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Record of Decision System (RODS)



City & State:  FORT DEVENS  MA  01433
EPA ID:  MA7210025154
EPA Region:  01
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R01-95/113
ROD Date:  09/26/1995
Operable Unit(s):  01
Media:  groundwater
Contaminant:  Arsenic, chromium, 1,2-dichlorobenzene, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, 1,2-di
Abstract:  Please note that the text in this document summarizes the Record of Decision for the purposes of facilitating searching and retrieving key text on the ROD. It is not the officially approved abstract drafted by the EPA Regional offices. Once EPA Headquarters receives the official abstract, this text will be replaced.

Fort Devens is located in the Towns of Ayer and Shirley (Middlesex County) and Harvard and Lancaster (Worcester County) approximately 35 miles northwest of Boston, Massachusetts. The installation occupies approximately 9,600 acres and is divided into the North Post, Main Post, and South Post. Seventy-three Study Areas (SAs) and Areas of Contamination (AOCs) have been identified at Fort Devens.

This Record of Decision addresses groundwater contamination at the Shepley's Hill Landfill at Fort Devens. The Shepley Hill Landfill includes three AOCs: AOC 4, the sanitary landfill incinerator; AOC 5, sanitary landfill No. 1 or Shepley's Hill Landfill; and AOC 18, the asbestos cell. AOCs 5 and 18 are located within the capped area at Shepley's Hill Landfill. The three AOCs are collectively referred to as Shepley's Hill Landfill.

Fort Devens was established in 1917 as Camp Devens, a temporary training camp for soldiers from the New England area. In 1931, the camp became a permanent installation and was redesignated as Fort Devens. Throughout its history, Fort Devens has served as a training and induction center for military personnel, and as a unit mobilization and demobilization site. All or portions of this function occurred during World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During World War II, more than 614,000 inductees were processed and Fort Devens reached a peak population of 65,000.

The primary mission of Fort Devens is to command, train, and provide logistical support for non-divisional troop units and to support and execute Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) activities. The installation also supports the Army Readiness Region and National Guard units in the New England Area.

Shepley's Hill Landfill encompasses approximately 84 acres in the northeast corner of the Main Post at Fort Devens. It is situated between the bedrock outcrop of Shepley's Hill on the west and Plow Shop Pond on the east. Nonacoicus Brook, which drains Plow Shop Pond, flows through a wooded wetland at the north end of the landfill. The southern end of the landfill borders the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) yard and a warehouse area. An area east of the landfill and south of Plow Shop Pond is the site of a former railroad roundhouse.

Assessment of groundwater quality included two rounds of sampling at 22 monitoring wells during the remedial investigation (RI), and one confirming round of sampling at 27 monitoring wells during the supplemental RI. Target analyte groups for the RI and supplemental RI field programs included volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), explosives, and inorganics.

The RI report concluded that groundwater downgradient of the landfill was contaminated with VOCs and inorganics as well as low concentrations of explosives, pesticides, and PCBs in scattered monitoring wells. The presence of pesticides was not certain, however, because of apparent laboratory contamination of several method blanks. The PCB Aroclor-1260 was reported at a low concentration in only one of the 22 samples in one of the sampling rounds. The SVOC di-ethylphthalate was reported at 12 and 32 parts per billion (ppb) in samples from two separate monitoring wells, and was considered a sampling artifact.

The RI Addendum report also concluded that downgradient monitoring wells were contaminated with several VOCs and inorganics. Organic compounds were reported most frequently and at the highest concentrations in the downgradient monitoring wells along the eastern edge of the landfill. Unfiltered samples from downgradient monitoring wells typically exceeded background concentrations for aresenic, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
Remedy:  The remedial action for this site is a source control action that addresses long-term residential exposure to contaminated groundwater, the principal known threat at the Shepley's Hill Landfill Operable Unit. It consists of completing closure of Shepley's Hill Landfill in accordance with applicable Massachusetts requirements, and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the landfill cover system completed in 1993 at controlling groundwater contamination and site risk. The remedy controls the release of contaminants from wastes buried in Shepley's Hill Landfill and reduces the potential risk of future residential exposure to contaminated groundwater.

The major components of the selected remedy include landfill closure; survey of Shepley's Hill Landfill; evaluation/improvement of stormwater diversion and drainage; landfill cover maintenance; long-term groundwater and landfill gas monitoring; institutional controls; educational programs; 60 percent design of a groundwater extraction system; annual reporting to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and five-year site reviews.

The selected remedy includes a contingency remedy if the selected remedy proves ineffective at controlling site risk. The contingency remedy is groundwater extraction and discharge to the Town of Ayer publicly owned treatment works.
Text:  View full-text ROD [ 5.62M ]
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