained that the purpose of this work is to obtain a better understanding of the groundwater flow in this area and confirm the prediction of the IAGWSP's groundwater model and the particle track that points to a potential source. In addition to taking water level measurements, the USGS will be collecting groundwater samples from the three wells it installs and sending them to EPA's laboratory for perchlorate analysis. Around the same time, all the residential wells on Peters Pond Drive will be sampled and analyzed for perchlorate as well.

Ms. Jennings noted that results from the first phase of the investigation will be evaluated to decide what the next phase will be. She said that the next phase could involve additional drive-points along the particle track to achieve a better sense for the upgradient source. She added that she thinks the biggest concern is whether there might be some higher-concentration contamination still heading toward the wells on Peters Pond Drive. She also reported, however, that perchlorate concentrations have gone down in the private well on Peters Pond Drive where perchlorate had been seen as high as 2.2 ppb. The June sampling round showed 1.1 ppb of perchlorate there, and the July sampling round showed 0.5 ppb. Ms. Jennings said that this might mean that a slug of contamination is moving through that area, and so it's good timing that the other residential wells on the road are going to be sampled too.

Mr. Schlesinger asked if there's a plan to investigate the area to the south. Ms. Jennings replied that there is not, at this point. Mr. Schlesinger also asked if the USGS's hydraulic gradient information would be applicable to the area of the J-1 Range RDX plume that was discussed tonight. Ms. Jennings replied that the USGS's information would be "pretty localized," but also noted that the IAGWSP would be taking water level measurements of its own to verify and update the model in the J-1 Range plume area.

Mr. Schlesinger also remarked that there's little distance between the residences on Peters Pond Drive, so it seems likely that "some of the same sample" could be detected, provided that the plume is wide enough. He then asked if it's known what the plan might be, should no more perchlorate contamination be detected there. Ms. Jennings replied that EPA's primary concern is to look upgradient to see whether there's a slug of higher concentrations heading toward Peters Pond Drive, although the decreasing concentrations at the private well there may suggest that a slug has already passed through or is in the process of doing so. She also said that she thinks that obtaining the water level data and chemical-specific data from the area will indicate the direction that the investigation should take. She added that this really won't be known until the direction of the particle track can be confirmed. She also said that the primary focus of the investigation is upgradient because the other residential wells on Peters Pond Drive showed nondetect or extremely low levels of perchlorate, which seemed peculiar.

Mr. Schlesinger noted that at that time decreasing concentrations weren't being seen at the one particular residential well on Peters Pond Drive that had previously shown higher concentrations. He suggested that if a slug is passing through that area, there's no more information to indicate that it's the leading edge than it is the tail end, meaning that there could be more contamination to the southeast. Ms. Jennings indicated that it's important to understand that "this is very real time data," and given the available information, it's not possible to determine what part of the plume may have been detected in the residential well, but it seems likely that it's not the tail end because little or no perchlorate contamination was detected downgradient of it. She also suggested that given that the concentrations have decreased in that residential well, which is also peculiar, perhaps it is a slug that's becoming diluted as it reaches the other wells in the area.

Mr. Gonser noted that the IAGWSP had sampled a few non-residential wells "further down," which tested nondetect. Mr. Schlesinger asked if that included the P.A. Landers irrigation well. Mr. Gonser replied that it did, and Mr. Gregson added that he believes another one was a well on the former Hewlett Packard property.

Mr. Schlesinger suggested that if this plume turns out to be as narrow as the J-1 Range plume appears to be, it will be like "looking for a needle in a haystack." Ms. Jennings agreed and said that that is why accurate particle track information is important, and EPA is going to try to verify that track as the first step in its investigation. She also stated that she thinks the next question to answer is whether some higher concentrations can be expected in the wells at the Peters Pond Drive area.

