United States
                            Environmental Protection
                               Solid Waste and
                               Emergency Response
                  January 1999
                                                                         In   Progress
                                  EPA Update on Federal Facility Cleanup and Reuse
                          The  Buzz on Environmental  Monitoring

                                                 ^ Jerry J. Bromenshenk and Garon C. Smith

                                                 Honey bees are being used at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground
                                             (APG) in Maryland to monitor environmental conditions before, during, and
                                             after cleanup operations. Recommended as monitors of ecological and health
                                             hazards by EPA and the National Research Council, bees are multimedia
                                             samplers, indicators of chemical bioavailability, and assessors of the effects of
                                             stress such as exposure to chemical emissions.

                               Honey bees have the ability to pick up chemical residues. As they forage, bees collect
                             bioavailable contaminants. During good weather, tens of thousands of bees forage daily from each
                             hive. They bring back pollen and nectar for food, water for drinking and evaporative cooling, and
                             anything that electrostatically clings to their body hairs. The bees return to their hives each night;
                             thus hives can be sampled for the presence of environmental contaminants and measured to
                             determine the effects of these substances on a colony's size, vigor, and activities.

                               Given that a colony of bees can easily forage as far as a mile from the hive, bees provide
                             averaged samples for large areas. From an ecological perspective, anything adversely affecting bee
                             foraging might also alter the pollination of crops and the native plants that rely on bees and other
                             insects. From a human health perspective, toxic environmental chemicals readily available to bees
                             also might pose a hazard to people. In Milltown, Montana, for example, after losses of bees  in
                             nearby commercial apiaries alerted officials of environmental contamination, children were found
                             to have unacceptable levels of arsenic in their bodies.

                   Loring Cleanup Paves the Way for Economic Growth
                        y using state-of-
         Jf        L^/ technologies and
                thinking outside the box,
                the Base Realignment and
                Closure (BRAC) Cleanup
                Team (BCT) at Loring Air
                Force Base saved millions of
                dollars in cleanup costs. The
base, located on approximately 9,000 acres in
Maine near the Canadian border, supported
long-range bomber aircraft for the Strategic Air
Command for more than 50 years. Base activities
included aircraft maintenance and refueling,
munitions storage and maintenance, and flight-
line operations.

  Over time, these activities contaminated soil,
sediments, groundwater, and surfacewater. By
1990, the base was listed on EPA's National
Priorities List (NPL). In 1994, the base was closed
and a BCT, consisting of representatives from the
U.S. Air Force, EPA Region 1, and the Maine
Department of Environmental Protection,
assumed cleanup tasks.
                           Federal   Cleanups   That   Put

Message from the


Outreach Activities Vital to Progress

      Partners In Progress is just one of FFRRO's many
      initiatives to connect with stakeholders and engage
      citizens in the cleanup process. Other outreach
activities include producing educational materials,
supporting workshops, giving public presentations, and
participating in conferences.

  Through  such activities, FFRRO forges new links for
improving cleanup and reuse. We can achieve more by
developing a network of contacts, forming partnerships,
and leveraging  resources. In doing so, we often strengthen
efforts of other programs as well.

  FFRRO's participation in the Brownfields '98 Conference
in Los Angeles last November provides a good example of
how we work proactively to establish new links with
stakeholders. Sean Flynn, FFRRO's brownfields coordinator,
and I hosted an exhibit where we spoke with
representatives from consulting firms, the U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE), EPA regional offices, and citizen advisory

  We also had  the opportunity to describe the benefits of
our program with people unfamiliar with FFRRO. During
these discussions, Sean and I explained that federal facilities
and brownfields face similar challenges and must comply
with the same environmental laws. Further, because federal
properties often encompass hundreds of acres and have
 Deborah Leblang (center) and Sean Flynn (right) talk
 about federal facility cleanups with a conference participant.

 large infrastructures, their cleanup and reuse can play a
 pivotal role in economic revitalization at nearby
 brownfields. For these reasons, partnerships between federal
 facility and brownfield stakeholders can be significant.

   Sean and  I informed participants about how to network,
 leverage resources, and share information. We also offered
 to help participants identify federal facility contacts in close
 proximity to their sites. Outreach efforts such as this are
 vital to the progress of our program.

   Deborah Leblang is FFRRO's outreach coordinator and
 editor of Partners In Progress.lOd
  Partners  In Progress
    Stakeholders involved in federal facility cleanups are
  diverse, with differing backgrounds, interests, and
  perspectives. All of these stakeholders, however, share a
  single, common goal—progress. Partners In Progress
  provides an open forum for stakeholders to exchange
  information, offer solutions, and share stories about
  what works and what doesn't. We encourage you—our
  readers—to write to us about your activities that foster
  teamwork, promote innovation, and strengthen
  community involvement. Only by working together, can
  we achieve "federal cleanups that put citizens first."
 Articles written by non-EPA authors do not necessarily
 reflect the views, positions, or policies of the Agency.
                     Working Together to Build Policy
                     and Improve Cleanup

                    by Jim Wool ford, Director of FFRRO

                   Welcome to our second issue of Partners In
                   Progress. As this newsletter provides a
                   forum for all parties to be heard, we are
                   thrilled to include articles by some of our
   partners who have taken the opportunity to share information
   and discuss innovative approaches for improving cleanup and
   reuse. Karla Perri, the new Assistant Deputy Under Secretary
   of Defense for Environmental Cleanup at the Department of
   Defense (DoD), shares her take on DoD partnering efforts. We
   welcome Karla and look forward to working with her on the
   myriad issues confronting DoD's cleanup programs. Lenny
   Siegel, director of the Center for Public Environmental
   Oversight, is a major advocate for improving cleanup and
   stakeholder involvement.

