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  PEASE AIR FORCE BASE


Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 Portsmouth; Newington; and Greenland,  New Hampshire
 Rockingham County
 Street Address:
 Zip Code: 03803
 Congressional
 District(s):

01
 EPA ID #: NH7570024847
 Site ID #: 0101213
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Federal

 NPL LISTING HISTORY
 Proposed Date 07/14/1989
 Final Date 02/21/1990

Site Description
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The Pease Air Force Base (AFB) site maintained aircraft from the 1950s on a 4,365-acre parcel of land until 1991 when the base was closed. In support of its missions, Pease AFB generated various quantities of fuels, oils, lubricants, solvents and protective coatings. Some of these materials contaminated site soils, groundwater, surface water, and sediments. The Department of Defense's Installation Restoration Program (IRP) is responsible for identifying the locations of releases from past disposal sites and minimizing associated hazards to human health and the environment. All studies have been completed for the base. Eleven Record of Decisions (ROD) representing all the major Superfund cleanup decisions were completed between 1993 and 1997. All remedial design and construction activities for the Base have also been completed. Operation and maintenance (O&M) and long-term monitoring (LTM) activities will be conducted to demonstrate the continued performance of on-going cleanup actions and achievement of cleanup standards.

Threats and Contaminants
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The groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). Sediments from various drainage ditches are contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, and heavy metals. The soil is contaminated with fuels, organic solvents, PAHs, and metals. People and animals may be threatened by accidentally ingesting contaminated groundwater, soil, and sediment.

Cleanup Approach
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This site is being addressed in thirteen stages: initial actions and twelve long-term remedial phases focusing on cleanup of the Landfill 5; Fire Department Training Area #2; Buildings 113/119; Building 222; Site 45; and the remaining locations categorized by zones, including Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Site 49, and Brooks and Ditches.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action Prior to completion of site studies, the Air Force removed drums from the Landfill
5 area, removed contaminated soil, and installed pilot groundwater extraction and treatment plants at Buildings 113/119, 222, and Fire Department Training Area #2.


Landfill 5: A study of Landfill 5 was completed and a remedy was selected in the fall of 1993. The remedy calls for consolidation of buried landfill debris saturated by groundwater to dry areas of the landfill, followed by the construction of an impermeable cap over the landfill area. Final cleanup activities were completed in the fall of 1996.

Fire Department Training Area #2: The Air Force completed investigations at the Fire Department Training Area #2 in the fall of 1994. The remedy selected for the fire training area included soil vapor
extraction and pumping and treating groundwater. Construction plans were finalized in early 1995 and construction of the treatment plant was completed in the fall of 1995. Treatment of site soils and groundwater is currently underway. It is expected that it will take several years to clean up soils and restore groundwater to drinking water standards.


Building 222: A study of the contamination at Building 222 was completed and a cleanup remedy was chosen in the fall of 1993. Cleanup activities include the removal of petroleum- and solvent-contaminated soils for off-base treatment and disposal at a licensed facility. The selected disposal option for contaminated soils (off-base treatment/disposal) was modified to include disposal at Landfill 5, prior to its capping. Cleanup activities were completed in the fall of 1995.

Buildings 113/119: The Air Force completed a study of possible cleanup options for Buildings 113/119, and selected a remedy in the fall of 1995. The remedy calls for the containment of contaminated groundwater using a combination of vertical containment walls installed in the subsurface and groundwater extraction wells. The extracted groundwater will be treated at an on-site treatment plant. Construction activities were completed in 1997.

Site 45: Site 45, also known as Old Jet Engine Test Stand, was used to test repaired aircraft jet engines. Investigations were completed in 1995, and a remedy was selected in the summer of 1995. The cleanup remedy includes soil vapor extraction and air sparging of VOC-contaminated soil. Natural processes are expected to reduce low level VOC-contaminated groundwater at the site to drinking water standards. The remedy also includes restrictions on groundwater use and long term groundwater monitoring. Construction activities were completed in 1997.

