Restoration Advisory Board (RAB)
Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Fort Detrick
Restoration Advisory Board Meeting
June 11, 1998

  1. The meeting was convened at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 11, 1998 in Conference Room Three of the Goodloe E. Byron Building (810) at Fort Detrick.

    Members Present:

    • Mr. Norman M. Covert, Command Historian, Fort Detrick,RAB Administrator
    • Michael J. Gresalfi, Ph.D., Community Member
    • Colonel Albert E. Kinkead, Commander, Fort Detrick
    • Mr. Thomas P. Meyer, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (USACE)
    • Mr. Paul J. Offutt, Frederick County Health Department (Alternate), Community Member
    • Ms. Linda Robinson, Community Member
    • Lieutenant Colonel Alan Sheaffer, Command Advisor for Wellness and Environment, Fort Detrick, Installation Co-chairman
    • Mr. Douglas T. Scarborough, Project Oversight, U.S. Army Environmental Center (AEC)
    • Mr. Gerald P. Toomey, Community Co-chairman
    • Mr. Douglas Warnock, Installation Restoration Manager, Fort Detrick

    Members Absent:

    • Charles Billups, Ph.D., Community Member
    • Mr. Larry Bohn, Frederick County Health Department, Community Member
    • William R. Effland, Ph.D., Community Member
    • Colonel Kelvin J. Kelkenberg (USAFR), Community Member
    • Ms. Helen Miller-Scott, Community Member
    • Mr. Dennis Orenshaw, Project Officer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
    • Craig R. Toussaint, Ph.D., Community Member
    • Mr. Thomas Wade, Community Member

    Also Present:

    • Ms. Dominique Edwards, U.S. Army Environmental Center (AEC)
    • Henry Erbes, Ph.D., Fort Detrick
    • Mr. John Fairbank, Maryland State Department of the Environment (MDE)
    • Mr. Kevin T. Folk, UNITEC, Mr. Earl A. Greene, United States Geological Study (USGS)
    • Mr. Jim Holian, UNITEC, Mr. Dave Iseri, ICF Kaiser (contractor)
    • Mr. Mike Kipp, ICF Kaiser (contractor)
    • Ms. Eileen Mitchell, Fort Detrick
    • Mr. Dan Phelan, United States Geological Study (USGS)
    • Ms. Dorothy H. Tepper, United States Geological Study (USGS)
  2. Lt. Col. Sheaffer opened the meeting introducting Thomas P. Meyer, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District. Mr. Meyer introduced Dorothy H. Tepper and Earl A. Greene, both from United States Geological Survey (USGS), for a briefing on sampling at Robinson Spring and USGS testing of the karst geology to identify the flow of contamination in the ground water.

  3. Mr. Greene explained the principles of ground water flow in karst terrain citing an example of the continuum with a conduit at one end of the spectrum and diffuse at the other, with mix in the middle. He said this area has mainly limestone karst terrain, forming underground caves. He explained a single conduit as a sewer and the easiest to identify; diffuse fracture network has ground water and contamination moving through at different rates; a mix has both conduit and diffuse fracture network, making it the most difficult to characterize. He said USGS is looking for the orientation of the fractures and how the ground water and contamination move. The gaging station installed at the Robinson Spring will distinguish between the types of flow, and age date the water discharging into the Spring by means of CFC’s and tritium, long used as water age identifiers. He showed an example of the city spring, where records have been kept showing a diffuse flow of old water moving through fractures.

  4. Ms. Tepper explained the automatic VOC (volatile organic compound) sampler which will be electronically linked to a water-level recorder in the Robinson Spring. She said the sampler will collect samples at specified spring discharges and time intervals. This will help establish whether there is a relationship between spring discharge and VOC concentrations. She said the sampler can also be adjusted for weather changes or other external influences. She said a carousel inside the VOC sampler holds 24 vials with no air space. A pump suspended at the Spring is held in a refrigerated unit, giving them up to two weeks to collect samples and send them to the lab. Ms. Tepper said they will be using Azimuthan Resistivity, a process in use for many years, to measure electrical resistance of earth, change direction of measurement, interpret changes in resistivity with direction and depth, and for different array geometries. The Azimuthan Resistivity is set up in a square; the square is rotated to detect fractures in the limestone. She further explained Square-Array D.C. Resistivity at Fort Detrick is being used to detect fracture strike with depth, fault/unconformity location, fault/unconformity strike, and extent of fault/unconformity with depth. She said each square will be measured in three directions. She said there are multiple episodes of folding and complex karst in this area, comprised mainly of limestone and shale. They are expecting to do the Square-Array July 8-13, but will try to move up that date. Mr. Meyer reminded the RAB that permission will need to be obtained from the Robinsons before testing.

