Restoration Advisory Board (RAB)
Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Fort Detrick
Restoration Advisory Board Meeting
July 21, 1999

  1. Attendance:

    The meeting was convened at 7:35 p.m., Wednesday, July 21, 1999 in Conference Room Three of the Goodloe E. Byron Building, Building 810, at Fort Detrick.

    Members Present:

    Lt. Col. Jeffery Springer, P.E. Chief, Environment and Integrated Planning, Fort Detrick (Installation Co-Chair)
    Ms. Helen Miller-Scott, Community Member
    Mr. Paul Offutt, Frederick County Health Department
    Ms. Linda Robinson, Community Member
    Craig Toussaint, Ph.D., Community Member
    Stewart Taylor, Ph.D, P.E., Community Member
    Mr. Douglas Scarborough, U.S. Army Environmental Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground Member
    Mr. Thomas Wade, Community Member
    Mr. Thomas Meyer, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (USACE) Member
    Mr. Douglas Warnock, Installation Restoration Manager, Fort Detrick Member

    Also Present:

    Mr. John Fairbank, Maryland State Department of the Environment (MDE)
    Mr. David Iseri, IT Corporation (contractor)
    Ms. Kim Gross, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (USACE)
    Heinrich Erbes, Chief Environmental Office, Ph.D., Fort Detrick
    Chuck Dasey, PAO, Fort Detrick

    Members Absent:

    Col. James Greenwood, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Detrick
    Charles Billups, Ph.D., Community Member
    Mr. Larry Bohn, Frederick County Department of Health
    William Effland, Ph.D., Community Member
    Mr. Michael Gresalfi, Community Member
    Mr. Kelvin Kelkenberg, Community Member
    Mr. Dennis Orenshaw, Project Officer, USEPA
    Mr. Gerald P. Toomey, Community Co-chair

  2. Index of July 1999 RAB Meeting:

    The following is a listing of items addressed at the July 21, 1999 RAB meeting. Corresponding section numbers are indicated in the right column.

    Subject/Topic Section Number
    Opening and Introductions3
    COE Update4
    Budget Briefing5
    NPL Listing6
    Water Connection Update7
    RAB Evaluation Research8
    Agenda/Schedule Next Meeting/ Adjourn9
  3. Opening and Introductions

    Lt. Col. Springer began the meeting by explaining the delay in reconvening the RAB Committee since March of 1999. He reported that Col. Kinkead relinquished his command to Col. Greenwood, who was on travel. Col. Greenwood will be present at the next meeting. He also introduced Chuck Dasey, Public Affairs Officer, as a replacement for Norm Covert, who retired, and Judy Miller of UNITEC, who will provide administrative support and record minutes for the meetings.

  4. COE Update

    Tom Meyer, Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), briefed the group on changes to the documents being prepared for the remedial investigation. The draft final of Area B will be out in October of 1999. He went on to explain that the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (CHPPM) wants to make changes to the documents relating to the restoration of Areas A&B. John Fairbank asked if CHPPM would be able to provide a reference for the National Contingency Plan (NCP) requirements.

    Ms. Robinson asked for clarification. If the mission use of the property changes, then there has to be a re-analysis of the assessment. Dr. Toussaint asked if there is a site-wide Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Fort Detrick. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance is the EIS, but there has not been a requirement for one up to this point. Dr. Toussaint asked if there could be a briefing on NEPA at the next meeting along with a copy of the GAO Hazardous Waste Information on Potential Superfund Sites Report Ref# GAO/RCED-99-22. It was agreed that this would be addressed, with the possibility of some legal counsel present. Ms. Robinson noted that the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) requirements could be more stringent than NEPA's. Lt. Col. Springer explained that environmental assessments are done on a case by case situation, as it relates to the NEPA requirements. Mr. Meyer clarified that they do the NCP and not NEPA. More clarification will be provided at the next meeting.

    There was some discussion regarding the well sampling on Shookstown Road. Ms. Miller-Scott asked about the sampling in the Robinson's basement. Mr. Meyer responded that they were sampling for volatile organic compounds. Ms. Robinson asked if there was reason to think that there was a problem. Mr. Meyer responded that because the Robinson house is near the spring, the well needed to be tested for seepage. Mr. Offutt asked how many residential wells would be sampled, and was told there would be six wells. Dr. Toussaint asked why the trichloroethylene (TCE) data chart was not presented as a straight line graph; in its present format, the log scale was misleading. Lt.Col. Springer concurred. Mr. Meyer said that it will be presented in both formats for the next meeting. Mr. Offut asked if there was concern with the plume moving off base. The answer was yes. Mr. Offut then asked about the wells on Kemp Lane. It was pointed out that some of the newer wells may need to be sampled. Mr. Offutt also asked if the water levels had dropped due to the drought. Mr. Fairbank said that the drought had not caused a problem in this area. He went on to explain that when there is a low flow method, it eliminates pulling the contamination into the water.