 Hot  Off the  Presses

 Hanford: A Cleaner Future                  •*•!-.
 U.S. EPA, Solid Waste and Emergency Response
 EPA505-F-98-006, July 1998
   As many people know, the Manhattan Project
 involved the building of the world's first atomic    ^^^^^^
 weapon. Now, you can learn how various groups have been
 working during the past 10 years to clean up the site that first
 produced plutonium for the top secret project. A new fact
 sheet, Hanford: A Cleaner Future, describes the achievements
 and challenges of the world's largest environmental cleanup
 project and probably the most long-term effort of its kind. The
 fact sheet tells how representatives of EPA, DOE, the
 Washington State Department of Ecology, Native American
 tribes, and citizens'  groups are searching for ways to achieve an
 accelerated and cost-effective environmental cleanup.
   To obtain a copy of Hanford: A Cleaner Future contact
 Deborah Leblang of EPA's FFRRO office  by e-mail at
 < leblang.deborah@epa.gov> or by calling 202 260-8302. The
 fact sheet also can be viewed at .
Accelerating Cleanup:
Paths to Closure
U.S. DOE, Office of Environmental Management
DOE/EM-0362, June 1998

   Compiled by DOE's Environmental Management (EM)
Program, this report describes progress in the cleanup of 353
projects at 53 separate DOE sites located in 22 states across
the country. Most of these sites were established during the
early days of the Cold War for research, development, testing,

From the Director 
   Partners In Progress is produced by FFRRO at EPA
Headquarters; however, it reflects the achievements of EPA
regional offices as well. EPA has much to be proud of when it
comes to the  accomplishments of regional federal facility and
base realignment and closure (BRAC) cleanup programs.
Without their extraordinary efforts, FFRRO could not have
pushed cleanups forward, identified ways to save time and
money, and created the impetus to involve stakeholders in the
cleanup process.

   Not only do we look to EPA regional offices to implement
cleanup programs, we rely on them to help craft policies  and
inform our judgements. The principal groups we work with
are the Federal Facility Leadership Council (FFLC)  and the
Federal Facilities Forum,  or "Fed Forum." The FFLC is
comprised of regional federal facility program managers and
legal counsels and  EPA Headquarter's two main federal facility
offices—FFRRO and the Federal Facilities Enforcement Office
(FFEO). The FFLC is chaired by myself,  Craig Hooks (director
of FFEO), and Mary Sanderson and Joan Miles of EPA Region 1.
Productive regional involvement allows us to use the FFLC as
the major internal "sounding board" in  policy deliberations.
 and production of nuclear weapons and a variety of nuclear-
 related research projects.
   In addition to remediation activities at specific sites, the
 report details the background and mission of the EM program;
 the six phases of the decision-making process; cost projections;
 and stakeholder, regulator, and tribal nation involvement.
   A copy of the book can be obtained by calling
 800 736-3282 and requesting document number
 DOE/EM-0362. This document also is available on the Internet
 at .

 An Analysis of Composting
 as an Environmental Remediation
 U.S. EPA, Solid Waste and
 Emergency Response
 EPA530-R-98-008, April 1998

   Composting is viewed primarily as a waste management
 technique that has the added benefit of enriching soil.
 Composting also has proven effective in helping to efficiently
 and inexpensively manage hazardous waste contamination.
 This report details the benefits and processes of innovative
 applications of composting in remediation efforts. Chapters
 include data on the use of compost in hazardous waste
 management; degradation of toxic organic soil compounds;
 application techniques; biofilter use; brownfields reclamation;
 and phytoremediation. These innovative composting
 applications and their results are gaining attention for the
 effective cleanup of federal facilities.
   To receive a free copy of the report, call 800 490-9198 and
 request document number EPA530-B-98-008. This  report also
 is available on the  Internet at: .
  The Fed Forum also provides substantial direction to our
policy making. It is comprised of Federal Facility/BRAC
Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) who work day-to-day at
cleanup sites. They serve as our eyes and ears on issues such
as monitored natural attenuation and UXO. Both the FFLC and
the Fed  Forum have been invaluable to our program.

  FFRRO currently is calculating the annual performance of
the federal facility and BRAC programs. A preliminary
evaluation indicates that more than 90 Records of Decision
were signed; 17 facilities  reached the "all remedies
constructed" phase of site cleanup; and 9 facilities were
removed from the NPL.

  While much work still  remains, these accomplishments
represent tremendous progress in cleaning up federal
Superfund sites. I commend both the EPA regions and our
federal partners in realizing these achievements.EH

          Partnering:  A  Priority   in   the   New Year
          by Karla Perri, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Environmental Cleanup)
     Since joining DoD, I have taken on the challenge
     of partnering. One of my main priorities for
     1999 will be expanding and improving the
quality of DoD's partnering activities. DoD's
partnerships with environmental regulatory agencies,
communities, Native Americans, and industry are
essential to ensuring the success of our
environmental restoration activities. DoD has been in
the business of environmental restoration for well
over a decade now, and partnering has been
instrumental to our efforts.

  The passage of the Superfund Amendments and
Reauthorization Act (SARA) by Congress in 1986
formalized the preexisting Defense Environmental
Restoration  Program and established the Defense
Environmental  Restoration Account to fund DoD's
cleanup efforts  at operational installations and
Formerly Used  Defense Sites (FUDS). Later, BRAC
laws created the BRAC account to pay for
environmental restoration work at BRAC installations.
While SARA  granted authority and provided funding
for DoD's environmental restoration program, it also
brought additional changes and uncertainty, especially
regarding listing on the NPL, Interagency Agreements,
and the relationships among DoD, EPA, and the
states. With  thousands of sites in need of remediation,
and millions of dollars in the balance, DoD soon
realized productive working relationships had to be
established and nurtured. The department, therefore,
created several  partnership arrangements to foster
innovation and build teamwork and consensus among
our stakeholders.

  Our oldest and most successful partnering activity
is the Defense and State Memorandum of Agreement/
Cooperative Agreement (DSMOA/CA) program. This
program, established in 1989, facilitates active state
and territory regulatory agency participation in DoD's
environmental cleanup program, with the expectation
of expediting cleanup at our operational and BRAC
installations and FUDS. States and territories are
reimbursed for technical services provided in support
of DoD environmental restoration activities.  The end
result has been improved  relations among the states
and territories, military services, and defense
agencies. To date, 48 states and territories have
entered  into DSMOAs with DoD. Between 1990 and
1998, more than $2 billion in cost avoidances have
been documented.

