Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

DAVISVILLE NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION CENTER
NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The former Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), located 18 miles south of Providence in North Kingstown, covers approximately 900 acres. Serving as a military installation since 1942, its primary mission was to provide mobilization support to Naval construction forces. Much of the NCBC-Davisville site is contiguous with Narragansett Bay and consists of four areas, including the Main Center, the West Davisville storage area, Allen Harbor area, and the Pier Support area. Camp Fogarty, a training facility 4 miles west of the Main Center in the Town of East Greenwich, was transferred to the Army in 1993 and is also part of the listing. Adjoining NCBC's south boundary is the decommissioned Naval Air Station Quonset Point, which was sold to the Rhode Island Port Authority between 1978 and 1980. The Navy disposed of wastes in all areas. The Navy has identified at least 24 areas with potential hazardous contamination, but the Department no longer owns several of them. These areas are being investigated by the Army Corps of Engineers. Chief among the areas are Camp Avenue Landfill and former NIKE Launcher Site. The Navy's studies will focus on twelve areas: the Allen Harbor Landfill (the largest of the areas), which received solvents, paint thinners, degreasers, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from transformers, sewage sludge, and contaminated fuel oil from 1946 to 1972; the Calf Pasture Point, which received "decontamination agents" and various other contaminants; the Construction Equipment Department (CED) Battery Acid Disposal Area; the CED Solvent Disposal Area; the Transformer Oil Disposal Area (near Building 37); the Solvent Disposal Area; the Defense Property Disposal Office (DPDO) Film Processing Disposal Area (FPD); the Camp Fogarty Disposal Area; the Fire Fighting Training Area; and the Disposal Areas northwest of Buildings W-3, W-4, T-1; the Asphalt Disposal Area; and the Cresote DipTank and Fire Fighting Area. Approximately 20 five-gallon cans of calcium hypochlorite were disposed of in a drainage ditch at Calf Pasture Point between 1960 and 1971. In 1973, thirty to forty 35-gallon cardboard containers of a chloride compound were stored at the site and deteriorated over time. From 1968 to 1974, approximately 2,500 3-gallon cans also were disposed of at Calf Pasture Point. The surrounding area is residential. Groundwater is assumed to flow toward Narragansett Bay, which is located 600 feet from the site. Approximately 27,000 people get their drinking water from public wells located within three miles of the site.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed in nine stages: initial actions and seven long-term remedial phases focusing on cleanup of Buildings 316 and 38, the Allen Harbor Landfill, the DPDO/FPD and Transformer Oil Disposal Area, Calf Pasture Point, CED Area, the Creosote Dip Tank and Former Firefighting Training Area, QDC Outfall 001, and the Main Center Area.

Initial Action. Throughout 1995, the Navy removed PCB-contaminated soil at the disposal areas northwest of Buildings W-3, W-4, and T-1; the battery acid tank at the CED Battery Acid Disposal Area; the asphaltic material at the CED Asphalt disposal area; and lead from contaminated soil at Camp Fogarty.

Buildings 316 and 38
In 1991, the Navy removed flooring materials and underlying soils from Building 316, the DPDO Transformer Oil Spill Area and Building 38, and Transformer Oil Leak Area. Additional sampling after removal operations revealed elevated levels of PCBs outside the excavated areas. A final cleanup remedy was selected in the fall of 1993 calling for the excavation and off-site disposal of remaining PCB-contaminated materials at a federally-licensed disposal facility. Design for the long-term remedy was completed in 1994. Construction activities began in 1995 and were completed in 1997. The excavation was so thorough that the site has been cleaned up to residential values. No further action is required.

