Fort McPherson Remedial Investigation & Removal

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Atlanta, Georgia

The United States Army Military Reservation at Fort McPherson was established in 1885 as a United States Army post, which included numerous troop barracks, officer and non-commissioned officer housing, a headquarters and hospital, a large mess hall, a guardhouse, a golf course, and other support facilities. The former Fort McPherson is located on approximately 487 acres of land in the city limits of Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.

The Fort McPherson Crematory was built in the late 1880s to support the hospital and to burn medical waste. It operated until it burned to the ground in the late 1920s. Following the destruction of the building, ash and debris from the fire were left in this area and covered with clean fill.

Since 2008, the Wenck Atlanta office has provided compliance support/Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Support to the BRAC Environmental Office for Fort McPherson and its sub-installation, Fort Gillem (both Army installations are located within the metro-Atlanta area). Project costs to date are approximately $900K ($460K as a prime and $450K as a subcontractor). Wenck provided both on-site and off-site support to the BRAC Environmental Office for the Hazardous Waste, Solid Waste, Hazardous Material Management, Storm Water, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC), and Air Programs. Wenck supported these programs by:

  • Managing the air and storm water permits (including permit renewals and modifications)
  • Maintaining records associated with complying the air and storm water permits
  • Performing annual reviews and updates of the Hazardous Waste Management Plan (HWMP), Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (ISWMP), and SPCC Plan
  • Writing technical memos
  • Conducting inspections
  • Completing required reporting for state and local agencies
  • Developing and presenting annual compliance training Topics covered included Storm Water Pollution Prevention, Hazardous Material Handling, Hazardous Waste Management, and SPCC Requirements

Our training program received a “Commendable” Designation (the highest recognition given) in an audit conducted by the Installation Command South East Regional Office (IMCOM-SE).

During a repair of a sewer line on the golf course in 2009, construction workers uncovered buried ash and debris waste. A limited Site Investigation (SI) was performed for soil, sediment, surface water, and groundwater. Results from the SI indicated the buried material and lead contamination were present in isolated areas across the one-acre site. Additionally, several metals were detected in soil above Risk Reduction Standards (RRS).

In 2014, Wenck was contracted to design and implement a Remedial Investigation (RI) and Interim Removal Action (IRA), as well as a residual cumulative risk assessment to support a No Further Action (NFA) determination following the IRA. Wenck performed a background study to demonstrate several metals present in soil at the site above RRS were attributed to naturally occurring background concentrations. Wenck performed waste characterization sampling, XRF screening, confirmation soil sampling, data management, data verification and validation. During the IRA, it was discovered that the buried ash/debris and lead above 400 mg/kg extended beyond the original Site boundary to the south, east, and to the north into a residential area. During the course of the project, the site grew from one acre to four acres in size.

The excavation included the removal of approximately 26,410 tons of contaminated ash, soil, and debris. Post excavation confirmation samples were analyzed for RCRA metals with a sub-set analyzed for dioxin and furans and hexavalent chromium. Excavation was performed until all confirmation results reported concentrations below the Type 3 RRS and buried ash and debris were no longer visible. The results of the RI and IRA were documented in an RI Report submitted to the Georgia EPD in 2016. Wenck prepared and submitted a Proposed Plan and Record of Decision recommending NFA. The RI Report, Proposed Plan, and Record of Decision are currently under review by the Georgia EPD. Based on conversations with the Georgia EPD, a NFA approach is expected to be accepted by the agency.

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