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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 Falmouth and Bourne and Sandwich and Mashpee,  Massachusetts
 Barnstable County
 Street Address: Otis AFB Herbert Road
 Zip Code: 02542

 EPA ID #: MA2570024487
 Site ID #: 0100960
 Site Aliases: DOD/MMR/USAF Sani Landfill, DOD/MMR/Base Landfill, POD/MMR/USAF Sani Landfill, DOD/MMR/Current Fire Training Area, DOD/MMR/Former Firefighting, Joint Base Cape Cod, JBCC

 Site Responsibility: Federal

 Proposed Date 07/14/1989
 Final Date 11/21/1989

Site Description
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The Otis Air National Guard Base/Camp Edwards site covers approximately 22,000 acres and is more commonly known as the Joint Base Cape Cod (as of July 2013 and formerly known as the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR)). Although the occupants and property boundaries have changed several times since JBCC was established in 1935, the primary mission has always been to provide training and housing to Air Force and/or Army units. A review of past and present operations and waste disposal practices identified numerous potentially contaminated areas, including several areas located on the southern portion of JBCC. These contaminated areas are the result of historic chemical/fuel spills, fire training activities, landfills, and drainage structures. Additionally, effluent from the former sewage treatment plant was historically discharged into sand beds where it seeped into the groundwater. In 1984, the U.S. Geological Survey detected contaminants in monitoring wells downgradient of this former plant. In 1983 and 1984, the Air Force detected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in on-site monitoring wells near the Base Landfill and a Fire Training Area. Monitoring had also detected VOCs in several hundred private wells (all of which are now on municipal water) and in one town well (which is shut down). The EPA has designated the Sagamore Lens underlying JBCC as a sole source aquifer under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Numerous remediation projects addressing both the soil and groundwater contamination at JBCC have been implemented since the mid to late 1990's. Approximately 100,000 tons of soil have been treated at JBCC, while to date, there are numerous treatment plants in place which treat approximately 11.5 million gallons a day (as of 1/15) of contaminated groundwater. All treated groundwater is returned to the aquifer or discharged to surface water.

For more information on this project, see http://www.epa.gov/ne/mmr

There is also another investigation and cleanup program at JBCC which is under the authority of Safe Drinking Water Act Administrative Orders. The Army is the lead agency in conducting this program which is known as the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program. This work is separate from the ongoing Superfund work, however it is coordinated within the EPA, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and the JBCC. For more information, see http://mmr-iagwsp.org

Threats and Contaminants
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Groundwater is contaminated with VOCs, including trichloroethene, tetrachloroethylene, ethylene dibromide (EDB), carbon tetrachloride, and dichloroethylene. Ethylene dibromide was found to be upwelling in two separate locations, outside the MMR property boundaries, within cranberry bogs in Mashpee and Falmouth. People could be at risk if they accidentally drink or come into direct contact with contaminated groundwater. Contaminated groundwater could also pose a threat to the environment within several ponds and streams used for recreational purposes. Soil contaminated with heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, PCBs, and petroleum hydrocarbons has been removed in cleanup actions in 2001-2002. Other principle threats such as contaminants in drainage structures and underground storage tanks have been removed thus eliminating potential future sources of groundwater contamination.

Cleanup Approach
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This site has been addressed in several stages: initial actions and long-term remedial phases focusing on the multiple groundwater plumes and source areas.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action In 1986, water lines were installed to private residences affected by groundwater contamination. In 1990, contaminated sediment was pumped from the site and removed.

