Newsletter 12 04

1. Environmental Action McClellan Environmental August 2004 Update A Quarterly Newsletter About Environmental Activites at McClellan Air Force Expands Groundwater…
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  • 1. Environmental Action McClellan Environmental August 2004 Update A Quarterly Newsletter About Environmental Activites at McClellan Air Force Expands Groundwater Treatment System The Air Force is on track to reach a major Newsletter milestone late this fall in its efforts to contain and clean up the groundwater at the former McClellan Air Force Base. Workers are currently completing the installation of six new groundwater extraction wells. This is part of the Phase III Groundwater Expansion program. “Phase III is the final stage in our efforts to completely capture and contain the groundwater that is contaminated with volatile Contractors dig trenches for conveyence organic compounds,” said Diane Kiyota, pipelines for new extraction wells. McClellan’s groundwater program manager. “We strategically place extraction wells The groundwater treatment network also around the base to act as a barrier, keeping the includes more than 500 monitoring wells. contamination from moving off base, as well Monitoring wells are used for sampling the as pulling contamination back that has moved groundwater to determine the locations and outside the base property boundaries.” levels of contamination, as well as to monitor cleanup progress. The Air Force currently has about 58 extraction wells in continuous operation. The water is Phase III is being implemented in two efforts: pumped and transported through above and off-base and on-base. Six “off-base” wells below ground pipelines to a groundwater are focused on contamination that has already treatment plant. This system treats about 1,100 moved outside the base boundaries. These gallons of water per minute. Water is cleaned wells are currently being installed. The “on- to levels better than drinking water standards. base” wells are designed to completely contain Clean water is then released into Magpie Creek contamination within the base boundaries. and Beaver Pond, on the west part of the former The Air Force expects to install about 46 “on- base. Continued on page 2 Inside this issue... CS10 repairs and New pumps installed in Off-base well Property soil removal monitoring wells restrictions transfer page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 1
  • 2. Continued from page 1 base” groundwater extraction wells by the end of 2005. “So far things are going great,” Kiyota said. “We set a relatively aggressive schedule and are right on track to complete construction on time.” The first two phases of the groundwater expansion were completed in 1995 and 1999. Phase III expansion carries out agreements made between the Air Force and regulatory agencies, which are explained in the Basewide Groundwater Interim Record of Decision (IROD). Phase III began in 2002 with workplans, sampling and Workers drill an extraction well on McClellan as part analysis plans, designs, regulatory agency review and of the Phase III Groundwater Expansion program. data gap investigation. Data gaps are areas where the Air Force needs more sampling data to determine the extent Kiyota said. “We’ve also just finished up the preliminary of contamination. This is accomplished by installing design for the on-base portion and plan to be out in the more groundwater monitoring wells. field this winter to drill the wells.” “We just finished installing the off-base wells, and are When the Phase III expansion is complete, the groundwater digging the trenches for the pipeline. We are working treatment system at McClellan will consist of more than closely with state and federal regulatory agencies to 100 extraction wells and be able to treat 2,000 gallons of have these six new wells up and running in December,” water per minute. CS10 Soil Removal The Air Force will soon remove part of the excavated The CS 10 disposal pit exceeded the original estimate soil that remains staged in the Confirmed Site (CS) 10 of 33,000 cubic yards. The Air Force stopped disposing weatherization tent at the former McClellan Air Force of the soil in November 2002 and began to stage the Base. remainder of the soil inside the tent, awaiting additional funds to remove the soil. Excavation of the soil at CS 10 began in January 2002 and was completed in September 2003. A total of about The Air Force has recently received funding to pay for 52,000 cubic yards of soil at CS 10 were excavated. disposal of the 192 cubic yards of soil that remain staged About 28,000 cubic yards of soil have been removed from in the tent. The Air Force anticipates that they will begin the site and disposed of at licensed facilities in Idaho and to remove the soil in September 2004. Utah. “We will be removing the last of the soil that is contaminated with fission products, which in this case CS10 REPAIRS: Air Force contractors are in the process of is cesium,” said Dave Green, the radiological program replacing the portion of the southern end of the weatherization tent manager at McClellan. “The rest of the soil that remains that was damaged during an intense February 2004 storm. Portions in staging piles inside the tent is contaminated with radium of the aluminum frame and fabric are being replaced. Clean soil is and metals, such as lead, cadmium and chromium.” being brought in to level the area to help prevent future wind damage. The damage had no impact on the contaminated soil staged in the tent. The soil will be transported by truck, using the standard Monitoring showed the public was not exposed to the contaminants. procedures that have been used for removing soil from CS 10. Soil will be loaded into a bin at CS 10 and transported to the soil staging area. Soil samples will be analyzed in a certified lab, which takes 30 to 60 days. The results of the samples characterize the waste and verify the level of contamination prior to shipment. Then the bins will be trucked, using an approved transportation plan, to a 2 licensed hazardous waste disposal facility in Utah.