  Issues stemming from our DSMOA program have
encouraged our partnership with the Association of
State and Territorial Solid  Waste Management
Officials. We meet frequently, usually quarterly, to
discuss a variety of issues  of mutual interest. Some
issues are general, such as improving the cleanup
process and assessing the  scope of UXO clearance.
Other issues are more specific, such as the
association's participation  in our 1997 effort to
"reinvent" the Defense and State Cooperative
Agreement process.

  Another example of our partnerships with state
regulatory agencies is our association with the
Environmental Council of States. In 1996, we created
a permanent forum with the council to share
information and address specific issues of mutual
concern. Through this alliance, the senior leadership
of DoD and the states have the opportunity to
exchange ideas, views, and experiences, which serves
to foster cooperation and  coordination in
environmental policy development and management.

  With the advent of BRAC in 1988,  it was evident
that quick, efficient cleanups would be essential to
community economic development and revitalization
and to property transfers in communities. To
accomplish these cleanup goals, BCTs were
established at our BRAC installations where property
would be made available to the community. The
intent of the BCT concept is to foster partnerships at
the installation level so decisions are made on a
collaborative basis to speed cleanups. We also have
been supporting EPA participation in BCTs by
providing staff and funding resources.

  On the community level, Restoration Advisory
Boards (RABs) are a means to promote individual
citizen input into our decision-making processes.
There are 332 installations participating in the
advisory board process across the United States and
Governors' Association, ITRC has expanded to include
more than 25 states, three federal partners, public
and industry stakeholders, and two state
associations—the Western Governors' Association and
the Southern States Energy Board. To date, ITRC has
   Partnering continues to be one  of DoD's most successful  initiatives
       and has resulted  in millions  of dollars  in  avoided costs, the
    acceleration of many cleanup projects, and  enhanced teamwork
                                 with our stakeholders.
its territories, which creates a forum for members of
nearby communities to provide input to DoD's
environmental restoration program. Sharing
information and providing tools is another facet of
partnering we take very seriously.

  Partnering with tribal nations in government-to-
government relationships is another important part of
DoD's partnering efforts. Over the past two years, we
have been working in close consultation with
federally recognized tribes to develop a DoD Native
American Environmental Policy. Our efforts have been
very successful, and we expect to have a final policy
in place by spring 1999. Another example of our
government-to-government relationship with tribes is
the cooperative agreement initiative to provide a
robust role in environmental mitigation activities on
their lands. Under this  initiative, a cooperative
agreement mechanism  provides funding for the
specific technical services to be performed that are
agreed to by DoD and the tribe. We currently have six
such agreements in place.

  Some of our partnership efforts are more narrowly
focused. For instance, we have been funding and
participating in the development of the Interstate
Technology and Regulatory Cooperation (ITRC)
Workgroup. In simple terms, the ITRC is a state-led
national coalition with the mission of creating tools
and strategies to reduce interstate barriers to the
deployment of innovative hazardous waste
management and remediation technologies. Developed
in 1995 from a previous initiative by the Western
developed 22 guidance documents intended to help
regulatory staff and technology vendors in the
deployment of  innovative technologies. We work
closely with ITRC to ensure our technology priorities
are compatible with that of ITRC and integrated into
the ITRC work  plan. We provide funding and offer
our sites as demonstration projects for the many
innovative technologies under study.

  Partnering continues to be one of DoD's most
successful  initiatives and has resulted in millions of
dollars in avoided costs, the acceleration of many
cleanup  projects, and enhanced teamwork with our
stakeholders. As an example, the cooperative efforts
of the BCTs and RABs eliminated 59 years of project
work and avoided $60 million in costs. If done
correctly, partnering helps all parties with a stake in
environmental  restoration to better understand each
other, leading to cleanups that satisfy the majority of
stakeholder concerns and resulting in faster, cheaper
cleanups that protect human health  and the

  During my tenure, I will continue to enhance
existing  relationships between DoD  and our partners,
and seek out new ways in which we can team with
other stakeholders in carrying out DoD's
environmental  restoration obligations. To learn more
about DoD's cleanup efforts and our initiatives, such
as RABs, I  invite you to visit the DoD Environmental
Cleanup Home Page at .O


Breaking News

Honey Bee Monitoring of Chemical
Releases at APG

  A team of scientists from the University of Montana, the
U.S. Army's Center for Environmental Health Research, and
APG's Installation Restoration Program, continually monitor
bees at APG to study the impact of the Army's past and
current activities on the site's air quality and terrestrial
  Twenty-one electronic hives, outfitted with infrared
counters, were installed at APG. They track bee flight
activity, counting bees as they leave and enter the hive.
Temperature probes inside each hive follow the ability of
the bees to maintain a constant temperature to incubate
their young. These electronics and other features, such as
pumps for chemical sampling, gather and transmit data to a
central processing system that, within minutes, delivers the
data to any place around the globe via the Internet. The
system detects and immediately reports anomalies in bee
behavior that might signal exposure to toxic contaminants.
This real-time monitoring provides an early warning of
changing environmental conditions so that appropriate
action can be taken. It also supplies a means of monitoring
and determining the success of a site cleanup or
remediation action such as the capping of a toxic dump.

  In the past, chemical warfare agents, munitions, UXO,
and wastes from industrial and research plants were
landfilled in many areas at APG. The Army now is removing
these materials, where possible, and capping larger landfills.
Continuous monitoring of bees has been used to identify
possible chemical releases during removal activities at APG's
West Branch Canal Creek (WBCC),
J-Field, and Carroll Island sites. Bees also have been
released at the Old O-Field and J-Field to profile conditions
before, during, and following landfill capping.

   At WBCC, for example, where a chemical weapons plant
had been removed, bee flight activity was high, colony
condition good, and only trace levels of solvents, such as
perchloroethylene (PCE), occurred in the hives. For three
summers, the colonies at WBCC were indistinguishable
from those at a reference site in rural Churchville,
Maryland,  indicating the effectiveness of the cleanup
actions. During landfill capping efforts at Old
O-Field, in 1996, bee flight activity was low, queens
disappeared, and hive temperatures began  fluctuating in
more than half of the colonies. These behavioral anomalies
coincided with very high levels of PCE in the affected hives.
During the two years following the installation of the cover,
bee behaviors reflected a more normal state and the levels
of PCE dropped. The bees enhanced hazard evaluation by
signaling an initial release and then  verifying a reduction in
bioavailable PCE following the capping. Bees still are on the
job at the J-Field landfill where digging and capping actions
are ongoing.

