LOCATION OF INJURY
Upper Cape Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich, MA
DATE OF INJURY
1852, 1990 and ongoing
DATE AND AMOUNT OF SETTLEMENT
2007 at $1,300,000
NRD SETTLEMENT FUNDS AVAILABLE
Textron Systems Corporation
NATURAL RESOURCE TRUSTEES
MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
RELEASE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Release of weapons propellant perchlorate
|Two restoration projects are completed and two restoration projects are underway|
Textron / Mass Military Reservation NRD Case Settlement
In October 2007, State and Federal Trustees entered into a $1.3 Million Natural Resource Damages (NRD) settlement with Textron Systems Corporation (TSC) , a defense contractor that conducted weapons testing in a section of the Massachusetts Military Reservation. The settlement resolves NRD claims against TSC only, with the state portion of the NRD settlement at $1 Million and the federal-only portion at $300,000. The Consent Decree settlement, which was subject to a 120-day public comment period and court approval, was entered by the US District Court in February 2008.
Natural Resource Trustees
State and federal natural resource Trustees for the TSC settlement at the Mass Military Reservation Site (MMR) include the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EEA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
The MMR site is a 21,000 acre facility at which Otis Air Force Base and Camp Edwards are located on Cape Cod, in the towns of Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich. The MMR site is located over a sole source aquifer (the Sagamore Lens) that provides drinking water for 200,000 year-round and 500,000 seasonal residents of Cape Cod. MMR was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites in November 1989. In October 1999, Executive Order No. 414, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve within the northern 15,000 acres of the MMR.
The southern industrial or "cantonment" 5,500-acre area of the Site is where the US Coast Guard, Army National Guard, and Otis Air National Guard Base facilities are located. The northern 15,000-acre area, also known as Camp Edwards, is used primarily by the Army National Guard. This area contains the 2,200-acre Impact Area, associated military training ranges, and the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.
Injured Natural Resources
On July 13, 1982, EPA determined that the Cape Cod aquifer is the sole or principal source of drinking water for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and that this sole source aquifer, if contaminated, would create a significant hazard to public health. The MMR site is an approximately 20,000 acre facility at which Otis Air National Guard Base and Camp Edwards are located on Cape Cod, in the towns of Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich. The MMR site is located over an area of the sole source aquifer known as the Sagamore Lens; the largest of six total groundwater lenses that supply drinking water and recharge to ponds, small streams and coastal embayments.
The MMR was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites in November 1989. In October 1999, Executive Order No. 414, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve within the northern 15,000 acres of the MMR.
With regard to this NRD settlement, Textron's operations were executed within experimental contractor ranges (mainly the J ranges) located within the upper 15,000 acres of Camp Edwards. (See Figure 1.) From 1968 to 1999, Textron or its predecessors, under contracts with the Department of Defense, conducted munitions testing in the area of the J-Ranges at MMR. As a contractor of the Department of Defense, Textron or its predecessors engaged in packing and testing of munitions at ranges on the MMR. Excess explosives, off specification propellants, unexploded ordinance, excess munitions and scrap metal were open detonated or burned in an unlined detonation pit and burn box in the J-1 and J-3 Range area.
The Training Ranges and Impact Area lie directly over the Sagamore Lens. Groundwater flows radially in all directions from the Training Ranges and Impact Area. Located in the Town of Sandwich, the J-1 and 3 Ranges lie above several wellhead protection areas that supply drinking water for residents of Cape Cod. Of primary concern to EEA was Textron's development and explosive testing of tactical weapons systems for the U.S. Army and Air Force and contamination of groundwater with the hazardous material and weapons propellant perchlorate - an inorganic chemical that is highly mobile in water and can persist for years under typical conditions.
Restoration Planning and Implementation
Of the $1 million NRD settlement by the state Trustee: $460,000 is subject to expenditure in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 21E and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan and the 1998 MOA between the State and Federal Trustees; and $500,000 is subject to expenditure in accordance with Section 107 (f) of CERCLA and the Trustee MOA following the preparation of a Restoration Plan subject to public review and comment.
Of the $300,000 NRD settlement by the federal Trustees: $175,000 on account of NRD claims of the Department of Defense is to be managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior for "restoration, replacement, or acquisition of equivalent of injured natural resources in connection with the Site" in accordance with Section 107(f) of CERCLA and the Trustee MOA; $25,000 to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for assessment costs; and $100,000 to the U.S. Department of the Interior for assessment costs.
The EEA, in coordination with the MMR Trustee Council, selected four groundwater restoration projects:
$259,200 to purchase 13.7 acres in the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge and Zone II of Mashpee's public water supply wells
$56,548 to purchase 5.3 acres in the Zone II of Sandwich's public water supply wells
$400,000 for Phases I and II of the town of Sandwich's proposed project to develop a Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan and
$371,800 for the Upper Cape Regional Water Supply Cooperative's proposed Sagamore Lens Aquifer - Safe Yield Analysis and Water Resource Recovery, modified by the MMR Trustee Council as the Sagamore Lens Aquifer - Sustainable Management of Water Resources Plan (of which $175,000 is funded from the DoD portion of the Textron settlement).
The Public's Role
On October 15, 2008, the EEA hosted a formal public meeting in Sandwich, Massachusetts to present an overview of the Textron NRD settlement, Trustees and the MMR Trustee Council, EEA NRD Program, and the Restoration Planning process.
In January of 2009, the public was invited to submit groundwater restoration project proposals. All proposals were subject to eligibility and evaluation criteria that were developed by the EEA NRD Program in coordination with the MMR Trustee Council. The EEA, in coordination with the MMR Trustee Council, identified two preferred groundwater restoration alternatives in a Draft RP, one of which will be funded from the DoD portion of the Textron settlement. Public comment on this Draft RP was received through April 21, 2010. A public meeting was held on April 6, 2010 in Bourne at which the public was invited to ask questions and offer comments on the Draft RP. The final RP was issued on May 11, 2010.
Textron / Mass Military Reservation NRD Trustee Contacts
Mass Department of Environmental Protection
U.S. Air Force Regional Environmental Office - Eastern Region
Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment
60 Forsyth St. SW ST., Ste. 8M80
Atlanta, GA 30303-3416
Mary Ellen Maly
U.S. Army Environmental Command
Bldg. E4480 Beal Road
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD 21010
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New England Field Office
70 Commercial Street, Suite 300
Concord, NH 03301
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
National Cemetery Administration
811 Vermont Avenue, NW, LAF235
Washington, DC 20005
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Southeast Regional Office
20 Riverside Drive
Lakeville, MA 02347