    Mr. Meyer discussed Area C on the Expanded Site Investigation (ESI) slide. Dr. Toussaint questioned why this was under EPA review. Mr. Fairbank answered that it falls under CERCLA paragraph 120 h.3. They must review the site because it involves a land transfer. Otherwise, once all the work was completed, they would have to go back and do the evaluation again. There are elevated levels of arsenic, dioxins and mercury in Area C. Based on the location of the incinerator and in looking at the wind direction, they will have to go off-post and check historical data to locate the sources of the dioxins. As for the mercury, there may have been a transient event which caused the rise in mercury levels. This will have to be re-sampled.

    Dr. Taylor asked about the slide on the Area B schedule. He stated that it seemed like there was too much time for so many review versions of the document. There should be one month between draft and draft final. Dr. Taylor also pointed out that the schedule is much less aggressive than it would be at other sites.

    Mr. Meyers also introduced Ms. Kim Gross, a new member of the USACE staff.

  5. Budget Briefing

    Mr. Scarborough presented the budget briefing. Mr. Fairbank questioned whether the Army cut budget requests for environmental restoration. Dr. Toussaint reported that DOE's Restoration Budget is $4.5 Billion.

  6. NPL Listing

    According to Mr. Fairbank, if the site qualifies for the National Priority List (NPL) status, that may speed up the clean-up process. Mr. Fairbank passed out a listing of possible NPL sites in the state of MD. Fort Detrick is on the top of the list, with no explanation as to why it is listed first. He also mentioned that Fort Detrick has been on the dockett since 1987. EPA would be the lead regulator if the site is eligible for NPL. Ms. Robinson commented that processes are now moving rapidly with partnering between the Army and EPA. There was some discussion regarding the rescoring and what data should be provided to the State. Dr. Toussaint asked if the score of 28.5 is arbitrary. Mr. Fairbank responded that it is. He went on to explain that if Fort Detrick has the NPL listing, EPA becomes the chief regulator. Dr. Toussaint asked if the NPL listing would be good. There was some discussion about the stigma that would be created by having an NPL listing. But it was also pointed out that partnering of the community and the agencies would occur once the listing was official. Dr. Toussaint asked what Fort Detrick was doing to be proactive. Mr. Fairbank suggested that Mr. Ben Mykijewycz of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) be contacted to clarify what data should be submitted in order to determine a new scoring. Ms. Robinson asked what would be the effects of asking these questions. Lt. Col. Springer responded that the ramifications would have to be explored. He also stated that to get guidance from the U.S. Army Environmental Center (AEC) would be beneficial; it could then be determined if an NPL listing would expedite the funding process. Ms. Robinson noted that the input from the State is appreciated. Dr. Toussaint said that what is best for the people of Frederick County is what should be done. Would the NPL Listing accurately reflect the risk here?

    Fort Detrick has the highest levels of perchlorcethylene/trichloroethylene( PCE/TCE) in the groundwater statewide, with the exception of two sites. Lt. Col. Springer pointed out that the purpose of the RAB is to represent the community's best interest, and that would be the focus of any actions. Dr. Taylor pointed out that the risk is the major issue to contend with. Mr. Wade asked if there should be an EPA briefing on the process. Dr. Toussaint mentioned that there may be a difference between the state's estimate of risk and Fort Detrick's estimate of risk. Lt. Col. Springer said that there should be more input from the policy makers.

  7. Water Connection Update

    Mr. Warnock presented the water connection update. It is hoped that Mr. Crum and the O'Rear property would be connected by the next RAB meeting; Mrs. Meadows and Mr. Langowski are already connected to public water. Dr. Toussaint pointed out that hooking up the homes to city water does not eliminate the risk. Mr. Fairbank responded that the state views the hook-up as a short-term solution.

  8. RAB Evaluation Research

    Lt. Col. Springer presented a research request from Ms. Susan Santos who would like to attend the RAB meeting and interview members of the RAB for the purpose of research for her Ph.D. dissertation. Lt. Col. Springer will e-mail Susan Santos and inform her that she may do her research under the following restrictions 1) requires permission from each RAB member, and any member may refuse to participate, 2) names will not be used, 3) she may attend the RAB meeting in an observer capacity only.

  9. Agenda/Schedule for Next Meeting/Adjourn

    The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 22, 1999 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m. The action items to be discussed at the next meeting are:

    • The draft final of the remedial investigation report for Area B will be available in October, 1999.
    • There will be a briefing on NEPA, including some legal discussion.
    • The TCE data chart will be presented in both the logarithmic and non-logarithmic formats.
    • Status of water connections.

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