Ashumet Valley Plume The sources of this groundwater plume have been identified as the former fire training area 1 and the former MMR sewage treatment plant, which discharged treated water to infiltration beds. As a result, a groundwater plume was created which consisted of chlorinated solvents. After years of operation, the Ashumet Valley plume is being remediated by one extraction well which pump a total of 0.5 million gallons per day. A three extraction well system was installed in 1999 as part of an interim Record of Decision (ROD). As part of system optimization, in 2007, two of the three existing extraction wells were shut down. A Feasibility Study to develop the final remedial alternative for Ashumet Valley was been developed and included clean-up alternatives for portions of the plume downgradient of existing extraction wells. A final ROD was signed in June 2009. A new leading edge extraction well was installed and designed to remove contaminant mass using a mobile treatment unit which began operation on the 24th of August 2009. It operated at 175 gpm and discharged treated water to the Backus River. This leading edge extraction well was shutdown on 28 February 2014 based on groundwater and influent data. The Air Force has also addressed impacts from the sewage treatment plant and is monitoring phosphorus levels in Ashumet Pond. To address these impacts, the Air Force has performed alum treatment of Ashumet Pond as well as installing a permeable reactive barrier on the shore of Ashumet Pond to address the phosphorous currently entering the pond from the higher levels of phosphorous contained in the Ashumet Valley plume.

Fire Training Area One (FTA-1) A removal action, which involved excavation and on-site thermal treatment of contaminated soil was completed in September 1997. The thermal desorption system treated a total of 59,900 tons of contaminated soils (approximately 42,500 tons from FTA-1, 13,000 tons from CS-4, 3,600 tons from CS-9, and smaller amounts from FS-2 and FS-25).

Storm Drain-5 (SD-5) Plume In August 1997, 10 extraction wells and a treatment system were installed and this system treated approximately 0.5 million gallons per day of contaminated groundwater to address the northern portion of the plume. In June 1999 and January 2000, 2 recirculating wells and an extraction well were installed to address the southern portion of the SD-5 plume. Due to decreasing concentrations of contaminants in the plume, the northern portion of the extraction system was shut down in August 2003 and the southern portion of the system was shut down in February 2004. A final no action ROD with limited groundwater monitoring was signed in September 2006. Groundwater monitoring is still continuing, and based on monitoring results, the monitoring wells which originally were part of the sampling program have been reduced. As of 2011, SD-5 groundwater plume has largely attenuated and cannot be defined as a contiguous plume and therefore no longer depicted on IRP figures. In September 2014, an Explanation of Significant Difference decision document was finalized and estimated that restoration would be achieved by 2022 instead of the original ROD predicted clean year of 2013.

Fuel Spill One (FS-1) A Final ROD was signed on May 15, 2000. The selected remedy was groundwater extraction, treatment and surface discharge with long-term monitoring and institutional controls. A pilot groundwater extraction system operated at the leading edge of this EDB plume since April 1999. In October 2002, a fire destroyed the treatment plant, and the entire structure had to be rebuilt. The new system was put into operation in October 2004. After several optimizations, only one extraction well is operating at 250 gallons per minute (as of 1/2015).

Fuel Spill -12 (FS-12) This source area was the result of a now abandoned fuel pipeline leak which was reported to occur in 1972. A removal action was initiated in October 1995 through the installation of an air sparging/soil vapor extraction (AS/SVE) system. This system was shutdown in February 1998 after achieving the soil cleanup goals established.
In August 1997, a groundwater extraction and treatment system was put into operation at FS-12. This system consisted of 26 extraction wells and 19 reinjection wells, and treats approximately 1 million gallons per day. This treatment system was installed as an interim system, and the final Feasibility Study evaluating alternatives will be completed in 2005. A final ROD was signed in September 2006 and selected continued groundwater extraction, treatment, and reinjection. Throughout the years of operation, there have been numerous system optimizations based on a reduced plume volume. As a result, there are currently only four extraction wells operating at a pumping rate of 360 gallons per minute.

Fuel Spill-28 (FS-28) Plume Portions of this plume were detected in 1993, and in 1996 groundwater investigations found ethylene dibromide (EDB) to be upwelling in the Coonamessett River, a surface water outside of the base boundary. In a time-critical removal action, an extraction well and a series of shallow wellpoints were installed in October 1997 to address this groundwater contamination and reduce the upwelling of EDB into the river. This system was designed to treat approximately 1 million gallons per day, and the treated water is then discharged to the Coonamessett River through two oxygenating bubblers. A ROD selecting continued groundwater extraction, treatment and discharge was finalized in October 2000. An additional leading edge extraction well was added in December 2007 to capture a downgradient portion of the plume. As of January 2015, the FS-28 remedial system is operating with two extraction wells at a total flow rate of 550 gallons per minute with GAC treatment.