   Honey bees in small, nonelectronic, minihives also are
being used to survey a large number of sites at APG not
previously evaluated for chemicals in the air or terrestrial
environment. Additionally, bees are  being used to survey
boundary areas including 12 sites in the  residential
communities surrounding the APG Edgewood area. For this
form of monitoring, the  bees, pollen, air inside the hive,
and ambient air are periodically sampled. Colonies are
inspected to assess overall condition.
    Real-time monitoring  of bee
          colony  activities and
  conditions can  be  an  integral
  part of early identification of
        environmental  threats.

  In addition to APG, trace levels of solvents have appeared
in beehives in three nearby Maryland counties. Although
these same solvents do not appear in comparable hives in
Montana, automobile repair shops, other local industries,
and agricultural applications, not APG, appear to be the
primary source of many of the hazardous chemicals.  Low
levels of chemicals derived from tear gas and explosives are
found only in some of the hives on the grounds. Finally,
although the levels of toxic metals are slightly elevated in
bees and pollen at some APG locations, none of these hives
displayed the toxic levels of metals often found in bees  in
comparable hives in ore mining and  smelting regions of

  To date, the chemical monitoring of hives has
demonstrated a high degree of correlation to standard
chemical monitoring. Large areas can be screened quickly
and relatively inexpensively, indicating where to focus more
stringent remediation techniques. Real-time monitoring of
honey bee colony activities and conditions can be an
integral part of the effort toward the early identification of
environmental threats so corrective action can take place.

  For more information on honey bee monitoring,
including the development of microchips for tracking of
individual bees, contact Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk (University
of Montana) at 406 243-5648; e-mail   or visit the Web site at . IH

  Jerry J. Bromenshenk, Ph.D, is adjunct professor with the
Division of Biological Sciences at the University of
Montana-Missoula. Garon C. Smith,  Ph.D.,  is associate
professor of chemistry at the University of Montana.

    «--  *m
               "     A wealth of information
                I   about innovative remediation
                   technologies is now available
                   at your fingertips. The
                   Hazardous Waste Cleanup
                   Information Web site,
 developed and maintained by EPA's Technology
 Innovation Office, describes remediation
 programs, organizations, publications, and
 other tools. The site is geared toward federal
 and state personnel, consulting engineers,
 technology developers and vendors,
 remediation contractors, researchers,
 community groups, and citizens. Featured on
 the site are "Citizen's Guides" to various
 innovative technology remedies. These guides
 are written in plain English and provide
 information and illustrations of technologies
 being used across the country to clean up
 federal and private facilities.


    The countdown to the new millennium is
 well underway. In the midst of the excitement is
 the fear that computer systems will crash at the
 stroke of midnight, unable to interpret the two-
 digit 00 year code. On this special Web site, you
 can learn how EPA is safeguarding its operations
 by implementing a Year 2000 (Y2K) strategy. In
 addition to an outline of the strategy, the site
 offers information on EPA's date standard, Y2K
 assistance and guidance, compliance status  of
 EPA's mission  critical systems, Y2K
 environmental sector action plans, and much
 more. The days to the new millennium
 continually click down in the upper right corner
 of the home page, so check it out today.
                                                          < www.cpeo.org>
   Visit The Center for Public Environmental
 Oversight's Web site and you'll find the
 Technology Tree, an original "front end" for
 researching environmental remediation
 technologies. Also available on this new home
   _e is the organization's newsletter, Citizens'
 Report on the Military and the Environment.
 Visitors also can access other publications,
 information on current stakeholder issues, anc'
 a list of upcoming events.

 Team   Effort  Keeps  Rickenbacker  on  Track

                   Laura Ripley, from EPA Region
                 5, explains how she is
                 participating in the cleanup and
                 reuse of Rickenbacker Air National
                 Guard Base in central Ohio.
 Q: You're currently managing the base closure and
 realignment of Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base.
 What's the history of this base?

 A: Rickenbacker provided airfield support for the Air
 Force, Ohio Air National Guard, and Army National
 Guard. Installation activities included operation,
 maintenance, and repair of aircraft, vehicles, and
 equipment. It also was used as a training center for
 pilots and carried out some pesticide spraying
 missions at other bases.
Q: Is Rickenbacker a typical base cleanup?

A: For the most part, Rickenbacker is the norm for
environmental investigations and cleanup. The base is
somewhat unusual, however, in that it involves both a
closure and a realignment. The Ohio Air National
Guard and Army National Guard will retain 300 acres
while the remaining 1,700 acres will be handed over
to the Rickenbacker Port Authority (RPA) through a
public benefit transfer. RPA plans to use this property,
including the airfield, for a commercial industrial
airport. RPA also is trying to get related industries to
take over some of the other areas. Currently, RPA has
leased the property from the Air Force.

Q: When you transfer a base to a business that conducts
similar operations, in this case an airport, how do you
ensure the same contamination issues do not recur?
 Q: What contaminants are on the site as a result of these    A: Regulations for underground storage tanks have
 activities and what remedies will you use to clean them

 A: There is a blend of contaminants that includes fuel
 components, chlorinated solvents, and some inorganic
 metals. They're evident in both the soil and
 groundwater at certain sites on the base. Recently,
 we've reviewed the draft feasibility study, a document
 compiled by the Air Force, which provides a number
 of alternatives to be considered for cleanup. Remedial
 actions will likely include a combination of hot spot
 [soil] removal and monitored natural attenuation as
 well as a permeable reactive wall in one area to keep
 pollutants contained. Until these remedial actions are
 put in place and operating successfully, the site cannot
 be  considered suitable for transfer. Unless the Air
 Force opts for early transfer, the base probably won't
 be  completely transferred until 2002.
been strengthened, requiring fuel tanks and associated
piping to be properly designed and constructed to
include spill and overfill prevention equipment. Any
underground portion of a tank that routinely contains
fuel products must be protected from corrosion.