  5. Mr. Kipp added there will be a final survey in this area, and longitude and latitude can be performed if required. Mr. Meyer said there are so many borings in Area B that if this procedure does not work at the Robinson Spring, they will have to do wells. They are hoping to intercept contamination before it reaches the Spring. Mr. Kipp said that, based on 22-23 days recovery time recorded in the dye trace study, the ground water is moving swiftly. He feels this is a multiple flow system with conduits in the upper part. It was added that technical information could help to determine where to put a pump and treat recovery well. Mr. Fairbank, MDE, added a pump and treat should be as close as possible to the source.

  6. Lt. Col. Sheaffer introduced Dominique K. Edwards, AEC, for her briefing on DERA funding for interim removal action in Area B, Trench 11. Ms. Edward told the RAB they were getting the same briefing given EPA regions, with some of the information catered to Fort Detrick. She explained Defense Planning Guidance for Active Installations is determined by Relative Risk Sites (RRS), with high risk sites getting priority. The Guidance is to remediate High RRSs or move them to lower relative risk. The Army’s plan for high risk sites is 50% by the end of 2002, and 100% by the end of 2007. They plan to remediate medium RRSs by 2011, and low RRSs by 2014. The Army will negotiate flexible schedules and relative risk ranking into agreements. She compared program funding for Medical Command, under which Fort Detrick and three other installations fall, from the total Army budget for fiscal years 1998 through 2005. She reminded the RAB these figures do not represent BRAC, but are for active installations only, and that funding for Medical Command is a very minor portion of the total funding. Ms. Edwards continued with the budget funding process, explaining it encompasses unconstrained cost to complete (CTC), high relative risk (RRSE) requirements, and is based on Program Budget Guidance. She said set asides (mandated funding sites: Massachusetts Military Installation; and Rocky Mountain Arsenal) are taken off the top, but those costs are not to exceed 10% of the budget. The process also must determine program management costs. The balance goes to projects based on the ratio of requirement to budget, based on risk. She said the Army must come up with an estimate for each site on an installation, and that the requirements are always more than what is available; there is never enough for even just the high risk sites. She said the the RAB’s input, as stakeholders, is important in the Army funding process. She outlined FY98 program actions as having a focus on: defense planning guidance goals; minimizing program management funds; using 90% project funds for high RRSE and 70% of project funds for cleanup; implementing at least two Pilot Peer Reviews; and evaluating all sites for RRSE. She reminded the RAB this is where they can keep control of the program, giving guidance so money does not get spent on the wrong things. She added the goal should be to spend more on clean-up than on studies. Ms. Edwards summed up by asking where do we go from here? She said it is imperative to increase the involvement of regulators and RABs in program prioritization and to develop installation buy out strategies. She said all budgeting must be prepared for submittal by July and asked RAB members to look over the Installation Action Plan.

  7. Lt. Col. Sheaffer referred to the Interim Action Fact Sheet supplied to RAB members prior to the last meeting. He said the Army wanted to to do interim work but representatives from AEC said funding for the project would not be forthcoming since the money is unconstrained; we needed to complete the request for the fiscal year showing certainty this is the right thing to do, and we could not do that. The decision was made to plan his as a remedial action for FY00. Dr. Erbes added that when the budget is submitted in 1999, the figures are projected for FY00 and these figures could go down depending on what decisions Congress makes. Col. Kinkead reminded the group he is a comptroller and understands the money part of the process. He said we must finish the RI by end of summer and the FS in late 1998 or 1999 in order to sign an agreement with the state in the year 2000. He strongly feels 2000 is the earliest the problem can be remediated, rather than performing some stop-gap measure. He feels we are closer to two years in getting what we want. He said this investigation has been going on for six years and we need alternatives. Col. Kinkead said he feels short-cuts are not what the Frederick community wants, rather, they want us to do it smart and do it right. He said we must guarantee the Army this will be it. He reminded the RAB that those who control the money ultimately control us. Ms. Edwards said she feels we are lucky to have such a good relationship with the state. Col. Kinkead told the RAB they can help with setting goals and timeframes. Lt. Col. Sheaffer agreed the Army must determine what the community wants. He said although he is disappointed we are not getting the money at this time, the more he looks at the situation the more he feels it is right to wait. He said we need to update and reevaluate our milestones. He said budget cycles are important and the RAB is invaluable in evaluating the different alternatives. He believes the interim removal action will turn into a remedial action. Dr. Gresalfi said the RAB has known about the decision for several weeks, so they are were prepared for tonight’s information. Mr. Toomey said he feels the installation is being penalized for doing the right things; the Army took residents off well water and put them on bottled water pending hook-up to city water, and now we are no longer considered high risk. Ms. Edwards corrected this idea by reminding the RAB that Fort Detrick is still considered high risk, but is now on RRE. For planning purposes, however, the installation is still high risk.ÀÓÀ She said we are still in the ballpark for FY00. Once considered high risk, an installation is locked into that risk level although remedial action lowers the risk.