Agenda Item #4. Demolition Area 1 Remedy Selection Plan

Mr. Nixon stated that all IART members were mailed a copy of the Demolition Area 1 (Demo 1) Remedy Selection Plan (RSP), for which the public comment period began yesterday and will run through September 19, 2005, and for which a public hearing will be held at the Bourne Best Western on September 13, 2005. He also reported that a Decision Document will be issued shortly after the end of the public comment period, sometime in early October. The remedial design, portions of which have already been started, will be completed after the Decision Document has been issued, with construction expected to begin in early 2006, and the comprehensive remedy in place and operational in early 2007, if the schedule goes as planned. In the meantime, the existing Demo 1 Rapid Response Action (RRA) groundwater system, which is pumping a total of 320 gallons per minute (gpm), will continue to operate throughout the entire process.

Mr. Nixon reminded the group that the primary contaminants in the Demo 1 plume are RDX (as well as HMX and TNT) and perchlorate, which resulted from the demolition and training activities that occurred at the source area. The RDX plume is about 7,000 feet long and 500 feet wide. The perchlorate plume is about 10,000 feet long and a little wider than the RDX plume. The RDX and perchlorate plumes are co-located and about 100 feet thick. Mr. Nixon also noted that about 27,000 tons of soil was excavated and treated as part of the Demo 1 RRA for soil, which is believed to have removed the continuing source of contamination from soil to groundwater. He also reported that to date the RRA Demo 1 groundwater system has treated about 155 million gallons of groundwater and reinjected it back into the aquifer with no detectable concentrations.

Mr. Nixon stated that six alternatives were evaluated in the Demo 1 feasibility study: Alternative 1, the minimal action alternative, which is shutting down the RRA system and conducting long-term monitoring; Alternative 2, the baseline alternative, which is continuing to operate the RRA system as a final cleanup solution; Alternative 3, the background alternative, which is the two existing RRA extraction wells plus two additional extraction wells; Alternative 4, the 10-year alternative, which is the two existing RRA extraction wells plus three additional extraction wells, all being pumped aggressively to achieve cleanup in approximately a 10-year timeframe; Alternative 5, the five-well alternative; and Alternative 6, the six-well alternative, which is the five wells in Alternative 5 plus another to capture concentrations that are presently past Pew Road.

Mr. Nixon then displayed a table that provided a comparative summary of the six alternatives, including categories pertaining to design details, RDX remediation and perchlorate remediation (with years to achieve risk-based concentrations, years to achieve background concentrations, and percentage of mass removed after 10 years), capital costs, operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, and total present worth (the sum of capital costs and O&M costs). He also explained that the values shown in parentheses, for Alternatives 5 and 6, were based on results of the supplemental evaluation of those alternatives, which occurred after completion of the feasibility study, and involved newer data and an updated plume delineation. He noted that the supplemental evaluation is provided as Appendix G of the final feasibility study.

Mr. Nixon displayed the list of nine criteria against which each of the alternatives was evaluated: overall protection of human health and the aquifer; compliance with regulations; long-term effectiveness and permanence; reduction of toxicity, mobility or volume through treatment; short-term effectiveness; implementability; cost; state acceptance; and community acceptance. He then turned the presentation over to Ms. Jennings, to discuss EPA's proposed alternative.

Ms. Jennings stated that under the Administrative Orders, EPA is the final decision maker for remedies in the Impact Area. She then said that the regulatory agencies believe that the Demo 1 remedy that's been proposed is protective of human health and the environment and the aquifer, and represents the best balance among the nine criteria. She noted that the proposed remedy, called Enhanced Alternative 5, consists of five extraction wells pumping at a total rate of 906 gpm; two treatment facilities, including a new facility to be installed at Frank Perkins Road; four reinjection wells; and the implementation of long-term monitoring and institutional controls.