In addition, we're taking out some of the fuel lines,
oil/water separators, and storage tanks. Fuel capacities
are being reduced, and the hazardous waste storage
areas are being cleaned up and closed down. Also, RPA
is considering upgrading the stormwater drainage
system as well. Thus, with minor changes and
alterations before reuse, new contaminants should not
be reintroduced  into the environment.

Q: How has partnering played a role in the cleanup at
Ricken backer?

A: Partnering brought together the key players from
each organization involved as well as their technical
support staffs. Working together as a team has helped
prevent disagreements and thwart potential problems.
Additionally, representatives from the Air Force, state,
and EPA have not changed. Continuity of key
individuals has allowed us to develop a strong rapport
and the ability to move things forward without having
to wait  for new team members to familiarize
themselves with the facility.

Q: How has the community been involved?

A: The community has been informed of the issues
concerning Rickenbacker since 1991. Members of the
community have toured the site  and are aware of the
contaminants found there. They've given some input
on cleanup and reuse but have not been heavily
involved. At this point, the RPA has been the only
nongovernment agency actively participating in the
process, attending the working team meetings, and
commenting on work plans and  reports. The proposed
work plan, which is a public document on the cleanup
alternatives for the base, was published in December
1998. Following its release, the community was
informed of the actions chosen for base cleanup and
was invited to comment and offer suggestions.

Q: What have been the challenges of cleaning up and
transferring Rickenbacker?

A: The main challenge of cleaning up and transferring
Rickenbacker has been to utilize available resources  in
an expeditious and cost-effective manner. RPA wants to
redevelop the land; therefore, the project schedule has
been expedited. To accommodate this condensed
schedule, the coordination and cooperation of all
parties  involved has been crucial. These strong,
cooperative partnerships have allowed the
Rickenbacker cleanup plan to proceed quickly and
On  Being  an  EPA
Remedial  Project
Q: What challenges does an EPA Remedial
Project Manager (RPM) face?

A: The primary challenge of the position is
working with industry, federal facilities, and/or
the state in implementing environmental
cleanup programs. Because each entity can have
different goals and objectives, the EPA RPM
assumes the role of negotiator. RPMs try to
ensure all partners have sufficient information
on which to base their decisions when selecting
the best cleanup method. They need to select
methods that protect public health and the
environment in a reasonable time frame.

Q: What is the learning curve for an EPA RPM
once assigned to a base closing?

A: An effective RPM must learn the ins and outs
of the base as well as its past activities and how
those activities have affected the environment.
This learning comes from extensive document
review and site visits. We learn a great deal in
the field by participating in work plan
discussions and development, environmental
investigations, field modifications, sample
location determination, and data evaluation.

Q: How many EPA staff members work on a

A: In order to make informed and practical
decisions,  I work with an EPA in-house technical
support staff. This group includes a chemist,
geologist, risk assessor, toxicologist,  and
ecologist. An engineer also is involved during
the remedial action stage to review the design,
construction, and operation of the remedy as it
takes place.

Like the RPM, technical support members learn
about a site through document review and site
visits, as necessary. I think it's extremely
beneficial to have these experts with me at
meetings when we need to discuss issues and
come to some conclusions regarding those
issues. Tapping into that technical expertise on
the spot is invaluable.


          Institutional  Controls:
          The  Emperor's  New
by Lenny Siege I

     Two hikers wander past a "no trespassing" sign into a
     contaminated area. A public facility is built on top of
     a forgotten capped landfill. These are just two
scenarios that demonstrate the potential ineffectiveness of
institutional controls. Institutional controls are restrictions
on the use of land or water, imposed by environmental
regulators and state and federal agencies, that complement
or substitute for removing or treating contamination.

  All too often, regulators choose these restrictions with
minimal stakeholder involvement and to save on short-term
expenses. In addition, they are being used more and more
on sites with contamination or UXO, which could pose
significant threats for decades. Once in place, institutional
controls are often inefficiently monitored or enforced. Like
the fabled emperor's new clothes, merely saying that
institutional controls are in place does not guarantee their
effectiveness or long-term stability.

  Sometimes, institutional controls are necessary and
unavoidable. For example, they are useful in limiting
exposure while cleanup remedies are being put in place
and before these remedies are operating effectively. In
addition, where complete cleanup is technically infeasible,
prohibitively expensive, or likely to cause irreparable
environmental damage, institutional controls might be the
only option.  Beyond these situations, institutional controls
should only be used when they are reinforced by
geographic or physical reality. In an area likely to remain a
wildlife refuge indefinitely, for example,  restricting
construction on a capped landfill is suitable. (Of course, the
land management agency should keep track of that landfill
if it decides to build a visitors' center or  install a pipeline.)

  When institutional controls are adopted, all parties
should consider ways to enforce these restrictions. Local
governments, for example, could restrict land use through
zoning and other measures that restrict specific activities
such as excavation. For property remaining in federal
hands, facility management plans should specify the

  No matter what strategy is used, however, regulators
should be aware of potential loopholes.  In most states, for
example, deed restriction language written into transfer
documents cannot easily be enforced against subsequent
owners. Zoning can be vetoed or changed by a city council
vote and there is no long-term enforcement mechanism.

  The following simple steps can help solve these

• Memorialize institutional controls in legal
  documents. For instance, restrictions can be written into
  decision documents (such as records of decision and
  action plans) and property transfer documents.
  Properties should be subjected to overlapping
  restrictions in which cleanup decision documents,
  property documents (for nonfederal property), and
  official plans (whether drawn up by  local governments or
  federal property owners) should all simultaneously
  memorialize the same institutional controls.

* Establish a single  registry. Many different agencies
  regulate cleanup for each geographic area; therefore,
  data on controls are currently fragmented and, in some
  areas, simply anecdotal.  Regulatory agencies can establish
  a single, unified list or registry of institutional controls
  imposed to limit exposure to toxic waste, radioactive
  substances, and explosives. A registry would make it possible
  to quantify and analyze the use of institutional  controls.