  8. Lt. Col. Sheaffer handed the floor to Tom Meyer to proceed with an update on current activities in the RI/FS. In discussing the project status of Area A RI, Mr. Meyer said the draft final was reviewed by MDE and response to MDE comments have been completed; Area A FS will be submitted June 29 to MDE, the RAB and public. Area B RI was submitted March 2, 1998, and the draft is under review by MDE; results of current¿ sampling efforts have been put in final data for analysis for Area B FS. In field work, Area B electromagnetic (EM) geophysical survey and soil-gas survey were completed in April. They are currently conducting drilling operations in Area A at six well installations. Plans for Area B include two on-post wells installed. The two off-post wells planned have not been approved by the land owner, and it is unlikely this will happen since there has been another death in the family and the distribution of property to family members is in litigation. Mr. Toomey asked about a right of way, but Dr. Erbes feels if we can’t put the wells where we had planned, there is no point in putting them on the right of way when that is not where flow is believed to be. Mr. Fairbank said he would want to look at where the wells could be installed and if it means we would be moving away from our objective. Mr. Meyer said the Corps brought the USGS into the investigation, but he feels their studies will only be useful in the determination of karst, but not useful for Area B-11. Mr. Toomey said he feels something else should be done closer to the source. Mr. Fairbank said we could reassess the remedial design. Proposed well location in Area A is cluster of 19, 20 and 21 at Rosemont fence line since there is confidence the flow is to the southeast.

  9. Lt. Col. Sheaffer turned the meeting to unfinished administrative matters from the previous administrative RAB meeting. He said since so many community members were absent from tonight’s meeting it would not be possible to adopt the revised draft Charter at this time. He also brought up the election of a co-chair. Mr. Toomey said he feels members should offer candidates between now and the next meeting so we can poll those nominated to see if they are willing to serve. Ms. Robinson said she thinks RAB members need to think about the characteristics they want in a community co-chair. She suggested some verbal exchange between community RAB members. Mr. Toomey said he would give a short narrative on what he’s done in his tenure as community co-chairman. Mr. Covert said he likes the idea of having another administrative meeting to deal with these issues. Regarding periodic tours of Areas A and B, Lt. Col. Sheaffer said he feels between Mr. Covert and Mr. Scarborough, they can do a good job. Mr. Toomey asked if a tour can be given in conjunction with the next administrative RAB meeting. This was agreed.

  10. Two dates were considered for the follow-up administrative RAB meeting and tour — Tues., July 14 or Tues., July 21, 1998. Ms. Krauss will contact all community RAB members to determine which date will work out best for the majority of members and advise the RAB on the settled on date. The meeting will be proceeded by a tour at 6:00 p.m. The draft Charter and voting for a community co-chairperson will be addressed at that meeting. The next technical meeting will not take place before September. A date will be set at a later time.

  11. Mr. Warnock reminded the RAB he needs to finalize the Area A RI. He asked if there were any comments to the Corps’ response to comments. He was reminded a question had arisen at the last meeting about skin absorption of contaminants. It was verified labs at the installation use post-treated water so there is no danger of contamination from dermal exposure, clearing the way to proceed with Area A RI.

  12. The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Alan Sheaffer
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army

Albert E.Kinkead
Colonel, U.S. Army

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