Ms. Jennings stated that if the proposed remedy functions as the model predicts, it will achieve the risk-based level for RDX (0.6 ppb) and reduce the perchlorate concentration to 1 ppb in 11 years, and achieve background concentrations for the contaminants in 19 years. The model also predicts that the plume will migrate approximately 250 feet before reaching a steady state under the nearby pond; that is, concentrations won't exceed risk-based levels on the other side of the pond. In the event that the remedy fails to perform as predicted, Alternative 5 has been enhanced with a contingency to deal with potential issues that concerned the regulators. One issue, on which the regulators and the IAGWSP could not reach 100% agreement, is uncertainty about the effect of the pond on groundwater flow. The other issue is the higher contaminant concentrations downgradient of Pew Road, which were more recently detected. If the model prediction that those concentrations won't end up migrating past the pond proves to be accurate, the regulators consider the remedy protective. If the model is incorrect, however, there is a contingency in place that would allow for the installation of an additional well or wells downgradient to capture the contamination that might make it past the pond.

Ms. Jennings explained that Enhanced Alternative 5 involves the installation of a network of monitoring wells on the west side of the pond, as close to the pond as possible. The wells will be monitored periodically and the model will be updated. If the monitoring data or modeled data predict that the concentrations in those wells will exceed risk-based levels, the contingency - to install an additional extraction well or wells on the west side of the pond to capture that contamination - would kick in. Also, the additional well(s) would be designed and constructed one year prior to the contamination actually reaching that point.

Ms. Jennings stated that the regulators consider Enhanced Alternative 5 to provide the same level of protection as Alternative 6 in that it restores the groundwater in approximately the same time period and minimizes the migration of the plume. And it results in a potential cost savings if the additional well(s) never need to be installed. Ms. Jennings also noted that the Demo 1 RSP includes another very significant feature, which is the Army's commitment to comply with any new state or federal standards for the contaminants of concern (including perchlorate) once they're promulgated.

Mr. Minior inquired about the system startup date. Ms. Jennings replied that it is 2007.

Mr. Schlesinger asked how the proposed alternative would be protective if the model is incorrect about the southern part of the toe of the plume, at MW-252. Ms. Jennings replied that actual data will be collected to verify the model's predictions over time, and EPA will require annual updates of the model, which is the tool to predict when to begin design and construction of additional well(s), if necessary. Mr. Gonser added that he believes that only the trigger monitoring wells are included on the particular map being shown tonight; however, there are additional wells that are part of the System Performance and Ecological Impact Monitoring (SPEIM) system. Mr. Nixon noted that MW-352 and MW-353, both of which continue to test nondetect, are in effect the first row of sentinel wells. He also pointed out the proposed monitoring wells (D1P-30, D1P-31, and D1P-32), west of the pond, which will be installed as part of Enhanced Alternative 5.

Mr. Schlesinger asked if it's correct that the sixth extraction well could be placed anywhere on the toe of the plume. Ms. Jennings replied that there have been discussions about placing it along the power line where the D1P wells are located. Mr. Gonser added that easy access because of the road and the availability of power there would provide a lot of flexibility in terms of appropriately locating a sixth well.

Mr. Pinaud said that for some time DEP has been concerned about the downgradient portion of the Demo 1 plume, but thinks that Enhanced Alternative 5 offers some satisfaction in that it provides real data through the SPEIM wells, particularly those that will be installed as part of the remedy. Between the real data, the modeling, and the contingency for extraction west of the pond, if needed, the plan addresses DEP's concerns regarding possible further migration of the plume and additional contamination of the groundwater. Mr. Pinaud also said that while DEP doesn't formally concur until after the public comment period, at this point it is in favor of Enhanced Alternative 5.

Mr. Minior asked if the RDX and perchlorate contour lines in the Demo 1 figure that's included in the RSP are risk-based lines or nondetect lines. Ms. Jennings replied that they are nondetect lines. Mr. Minior remarked that he thinks it's very important for the public to see the risk-based lines in order to understand how far the plume would have to travel in order to reach the wells that would trigger the contingency. He recommended that a figure showing risk-based lines be available for the public hearing in September. Ms. Jennings noted that a new plume shell with the more recent data hasn't been developed yet, as that occurs on an annual basis. Mr. Minior suggested that the best available information should be put forth during the public comment period, and because there's no concentration information at all on the map, he thinks it's misleading in terms of what the plume actually looks like based on the cleanup levels in the alternative that's been recommended.