  • 3. Low-flow pumps improve groundwater sampling Cleaning up contamination takes time and costs money. One Dale Anderson of URS Corp. oversees the sampling of the biggest priorities for Air Force project managers is process. He said that the low-flow pumps replaced the finding ways to achieve cleanup cheaper, faster and better. more time-consuming sampling method called “purge and This includes keeping up with the newest technology. bail.” Purge-and-bail is a traditional sampling method that involves removing large volumes of water from the wells The Air Force is currently taking steps to improve its before a sample can be collected. A submersible pump groundwater sampling program, is lowered into a well and pumps out saving valuable time and money. the volume of water that has filled the well. Then a sample is collected McClellan has a vast groundwater from the well. monitoring and treatment system that includes more than 500 monitoring “Sometimes we have removed wells located on and off the former between 100 and 600 gallons of well McClellan base boundaries. water. Then we have to haul that water Collecting periodic water samples across the base to the treatment plant. from these wells helps the Air Force That takes a lot of time,” Anderson determine the location and extent of explained. “Plus, sometimes we the contamination in the groundwater, pump a well dry, which adds to the as well as the effectiveness of the problem because if the well doesn’t treatment system. refill quickly, we need to come back later to collect the sample.” In January, workers began installing low-flow pumps into the monitoring Anderson said that using the purge- wells. These pumps will be used to and-bail method four people could collect samples. Pumps will replace sample about seven wells a day. the currently used and less efficient Using the low-flow pumps, two “purge-and-bail” method. The people can sample at least ten wells low-flow pumps consist of a Teflon a day. balloon inside a tube about 2 inches Jeff Nelson, an environmental in diameter. The balloon fills with technician, lowers a low-flow The low-flow pumps also need much groundwater. To take a sample from pump into a monitoring well at less maintenance. Anderson said the McClellan. that well, compressed gas is forced low-flow pumps are very durable down a plastic tube, which in turn and the only other equipment needed brings water up to a valve at the is the compressed gas, which is ground surface. Samples are sent to relatively cheap. laboratories for analysis. In addition to saving time and money, the low-flow Diane Kiyota, the Air Force groundwater program manager pumps are practical for McClellan. The Air Force has at McClellan, said that these low-flow pumps are already recently begun testing for other potential contaminants saving the Air Force money. She expects the cost-savings such as 1,4-dioxane, hexavalent chromium, other metals, to continue. radionuclides and perchlorates. “We conduct sampling of various wells on a quarterly Unlike some equipment, low-flow pumps allow samples basis. During the most recent round of sampling alone, to be collected for any type of chemical analysis. we saved about $12,000. I expect that in 2005, we will save more than $88,000,” Kiyota said. By the end of the year, the Air Force will have installed about 450 low-flow pumps in monitoring wells. Kiyota said the major reason for the cost-savings is from labor. Sampling low-flow pumps is quicker. “We think these low-flow pumps are a dream to work with. I have the highest confidence in the quality of the samples and they save us a lot of time,” Anderson said. 3
  • 4. Water Well Prohibition Areas Do you live or work in the prohibition area (check the map below)? Permits are required before digging, repairing, or modifying wells. In most cases, new wells are not allowed. Abandoned wells must be destroyed. City of Sacramento Code 13.04.680 is on the City’s website at • Digging or drilling new water wells is PROHIBITED. • Existing wells need to be either: 1. Abandoned (following County regulations), or 2. Disconnected from buildings so they are not used for domestic purposes (install backflow prevention devices). Sacramento County Codes 6.28.025. 