2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 19 Dec 2005 05:00:58 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Ravenna Arsenal (OH) cleanup
Submitted by Laura Olah <info@cswab.org>

Better Cleanup Needed at Ravenna Arsenal

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger
December 18, 2005

The Ohio EPA and U.S. Army at Ravenna Army Ammunition Plant are seeking
public comment on whether or not to clean up contaminated soils at an
area known as the Winklepeck Burning Grounds.  Obviously the proposed
cleanup of the 200-acre site is necessary; the Army's own studies verify
that contaminant levels constitute a significant risk to human health. 
The real question is ? is this enough?

You should know that proposed cleanup goals (the highest allowable
contaminant concentration that can be left after soils are excavated) at
Ravenna will not afford adequate protection of human health and the
environment when compared to facilities elsewhere.  This is due in part
to the fact that Ravenna limits its evaluation of risk to soldiers to
direct dermal contact with soils and fails to address other equally
plausible routes of exposure such as inhalation of fugitive dust and
emissions, incidental ingestion, and exposure through the human food
chain (consumption of food crops, wild game, dairy products, fish, etc.).

The principal contaminants of concern at the Winklepeck Burning Grounds
are Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the explosive RDX.  PAHs
are a group of more than 100 chemicals; some are suspected carcinogens. 
RDX is a suspected human carcinogen if inhaled or ingested, and is a
relatively common contaminant at military facilities.

For example, after World War II, the military turned over a 34,000-acres
parcel in Illinois to the DOI for use as a National Wildlife Refuge. 
The cleanup goals for soils at the Crab Orchard Refuge were based on
protecting refuge employees, site workers, hunters/hikers, and site
trespassers.  Like the soldiers at Ravenna, they are not present at the
facility on a full-time basis.  The recommended soil cleanup goal for
RDX at the Crab Orchard Refuge is 6 mg/kg.  The proposed goal at
Ravenna, however, is more than 100 times higher or 617 mg/kg.

In addition to RDX, levels of PAHs in soils at Ravenna are also
elevated.  One of the more prominent is benzo(a)pyrene, classified by
the EPA as a known animal carcinogen and a suspected human carcinogen.

In 1994, a soil removal was conducted at Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station in Florida to "eliminate potential unacceptable human health
risk to current and future site workers and to reduce potential risk to
hypothetical future residents".  The EPA-recommended remedial goal for
benzo(a)pyrene was 0.1 mg/kg.  By comparison, the proposed cleanup goal
at Ravenna is 75 times higher or 7. 5 mg/kg.

The same holds true at other military facilities.  At the Joliet Arsenal
in Illinois, a cleanup goal of 0.1 mg/kg was recommended for
benzo(a)pyrene based on cancer risk.  According to the Army, the most
likely human receptors at Joliet (now the Midewin National Tallgrass
Prairie) include "recreational park users, industrial workers, and USDA
prairie workers and volunteers".  At the Badger Army Ammunition Plant,
my neighbor here in Wisconsin,  the U.S. EPA has approved a health-based
goal for benzo(a)pyrene in both surface and subsurface soils of 0.4
mg/kg (compared to 7.5 mg/kg at Ravenna).  The 7,400-acre base is
closing and will be soon transferred to new owners for agriculture,
conservation, and recreation.

Clearly, not only are the citizens of Ohio getting the short end of the
stick, so are its soldiers.  According to Ravenna's proposal, the "Range
Maintenance Soldier" is the population at highest risk from exposure to
unsafe levels of site toxins.

You can do your part to get a stronger and equitable cleanup by
participating in the current public comment period.  Written comments
must be postmarked by January 8, 2006 and are to be submitted to the
Ravenna Army Ammunition Plant Facility Manager, Building 1037, 8451
State Route 5, Ravenna, OH  44266.

In order to make sure your comments receive the attention they deserve,
copies should be sent to your federal representatives and the U.S. EPA. 
A public meeting is also scheduled for Tuesday December 20 at the Newton
Falls Community Center beginning at 5 pm.  
Laura Olah, Executive Director  
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger  


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918
Military mailing list
  Prev by Date: [CPEO-MEF] San Gabriel Valley (CA) water treatment
Next by Date: [CPEO-MEF] Explosive find slows Los Alamos (NM) cleanup
  Prev by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] San Gabriel Valley (CA) water treatment
Next by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] Explosive find slows Los Alamos (NM) cleanup

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index