Zone 1: The remedy for Zone 1 was finalized in the summer of 1995. The selected remedy includes no further action for five potential areas of contamination located in Zone 1. The remedy also calls for allowing natural processes to reduce low levels of VOCs in groundwater. The source of this contamination is emanating from Landfill 5. The combination of the source control action at Landfill 5 (capping) and natural processes is expected to restore groundwater quality to drinking water standards. The remedy also included restrictions on groundwater use and long term groundwater monitoring.

Zone 2: The remedy for Zone 2 was finalized in the fall of 1995. The selected remedy includes soil vapor extraction and air sparging to treat petroleum and solvent contamination soils at Burn Area #1. Five other source areas investigated in Zone 2 do not require further action. The source remedy at Burn Area #1 and natural processes are expected to reduce contaminant levels in the groundwater to
drinking water standards. The remedy also includes restrictions on groundwater use and long term groundwater monitoring. Design of the remedy was completed in late 1996 Construction of the treatment system was completed in 1997.


Zone 3: In the fall of 1995, the Air Force selected a cleanup remedy for Zone 3. The remedy includes excavation and off-base disposal of metals and PAH-contaminated sediments from two ditches located in Zone 3 as well as excavation of off-base disposal of metals and PAH-contaminated soil located near three buildings. Zone 3 groundwater contaminated with metals and VOCs will be extracted and treated at two groundwater treatment plants. The remedy also includes restrictions on groundwater use and long term groundwater monitoring. Construction of the treatment system was completed in 1997. Since the start of groundwater extraction and treatment efforts, performance monitoring data have been collected to assess the progress towards restoring contaminated Zone 3 groundwater to cleanup standards. This data includes the collection of groundwater level measurements and groundwater samples for chemical analysis. On-going evaluations of remedy performance indicate that while the existing remedy is currently protective of human health and the environment, the remedy’s ability to achieve Zone 3 groundwater cleanup objectives is less certain. To address these uncertainties, the Air Force released a cleanup plan to the public in June 2002 that proposes to modify the Zone 3 remedy to ensure its long-term effectiveness. The ROD Amendment for Zone 3 was finalized in December 2003. The revised remedy includes wellhead treatment capabilities for the Haven water supply well which is located in Zone 3 and improvements to on-going source area groundwater extraction and treatment efforts. A new long-term performance monitoring program is also in place as part of the revised remedial strategy.

Zone 4: In 1995, the Air Force completed investigations of Zone 4 and selected a cleanup remedy. The remedy includes excavating soils from Landfill 6 and consolidating the material into landfills prior to capping Landfill 5; restoring the area to wetlands; allowing the groundwater to clean itself through natural processes once the Landfill 6 soils, the source of groundwater contamination, are removed; placing restrictions on groundwater use; and providing long term monitoring of groundwater, surface water, and sediments. Construction was completed in 1997.

Zone 5: The Air Force completed studies of Zone 5 in the fall of 1994 and determined that no further actions were necessary to clean up the area.

Brooks and Ditches: The remedy for four surface water drainage ways located at Pease AFB was finalized in the fall of 1997. The ROD called for the excavation and off-base disposal of sediments contaminated with PAHs, metals, and pesticides located in McIntyre Brook and Pauls Brook. The ROD also determined that no further remedial actions are necessary at Flagstone Brook and Lower Newfields Ditch. All remedial construction activities were completed in the summer of 1998.

Site 49: Preliminary field investigations at the former communications building (Building 22) identified soil and groundwater contaminated by PCE and TCE. As part of preliminary field investigations conducted in late 1997, part of the building was demolished and contaminated soil under the building's former footprint was excavated and disposed of off-base. Further characterization of groundwater and soil contamination was completed in 1999 along with an engineering evaluation/cost analysis to evaluate potential contamination removal options for Site 49. An action memorandum was finalized by the Air Force in February 2000 selecting permeable reactive barrier (PRB) technology to treat contaminated groundwater in-situ to acceptable groundwater quality standards. The construction of the remedy was completed in the late summer of 2000. It is expected that it will take several years for the remedy to help restore groundwater to acceptable standards. The remedial approach for Site 49 was documented in the December 2003 ROD Amendment for Zone 3.