6.28.020, and 6.28.030 are on the County’s website at co/ N • Digging or drilling new water wells is PROHIBITED. • A County permit is required before constructing, modifying, repairing, inactivating or destroying any well or well pump. It is unlawful for the property owner to allow a nuisance or abandoned well to exist on the property. The Air Force held a public meeting on July 21 to solicit community feedback on the Groundwater VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) Proposed Plan. During the meeting, held at the Sacramento Regional Public Safety Training Center on McClellan, the Air Force explained the Proposed Plan and presented the alternative the Air Force prefers for cleanup of VOCs in the groundwater at McClellan. Members of the public had an opportunity to ask questions about the alternatives presented during the meeting. At the end of the meeting, community members were provided an opportunity to provide official comments on the Proposed Plan and the cleanup options presented. Members of the community could also provide written or email comments on the Proposed Plan throughout the comment period, which ended on Aug. 4. In all, the Air Force received 13 comments from the community. The Air Force and regulatory agencies will consider these comments during the final decision- making process. The Air Force will also formally respond to each of the comments in Paul Brunner, McClellan environmental coordinator, talks the Responsiveness Summary portion of the Groundwater VOC Record of Decision, to members of the community at the public meeting. which is scheduled to be completed in Spring of 2005. 4
  • 5. Air Force to transfer nearly 97 acres to local community Air Force officials recently signed a Finding of Suitability Approximately 78% of McClellan’s 2,856 acres are being to Transfer (FOST) that clears the way for the local reused, including 275 acres that were previously deeded community to acquire 96.62 acres of land at the former to Sacramento County. Once transfer paperwork is McClellan Air Force Base. complete, 93.77 acres will be transferred to Sacramento County and 2.85 acres will go to the Rio Linda Union A FOST describes the environmental conditions and any School District. restrictions that go into the deed transfer. The document is required before the Department of Defense can transfer The Air Force conducted an extensive review of the any McClellan property. The actual transfer is expected to environmental condition of the property. Federal and state be completed by early August. environmental regulatory agencies were involved in the entire process. The FOST involves six parcels of land on the east and west sides of the former base. In addition to land, the parcels include basketball and tennis courts, the former family lodging facility, residential and chapel facilities, a N hotel, a restaurant and warehouse facilities. According to Paul Brunner, McClellan’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Environmental Coordinator, “The FOST’s signing is great news. This property is clean; so it’s prime real estate for reuse by Sacramento County and its developer, McClellan Park. We’re making progress in getting reusable property to the County quickly.” Paul Hahn, Director of Economic Development for Sacramento County said, “This transfer marks the beginning of a new era at McClellan. As the Air Force and County work together to expedite and privatize environmental cleanup, the transfer of property will attract more businesses and employers.” McClellan Environmental Cleanup Scoreboard As of July 1, 2004: 1,259,692 Pounds of volatile organic compound contamination removed from soil and groundwater. 5
  • 6. Environmental Action Update AFRPA/DD 3411 Olson Street McClellan, CA 95652 For more information about McClellan’s Installation Restoration Program, please call: Brian Sytsma AFRPA, Community Relations (916) 643-1250 Ext. 257 Kris Escarda Cal-EPA/DTSC, Public Participation Specialist (916) 255-6683 Viola Cooper U.S. EPA, Community Involvement Coordinator (415) 972-3243 (800) 231-3075 Have an Influence on Decisions regarding Environmental Cleanup at and around the former McClellan Air Force Base The Air Force is seeking members of the community surrounding McClellan to join the McClellan Restoration Advisory Board (RAB). The RAB is an advisory group comprised of community members, regulatory agencies and Air Force personnel coming together to discuss and participate in the environmental cleanup program at McClellan. The McClellan RAB currently has two volunteer positions available: • a representative from the Rio Linda community and • a representative from the religious community. RAB Members: • Ensure greater community involvement in the environmental cleanup of the former Air Force Base • Attend meetings, interact with other RAB members and the general public, and provide input about the ongoing cleanup • Provide comments and advice to the Air Force, as well as act as a liaison with his/her community to encourage more participation from the community For more information about the RAB and to receive an application, please contact McClellan Community Relations at (916) 643-1250, ext. 257, or send an email to Information and applications are also available at Please return the completed application to: AFRPA Community Relations - 3411 Olson Street - McClellan, CA 95652 6 Next Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting: November 2004
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