Allen Harbor Landfill
In 1985, the water, sediment, and organisms in Allen Harbor were sampled and found to be contaminated. Given the landfill's location adjacent to the harbor, it is possible that leachate could migrate into the harbor. An investigation into the nature and extent of site contamination and assessment of possible cleanup alternatives was completed and a remedy selected in 1997 requiring landfill closure. Cap construction began in March 1998. Additional contamination was found after most of the cap was completed so another cap was constructed at the site. Construction of the additional cap was completed in 1999. Over one acre of wetland mitigation was also completed in 1999. Quarterly Long Term Monitoring began in the winter of 2001. The first monitoring event report was submitted in July 2002, and monitoring/reporting is ongoing. Institutional controls are in place and being monitored on an annual basis. The most recent Five Year Review occurred in 2018.  EPA and Navy agreed that the remedy is protective.

DPDO/FPD, Transformer Oil Disposal Area and Camp Forgerty
The Navy investigated these sites in 1993. An additional investigation into the nature and extent of site contamination and assessment of possible cleanup alternatives was completed in the fall of 1995. From this assessment, the EPA determined that no further cleanup actions were required to address soil at this area of the site. Groundwater was investigated and a final cleanup remedy for No Further Action was selected in June 1998. Additional metals-contaminated soil was removed during 2011 to facilitate construction of a building at Camp Fogarty.

Fire Fighting Training Area, Solvent Disposal Area and Disposal Area North West of  Buildings W-3, W-4, and T-1
These areas were investigated in two phases. A removal action excavating and sending off site 2,224 tons of PCB-contaminated soils was completed in 1997 at the Disposal Area North West of Building W-3, W-4, and T-1. A No Further Action ROD was signed for these areas on September 30, 1998.

Calf Pasture Point
Investigations were performed in three phases, culminating in a final cleanup plan in September 1999 for groundwater monitoring and land use restrictions. Institutional controls have been implemented and are monitored on an annual basis. Contaminants are mobile in groundwater, however, there is no risk to public health or the environment from groundwater discharging to the harbor. Long Term Monitoring began in summer of 2001. The first monitoring event report was issued in May 2002. The report recommended installation of additional wells to monitor a newly found lobe of the plume. The second monitoring event took place in the spring of 2002. Well installation was completed in October of 2002. Additional monitoring wells were installed in Summer 2012 to further understanding of the contamination. These wells were included in the Long Term Monitoring Plan and are sampled either annually, every two years, or every five years. Removal of approximately three tons of visually contaminated soil was taken off site during 2011 after Navy uncovered some cans of source material. Additional monitoring and evaluation took place during the five year review of 2018.  Navy and EPA agreed the remedy is currently protective and that additional work is needed to ensure the remedy will be protective in the future.

Construction Engineering Division (CED) Area
Investigations into the nature and extent at four areas were completed in 2016. These areas include the CED Battery Disposal Area, the CED Solvent Disposal Area, CED Drum Storage Area, and the CED Asphalt Disposal Area. The Navy performed removal actions at the CED Battery Disposal Area and the CED Asphalt Disposal Area in 1996. The Navy removed over 197 tons of contaminated soil. Groundwater has been found to be contaminated with chlorinated solvents. The Navy's contamination at the CED area is comingling with an off site source area. A proposed cleanup plan will be issued after the Army Corps of Engineers issues a proposed plan to address the off site groundwater source area which is contaminating the Navy's CED area. Institutional controls (IC) have been implemented to ensure no drinking water wells are installed on the site and that the land use is not residential. ICs are monitored on an annual basis. A ROD should be signed in 2019.

Creosote Dip Tank and Fire Fighting Training Area
Field work for investigations into the nature and extent of contamination are complete. Navy found soil contamination in the northern part of the site and a chlorinated solvent plume migrates across the site from previously transferred land northeast to Allen Harbor and east toward Narragansett Bay. This investigation has determined that there is no unacceptable risk to the commercial/industrial users of the site as long as the soil above state standards is removed, groundwater is not used for drinking water, and buildings are not built above the plume. A cleanup plan was issued in 2014 requiring removal of two feet of contaminated soil and one round of chemical oxidant injections into the groundwater.  Soil was excavated in 2015 at  the Creosote dip Tank and figefighting Training Area and the excavation was backfilled to grade.  Permanganate was injected into the ground to treat a portion of the chloricatedsolvent plume at the Creosote Dip Tank and Firefighting Training area in 2015.  The Navy is currently conducting long term monitoring. Additional evaluation took place during the five year review of 2018.  Institutional controls preventing drinking water wells or use of the property for residential purposes have been implemented through the lease. The remedy is currently protective.  Navy will perform additional work to ensure the remedy will remain protective in the future. Navy is working with the new owner to implement the institutional controls on property Navy no longer owns.

