Contract channels rapid improvements to base water

  • Published
  • By Caroline Clauson
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently awarded a $5.9 million contract to Weston Solutions LLC to help remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from ground and surface water at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The project is already underway thanks to USACE’s Rapid Response Technical Center of Expertise, which features fast preparation, initiation and funding for time-sensitive environmental needs.

“This project is one of the first two projects to use the Rapid Response Program for the environmental remediation of PFAS,” said Greg Plamondon, a remedial project manager at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center. “Conducting the work using an RR contract vehicle and model will result in greatly reduced time from planning to completed construction.”

The team will primarily treat the Hazmat Storage Facility on Area B and current and former fire-training locations in Area A to permanently mitigate and minimize human exposure to soil, groundwater and surface water that contains PFAS, chemicals formerly used in aqueous firefighting foam.

Over the years, PFAS has impacted water sources for a wide population of military and civilian users, AFCEC officials said. The Air Force continues to evaluate and determine solutions for health effects, concerns about food safety and agriculture commodities, risk management of PFOS and PFOA in the nation’s products, and technology to eliminate or reduce any negative impact.

Since the contract was awarded in July, the Rapid Response Program team has received Environmental Protection Agency approval; collected soil, surface water and groundwater samples on affected sites; and analyzed the cost of specific actions.

“The objective of the actions is to protect human health and the environment as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Plamondon said. “This includes the protection of Airmen, site workers and any potential downgradient receptors impacted by PFAS at the sites.”

After on-site testing and evaluation phases are conducted to determine appropriate remedies, the final treatment systems are projected to be installed in late 2022.

“The Rapid Response contract has allowed the Air Force to collect a large amount of data very quickly,” said John Crocker, an AFCEC remedial project manager. “Using this information, we hope to develop and implement site-specific treatment approaches that will result in meaningful reductions in PFAS migration within and beyond the base boundary. These responses will be implemented years sooner than we might normally achieve.”