Mr. Pinaud said that he thinks Mr. Minior's point is well taken. He then noted that there were inconsistencies among the Demo 1 plume shells shown in the various maps at this meeting, and he thinks it's important to have a consistent plume shell and to be able to explain exactly what it represents.

Mr. Schlesinger asked how future O&M costs were calculated, and mentioned the current rapidly rising cost of energy. Mr. Nixon replied that the numbers account for an assumed inflation rate of about 2 or 3%, although he doesn't know how unforeseen doubling of energy costs would be addressed.

Mr. Dow asked about the cost of Enhanced Alternative 5. Mr. Gonser said that the costs shown on the summary table do not include the enhancement to Alternative 5, so the total present worth cost would be $21 million plus. Ms. Jennings added that the best case would be the Alternative 5 cost and the worst case would be the Alternative 6 cost, depending on whether the contingency is triggered. Mr. Nixon said that he thinks that the real cost of Enhanced Alternative 5, with the contingency triggered, would be closer to the lower figure, as the treatment unit would be located close to the extraction well, so piping would be limited, and electricity would be very nearby.

Mr. Dow also inquired about the tradeoff between Alternative 4 (the 10-Year alternative), which costs more, and either Enhanced Alternative 5 or Alternative 6. Mr. Nixon explained that capital costs to construct the building needed for the extra flow (50 to 60% more) associated with Alternative 4, combined with the energy costs to pump that much more water, make the total cost of Alternative 4 higher than either Enhanced Alternative 5 or Alternative 6.

Mr. Dow then asked about any difference in ecological impacts between locating an extraction well west of the pond, as with Enhanced Alternative 5 and locating one on the other side of the pond, as with Alternative 6. Mr. Nixon replied that there would be less disturbance to the environment with a well west of the pond, as it is already a disturbed area because of the power line and roadways there.

Mr. Schlesinger said that if he understood correctly, Mr. Nixon said that the capital cost of Alternative 4 is higher because it would require a bigger treatment building. However, if the energy costs to run that facility increase as much as energy costs have increased this year, given the three-year difference in cleanup time between Alternatives 4 and Alternatives 5 or 6, it could cost substantially more to run a smaller facility than to run the larger facility for the shorter period of time it would take to reach risk-based concentrations. Mr. Gonser explained that the way the IAGWSP arrived at Alternative 5 was to optimize the tradeoff between upfront capital costs and long-term operations, going from the 10-year to a 14-year cleanup timeframe, with 14 being the optimum balance between upfront capital costs and the operating costs. He said that the calculation probably didn't consider the large increase in electrical costs, and mentioned the idea of pumping a little harder to achieve a 13-year cleanup timeframe. He also said "that's how we got there, we optimized from both ends to the best combination of upfront costs and operating costs." Mr. Nixon made a point of noting that some extra capacity is planned for the treatment facilities, leaving some margin to optimize the system if it proves to be beneficial to pump at a higher rate.

Ms. Curley noted that the public comment period of the Demo 1 RSP will run through September 19, 2005. A posterboard session, presentation, and public hearing are scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. on September 13, 2005 at the Best Western Hotel in Bourne. Comments made during the public hearing will be recorded by a court reporter and responses to those comments will be provided in a responsiveness summary that will be part of the decision document. Ms. Curley also noted that IART members' comments at tonight's meeting will be transcribed and provided to them so they can submit them as part of the formal public comment period. She said that comments can be submitted by mail, fax, e-mail, or through the IAGWSP web site at