Site 73: Site 73 consists of Building 234 and it's surrounding driveways and grassy areas. Building 234 was constructed in 1959 and was initially used as a liquid oxygen plant. The building was converted to a water demineralization plant in 1978. The building is currently unoccupied. Both PCE and TCE were used as solvents in Building 234 until 1978. Discharges to the environment are believed to be the result of spills and run-off from degreasing operations. A groundwater plume of VOC contamination is present at the site, extending in a south to southeasterly direction. A full scale innovative technology demonstration was conducted at Site 73 in August 1999 and consisted of the installation of a PRB to intercept and destroy the groundwater contamination as it migrates away. Performance monitoring during 2000 and 2001 has demonstrated that groundwater contamination passing through the PRB is being destroyed. Performance monitoring will continue to be conducted by the Air Force confirm that the remedy will meet site cleanup objectives. The remedial approach for Site 73 was documented in the December 2003 ROD Amendment for Zone 3.

Enforcement HighlightsThe EPA issued a Special Notice Letter to the Air Force in 1989 to initiate an Interagency Agreement (IAG) negotiation among the EPA, the Air Force, and the State of New Hampshire. In 1990, the Air Force signed an IAG with the EPA and the State outlining cleanup responsibilities at the site. The Pease Air Force Base is participating in the Installation Restoration Program, a specially funded program by the Department of Defense ( DOD).

Environmental Progress
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The Air Force has completed remedial construction for all identified sites on the Base requiring cleanup actions.These cleanup actions will greatly reduce potential threats to humans and animals posed by contaminated groundwater, soil, and sediments. The performance of cleanup actions are being monitored on a routine basis by the Air Force to ensure that the remedies are operating successfully and will attain cleanup objectives. As part of this performance monitoring process, the Air Force evaluates how the remedies and the associated performance monitoring plans can be optimized to accelerate cleanup time-frames and make them more cost effective.

Current Site Status
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In December 1988, Pease AFB was selected as one of 86 military installations to be closed by the Secretary of Defense’s Commission on Base Realignment and Closure. The base was closed as an active installation on March 1991. The Air Force has continued environmental restoration efforts since the base was closed. With the construction completion of the Site 49 remedy in the Summer of 2000, all construction activities for the Pease AFB NPL site have been completed. O&M and LTM activities will be required at many of the sites where remedies have been implemented. The Air Force as the lead agency, is responsible for the continued implementation of O&M and LTM for the remedies until cleanup objectives have been achieved. The Air Force has now transferred most of the former base to the Pease Development Authority (PDA) by deed. The airfield is now a fully operational commercial airport. Other property is being used or developed for commercial and light industrial facilities. Approximately 1,100 acres of the former base was also transferred to the U.S. Department of Interior for use as a national wildlife refuge. The Air Force retained 229 acres of the former base for use by the New Hampshire Air National Guard (NH ANG).

Site Photos
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SDMS 452951

Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Reports and Studies:
Five Year Review Report, September 30, 1999 (2,395KB)  
Second Five Year Review Report, September 20, 2004 (10,294KB)  
Site Reuse Profile, September 2005 (239KB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Amended Record of Decision for Zone 3 (Operable Unit 07), December 30, 2003 (7,803KB)   
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), Operable Unit (OU) 7 for Site 73 within Zone 3 Study Area, December 10, 2012 (2.63 MB)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), Operable Unit (OU) 7 for Site 73 within Zone 3 Study Area, March 24, 2014 (1.57 MB)   
Institutional Controls at this Site  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  
Air Force Conversion Agency  

Site Repositories
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Site 8 at Pease AFB, 20 Short Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801


Contacts
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EPA Remedial Project Manager: Mike Daly
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: OSRR07-3
Boston, MA 02109 - 3912
Phone #: 617-918-1386
E-Mail Address: daly.mike@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Rodney Elliott
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Laboratory
11 Technology Drive
Chelmsford, MA 01863-2431
Phone #: 617-918-8372
E-Mail Address: elliott.rodney@epa.gov

 


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Last updated on Friday, April 11th, 2014
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/pease