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Record of Decision System (RODS)



City & State:  FALMOUTH  MA  02542
EPA ID:  MA2570024487
EPA Region:  01
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/541/R-00/128
ROD Date:  05/15/2000
Operable Unit(s):  06
Abstract:  The Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, whose Superfund name is Otis Air National Guard, lies within the boundaries of the towns of Bourne, Mashpee and Sandwich, and abuts Falmouth, Massachusetts. The MMR occupies approximately 22,000 acres and consists of several operating command units. The U.S. Air Force (USAF) managed the base until the end of 1973 when base management was transferred to the Otis
Air National Guard.

MMR is organized into four principal functional areas: Cantonment Area; Range Maneuver and Impact Area; Massachusetts National Cemetery; and Cape Cod Air Force Station. The Cantonment Area occupies 5,000 acres in the southern portion of MMR, this area is the location of administrative, operational, maintenance, housing, and support facilities for the base. This is the most actively used section of MMR. The Otis Air Force Base facilities, including the flight line, are located in the southeast portion of the Cantonment Area. The Range Maneuver and Impact Area occupies 14,000 acres in the northern 70 percent of MMR and is used for training and maneuvers. The Massachusetts
National Cemetery consists of 750 acres along the western edge of MMR and contains the Veteran Administration cemetery and support facilities. The Cape Cod Air Force Station occupies 87 acres of the northern portion of the Range Maneuver and Impact Area and is known as the Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System.

MMR activities that had the potential to contaminate the environment included the storage, handling, and disposal of solvents and petroleum fuels, as well as the leakage of these materials into sumps, leaching wells, storm water drainage systems, and the sanitary sewer system. Landfill operations, firefighter training, coal and ash storage, and numerous chemical and fuel spills also resulted in environmental contamination. The year round population is approximately 2,000 with an additional 800 nonresident employees. Intermittent use of the area for Reserve and National Guard activities increases the MMR population by as many as several thousand people. Both, year-round and seasonal residents live in the towns adjacent to MMR. A single groundwater flow system underlies western Cape Cod, including MMR. The aquifer system is unconfined and is recharged by infiltration from precipitation. It has been classified as a sole source aquifer.

The primary drinking water supply for MMR comes from a groundwater supply well located on the base and installed in glacial outwash. The adjacent towns of Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich also derive their drinking water from supply wells within the recharge area of this aquifer. Falmouth has a reservoir for storage of drinking water obtained from groundwater. The water supply wells at MMR and the surrounding towns range from 40 to 412 ft deep, with the majority of wells extending to depths of 50 to 100 ft below ground surface, In areas where public water supply lines are not available, residents use private wells for domestic water supplies.

In November 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) placed MMR on the National Priorities List (NPL). A Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) between the Department of Defense, National Guard Bureau (NGB), U.S. Coast Guard, and USEPA, was signed in 1991 and updated in 1997. The FFA established a procedural framework for ensuring that appropriate response actions are implemented and required the Air National Guard to take the lead in the cleanup activities at MMR. In response to environmental contamination at MM., DOD implemented it multiphase Installation Restoration Program (IPR) at MMR. to identify and evaluate problems associated with past releases of hazardous substances. The IPR parallels the USEPA CERCLA investigation and cleanup process. The NGB and subsequently Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence (AFCEE), followed USEPA guidelines for most IRP investigations performed between 1986 and 1989 and for all investigations performed since 1989.

In 1986, an extensive records search and review of available soil and groundwater data identified 73 areas at MMR as having potential for contamination. Four additional areas were later identified through anonymous sources and unrelated base construction projects, bringing the total to 77.
Remedy:  The chose alternative is Alternative 3B, Axial and Leading Edge Extraction, treatment, and Re-injection/Discharge. Alternative 3B includes: additional modeling to optimize the extraction system; sampling and analysis to verify the boundaries of contamination that exceeds the MCL's. Additional bounding wells will be installed; acquisition of property necessary to the extraction wells will be acquired. Acquisition may be through lease or purchase; site preparation by constructing road(s) along the proposed path of extraction wells. For cost purposes, it is assumed that three miles of gravel road will be created; installation of power and well controls wiring along the roadways; installation of 17 deep axial extraction wells pumping at approximately 400gpm; installation of one deep extraction well pumping at approximately 200gpm; installation of 135 shallow well points pumping a total of 400gpm; installation of 19 re-injection wells capable of injecting 200gpm; construction of a surface water discharge system capable of discharging 800gpm to the bog area; construction of berms to separate areas of upwelling contaminated groundwater from areas in the bog at which contaminated groundwater does not upwell; construction of additional treatment facility capacity using activated carbon adsorption to create a treatment facility capable of treating 1,000gpm; operation and maintenance of the system for seven years; performance of an ecological sampling program to ensure that groundwater extraction treatment and re-injection/discharge does not impact sensitive aquatic habitat; AFCEE will conduct a round of fish sampling in 2000 and 2001 as a measure of meeting the remedial action objective related to surface water. Identified objectives included evaluation of the fish ingestion pathway and determination of environmental impact on the fish in the surface water of the Quashnet River cranberry bog complex.
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