June 18, 2018

Comments Sought on Pax River’s Site 21

pax remediation

The Department of the Navy is inviting the public to comment on the engineering evaluation and cost analysis for Site 21 – Sludge Drying Beds under the environmental restoration program at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

In accordance with the requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Naval Air Station Pax River invites comment on the Non-Time-Critical Removal Action (NTCRA) at Site 21.

Public comment began Feb. 9, 2017, and will close March 10, 2017. The objective of the NTCRA at Site 21 is to remove buried mercury associated debris and constituents in soil to a level acceptable for human health and the environment.

Site 21—Sludge Drying Beds 21 is west of and behind Building 600, the former wastewater treatment plant located in the south-central portion of the station. From the mid-1940s until 1970, eight bays were used to dry sludge generated by the sewage treatment plant. An estimated 300 yd³ of sewer sludge were generated per year. The dried sludge, consisting of 25 percent solids, was removed annually and disposed at the station landfill in operation at the time.
Site 21 was included in the IAS conducted at NAS Patuxent River in 1984. A confirmation study was not recommended for Site 21 because the sludge had been removed from the site and no evidence of contamination was observed; Site 21 was included in the RFA conducted at NAS Patuxent River in 1998-99. No documented releases were recorded in the files reviewed as part of the RFA for Site 21. No evidence of a release was observed at the site during the RFA site visit. The sludge drying beds at Site 21 are no longer in use. The treatment plant was shut down in 1970 and dismantled in 1986. Since then, the site has been allowed to revegetate. A RI/FS investigation is scheduled for FY 2011 to further characterize the site.

The Navy has prepared an Engineering Estimate/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) for the NTCRA to address environmental concerns at Site 21. The Navy intends to remediate Site 21 by excavation and offsite disposal, post-excavation confirmatory sampling of soil, and site restoration.

The public is encouraged to comment on this EE/CA. The NTCRA for Site 21 will be implemented only after the public comment period has ended. An alternative removal action may be selected only after all comments have been received from the public. The EE/CA and all other relevant environmental documents for Site 21 are available for review at:

Naval Air Station Patuxent River Library
22269 Cedar Point Road, Building 407
Patuxent River, MD 20629
Monday-Thursday: 7:30 am-4:30 pm
Friday: 10 am-2 pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday

St. Mary’s County Public Library
Lexington Park Branch
21677 FDR Boulevard
Lexington Park, MD 20653
Monday-Thursday: 9 am-8 pm
Friday and Saturday: 9 am-5 pm
Sunday: 1-5 pm
Comments may be written and mailed (postmarked by the closing date of March 16, 2017) to any of the following points of contact:

Naval Air Station Patuxent River Public Affairs Officer
Attn: Patrick Gordon
22268 Cedar Point Road
PAO Building 409, Room 209
Patuxent River, MD 20670-1154

Attn: S. Andrew Sochanski
Hazardous Site Cleanup Division 3HS11
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

Maryland Department of the Environment
Attn: Rick Grills
Federal Facilities Division
Hazardous Waste Program
1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 645
Baltimore, MD 21230-1719

For further information, contact the public affairs officer at 301-757-3343 between 8 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.

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