Fact Sheets

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J-2 and J-3 Ranges Rapid Response Actions

Fact Sheet 2003-02

Southeast Ranges

The Southeast Ranges, located near the base boundary north of Snake Pond in Sandwich, include two areas known as the J-2 and J-3 Ranges. Army training occurred at the J Ranges during World War II. In the early 1950s to late 1990s, the J Ranges were leased to a variety of contractors that used the ranges for munitions packing, testing, development, and disposal.

Initial sampling on the ranges occurred in 1997, and a comprehensive investigation began in 2000. To date, 178 monitoring wells have been installed in 80 locations and more than 2,400 soil and groundwater samples have been analyzed to identify contamination in this area.

This fact sheet describes Rapid Response Actions planned to address soil contamination at the J-2 Range and the J-3 Ranges. These actions are intended to remove contaminated soil to prevent a continuing source of groundwater contamination.

J-2 Range

The J-2 Range is the site of past military and contractor munitions testing and disposal activities that resulted in the release of explosive and propellant chemicals to the soil. The soil contamination represents a potential source of groundwater contamination, and four areas of groundwater contamination have been identified in the vicinity of the J-2 Range.

The contamination in both the soil and groundwater in this area include the explosives chemicals RDX, HMX, TNT and the oxidizer perchlorate.

The objective of the Rapid Response Action at the J-2 Range is to reduce or eliminate known and potential sources of groundwater contamination by removing soil at five or more sites where the highest concentrations of contaminants have been detected. An estimated minimum of 1,839 tons of soil will be excavated and screened to separate metal debris and rock from the soil. The screened soil will then be transported to an onsite soil treatment area south of Demolition Area 1. Any hazardous soils will be taken off-site for disposal. Post-excavation sampling will be conducted in order to document conditions, and sampling results will be considered in the development of future cleanup efforts at the J-2 Range. Additional sites on the J-2 Range currently are being evaluated for inclusion in this Rapid Response Action, and may expand the scope of this project.

J-3 Range

The objective of the Rapid Response Action at the J-3 Range is to address contaminated soil in the vicinity of the J-3 Range Demolition Area and reduce or eliminate an apparent source of groundwater contamination. The demolition area is a historic munitions testing and disposal site. Soil samples in this area indicate elevated levels of contamination and an area of groundwater contamination, known as the J-3 Range Demolition Area plume, has been identified migrating from the J-3 Range.

Analysis of data collected from monitoring wells in this vicinity suggest the source of the contamination is within the J-3 Range Demolition Area, making soil contamination there a likely source of the groundwater plume. The soil and groundwater are contaminated by RDX, HMX, and perchlorate. The Rapid Response Action at the J-3 Range will focus on three areas within the J-3 Demolition Area where soil samples indicate elevated concentrations of soil contamination. This soil removal action is expected to reduce the contaminant mass that potentially serves as a continuing source of groundwater contamination. An estimated 692 tons of contaminated soil will be excavated and handled in the same manner as the J-2 Range soils.

The draft Rapid Response Action Plans for the J-2 and J-3 Ranges propose the following activities:

  • Clearance of unexploded ordnance and related items from the area designated for soil removal
  • Excavation of soil from various areas to reduce/eliminate groundwater contamination source
  • Soil screening
  • Transport of excavated soil to a central treatment area, south of Demolition Area 1

Next Steps/Upcoming Activities

Next steps toward conducting the Rapid Response Actions for soil at the J-2 and J-3 Ranges include:

  • Conducting public comment periods on the draft Rapid Response Action Plans for J-2 and J-3 Ranges (10/28/03 – 11/12/03)
  • Incorporating regulatory and public comments intothe Rapid Response Action Plans (late fall 2003)
  • Finalizing the Rapid Response Action Plans (through spring 2004)
  • Beginning Rapid Response Actions (spring 2004)

Opportunities for Public Comment

15-day public comment periods will be held on the draft Rapid Response Action Plans for the J-2 and J-3 Ranges from October 28, 2003 – November 12, 2003. Visit the IAGWSP website to submit comments. An information session about the plan will be held on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 at 5:30pm at the Quashnet Valley Country Club in Mashpee, prior to the Impact Area Review Team meeting.

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