Natick hosts Restoration Advisory Board meeting
February 18, 2011
Focusing on the cleanup of PCBs in Pegan Cove of Lake Cochituate, a Restoration Advisory Board meeting was held Feb. 16 at Natick Soldier Systems Center's Grant Conference Center.
Meeting topics included the draft sediment remedial action closure report and an update on groundwater cleanup construction. Previous RAB meetings about the sediment remediation were held here Nov. 12, 2009, and March 30, 2010. All of the meetings included public comment periods.
According to the draft report, issued Dec. 22, 2010, and prepared for NSSC by Charter Environmental, Inc., and ICF International, the $2.88 million cleanup of three "hot spots" was successful in bringing the average PCB concentration in the Pegan Cove area of South Pond below the goal of 1 milligram per kilogram. The report said that approximately 1,214 tons of sediment dredged from the cove were taken to an offsite landfill, and the sites were backfilled with clean sand.
Concluded in fall 2010, the cleanup operation was made necessary by a transformer rupture that occurred behind Building 5 sometime during the mid 1980s. PCBs released during the accident traveled through storm drains and settled at the bottom of the cove. The report states that the remedial action objective is to "reduce the potential for sediment-associated human health risks due to PCBs in native fish caught near the NSSC shoreline currently and in the future."
One of the first cleanups in Environmental Protection Agency Region 1 to comply with EPA's "Clean and Green Policy" and the Department of Defense's policy on "Green and Sustainable Remediation," the cove sediment remediation sought to minimize energy use, maximize renewable fuel use, minimize air emissions and greenhouse gas generation, and minimize impacts to water resources.
The draft final remedial action completion report is expected to be submitted in about a month.
The groundwater cleanup effort is ongoing at NSSC, listed in May 1994 on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act National Priorities List. Environmental cleanup activities at NSSC follow an August 2006 agreement between the Army and the Environmental Protection Agency.