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Community Involvement
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Restoration Advisory Board

Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP)
Restoration Advisory Board (RAB)
September 16, 1999

Meeting Minutes


Members: Organization:
Robert Freis Floyd Press Inc
Jim McKenna ACO, RAB Co-Chair
Rick Parrish Raines Real Estate, RAB Co-Chair
Attendees: Organization:
LTC Armando Lopez, Jr. U.S. Army
John Tesner U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Davida Trumbo The IT Group / Kaiser
Katie Phillips WPI

Handouts Distributed at Meeting:

  1. Northern and Western Burning Grounds and Building 4343 Status Report
  2. SWMU 54 Status Report
  3. Letter dated August 20, 1999 to Robert Thomson of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and enclosures regarding the SWMU 54 Interim Action
  4. RFAAP Information Repository Index (9-14-99)

Agenda Item #1. Introductory Remarks, Approve Minutes of July 22, 1999

Mr. McKenna convened the meeting at 7:20 PM and asked if there were any comments or questions about the July 22, 1999 RAB meeting minutes. There were none, and the minutes were approved as written.

Agenda Item #2. New River Unit/Building 4343 Status

Ms. Trumbo asked the RAB members if they liked the current format of the status reports, which are chronologies of site activities (i.e., keep a running tab of the site activities and then just add on any new activities to the existing list). The RAB members replied that they liked the current format.

Building 4343

Mr. Freis asked where Building 4343 was located. Mr. McKenna and LTC Lopez described Building 4343’s location in the Horseshoe Area. Ms. Trumbo explained that the building used to house a cadmium plating facility, where process water was discharged to an outside drainage ditch. Subsurface soil, ditch, and sump samples and interior swipe samples have been collected. RFAAP is characterizing the site and will perform an evaluation/study to address the findings.

Mr. Parrish asked if the building has conductive flooring. Ms. Trumbo replied that the building does not have conductive flooring like the areas over in the New River Unit. Rather, Building 4343 has a cement floor.

Mr. Freis asked how long Building 4343 has been closed. Ms. Trumbo replied that the production facility is no longer in use and that it ceased operation many years ago (perhaps more than 20). The building is locked.

Mr. Freis asked if there was any evidence of contaminant migration from the building. Ms. Trumbo explained that there has been some migration, but that it is contained within the general vicinity. From the data received thus far, the cadmium is not deep and is only found within the first two feet of soil.

Mr. Freis asked if there were any releases into the air. Ms. Trumbo replied that it was a plating facility and that there were not any releases into the air. The process water was discharged to an open drainage ditch outside of the building. The process water deposited metals along the length of the ditch, but it did not go down very deep. Mr. McKenna explained that they have been working to characterize the site. Samples were taken in the ditch and high levels of cadmium were found. Plans are to sample along the edge in an effort to determine the width.

Agenda Item #3. SWMU 54 Status

Mr. McKenna reported that RFAAP briefed the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) on August 5, 1999 about interim actions at Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) 54 and followed up with a letter dated August 20, 1999. RFAAP plans to remove the hot spots (i.e., higher concentrations) of the explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT) and lead contamination. In late August 1999, RFAAP began taking out these soil hot spots and disposing of them at Pinewood Landfill, a South Carolina hazardous waste landfill.

Mr. Parrish asked how deep the contamination could be found. Mr. McKenna replied that the contamination goes down to approximately 6 feet.

Mr. McKenna referenced and discussed the SWMU 54 handouts (Figures 1–8, color maps that were enclosures of the August 20, 1999 EPA letter). The figures depict investigation areas, sample results, and excavation areas for the interim action. Mr. Parrish mentioned that these SWMU 54 diagrams were helpful.

The figures show the two types of testing that RFAAP conducted: toxic characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) and a test for total metals. TCLP is a waste disposal analysis, which determines whether something is a hazardous waste. It tests for 8 metals and helps determine what areas need to be removed. They also conducted a test for total metals.

Mr. Freis asked about the site history and what caused the contamination. Mr. McKenna explained that the site used to be a disposal area for propellant ash. High levels of TNT have been detected, but they are not at a concentration that would be reactive (i.e., cause detonation).

Mr. Freis asked if there was any evidence of migration, and Mr. Parrish asked if the ground water wells have found anything. Mr. McKenna reported that cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine (HMX) was found in the ground water. The interim action will characterize the area and help determine areas that need additional evaluation. Further ground water characterization is expected in the future.

Agenda Item #4. Information Repository

Mr. McKenna reported that documents for the RFAAP Information Repository were delivered to the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library in Christiansburg on September 14, 1999. The Information Repository index was included as a meeting handout.

Agenda Item #5. Closing Remarks, Schedule Next Meeting

Mr. McKenna adjourned the meeting at 8:25 PM. The next RAB meeting will be held at RFAAP on Thursday, November 4, 1999, at 7 p.m.

Mr. Freis suggested that RFAAP send out a reminder one week prior to the meetings.

After the meeting, LTC Lopez presented awards to the RAB members in appreciation of their service to RFAAP.

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