Impact Area Groundwater Study Program
The supply of fresh water found beneath the earth's surface
An underground water source
A body of groundwater that contains contaminants in excess of amounts allowed by law; the plume is defined by multiple samples from multiple monitoring wells
The training location where artillery and mortar targets were placed and fired at (Camp Edwards has a 5,000 acre impact area)
Installation Restoration Program - The U.S. Department of Defense program used at U.S. military bases to identify, investigate, and clean up contamination resulting from past operations; an IRP is located at Otis Air National Guard Base on the Massachusetts Military Reservation
Impact Area Review Team
parts per billion - A measure of concentration of contaminants; in water, it is equivalent to micrograms per liter; in soil, it is equivalent to micrograms per kilogram
Semi-volatile organic compound - Any compound containing carbon that partially vaporizes when exposed to air
Contaminant Of Concern, Chemical Of Concern
This fact sheet also updates information contained in an original fact sheet for the Groundwater Study Program dated June 16, 1999.
RDX - Royal Dutch or Research Department Explosive is used as a part of a composite explosive in military munitions and in explosive demolition charges
HMX - High Melting Explosive is white crystalline solid used as a part of a composite explosive used in military munitions
TNT - 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene is produced both at military arsenals and commercial facilities and is used alone or as part of a composite explosive in military munitions.
2,4-DNT - 2,4-Dinitrotoluene is used to produce ammunition and explosives, and is a compound of most propellants.
Perchlorate - a component in solid propellant for rockets, fireworks and missiles.
The explosive compound most frequently detected is RDX, which is currently classified by EPA as a Class C carcinogen (a possible human carcinogen). To date, RDX has been detected in groundwater both below and above EPA's Health Advisory of 2 parts per billion (ppb). According to validated groundwater data, RDX has been reported in 75 monitoring wells; 42 of the wells had RDX above the Health Advisory.
Massachusetts Contingency Plan In addition to complying with the Administrative Orders issued by the EPA, the Groundwater Study Program must conduct investigations and remediation to meet the substantive requirements of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, or MCP, regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The MCP is the state regulation that provides for the protection of health, safety, public welfare, and the environment by establishing regulations and procedures for the assessment of environmental contaminants, the evaluation of alternatives of and the implementation of remedial actions to abate, prevent and remedy contamination. More information on the MCP can be found at: www.mass.gov/dep/bwsc.
Munitions Survey Project
The MSP was designed to acquire data that could be used to support the groundwater study. In particular, it was intended to fill significant gaps in data relevant to the issue of ordnance, buried munitions, and burial pits at Camp Edwards. The intention of the MSP was to provide to stakeholders information about the current condition of the ranges and locations at Camp Edwards. The original set of tasks drafted in mid-1999 has been refined and modified as new information about buried ordnance at Camp Edwards has been discovered and analyzed. The survey focuses on locating large burial pits or disposal sites because such sites were assumed to be potential sources of explosive chemicals detected in groundwater. Preliminary findings suggest that smaller burial sites or even individual unexploded ordnance can be located using geophysical techniques. All of the information gathered as part of the MSP will be utilized to support the UXO Feasibility Study required by the EPA Administrative Order No. 3.
Remediation—How Does the Groundwater Study Program Identify and Clean Up Contamination?
The following actions will be taken to address contamination at each site that poses a risk to human health and the environment.
Feasibility Study - a separate feasibility study will be prepared for each area of concern. A feasibility study is used to evaluate cleanup technologies and alternatives to be used for the containment, treatment, or removal of contamination from a site.
Remedial Design -the engineering design necessary to complete the remediation or cleanup of the contamination
Remedial Action -the construction of the remediation or cleanup alternative and its operation
The remedy selection process for each area of concern is as follows: A draft feasibility study will be developed outlining alternatives and technologies being considered for the cleanup process. After all input is received, a proposed plan which lays out the recommended approach for the cleanup will be written. This plan will be developed by the Groundwater Study Program then reviewed by the EPA, MassDEP and the IART prior to being released for a public comment period. The IART serves as an advisory group on decision making. Upon the receipt and evaluation of any comments received during the public comment period, NGB will prepare a decision document for approval by EPA that describes the cleanup remedy that will be performed. Upon selection of the remedy, the cleanup phase of the project begins. A Remedial Design document that describes the design of the system to be used for the cleanup will be prepared by Groundwater Study Program and reviewed by the EPA, MassDEP and presented to the IART. The design will then be reviewed by the regulatory agencies when it is 60% designed and again at 100% design. This plan will detail the actual construction phase of the project.
For More Information
There are several ways to get more information on the Groundwater Study Program. Information repositories have been established in five local libraries to make information on the program available to the public. The repositories are updated to ensure that all necessary documents including copies of work plans, sampling results, site reports, fact sheets, meeting minutes and other materials are available. The repositories are located at:
Interested citizens can also visit the Groundwater Study Program office located on West Outer Road on the Massachusetts Military Reservation.
