Air Force officials grilled on solution for fuel spill plume

By GEORGE BRENNAN | (Hyannis, Mass.) Cape Cod Times | Published: May 16, 2014

CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. — Environmental regulators and citizen members of the Joint Base Cape Cod Cleanup Team grilled Air Force officials Wednesday night about a proposed solution for a plume caused by a fuel spill near the base boundary in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

At a meeting of the cleanup team, members asked Mark Hilyard of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center to consider adding another monitoring well between an existing well and one proposed on the base boundary line.

Team members said they wanted to make sure Air Force assumptions were correct that the plume is contained within the base boundaries and is not migrating toward Ashumet Pond.

The location where regulators would like a well drilled is heavily wooded and difficult for equipment to reach, Hilyard said.

The Air Force is proposing to let the plume, largely caused by a former fire training site in a base landfill that is now capped, dissipate naturally in the next 20 years, which is called natural attenuation. Land controls would be put in place to make sure no one was using the tainted groundwater, Hilyard said.

The cost would be about $1.2 million less than it would be to treat the plume by injecting an oxidizing agent.

A public comment period on the proposal continues through May 30. Written comments may be made to Doug Karson, IRP Community Involvement, AFCEC/JBCC, Attn: PFSA PP, 322 East Inner Road, Otis ANG Base, MA 02542-5028; by fax to 508-968-4673; or by email to douglas.karson@us.af.mil

The Air Force has a similar plan for a second plume caused by fuel tank spills near the base airfield. Public comments are also being accepted on that proposed solution through May 30.

Copies of the plans and feasibility studies are available at Upper Cape libraries or at http://states.ng.mil/sites/MA/JBCC/afcec.html or http://1.usa.gov/1lFhaxf. The documents are listed under Massachusetts Military Reservation, which is the former name of the base.


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