Agenda Item #5. Open Discussion

Mr. Schlesinger said that given rising energy costs and the large amount of electricity the cleanup is projected to require, he recommends that the IAGWSP look into using wind power from a utility-scale turbine on the northern part of the base, which would reduce the taxpayer's burden of paying for the electricity to run the cleanup systems and would showcase the military as "environmentally forward," good stewards of the land. He noted that the rapidly rising cost of energy is well known and that costs could be considerably higher down the line; therefore, he thinks it makes perfect sense to use some of the millions of dollars earmarked for cleanup and put them into creating an electric plant that uses a renewable source - wind. Mr. Schlesinger also mentioned that he'd heard that the Air Force or one of the contractors has started to look into demonstration or test systems, but he thinks it would really behoove the IAGWSP, which is going to become a major use of power, to spend some of its money "in a forward-looking sort of way."

Mr. Gonser said that he agrees and noted that the IAGWSP has begun looking into wind power and has discussed fuel cells as well. He also said that AFCEE has looked into this quite a bit and the IAGWSP would certainly take whatever that agency has learned. Mr. Schlesinger noted that fuel cells require hydrogen, which at the moment can only be produced using fossil fuels, although there are efforts to harness renewable energies to produce hydrogen. Therefore, he thinks that using wind power to help run the treatment systems directly makes more sense than using fuel cells at this time. He also said that thinking forward from a public perspective, and given the kind of timelines associated with the IAGWSP's cleanup efforts, he thinks it makes good sense to put an effort into wind power now "because spending a million dollars today, it's a bit different than spending that same million three years from now."

Mr. Minior stated that he personally has been in favor of wind power for a very long time and in fact supports the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound. He also said that AFCEE has looked into wind power, which is "probably a worthwhile investment." AFCEE's cleanup systems use more than 10 million kilowatts of electricity per year, which costs about $1.5 million, and so the program is always looking for ways to optimize its systems and thereby reduce costs.

Mr. Minior also noted that when conducting risk assessments, EPA doesn't allow AFCEE to factor in the air pollution that's created by producing the energy needed to run the groundwater cleanup systems. However, the numbers show that more air pollution pounds are generated from producing that energy than are actually removed from the groundwater. Mr. Minior said that he thinks it's unfortunate that AFCEE is not allowed to bring this into the equation when looking at cleanups.

Mr. Minor then mentioned the Massachusetts Maritime Academy's proposed 660-kilowatt wind tower, which is expected to cost about $2 million that's estimated to be paid back in electricity savings within seven to eight years. He also noted, however, that care would have to be taken when locating a wind tower on the base, given that there's an active airfield there. He said that the recent wind farm study looked at the base as an option rather than Nantucket Sound, and that information can be found in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). He also noted, however, that he thinks it is potentially viable to locate wind towers "one here and one there" on the base, and believes that looking into that is very worthwhile. Although in terms of paying for such a project, the people in Washington would have to be convinced that the payback is real.

Mr. Pinaud said that ten years ago Matt Patrick introduced the idea of utilizing wind energy to help subsidize the electricity used on base and for the remediation systems. The base commanders voted it down, however, because the proposal was set up in such a way that the project would have interfered with military operations. Mr. Pinaud said that he does, however, think that it's worthwhile to look into using wind power on the base. He also remarked that while the wind farm study had determined that there wasn't enough wind on the base to support selling the electricity, there certainly might be enough to subsidize some of the treatment systems.

Mr. Schlesinger stated that to his knowledge the average wind speed on the base is 15 mph, while the average wind speed in Nantucket Sound is 19 mph, with the 4 mph difference being what makes Nantucket Sound commercially feasible. He also said that wind turbines on the base would just be used to help power treatment systems and wouldn't require extensive distribution systems.

Mr. Minior explained that because of the fluctuations, it wouldn't be possible to rely on wind power alone to keep the treatment plants running. Rather, the power would be routed into the grid, and there are some locations on the base where that can be done. The result would be a kilowatt-hour offset on electric bills. Mr. Schlesinger replied that he was aware of that and has his credits as well for the solar panels on his roof.

