U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

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Centerviews, Vol 14 No 1, p 6-7, Spring 2008

Beale Air Force Base in California has one of the largest enhanced in situ bioremediation (EISB) systems on the West Coast. Beale has cleanup systems at two areas: Site 10, which is located near an old SR-71 aircraft engine test cell, and a 7-acre area at Site 31. The EISB systems use biostimulaton and bioaugmentation to address ground water affected by trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene. Food-grade sodium lactate, which is derived from corn or milk, is used for biostimulation, and bioaugmentation involves the addition of Dehalococcoides bacteria (KB-1(tm)) to reduce chlorinated contaminants, such as solvents. These combined bioremediation processes can take several years to achieve the cleanup goal, depending on ground-water conditions, distribution of the sodium lactate, and initial solvent concentrations. The Site 10 EISB system has addressed more than 95% of the solvent mass in the treatment zone, a success that has resulted in an expedited permitting process and fewer regulatory requirements for the new system. In the Phase 1 source area, solvent concentration levels have fallen below the maximum contaminant level, and about 85% of the contaminant has been removed so far in the Phase 2 and 3 zones. Lessons learned from the operation of the Site 10 EISB treatment system have been incorporated into the recently added Site 31 system. Because of the efficiencies learned from Site 10, the Site 31 EISB system will treat more chlorinated contamination at greater depths for less money than the older system. The new system is expected to clean up the high-concentration area in about 3 years at a cost of about $1.8 million, including operation, maintenance, and monitoring. Beale is the first active Air Force installation to issue an "incentivized" performance-based environmental restoration contract that rewards the contractor for faster site closure or for achieving remedy-in-place milestones faster than the ones set by the Air Force. Newsletter at http://www.afcee.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-080722-013.pdf More detailed information can be found in the California State Water Resources Control Board waste discharge requirements order (No. R5-2007) for this site at http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/centralvalley/board_decisions/tentative_orders/0705/be ale/usaf-beale-afb-wdr.pdf

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