• Provide easy public access to the  registry. The  people
  who are at risk—or who care about the species at  risk—
  have a long-term stake in the effectiveness of controls.
  Just as information  on toxic releases has allowed the
  public to press for increased compliance and pollution
  prevention, an institutional control registry would give
  public stakeholders the information  they need  to
  monitor limitations on use and pathways.

• Require registry consultation when considering
  property transfer. For properties transferred from
  federal ownership,  local governments should be required
  to consult the registry when considering zoning changes,
  building permits, and other actions that could
  compromise controls. This sounds simple, but it might
  be difficult for local governments to limit owners' use of
  their land without compensation, particularly if the
  controls were imposed by other agencies such  as state or
  federal environmental regulators.

• Ensure long-term auditing and enforcement. The
  federal government and/or states should establish an
  agency to audit and enforce institutional controls at
  affected properties. This monitoring should go beyond
  the typical five-year review mandated by the Superfund

• Ensure long-term protection. Property law must be
  revised to ensure that institutional controls "run with the
  land" forever. Sites also should not be "closed out" until
  there is no longer a need for institutional controls. As
  long as the protection of public health and natural
  ecosystems requires limits on the use of land and other
  resources, those sites and their associated restrictions
  should remain on the environmental and legal "radar

  Even if all the above steps are applied evenly across all
relevantjurisdictions and are backed with the necessary
long-term funding, institutional controls should still be
considered unreliable. Understandably, those responsible
for cleanups want to save money and assume restrictions
will be effective. Arbitrarily implementing institutional
controls, however, does not ensure the most effective
means of remediation. Property owners have too much
incentive to use their land to the fullest extent possible.
Others often have good reason to enter restricted property.
As time passes, there is a likelihood that even the best  laid
controls will be breached.L_J

  Lenny Siege/ is the Director of the Center for Public
Environmental Oversight, a program of the San Francisco
Urban Institute, San Francisco State University.
 A Closer Look at Institutional Controls

   Typical institutional controls used for environmental
 cleanup projects include deed restrictions and zoning
 ordinances. When implemented and enforced properly,
 these controls protect human health and the environment
 by interrupting the pathway of contamination (e.g., soil,
 groundwater, surfacewater) from receptors—people, fish,
 and animals. For example, if groundwater is contaminated,
 an institutional control would prohibit drilling a well for
 drinking water in that area. Institutional controls should
 remain in place as long as the pathway continues to pose a
 risk. If remediation renders the pathway safe for exposure,
 however, the control can  be lifted.
National Defense
Association (NDIA)  ^
25th                     V
Environmental          y
Symposium and
March 29 through April 1, 1999
Denver, Colorado
The theme for this year's symposium is
Privatization and Outsourcing of DoD
Environmental Operations. For more information
on session topics and how to register, call NDIA
at 703 522-1820 or visit

on the Internet.

The National Town Meeting
for  a Sustainable America

May 2 through 5, 1999
Detroit, Michigan

The President's Council for Sustainable
Development will host this "town meeting" to
recognize and encourage sustainable
development activities across the United States.
For more information, visit the National Town
Meeting's Web site at

UXO Forum  '99  — Strategies for
Tomorrow, Tactics for Today

May 25 through 28, 1999
Atlanta, Georgia

Session topics for this global conference include
UXO detection, policy  and regulations, case
studies, UXO clearance, risk assessment,
partnering and transitions, and more. Worldwide
UXO experts will  be in attendance. For more
information, call 888 808-5303 or visit

          Treating  Contamination:
         A  Natural  Cleanup  Alternative

by John Wrobel, Steve Hirsh, and Harry Compton

     Poplar trees are turning out to be a natural choice for
     cleaning up a U.S. Army site in Maryland. A stand of
     184 hybrid poplars, planted in 1996, are helping to
contain toxic substances in the soil and groundwater,
through a process called phytoremediation, on the J-Field at
Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). No ordinary field of trees,
the poplars are the subject of a five-year project conducted
by a team of representatives from EPA Region 3, EPA's
Environmental Response Team, the U.S. Army, and the
Maryland Department of the Environment, to investigate
pilot-scale applications of innovative technologies.

  The J-Field site was once a pit burning  location for
munitions and chemical agents. During the burning
process,  large volumes of chlorinated solvents, used as
decontaminating agents, were discharged  onto the ground.
As a result, a plume of chlorinated solvents, predominantly
1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane and trichloroethene, contami-
nated the groundwater in and around the burning pits in
concentrations exceeding 500 parts per million in some

  The project involved several initial steps. First, the team
collected and analyzed soil samples for levels of chlorinated
organic compounds, metals,  and chloride. The soil was then
prepared by digging holes; adding fertilizers and nutrients,
such as nitrogen and phosphorous, to aid tree growth; and
mixing the soil. Next, the team planted the trees to depths
allowing coverage and data collection from the root
capillary zone during groundwater seasonal highs and lows.
Located on 1 acre southeast of the toxic pit, the trees soak
up the groundwater flowing  from the contaminated area.
The team continually monitors the groundwater quality and
level using wells and lysimeters installed nearby.

  Each season, the team conducts various monitoring tests.
The tests include measuring  the effects of weather,
including precipitation, solar radiation, temperature,
humidity, and wind speed; tree growth  measurements; soil
vapor and air quality samples; levels of metals, chlorinated
organic solvents, and degradation products in plant tissues;
sap flow; transpirational gas and condensate water; and soil
content and characteristics. The data collected help the
team determine how the trees are responding to and
influencing their surroundings.

  With each sampling event, the team has observed
noteworthy results. In an ongoing test of condensate water
samples, the team recently noted a correlation between
concentrations of chlorinated organic compounds found in
condensate water and transpirational gas given off by the
trees. Further studies of this  relationship will  help the team
determine the trees' ability to contain and remove
contaminants. Another important test of the remediation
capability of the trees, is a study of the soil community. In a
recent sample, the team noted increased numbers and
diversity of nematode populations inhabiting the area.
These findings suggest the trees are having a positive affect
in the area.

