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 Limestone,  Maine
 Aroostook County
 Street Address:
 Zip Code: 04751

 EPA ID #: ME9570024522
 Site ID #: 0101074
 Site Aliases: US Air Force Loring AFB

 Site Responsibility: Federal

 Proposed Date 07/14/1989
 Final Date 02/21/1990

Site Description
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The 9,000-acre Loring Air Force Base, which operated as an active military installation since 1952, was closed in September 1994. Hazardous wastes generated on the base include waste oils, fuels cleaned from aircraft and vehicles, spent solvents (many of them chlorinated organic chemicals), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and pesticides. Historically, wastes have been burned or buried in landfills. There are three on-site landfills which are old gravel pits. Landfills #2 and #3 were used for disposal of hazardous wastes from 1956 to the early 1990s. In the Fire Training Area, hazardous materials were burned until 1974. The 600-acre Flightline and Nose Dock Areas, with their industrial shops and maintenance hangars, were primary generators of hazardous waste on the base. Most wastes were disposed of off site; however, some wastes probably were disposed of on the ground, on concrete, or in the storm and sewer drains. The site is located in a rural area. The population on the Air Force base within one mile of the site is approximately 1,500. A 3,500-foot channelized portion of a tributary to the East Branch of Greenlaw Brook receives storm water runoff from the Flightline Area and the Nose Dock Area, where fuels and solvents were handled. An estimated 1,200 people obtain drinking water from wells located within 3 miles of hazardous substances on the base; the nearest off base well is less than 1500 feet from Landfill #2. Surface water both on and off base is used for fishing and other recreational activities.

Threats and Contaminants
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Monitoring well tests indicated that the groundwater on the base is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE), and fuel-related compounds, including benzene and toluene. Soils in the Flightline and Nose Dock Areas contain significant amounts of fuel, oil, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), PCBs, and various VOCs. Surface water and sediment in the Flightline Drainage Ditch are contaminated with VOCs, PCBs, (PAHs), and heavy metals. Potential threats to the public include accidental ingestion of or direct contact with contaminated soils and water. Several areas have been closed to fishing due to the elevated levels of PCBs in trout. Several wetlands are threatened by contamination on the base.

Cleanup Approach
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The Loring cleanup is being addressed in removal, remedial, and several long-term actions focusing on cleanup of the most critical areas. Under the Installation Restoration Program fifteen Operable Units (OUs), consisting of 54 sites, have been identified

Response Action Status
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Initial Action The Air Force has used their removal authorities to address many areas of contamination through excavations or the installation of bioventing systems. Bioventing is being used extensively at the Nose Dock Area, Auto Hobby Shop, Power Plant Drainage, and the Base Exchanges Service Station due to the extent of fuel contamination. The Air Force is also conducting removal actions by operating a soil vapor extraction system at the Base Laundry.

Weapons Storage Area Disposal trenches containing approximately 1000 cubic yards of low level radioactive waste from strategic weapons maintenance operations were removed and shipped to a licensed disposal facility via railroads to Utah. The Record of Decision (ROD) was signed in 1995.

Landfills 2 & 3: These two landfills combined encompass approximately 27 acres which will be capped with a Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) C cover. Landfill 2 was capped in the summer of 1996 and Landfill 3 was capped in 1999. The ROD was signed in 1994.

Landfill 1 and Coal Ash Pile Landfill 1 was closed in accordance with Maine's Solid Waste Regulations because no CERCLA wastes were identified at the landfill. Approximately 180,000 cubic yards of waste from the Coal Ash Pile were excavated and consolidated into Landfill 3. The ROD was signed in 1996.

Debris Disposal Area Seventeen disposal areas were evaluated in this Operable Unit (OU). Only the Contract Storage Shed was determined to require remedial action. The excavation and capping of the Contact Storage Shed was completed in the summer of 1997. The ROD was signed in 1996.

Landfill Groundwater: This OU determined that no action was required for the groundwater beneath Chapman Pit and Landfill 1. Groundwater monitoring is required under Landfill 2 & 3 in order to determine the effectiveness of the cap systems. This ROD was signed in September 1996.

Railroad Maintenance Shop: Approximately 200 cubic yards of contaminated soil were scheduled to be excavated and shipped off base for disposal per a 1994 ROD. The ROD was revised later in 1994 and the material was consolidated into Landfills 2 & 3.

Quarry In the summer of 1995, 80,000 cubic yards of sediment and soil were excavated and consolidated in Landfills 2 & 3. The ROD was signed in 1994.