Members of the public are encouraged to attend the IART meetings, typically held on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
Contact the following individuals for more information:
Kris Curley - IAGWSP Public Relations
Ellie Grillo - MassDEP Community Involvement
Jim Murphy - EPA Community Involvement
Groundwater Study Program at the Massachusetts Military Reservation
Fact Sheet 2001-02
Groundwater Study Program
For nearly 90 years, military, law enforcement and contractor activities have been conducted in the training ranges and Impact Area. Activities included:
In February of 1997, the Environmental Protection Agency issued the first Administrative Order concerning Camp Edwards. The Impact Area Groundwater Study Program was established to respond to this order. Administrative Order 1 (AO1) was issued to the National Guard Bureau (NGB) and it required the NGB to investigate the nature and extent of contamination at and emanating from the training ranges and Impact Area on Camp Edwards. AO1 also required that Groundwater Study Program activities be conducted with adequate public involvement, including coordinating work with the citizen advisory committee established by the EPA, the IART.
The second Administrative Order (AO2) was issued in April of 1997 to the National Guard Bureau and the Massachusetts National Guard. It required that certain training activities (artillery and mortar firing) cease pending the completion of environmental investigations at the training ranges and Impact Area.
In January of 2000, EPA issued Administrative Order No. 3 (AO3), which required the National Guard Bureau and the Massachusetts National Guard to conduct rapid response actions, feasibility studies and remedial actions to address contamination in certain areas at the training ranges and Impact Area. It required the NGB to undertake a feasibility study to address unexploded ordnance (UXO) and munitions, which have been disposed of or fired at the training ranges and Impact Area. It also required the NGB, upon approval from EPA, to implement remedial measures relating to UXO and munitions.
Administrative Order No. 4 (AO4) was issued on January 4, 2001 under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to the National Guard Bureau. This order requires that munitions found subsurface or in burial pits be properly stored and disposed of in a Contained Detonation Chamber (CDC), or by other means which prevent the release of explosives, metals and other contaminants into the environment. As of June 2001, 1703 items have been destroyed using the CDC with additional items awaiting disposal.
Status of Investigations
See the map for the location of these sites.
It has been determined that for each major site, a feasibility study must be prepared to evaluate potential alternatives for conducting groundwater and soil cleanup. A feasibility study evaluates technologies and alternatives to be used for the containment, treatment and or removal of contamination from a site. In addition, the Groundwater Study Program is conducting an investigation and a feasibility study to address potential environmental impacts from unexploded ordnance throughout Camp Edwards.
What follows is a summary and update on the investigations at these sites, as well as an update on other surveys and investigations being conducted on Camp Edwards.
Demolition Area 1
Soil and groundwater investigations have been conducted at Demolition Area 1 to identify the nature and extent of contamination at the site. Investigations began in June of 1997 and continue to date. For groundwater, the Contaminants of Concern (COCs) are the explosive compounds - RDX, TNT, HMX, 2A-DNT, 4A-DNT, 2,4-DNT, and perchlorate.
RDX and perchlorate have migrated the farthest in the groundwater. Plumes of these compounds as currently defined extend about 5,500 feet west of Demo Area 1 and are about 400 feet wide and 100 feet deep in the aquifer. The maximum measured groundwater contamination found to date is 370 parts per billion (ppb) for RDX and 300 ppb for perchlorate. The lifetime health advisory for RDX in drinking water is 2 ppb. There is currently no federal or state drinking water standard for perchlorate, but the EPA has calculated that a safe exposure level in drinking water for perchlorate is in the range of 4–18 ppb. A detailed evaluation of six remedial technologies for these constituents is currently under discussion with the regulatory agencies.
The 12 contaminants of concern for soil are under review by the regulatory agencies. They are primarily explosives and propellants, but also include several other compounds such as metals, semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), and dioxin. Once approved by the agencies, the selected COCs will form the basis for evaluating the cleanup alternatives for the soil contamination.
Southeast Corner of the Ranges
What appears to be five distinct areas of groundwater contamination have been detected between Snake Pond and the Southeast Corner of the Ranges. Additional areas of groundwater contamination have been detected further north in the J range area. The explosives detected in these areas will most likely migrate northwest towards the Central Impact Area. Perchlorate has also been detected at 6 locations in the southeast corner of the range. The National Guard Bureau is continuing to investigate the extent of soil and groundwater contamination in this area.
Central Impact Area
Gun and Mortar Firing Positions
Chemical Spill-19 (CS-19)
Rapid Response Actions
These areas are located within the training ranges and Impact Area and have been investigated as part of the ongoing IAGWSP. The results of these investigations have identified explosives, metals, propellants, and pesticides in soil and sediment. Several of the areas had concentrations of contaminants detected above Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) Reportable Concentration Soil-1 (RCS-1) levels. The RCS-1 levels are concentrations that, when exceeded, require notification of MassDEP and may require further investigation and remediation of contamination.
A soil sampling program was conducted to determine the extent of soil within five rapid response areas that exceeded the proposed soil cleanup goals. Results of the sampling program identified approximately 810 cubic yards of contaminated soil, which exceeded the RRA soil cleanup goals.
The RRA addressed the following requirements:
A second round of Rapid Response Actions to address contamination at Mortar Target 9 and the former H Range is currently underway.