  The team has measured the trees' groundwater intake at
rates of 2 gallons/day/tree,
with peak flows of 10
gallons/day/tree. Higher flows
are anticipated as the trees
mature. Increasing
concentrations of chemical
compounds and byproducts
in plant tissue samples during
the growing season indicate
that the trees are able to
remove more and more
toxins during this time.

  Thus far, the team has
collected increasing evidence
that supports the use of trees
for soil and groundwater
remedia-tion. The inherent
benefits of phytoremediation
at the J-Field site include low
cost, low maintenance, and
low impact,  compared  to
more traditional remedies
such as a pump-and-treat
system. Though additional data
and interpretations are needed
to conclusively prove its
effectiveness, preliminary
conclusions have
demonstrated that
phytoremediation is a natural
cleanup choice.^^

  New Trees

    The phytoremediation team at APG planted
  new trees in November 1998. Native species,
 such as silver maples and  tulip poplars, were
  planted to gauge their effectiveness in
 containing the  J-Field  contaminants. Based on
  lessons learned in the first two years of the
  project, these trees were planted with more
 sand around the roots to encourage growth
 and to attract groundwater. Additional trees
 also were planted in an uncontaminated site in
 order to  compare test data.
                                                                                            John Wrobel of the U.S. Army at
                                                                                            Aberdeen Proving Ground
                                                                                            Directorate of Safety, Health, and
                                                                                            Environment; Steve Hirsh of EPA
                                                                                            Region 3; and Harry Compton of
                                                                                            EPA's National Risk Management
                                                                                            Research Laboratory; shown above
                                                                                            at J-Field, are members of the
                                                                                            phytoremediation project team.

           Inspiration  Sparked  at
           Community  Involvement Conference
                          by Marsha Minter, FFRRO Community
                          Involvement National Program Manager

                          This column's icon—people linked
                        arm-in-arm—illustrates EPA's goal of
                        helping all parties become involved in
                        environmental decision-making at
                        federal facilities. This two-part article
                        shares highlights from EPA's National
                        Community Involvement Conference,
       an event that provided inspiration and insight on how we
       can work together to achieve this goal.

          Held in Boston in August 1998, the conference focused
       on EPA's commitment to help communities find solutions to
       environmental concerns. The conference brought together
       community involvement directors, Restoration Advisory
       Board (RAB) members, public affairs specialists, military
       officials, site supervisors, and representatives from
       government and academia.
Community Connection Reflection:
"Never doubt that a small group of
thoughtful, committed citizens can change
the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that
ever has."
                                    —Margaret Mead
             Through workshops and dialogue, the participants
           learned innovative techniques and approaches for fostering
           community involvement. In her keynote address, Susan
           Seacrest, president of the Groundwater Foundation, shared
           her inspiring vision for community involvement. As the
           founder of the Groundwater Guardian Program—a national
           program that promotes community involvement
  in groundwater protection—Ms. Seacrest has found that
even the smallest step toward community involvement is a
step in the right direction. Said Ms. Seacrest, "a journey of a
thousand miles begins with a single step."

  Ms. Seacrest emphasized that, to succeed in effective
community involvement, we must have the following:

• Promise: According to Ms. Seacrest's "spark plug" theory,
  a single, inspirational moment is all that is needed to
  spark the journey of a thousand miles.

• Process: After the spark has fired, the journey must be
  encouraged and nurtured. Sound science, reliable
  information, and accurate data are essential.

• Partnerships: Information and data without human
  relationships will not achieve success. People power is
  needed to make the process work. Partnerships must be
  forged at all levels and reach beyond city or county limits.

• Products: The end results—the products—should be
  sustainable, results-oriented solutions to problems.

  Ms. Seacrest reflected that by following the above "Ps," as
she calls them, people learn to value the differences among
themselves and eventually master the fifth "P"—patience.

  EPA is committed to increasing community involvement,
supporting RABs and SSABs, and fostering partnerships with
other stakeholders. Together we can ensure the success of
our nation's cleanup programs. Arm-in-arm, the journey will
become easier each step of the way. ^3

  Portions of this column were reprinted from the U.S. EPA
National Community Involvement Conference Proceedings
Supplement,  with permission from the Groundwater
Foundation.  This article will be continued in the spring
issue ofPartners In Progress. Questions or comments on this
article or other community issues can be directed to
Marsha Minter at 202 260-6626; or e-mail:


The  Military  Range

Cleanup  Debate

by Douglas A, Bell

      To ensure military readiness, DoD has operated more
      than 10,000 sites for troop training or testing of
      munitions and other weapons. Many of these sites are
defined by DoD as military ranges. Due to tremendous site
assessment and cleanup costs, most of the ranges have not
been thoroughly investigated and still contain unknown
amounts of munitions including UXO. Since the 1950s,
many contaminated ranges have been transferred and are
no longer under DoD control. These properties are now in
the hands of private citizens, industry, States, and tribal
nations, who, in some situations, might not be aware that
UXO or hazardous chemical contamination is present.

  EPA, DoD, states, and military range stakeholders are
working to develop policies for addressing military
munitions and UXO. In February 1997, EPA finalized the
Military Munitions Rule, a federal regulation that provides
requirements for storage, transport, and disposal of military
munitions. Initially, military ranges were to be included
within the broad authorities of the Military Munitions Rule.
In 1995, however, DoD began developing its own
regulation specifically for closed, transferred, and
transferring military ranges. DoD proposed this rule in
September 1997. While this rule is under development,
when finalized, it will set forth a process for investigation
and cleanup  actions at these types of military ranges.

  Various parties have expressed different perspectives on
DoD's proposed rule and the risks associated with military
ranges. DoD stated in the draft Range Rule Risk
Methodology that "risk is defined as the product of the
probability of detonation and the consequences of
detonation" [of UXO]. This DoD position indicates that
UXO are only dangerous if enough force  is applied to cause
detonation. Some regulators, stakeholders, and tribal
parties disagree with DoD's stated position. These parties
also feel the proposed regulation does not adequately
address assessment and  remediation, citing the tremendous
risks involved with any exposure to munitions, particularly
UXO. This is  only one example of the difficult issues that
face DoD and all involved.