Various Removal Action Areas The 1996 ROD for 6 of 10 areas within these OUs resulted in excavation of approximately 30,00 cubic yards which were disposed of in Landfills 2 & 3.

Basewide Surface Water The Remedial Investigation (RI) included three major watersheds (30 square miles) encompassing the former Loring AFB. In June 1997 the ROD was signed for this OU. Of the 30 square miles evaluated in the RI only the on base reach of the East Branch of the Greenlaw Brook required remedial action. Between June and October 1997, 82,000 cubic yards along one mile of the beach was excavated and placed in Landfill #3. Design studies indicated that the volume and extent of the contamination, as identified in the RI, had doubled to an estimated 150,000 cubic yards and 2.25 miles of stream. The sediment removal and stream restoration was completed in 1998.

Basewide Groundwater The ROD was signed in September 1999 and focused on approximately 2000 acres located in the industrial area of the former base. The ROD included the following remedial actions: "No Action" ; "No CERCLA Action" because the groundwater contamination only contained petroleum contamination. Also "Limited Action" which includes establishing groundwater management zones, institutional controls to prevent uncontrolled human exposure to site contamination, provisional water supply, long term monitoring, contingency (if necessary), and five year reviews; and, groundwater management zones consisting of all the Limited Action components plus monitoring for natural attenuation. Two areas required Technical Impracticability Waivers of drinking water standards because of natural attenuation time frames exceeding 100 years.

Other Areas (Active ROD) Nine Sites from various OUs were addressed in the ROD signed in September 1999. These sites were remediated under the State of Maine's Petroleum Program or the following "Active Technologies" ; bioventing, in-situ soil vapor extraction, or product recovery. Five year reviews will be required until remedial goals are met which will allow unrestricted use.

Enforcement HighlightsAn Interagency Agreement (IAG) was signed in 1991 between the EPA, the Air Force, and the State of Maine. Loring Air Force Base is participating in the Installation Restoration Program, a specially-funded program established by the Department of Defense (DOD) in 1978 to identify, investigate, and control the migration of hazardous contaminants at military and other DOD facilities. Loring Air Force Base was closed as an active DOD installation in 1994. The Air Force will continue its program to clean up the hazardous wastes at the Base.

Environmental Progress
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The combinations of the removal actions and remedial decisions have addressed 54 of the 54 sites identified during the initial investigations. The Air Force identified petroleum contamination at two of the pump stations along the 200 mile pipeline, which runs from Searsport, Maine (on the coast) to Loring. The Argyle pump station is currently under-going in-situ treatment using soil vapor extraction. Contaminated soil from the Mattawamkeg pump station was excavated and treated off-site. Additional contamination remaining at the Mattawamkeg pump station is currently being treated using in-situ oxygen curtain technology. Cleanup of the Argyle and Mattawamkeg pump stations are being conducted in accordance Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) regulations.

Current Site Status
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All of the removal and remedial decisions have been made for all of the 54 sites identified on the base. All Superfund remedial design and construction activities for the base have also been completed. Operation and maintenance (O&M) and long-term monitoring activities will be conducted by the Air Force to demonstrate the continued performance of on-going cleanup actions and achievement of cleanup standards.

A multi-agency consortium led by the ME DEP conducted a pilot innovative technology demonstration that attempted to determine the necessary site characterization requirements and the efficacy of delivering steam to fractured bedrock at a site that is suspected of containing high concentrations of chlorinated solvents. Delivery of the steam to the fractured bedrock was accomplished in conjunction with the extraction of liquid and vapor phase contamination. A report detailing the results of the pilot study was published in August 2005. The Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Report can be found in the links section below.

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  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Reports and Studies:
Five Year Review Report, September 29, 2000 (1167KB)  
Steam Enhanced Remediation Research for DNAPL in Fractured Rock, August 1, 2005 (Opening File is 14.5 MB with Links to Eight Additional PDF Files)  
Second Five Year Review Report (2000 to 2005), September 1, 2005 (11.8MB)  
Third Five Year Review Report (2005 to 2010), September 27, 2010 (15.9 MB)  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) OU 12, January 26, 2015, (3.64 MB)  
Institutional Controls at this Site  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  

Site Repositories
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AFBCA Division A, Attn: Mr. David Strainge
154 Development Drive, Suite G
Limestone, Maine 04750
(207) 328-7109

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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: Jim Murphy
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code ORA01-3
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone #: 617-918-1028
E-Mail Address: murphy.jim@epa.gov


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Last updated on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/loring