Mission: To clean up contaminated sites at military installations through a partnering team process.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is authorized to conduct regulatory oversight of environmental investigation, remediation and restoration projects at federal facilities in Virginia. Staff in the Federal Facilities Restoration (FFR) Program provide that oversight through a collaborative partnering process.
For information on the partnering process utilized by VDEQ’s FFR Program
VDEQ FFR Program partnering information
Federal facilities that are significantly contaminated may be listed on the National Priorities List (NPL). The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), Section 120 requires federal agencies with NPL sites to investigate and clean up the contamination. -EPA
Federal Facilities located in Virginia
Funding for the program is provided by the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency.
| DOD Funded Sites = 42
|| NPL Sites = 13
| Installations = 30
| FUDS = 12
Innovative Technology employed at Underwater Munitions Site
Area UXO 1 was identified as a munitions response (MR) site in the Navy's Environmental Restoration program at St. Juliens Creek Annex. DEQ's Federal Facilities Restoration Program partners with the Navy and USEPA to ensure proper investigation and cleanup of these MR sites under CERCLA. This partnering team was tasked with developing an approach to investigate the underwater munitions site. A large portion of Area UXO 1 is located in the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River and was identified as a location where munitions items were potentially dropped into the river during historic loading and unloading operations. During a geophysical investigation over 1,600 magnetic anomalies were identified in the river adjacent to Area UXO 1. The team needed to determine if these anomalies were munitions or were other non-munitions items like bolts or scrap metal. Several methods were researched and the team selected a technology that had not been used before at sites like Area UXO 1. A giant rake was attached to a crane and was pulled through the sediment at the bottom of the Elizabeth River. This loosened up the sediment and the anomalies that were detected. Following the rake deployment, a large magnet was activated over the area to collect the items in question, then deactivated over a barge to discharge the items for inspection. A certified UXO (unexploded ordnance) technician inspected each item to determine if it was a munitions item or not. No munitions items were identified during the investigation and the site was closed out with a no further action determination. The rake and magnet technology had never been used in this type of investigation, typically a clam shell dredge would have been used. The clam shell dredge would have captured a large amount of sediment from the river, classified as investigative derived waste (IDW), that would have needed to be dewatered and disposed of in a landfill offsite. The use of the rake and magnet technology avoided creating an extensive amount of IDW and saved taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
Interim Removal Speeds up the Cleanup Process
With oversight from DEQ Federal Facilities Restoration (FFR) Program staff, the U.S. Air Force recently completed removal of contaminated soils and initiated a phased ground water remedial action at a former Air National Guard (ANG) facility in Richmond, Virginia. The main contaminant is trichloroethylene (TCE), a solvent commonly used in industrial operations and found at many CERCLA sites throughout the country. DEQ FFR staff worked closely with the Air Force and their consultants to initiate the removal and remedial action as an interim approach. This allowed the initial phases of the action to be implemented while a potential vapor intrusion pathway was evaluated. The Interim Activities completed to date include:
Delineation and removal of newly discovered primary source contaminated soils
Installation of an infiltration bed and piping to facilitate future ground water treatment and recycling
In-situ chemical injections in the source area to treat the highest levels of ground water contamination
Incorporation of a dye study to evaluate most effective treatment strategies
Additional in-situ treatment at leading boundary of the portion of the plume containing contamination levels above preliminary remediation goals
Monitoring of the remainder of the ground water plume to verify expected natural attenuation of contaminants due to source area treatment
The final proposed remedial action also includes provision for additional injections, if necessary, and the establishment of land use controls to prevent exposure to unacceptable risks during the cleanup. Land use is expected to remain industrial due to its proximity to the Richmond International Airport and support operations. Because the site is currently owned and operated by the Capitol Region Airport Commission (CRAC), their staff was consulted throughout the process to ensure the CRAC supported the project. The ability of the parties involved (DEQ, U.S. Air Force, ANG, CRAC) to work together has resulted in the timely implementation of cleanup at the site.
Contaminated Sediment Removal Complete
As part of the Federal Facilities Restoration Program the US Navy recently completed the removal of contaminated sediment from St. Juliens Creek, a major tributary to the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River. The sediments were removed from an outfall adjacent to Site 2 on St. Juliens Creek Annex – an annex to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard situated at the confluence of St. Juliens Creek and the Elizabeth River. Site 2 – an inlet which collects 50% of stormwater runoff from the base – is the location of a former disposal area, and has been undergoing multiple phases of remediation since May 2012. The remedial action for Site 2 consists of:
Cover installation over waste, soil and inlet sediment (complete)
Re-routing of the base stormwater system including construction of an enhanced stormwater detention basin (complete)
Construction of mitigation wetlands to offset the permanent loss of wetlands at Site 2 (complete)
Excavation of St. Juliens Creek sediment (complete)
Implementation of enhanced reductive dechlorination by injecting emulsified vegetable oil into the contaminated shallow groundwater aquifer followed by monitored natural attenuation and additional injections if necessary (initiated)
Land use controls to prohibit groundwater use (complete)
Contingency implementation of a permeable reactive barrier to protect St. Juliens Creek surface water (contingent)
While the Federal Facilities Restoration Program in DEQ’s Central Office is the lead on this project, multiple DEQ programs in both Central Office and Tidewater Regional Office were involved in the review and approval of the remedial action implemented at this site. The final phase of the remedial action – injection of EVO into shallow groundwater – is expected to be completed in January 2014.
Further Information Links
VA NPL Federal Facilities (More information on NPL Federal Facilities in Virginia can be found on EPA’s website)
EPA Superfund Information (A description of EPA’s Superfund Program is located on their website)
EPA Superfund Clean Up Process (CERCLA) (Remediation under CERCLA follows a very specific step by step process. Check out the steps on EPA’s website.)
DEQ Federal Facility Site List
VA FUDS Management Action Plan
St. Juliens Creek Annex partnering team wins two awards:
Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Award for “Environmental Restoration – Installation” for FY12
2012 Team of the Year – Naval Support Facility Dahlgren/Eric Salopek & Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Paul Herman
2011 Team of the Year – Naval Weapons Station Yorktown / Wade Smith
2011 Awards - DEQ Staff Paul Herman and Eric Salopek received national awards from the United States Navy as members of the Naval Station Norfolk and Little Creek partnering teams.
2010 Team of the Year – Naval Station Norfolk / Eric Salopek
2010 Awards - DEQ Staff Eric Salopek and Devlin Harris and the rest of the partnering team were “coined” on 11/1/10 by the commanders of the Naval Station Norfolk and Naval Support Activity Norfolk, with the Navy’s prestigious award for Environmental Restoration, for achieving the successful construction completion milestone.
2009 Team of the Year – Naval Support Facility Dahlgren / Karen Doran
Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award for “Environmental Restoration – Installation” for FY12