|Date:||1 Aug 2001 17:21:42 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Update: CSWAB Asks Army to Expand Private Well Testing=20|
August 1, 2001 Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information contact: Laura Olah, Executive Director, (608)643-3124 CSWAB Asks Army to Expand Private Well Testing MERRIMAC -- Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB) is asking the Army to test private wells near Badger Army Ammunition Plant for more contaminants. CSWAB has learned that in addition to the explosive DNT, low levels of other contaminants including nitrosodiphenylamine (NNDPA), diphenylamine, 2-nitroaniline, 3- nitroaniline, and aniline were found in boundary wells at Badger. =93Testing for only one compound assumes the co-location of all contaminants,=94 said Laura Olah, CSWAB=92s executive director. =93There is no data to show that these chemicals all move at the same rate and in the same direction offsite.=94 The group=92s request follows the Army=92s July 30 announcement that= private drinking water wells will only be tested for dinitrotoluene (DNT). =93If anything shows up in that testing,=94 Army officials said, =93then we will investigate it further.=94 CSWAB objects to further delays and is asking the Army to test private drinking water wells for any and all contaminants that have been detected at elevated levels in boundary and near-boundary wells. =93The Army=92s plan is to wait and see if DNT=92s are detected, which may take as long as six weeks, and then decide if additional testing is warranted,=94 Olah said. =93Comprehensive testing should be first -- not more studies.=94 The Army said limiting testing to DNT=92s is preferable because this is a contaminant unique to Badger. CSWAB argues other contaminants leaching from the Deterrent Burning Ground, a disposal site inside Badger, are common constituents of single base propellants. =93Diphenylamine and n-nitrosodiphenylamine (NNDPA) are both used as stabilizers for nitrocellulose,=94 Olah said. CSWAB says the current plan also falls short of achieving the Army=92s publicly stated goal for testing: =93to protect (human) health and ensure peace of mind.=94 =93WDNR officials said that the proposed testing will= not necessarily guarantee drinking water is safe,=94 Olah said. =93This testing will only show whether or not DNT is present.=94 The groundwater contamination is coming from an area known as the Deterrent Burning Grounds. Located in the northeast corner of the plant, it was used for the open burning of deterrents, structural timbers, asphalt shingles, and office waste during Badger's active years. According to Army reports, the volume of contaminated subsurface soils is around 38,000 cubic yards and extends to a depth of 120 feet. Expected cleanup costs may be as high as $65 million. In March 2001, Army contractors reported levels of NNDPA in boundary wells ranging from 2.9 micrograms per liter (ug/l) to 6.0 ug/l , exceeding Wisconsin=92s Preventative Action Limit of only 0.7 ug/l =AD an enforceable level stipulated in the WDNR=92s permit for Badger. In July, reported levels were lower but still above safe standards. Diphenylamine levels were also elevated however Army contractors report the two contaminants are =93difficult to tell apart in the lab.=94 Inside Badger, there is evidence that levels of another chemical may also be increasing. Levels of 2-nitroaniline were detected in one monitoring well at 7.2 ug/l in June of 1999; levels rose to 19.2 ug/l in March 2000, and then to 32.4 ug/l in June 2000. Although Wisconsin does not have a groundwater Enforcement Standard (ES) for 2-nitroaniline, Florida's ES is 7.5 ug/l and New York's ES is 5.0 ug/l suggesting the levels in groundwater at Badger are significant. =93For residents that test their own drinking water, these chemicals are not included in a typical groundwater test,=94 Olah said. =93Nearby residents should not burdened with the cost of specific testing for chemicals from Badger.=94 In the meantime, the offsite testing is only a stopgap measure. =93Private drinking water wells must never be used in lieu of monitoring wells,=94 Olah said. =93By law, monitoring wells serve as sentinels, intended to pick up contamination before it ever reaches a private well,=94 Olah said. =93In this case, there are no clean wells between the source and private wells.=94 According to the WDNR, additional work is needed to define both groundwater flow and water quality in and around the Deterrent Burning Grounds. Stone and Webster, a consulting firm working for the Army, is working on a review of all the data and past geologic/hydrogeologic work that has been completed in the northeast corner of the plant. Army officials admit there is no "good list=94 of monitoring wells offsite, making it difficult to know the extent of the potential groundwater problems outside the plant. CSWAB was organized by neighbors of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant in 1990. The group is working to ensure community members are empowered in decisions affecting the cleanup and future use of the closing base. For more information, contact CSWAB at (608) 643-3124 or visit their website at http://www.cswab.com * * * -- Laura Olah, Executive Director Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger E12629 Weigand's Bay South Merrimac, WI 53561 phone (608)643-3124 fax (608)643-0005 alt fax (608)643-2682 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.cswab.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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