Fuel Spill-29 (FS-29) Plume This plume was first detected in 1998 during an investigation of an area outside of the MMR boundary. The detached plume has not been linked to any specific source area, but concentrations of EDB have been detected in this plume above drinking water standards. A ROD was signed in 2000 to design and build an extraction and treatment system to address this groundwater contamination. The FS-29 treatment system went online in September 2006. In Fall 2008, extraction was reduced to one extraction well, 80EW0001, pumping at 200 gpm. An ESD was finalized in September 2008. An optimization evaluation was completed in April 2009 which resulted in the shutdown of one of the two extraction wells. Additionally, the second FS-29 extraction well was shutdown in September 2010 as a result of optimization. Although there is no active pumping, the plume continues to be monitored. If warranted based on a review of the monitoring data, groundwater extraction and treatment may be resumed.

Base Landfill One (LF-1) A landfill cap was completed in 1995. A groundwater extraction and treatment system at the MMR boundary in Bourne, MA was installed as part of an interim ROD in September 1999. This system consists of 5 extraction wells and treats approximately 1 million gallons per day. Monitoring of natural attenuation parameters within the body of the plume and extraction system performance is continuing. A Feasibility Study was conducted in 2006 and a final ROD was issued in September 2007. The ROD recommended the operation of the existing system and construction of a new extraction well on the south side of the plume to address contamination which was bypassing the existing extraction wells. The new extraction well has been constructed and is currently in operation. As of January 2015, six extraction wells are operating at 600 gpm and capturing LF-1 contaminated groundwater. Extracted groundwater is treated in two plants, LF-1 and the Hunter Avenue Treatment Facility. The western uncaptured portion of LF-1 plume discharges to both Red Brook and Squeteague harbors. Surface water and discharging groundwater at the harbors are sampled annually.

Chemical Spill Four (CS-4) Plume In 1992, the remedy for cleaning up the CS-4 groundwater contamination was selected in a Record of Decision (ROD). The remedy called for a groundwater extraction and treatment system. The system was installed and began operation in late 1993. After another remedial investigation, a new remedy was selected for CS-4 in February 2000. In May 2003, the existing system was turned off because a new design with three downgradient extraction wells became operational in November 2005 operating at a combined flowrate of 620 gpm. In addition, contaminated soil from the CS-4 source area (approximately 13,000 tons) has also been cleaned up through a removal action performed in conjunction with Fire Training Area One (FTA-1) soils (see below). A removal action in the northern portion of the CS-4 source area was conducted in 2001 and removed 5,200 tons of contaminated soil. An ESD for this plume was finalized in September 2008. The third CS-4 extraction well was shutdown in December 2009 as a result of an optimization. As of January 2015, two extraction wells operate at a flowrate of 170 gpm.