Mr. Schlesinger also referred to Mr. Minior's comment about AFCEE not being allowed to consider air emissions in its risk assessments. He then suggested that "it might be just as wise for EPA to take into consideration the impact to air emissions using fossil fuels as opposed to using wind" when assessing the value of either plan. He also recommended that the IAGWSP contact the group on the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) that was set up to look into "environmentally-friendly alternatives."

Mr. Schlesinger further recommended that the base cleanup programs look into processing of spent grease from Cape Cod restaurants to create bio-diesel and fuel local vehicles. He said that this is an excellent way to reduce emissions and would make the programs a showcase for "what can be done to not only clean up the groundwater, but do it in an environmentally sound and renewable manner." He also mentioned that the restaurants currently get rid of spent grease either by having it hauled away to a location north of Boston or by releasing it into their septic systems. Mr. Schlesinger said that he thinks it might be helpful if the cleanup programs looked at alternatives that limit the increase of emissions as much as possible, and not further decrease "the value of our already heavily stained-air" in favor of cleaning up the groundwater.

Mr. Dow said that although he agrees that it would be good to move toward using wind power, he thinks it's erroneous to assume that building a wind farm in Nantucket Sound or on the base would displace fossil fuels generated electricity. Although wind power or other renewable sources will supplement what's already generated from fossil fuels, he doesn't think they will replace it, especially since fossil fuels energy provides a steady flow of electricity whereas wind power depends on the how windy or calm the day is. Mr. Dow also said that some economic analyses indicate that it would be better to wait rather than take action now. However, he does think there are a lot of good environmental reasons for moving forward with wind power, the most important of which he believes is that it would provide a good example of the military being positive environmental stewards.

Ms. Conron said that she has found this conversation to be very interesting, both from an ecological point of view and from a taxpayer's point of view. She said that she thinks it's worth discussing and recommends keeping the topic on the front burner.

Mr. Schlesinger noted that he is thankful for Mr. Dow's comments, but wants to clarify that he wasn't suggesting that wind power at the base would replace the grid. Nevertheless, he thinks it would be a step in the right direction of an incremental process, and he believes that it's important to start working towards creating cleaner air and "doing the responsible thing of using renewable fuels."

Mr. McDonagh mentioned that he saw a nice Prius hybrid vehicle with EPA plates in the parking lot as he was coming into the meeting, and offered his thanks for promoting good energy usage and better air quality on Cape Cod.

Mr. Schlesinger inquired about plans for follow-up with respect to his recommendation about pursuing wind power. Ms. Grillo suggested that Mr. Schlesinger include his remarks in the comments he submits during the Demo 1 public comment period, for which a responsiveness summary will be prepared. Ms. Conron asked if a section on wind power could be included in the Demo 1 RSP document. Mr. Gonser replied that the responsiveness summary, which will be part of the final report, would include responses to any comments about wind power. He also told Mr. Schlesinger that both he and Mr. Minior could take his recommendation back to their respective programs. He also mentioned having to deal with the owners of the installation and their missions to fly helicopters, and the like, but added that to the extent that such issues could be addressed, and given that it's reasonably economical, he sees no reason why he couldn't put forth innovative ideas like wind power when projects are being proposed.

Ms. Grillo asked if the Army Environmental Center (AEC) has a branch for innovative technologies or energy resources. Mr. Gonser replied that the AEC has a large technology group, but it doesn't deal much with energy conservation. However, the IAGWSP can tap into the Army's energy conservation program. He also mentioned that the U.S. Coast Guard on MMR has been doing some "quite progressive" things, which provide opportunities as well.

Agenda Item #6. Adjourn

Mr. Murphy noted that the IART would meet next on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 at the Holiday Inn in Falmouth. He then adjourned the meeting at 8:22 p.m.

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