  Evaluating the risks posed by military munitions is a
complex and difficult task. Risk, danger, and exposure to
UXO, for example, cannot be easily measured with
traditional risk assessment methods. Lifetime exposure to
UXO, as compared to hazardous chemicals, has no meaning
since just one detonation is all that's needed to cause a
   In addition to determining risk, DoD must collect range-
specific information. Some of the affected properties are
extremely large, spanning more than 100 square miles.
Making matters even more complex is that many of the
activities performed on ranges during their lifetime are still
unknown. General records might serve as a guide, but they
often lack sufficient detail about how much ordnance was
used or where it was used and disposed of following
training activities. Without this crucial information, the DoD
task of cleaning up and stabilizing the ranges is much more

   To overcome these challenges, DoD is engaged  in a
number of efforts to address military ranges. The enormity
of DoD's tasks makes progress difficult, but DoD has
committed to resolving the issues  involved. In conjunction
with DoD, EPA will continue to work with all parties. EPA is
assisting in these efforts to deal  with situations at closed,
transferred, and transferring  ranges through existing
authorities,  like the EPA
Munitions Rule, the
Superfund law, the Resource
Conservation and Recovery  °
Act, and the Safe Drinking   .2
Water Act. All involved will   a.
continue to work toward    g;
establishing a higher level of ~
protection for human health °
and the environment.       *

                                                                     Doug/as Bell is an        o
                                                                   environmental            £
                                                                   scientist at FFRRO where he
                                                                   manages military range issues
                               UXO found at the Umatilla Army
                               Depot in Hermiston, Oregon.

                                                                  Military Munitions: Ammunition products and components
                                                                  produced or used for national defense and security.
                                                                  Examples include propellents, explosives, pyrotechnics,
                                                                  chemical and riot control agents, chemical warfare agents,
                                                                  rockets, guided and ballistic missiles, bombs, warheads,
                                                                  mortar rounds, artillery ammunition, grenades, mines, and

                                                                  Military Range: A land or water area used to develop, test,
                                                                  and evaluate military munitions, or to train military
                                                                  personnel in their use and handling. Ranges include firing
                                                                  lines and positions, buffer zones, maneuver areas, firing
                                                                  lanes, test pads, detonation pads, and impact areas.

                                                                  UXO: Military munitions that have not detonated. These
                                                                  include damaged, decomposed, and dud-fired munitions.

                                                                    Full, legal definitions of these terms can be found in the
                                                                  proposed DoD Range Rule at 
Celebrating Success

Excavating Big Savings

   First, the BCT tackled the contaminants in Greenlaw
Brook and the Little Madawaska River, which it feeds.
Stormwater drainage and runoff from the base's industrial
and flight-line activities areas contaminated these nearby
surfacewaters. The contamination was so severe that, in
1996, the Maine Department of Human Services issued an
advisory against eating fish from the river.

   To treat the contaminated area, the BCT excavated the
banks of the brook. Once excavation was underway, the
team discovered the contamination was more than twice the
originally projected levels. Undaunted by these findings, the
BCT establishing a state-of-the-art, on-site laboratory for
analyzing water and sediment samples. Daily tests enabled
the BCT to direct the excavation crew quickly and
efficiently. In addition, the BCT expedited the excavation
process by accelerating decision-making  procedures and
cutting through red tape wherever possible.

   The  BCT excavated an additional  two  feet of sediment
beyond the treated area to ensure all contamination was
removed. The remaining sediment not only met required
standards but was considered an excellent wetland soil. In
fact, the quality of the remaining soil was so good that
backfilling the area with replacement soil was unnecessary,
saving $2 million in backfill costs.
   Consolidating Waste

      The BCT also saved more than $30 million in solid waste
   transportation and disposal costs by consolidating waste on
   the base. Initially, the team planned to close the landfills in
   the southwestern section of the base. A closer evaluation,
   however, showed using the landfills to handle contaminated
   soil excavated from the base cleanup would be more efficient
   and cost-effective than paying a firm to transport and
   dispose of the wastes.

      The excavated wastes pose minimal risk on the base since
   the landfills utilize a double-layer capped system to prevent
   leakage. All the landfills are situated well above the water
   table, eliminating the risk of potential groundwater
   contamination. Currently, approximately 750,000 cubic yards
   of excavated soil have been placed in the landfills from
   more than 100 sites.

   A Brighter Future

      Today, the base is home to the Loring Commerce Center, a
   thriving hub of jobs, services, and recreation. Employment at
   the center reached approximately 1,200 by the end of 1998.
   With a well-established infrastructure of transportation, utility,
   and telecommunications systems in place, the state of
   Maine is confident it can fill the commercial, industrial, and
   aviation space still available at Loring. These new endeavors
   are helping to stimulate economic growth and ensure long-
   term stability in the area. 1

    Write To Us
    We encourage your questions, comments, and contributions. Please send your input to Deborah Leblang by mail at
    U.S. EPA/FFRRO,  Mailcode: 5101, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460; e-mail at 
    or fax at
    202 260-5646.
    Join Our Mailing List
    If you would like to be on the FFRRO mailing list to
    receive future issues of Partners In Progress, please fil
    out and return this form to ERG, c/o Leo Pineda, 2200
    Wilson Boulevard, Suite  400, Arlington, VA 22201-
    3324; or fax to 703 841-1440. Alternately, you can
    send your request via
    e-mail to .
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Acronyms  Explained

Aberdeen Proving Ground
BRAC Cleanup Team
Base Realignment and Closure
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act
U.S. Department of Defense
U.S. Department of Energy
Defense and State Memorandum of Agreement/Cooperative
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Management
Federal Facilities Enforcement Office
Federal Facilities Leadership Council
Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office
Formerly Used Defense Sites
Interstate Technology and Regulatory Cooperation
National Priorities List
Restoration Advisory Board
Remedial Project Manager
Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act
Site Specific Advisory Board
Unexploded Ordnance
Year 2000
For More


Do you have questions
about federal facility cleanup
and reuse? Do you want to
learn more about FFRRO's
partnerships and latest
projects? If so, call FFRRO
at 202 260-9924.

Also, look for information on
the Internet at .You'll find
information on innovative
cleanup technologies, current
guidance, links to Web sites
of FFRRO partners, and