Massachusetts Military Reservation Training Range and Impact Area Small Arms Berm Remediation

Home > Remediation Projects > Massachusetts Military Reservation Training Range and Impact Area Small Arms Berm Remediation

Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Date of Execution: February 1998

Significant Project Features:

  • Insitu and exsitu treatment of 36,500 tons of lead contaminated soils utilizing Sevenson's patented MAECTITE® chemical treatment process.
  • Assisted with Regulatory Agency negotiations to develop and acceptable approach to the separation/treatment to comply with requirements of the Administrative Order.
  • Extensive Sampling and Analysis Plan (1125 soil samples) implemented pre and post treatment.
  • Economic benefit realized through the reclaimation/reuse of lead bullet fragments.

Description of Work

Sevenson was contracted to remediate and apply the MAECTITE® treatment process to lead contaminated soil at 16 firing ranges located on the Massachusetts Military Reservation.

The primary objective of the berm maintenance program was to remove the maximum amount of lead munitions from small arms range berm soils and to minimize the potential for lead fines (particles too small for physical removal) migrating into groundwater. The first phase of the program focused on sampling each of the range berms. Samples were collected and analyzed to determine the depth of soils excavation for transportation to a central processing facility for separation of the lead munitions and application of MAECTITE® to lead fines (exsitu processing). Through sampling it was also possible to determine the appropriate areas where MAECTITE® could be applied directly to the range berms without excavation (insitu processing).

In all, 36,500 tons of soil were processed: 27,952 tons were processed exsitu with the balance processed insitu.

Lead bullet fragments were stockpiled for recycling. Treated material was replaced into the previously excavated firing range berms for continued use.

Highlights of the project include:

  • Reduction of TCLP leachable lead by ex-situ processing of excavated berms soils to concentrations significantly better (i.e., lower) than USEPA's approved project performance criteria of 5.0mg/L. In fact, TCLP leachable lead was reduced to less than 1.7mg/L in 100% and less than 0.8 mg/L in 98% and less than 0.50 mg/L in 96% of the process confirmation samples analyzed for the ex-situ processed soils.
  • Reduction of TCLP leachable lead by ex-situ processing of excavated berms soils to concentrations significantly better (i.e., lower) than USEPA's approved project performance criteria of 5.0mg/L. In fact, TCLP leachable lead was reduced to less than 0.6mg/L in 100% and less than 0.50 mg/L in 97% of the process confirmation samples analyzed for the in-situ processed soils.
  • Typically, the highest TCLP leachable lead concentrations were detected within the first two (2) feet of soil within the berm face.
  • Vertical migration of TCLP leachable lead (in concentrations greater than 5.0 mg/L) from berms was typically limited to less than ten (10) feet.
  • The maximum penetration into a berm to remove recoverable bullet fragments was 16 feet at Range K. Note that this depth is not below ground surface but is a depth approximately perpendicular to the face of the berms.
  • Collection and analysis of 1,125 pre-excavation berm soil samples to characterize the total lead and TCLP leachable lead concentrations present as a result of small arms training activities.
  • Total lead and TCLP leachable lead were observed at concentrations as high as 12,200 mg/kg and 734 mg/L, respectively.
  • Analysis of 160-pre-excavation berm soil samples to characterize total copper, total iron, total nickel, and total antimony concentrations present.
  • Excavation and transportation of 17,788 cubic yards of berm soils to a central processing area at an average production rate of over 300 cubic yards per day.
  • Collection and analysis of 286 post-excavation berm soil samples for total lead and TCLP leachable lead to confirm remaining soils contained less than 5.0 mg/L TCLP leachable lead.
  • Analysis of 31 post-excavation berm soil samples to characterize total copper, total iron, total nickel, and total antimony present.
  • Screening of the excavated berm soils for recovery of recyclable bullet fragments at the central processing area in an enclosed screening and process system.
  • Chemical fixation of leachable lead in 27,952 tons of screened range berm soils at an average production rate of over 450 tons per day.
  • Chemical fixation of leachable lead in 5,380 cubic yards of berm soils without removing the soil from the ranges at an average production rate of 150 cubic yards per day.
  • Reconstruction of the berms at two ranges to expedite the MAARNG's return to small arms training.
  • Completion of the required activities five (5) weeks ahead of the schedule required by the Administrative Order.
  • Completion of the field activities without a lost time accident.
  • Completion of the activities under the daily oversight of the USEPA's full-time on-site representative.

Overall, the project was successful as the berm maintenance program implemented at MMR removed metallic lead and chemically fixed leachable lead in the berm soils at 16 small arms ranges as required by USEPA's Administrative Order. The patented MAECTITE® process not only achieved, but exceeded, the performance criteria for reduction of TCLP leachable lead in berm soils. The use of innovative technology provided a cost-effective solution to remove metallic lead and minimized the potential for leachable lead migrating into the underlying groundwater aquifer.

Health and Safety Overview:

  • Unique Characteristics: Dust control was a critical element of the project plan. Soil conditioning and dust suppression techniques had to be performed throughout the entire project to keep particulate levels below the threshold limit values. Exceedences of these levels would have resulted in work shutdowns.
  • Health and Safety Measures: Modified Level D was the required level of protection for the workers. Continuous realtime particulate monitoring was performed to ensure there was no need for an upgrade in respiratory protection.
  • Health and Safety Staff: Paul J. Hitcho, PhD, CIH developed the Site Health and Safety Plan. Aaron Brownell was the Site Health and Safety Officer responsible for day to day implementation and enforcement.
  • How 40-Hour Training Was Implemented: Sevenson provides 40 hour and 8 hour training in-house.