QDC Outfall 001
The QDC Outfall 001 study area is currently undeveloped land, with the surrounding area used for recreational purposes, including the Quonset Bike Path. Based on a review of historical “as-built” drawings of drainage systems at the former NCBC Davisville, QDC Outfall 001 is the discharge point for an underground drainage pipeline that originates from the former Building 224. The former Building 224 and nearby truck wash pad and oil water separator were used by the Navy as a vehicle maintenance and truck-washing facility and are the presumed sources of contamination present in the outfall area. Building 224 was demolished in 2006.

Contaminants associated with materials used in these activities or in other historical activities conducted at the Former Construction Equipment Department (CED) Area may have been disposed/released into the Building 224 drainage system, discharging at QDC Outfall 001. It is believed the primary source of contaminants to the wetland is the vehicle wash pad and oil water separator. Pesticides may also have been used by the Navy to control insects and other pests at the Site. The primary contaminants identified as being associated with the QDC Outfall 001 consisted of petroleum hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and heavy metals. The field investigation was completed in September 2016.  Navy removed contaminatinon in 2017, but found additional contamination and drums. A proposed cleanup plan is expected to be issued in 2019. A ROD is expected in 2020.

Enforcement Highlights
NCBC 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. In 1988, the EPA and the Naval Ocean Systems Center began conducting a study at the Allen Harbor Landfill under a Memorandum of Agreement. A Federal Facility Agreement was signed by RIDEM, the Navy, and the EPA in March 1992 to provide the framework for the cleanup process. The Base was selected for closure under the BRAC Act of 1991 and was officially closed in April 1994. A lease with the Rhode Island Economical Development Corporation (RIEDC), currently known as the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) was signed at the base for economic redevelopment in 1996. Camp Fogerty was transferred to the Army in 1993. In September 1998, 125 acres were sold to the RIEDC. In October 1998, 96 acres were transferred through a public benefit transfer form the Navy to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (US DOT-MARAD) to the RIEDC. In April 1999, the West Davisville Parcel (approximately 70 acres) was transferred by Deed from the Navy to RIEDC. In February 2000 the Warehouse Triangle (approximately 250 acres) was sold to RIEDC. Currently, the Navy leases the Construction Engineering Division (CED) Area, the QDC Outfall 001 Area, and part of the Creosote DipTank/FireFighting Training Area to the QDC. Once the remaining contamination is cleaned up, the Navy will transfer the property via the US DOT-MARAD public benefit transfer. The Navy has transferred Calf Pasture Point and the Allen Harbor Landfill to the Town of North Kingstown for use as open space/passive recreation through a public bennefit Land to Parks program with Department of the Interior.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

Long term monitoring continues at various areas throughout the site, and a Five Year Review Report was issued in March 2018.  In 2019, a proposed cleanup plan is expected to be issued at the Construction Engineering Division (CED) Area in conjunction with a proposed cleanup plan for the Former NIKE PR-58 Formerly Used Defense Site; groundwater contamination from the Former NIKE PR-58 site is migrating onto the Navy CED Area.  Investigations into the nature and extent of contamination at the QDC Outfall 001 Area are continuing with a proposed cleanup plan expected in 2020.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

The public needs to heed all signs, physical restrictions and land use regulations. The public can also stay aware of any changes through local media, checking in with this web site and attending the annual Restoration Advisory Board meeting, a venue for the Navy to update community members about cleanup activities at the site.

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Sampling and Monitoring

The Navy monitors the ICs, landfill cover and gas, and samples groundwater at Allen Harbor Landfill, Calf Pasture Point, and the Creosote Dip Tank and Fire Fighting Training Area on an annual basis.

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