Chemical Spill 10 (CS-10)/Fuel Spill 24 (FS-24) In 1996, 15 drainage structures were removed as part of a basewide removal program. In November 1998, a ROD was signed which specified cleanup actions using both soil vapor extraction (SVE) and excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soils. In 2001, over 1,500 tons of contaminated soil were excavated and taken off-site for disposal. The SVE system began operation in February 2002, and the system was shut down in 2004.
A groundwater pump and treat system became operational in 1999 which addressed the CS-10 groundwater plume. This original remedy consisted of three treatment systems (CS-10 In-Plume ETI system; CS-10 Sandwich Road ETR system; and CS-10 Northern Lobe extraction well). The In-Plume system began in June 1999 with five extraction wells operating at 1920 gpm; three extraction wells were added in April 2000 increasing the flowrate to 2,700 gpm, and a ninth extraction well was added in October 2004. In Feburary 2010, one extraction well was shutdown so the CS-10 In-Plume system is currently operating at 2,290 gpm. The Sandwich Road treatment system came online in May 1999 at a flowrate of 820 gpm using eight extraction wells. Currently, it operates with five extraction wells plus a new extraction well which was installed in 2009 at a flowrate of 700 gpm. The single extraction well for the Northern Lobe began operation in January 2000 at a flowrate of 75 gpm, but now is operating at 190 gpm. The treated water is returned to the aquifer via a system of reinjection wells and infiltration trenches. A Final ROD was finalized in August 2009. The CS-10 remedial system was optimized in July 2014 by adding two new extraction wells and modifying five of the existing extraction wells. The new extraction rate for the system is 3,400 gallons per minute. An Explanation of Significant Differences was finalized in September 2014 to document this change.

Chemical Spill-19 (CS-19) The primary source of contaminants at this site is ordnance and military waste disposal. Monitoring wells installed in the area have detected explosive compounds or RDX in excess of the Health Advisory. A removal action was performed in 2005 to remove the source of contaminants. More than 2,800 cubic yards of soil, 8,500 ordnance items, and 27,000 pounds of munitions debris was removed from the original two-acre site. An Interim ROD was finalized in April 2006 and selected long-term monitoring for RDX while another site, the Central Impact Area which is being addressed in a different program, is being evaluated. A ROD for long-term monitoring of the groundwater plume was finalized in September 2009.

Chemical Spill-20 (CS-20) Plume This plume was first detected in 1997 during the FS-28 groundwater investigation. The main constituents in this plume are TCE and PCE, and were thus distinguishable from the adjacent FS-28 plume which primarily consisted of EDB contamination. A ROD was signed in 2000 to design and build an extraction and treatment system to address this groundwater contamination. This system began operations in September 2005, and as of December 2008, is operating at 568 gpm from two extraction wells. Due to problems obtaining access, a leading edge extraction well was not installed as designed. Modelling suggests that the uncaptured portion of the plume will not migrate far. Monitoring and institutional controls are being conducted to track this portion of the plume and prevent exposures to contaminated groundwater. An ESD documenting this change was issued in September 2008. As of January 2015, two extraction wells are operating at a combined flowrate of 749 gpm.

Chemical Spill-21 (CS-21) Plume This plume was first detected in 1998 during an investigation of an area outside the MMR boundary. The main constituent in this plume is TCE. A ROD was signed in 2000 to design and build an extraction and treatment system to address this groundwater contamination. The four extraction well CS-20 treatment system went online in July 2004. In June 2010, the westernmost extraction well was shutdown when contaminant levels in the leading edge of the plume decreased below the MCL. As of January 2015, three extraction wells are operating at a combined flowrate of 700 gpm.

Chemical Spill-23 (CS-23) Plume This plume was detected in 2002 and delineated in 2004 during a remedial investigation. There is no known source area for CS-23 because the plume when delineated was detached. An interim groundwater extraction system began operations in 2006. A final ROD was finalized in September 2007. The extraction system consists of two extraction wells which extract the contaminated groundwater and pump it to the Hunter Avenue Treatment Facility, which also accepts contaminated groundwater from the LF-1 plume. The two CS-23 extraction wells are operating at 470 gpm.

Enforcement HighlightsA Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) was signed in 1991 (and subsequently amended in March 2000) governing the Superfund cleanup. Signatories to the FFA include the National Guard Bureau, the Air Force, and EPA. Since May 1996, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) (formerly Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence (AFCEE)) - Installation Restoration Program is currently the lead agent under the terms of the FFA. Five year reviews have been conducted and issued in the following years: 1999, 2004, 2008 and 2013.

Environmental Progress
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Installation of water supply lines to numerous residents affected by and/or potentially affected by groundwater contamination has reduced the health threats posed by site contamination. A semi-annual residential well monitoring program is also in-place. In addition, municipal water supply wells have been provided with treatment systems, and over 11.5 million gallons per day of contaminated groundwater is currently being treated both on and off of JBCC. Surface water in Snake Pond is tested annually to ensure the pond is safe to the public. The EPA, in coordination with the Army, Air Force, and the NGB, has determined that the Otis Air National Guard/Camp Edwards site does not pose an immediate threat to the environment or public health while long-term remedial actions continue to operate. Land use controls are continually monitored and evaluated for effectiveness in protecting public health.

A Partial Deletion of a total of 61 source area sites that have been investigated and, if needed, remediated was completed and effective on October 26, 2007 (72 FR 60786).

Current Site Status
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JBCC (formerly MMR) was placed on NPL in 1989; a Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) was signed in 1991 (and subsequently amended in March 2000) governing the Superfund cleanup. Signatories to the FFA include the National Guard Bureau, the Air Force and EPA (Commonwealth of Massachusetts did not sign original FFA, and U.S. Coast Guard was recently removed as a signatory). An Interim Record of Decision (IROD) was signed in September 1995 describing the cleanup decision for seven groundwater plumes; subsequent design issues. Public input required modifications to these cleanup decisions prior to implementation. All final RODs have been completed for each of these groundwater plumes.

Twelve groundwater treatment systems are currently in operation on 10 groundwater plumes; combined treatment system rate exceeds 11.5 million gallons per day (as of 1/15). Cleanups at approximately 25 separate source areas have recently been completed. As part of ensuring that groundwater remedies are protective, the Air Force has been verifying that any private well above groundwater plumes, if present, does not pose a human health risk.
A Preliminary Close-out Report was issued in December 2009. This marks the completion of all construction activities at MMR Superfund Site. Ongoing treatment systems will be operated and maintained until cleanup levels are met.

Site Photos
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Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  
Fact Sheet for the Draft Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion, August 1, 2007 (1.11 MB)  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  
Partial NPL Deletion  

Administrative Records:
Administrative Record – Index Only – Notice of Partial Deletion, October 26, 2007 (273.16 KB)   

Reports and Studies:
Five Year Review Report, March 31, 1999 (919KB)  
Second Five Year Review, May 6, 2003 (2,308KB)  
Third Five Year Review Report, September 30, 2008 (8.79MB)  
Final Interim L Range Source Remediation Report, April 23, 2010 (1.82 MB)  
Fourth Five Year Review Report, October 1, 2013 (50.3 MB)  

Decision Documents:
Click Here to View All Otis Air National Guard/Camp Edwards Decision Documents  
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  
More EPA Mass. Military Reservation Web Page(s)  
Massachusetts Military Reservation's Web Site  
Institutional Controls at this site  

Site Repositories
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Jonathan Bourne Library, 19 Sandwich Road, Bourne, MA 02532 (508) 759-0644
Falmouth Public Library, 123 Katherine Lee Bates Road, Falmouth, MA 02540 (508) 457-2555
Sandwich Public Library, 142 Main Street, Sandwich, MA 02563 (508) 888-0625
Mashpee Public Library, Steeple Street, Mashpee Common, Mashpee, MA 02469 (508)539-1436
U.S Coast Guard Library, Building 502, Otis ANG Base, MA 02542 (508) 968-6456

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EPA Remedial Project Manager: Lynne Jennings
Site Responsibilities: Otis Team Leader
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: OSRR07-3
Boston, MA 02109 - 3912
Phone #: 617-918-1210
E-Mail Address: jennings.lynne@epa.gov

EPA Remedial Project Manager #2: Robert Lim
Site Responsibilities:
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: OSRR07-3
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1392
E-Mail Address: lim.robert@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Kelsey O'Neil
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: ORA01-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1003
E-Mail Address: oneil.kelsey@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Leonard Pinaud
Address: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
20 Riverside Drive
Lakeville, MA 02347
Phone #: 508-946-2786
E-Mail Address: leonard.pinaud@state.ma.us


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