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WVN Newsletter #171: Raytheon cleanup comment sought

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  • waylandvoters1
    Dear Wayland Voter, After Raytheon moved out of the Route 20 property now earmarked for the town center housing/office/shopping project, it agreed to take
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 12, 2006
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      Dear Wayland Voter,

      After Raytheon moved out of the Route 20 property now
      earmarked for the town center housing/office/shopping project, it
      agreed to take responsibility for any harmful and persistent
      chemicals left in the ground. The state-regulated effort is now at
      Phase IV and is expected to go on for many more years.

      The site is environmentally fragile because it is near a protected
      river and a recharging area for town wells. Where developers
      can build, and how soon, may depend on the cleanup. There
      have been changes at Raytheon, which is negotiating with the
      developers. There are many unknowns.

      A recent public meeting gave citizens the chance to ask
      questions. You can watch a broadcast for the hearing and
      submit your comments. Molly Upton explains below.


      RAYTHEON TO EMBARK ON NORTHERN CLEANUP

      The public was certainly involved at Raytheon's Public
      Involvement Plan (PIP) meeting held May 17, with many
      questions trying to discern what types of changes on the property
      could disturb the flow of groundwater (and contaminants) at the
      site. Raytheon presented a draft of its plans (Phase IV) for
      remediating the northern area of the site, and said it planned to
      submit remedy operation status reports on the southern and
      western portions of the site during this year.

      The meeting will be shown on Wayland's cable channel 9 on on
      Thursday June 15 at 8 p.m. Written comments by interested
      citizens and town officials on the proposed Phase IV plan are
      due on June 22, 2006 to:

      Louis Burkhardt, Raytheon Co., Mail Stop 1880
      528 Boston Post Rd.
      Sudbury, MA 01776.

      Raytheon is required by Department of Environmental Protection
      regulations to respond to public comments.

      The complete May 17 PIP meeting presentation and the Draft
      Phase IV report are available at www.ermne.com. The user
      name is raytheon and the password is wayland (all lower case).
      Click on documents and the May 17 PIP meeting
      is currently the last entry. Hard copies of such documents are
      also at the Wayland library (ask reference desk librarian) and the
      Board of Health.

      Raytheon representatives said they had not seen any definitive
      plans from Twenty Wayland LLC for its proposed mixed use
      development (town center project) on the site.

      Raytheon still owns the liability for the contamination, but
      Twenty Wayland LLC is in "negotiations" with Raytheon
      regarding the timelines of the cleanup and costs associated with
      an expedited effort, WVN learned in a subsequent discussion
      with Louis "Chip" Burkhardt, who is replacing Ed Madera as
      Raytheon's project manager. In addition, the issue of a septic
      system is "part of the negotiations with the developer," Madera
      told the meeting.

      The Licensed Site Professional of record, John Drobinski of
      Environmental Resources Management, told WVN that the
      restrictions on the deed are still intact. A letter of June 27, 2005,
      from the town's licensed site professional, Ben Gould of CMG
      Environmental, to the Wayland Board of Selectmen emphasized:

      "The deed restrictions summarized herein are legally binding on
      the large majority of developable land at the Site (77 of the total
      86 acres);

      "Among the restrictions are prohibitions against residential use,
      children's daycare, public access, and recreational use; and

      "The restrictions imposed by the Site owner on October 21,
      1997 are unusual in that only the LSP-of-Record is authorized to
      amend or terminate them. This person is currently Mr. John
      Drobinski, P.G. of Environmental Resources Management, Inc.,
      which is Raytheon's primary environmental subcontractor
      for the Site.

      "Therefore, it follows that any future development of this property
      must accommodate Raytheon's easement rights to limit Site
      activities or uses that might interfere with ongoing assessment
      and remediation of contamination identified at the property." (The
      June 2005 letter as well as a presentation to selectmen are also
      on the Raytheon cleanup web site, under "BOS meeting.")

      CHANGING OF (SOME OF) THE GUARD

      Raytheon's outgoing project manager, Ed Madera, introduced
      his replacement, Chip Burkhardt, who conducted most of the
      meeting. WVN found some of Burkhardt's responses to be less
      definitive than those of Madera. Whether this is because
      Burkhardt is new to the position or reflects increasing pressure
      being brought to bear by Twenty Wayland LLC is hard to know.

      WVN learned in discussions after the meeting that Raytheon's
      legal bills recently have grown significantly. Burkhardt said at
      one point, "Whatever goes on is subject to negotiation." Madera
      added: "The liability depends on the situation; It depends on the
      agreement with the owner how to deal with." He added: "The
      remediation plan will be based on agreement with the
      developer, and discussion of sharing costs." But, he added, the
      regulations require notification, and Raytheon is bound by the
      Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) timelines.

      John Drobinski will continue as LSP of record. Drobinski is also
      a selectman in Sudbury.

      VARIOUS FACTS

      The groundwater depth is as little as 6 feet (in non-flood times)
      in the northern area of the property and more than 15 feet in the
      contaminated portion of the southern area. The depth of
      groundwater could be a major factor in whether basements are
      allowed, as digging might affect the flow of groundwater. It is
      also possible that a change in the ratio or placement of pervious
      surface could affect the groundwater flow, according to the
      Raytheon representatives. For instance, if a septic system
      changes the plume hydraulics, that would not be good, the
      meeting was told.

      Madera agreed that construction of buildings could change the
      hydrology, and that Raytheon also would need ongoing access
      to the numerous monitoring wells on the property.

      According to DEP regulations for Mass. Contingency Plan (MCP)
      310 CMR 40.0000 (sections 40.0970-40.09.80 and 40.0932)
      there are standards of proximity for buildings to contaminants.
      For the groundwater category gw2, buildings must be a vertical
      distance of 15 feet from groundwater and a horizontal distance of
      30 feet.

      Raytheon's long-term goal is to achieve drinking water
      standards in the ground water, because the site is within the
      drinking water supply area. The standard for drinking water is 5
      parts per billion of PCE (tetrachloroethylene) and TCE
      (trichloroethene). (Among "daughter compounds," the risk of
      inhalation is greater than the risk in the drinking water.)

      The interim goal is to reduce concentration so there is no
      significant risk.

      QUESTIONS

      One frequent question was what's the process if another area of
      contamination is discovered. The answer was that if a new area
      is found with the same types of contaminants, its treatment will
      be rolled into the existing release tracking numbers (RTN),
      rather than starting a new filing.

      Another question was what does Raytheon expect to find
      beneath the current building. Raytheon has done some
      sampling in the slab and thinks there is not a problem with soil
      contamination, but will remediate if it finds contamination. It has
      found chlorinated volatile organic compounds, such as TCE, a
      minor amount of PCE, and daughter compounds such as
      dichloroethene and vinyl chloride.

      On the site, Raytheon is in the monitoring phase (remedy
      operation status) on the southern area groundwater remediation
      and wetland monitoring to the west. It has diminished the
      wetlands contaminants, which included a number of metals –
      chromium, copper, lead and silver - also PCBs, PAHs (polycyclic
      aromatic hydrocarbons) and arsenic. Raytheon is using a
      permanganate injection process in the southern area to
      neutralize the contamination. There is also methyl tertiary butyl
      ether (MTBE) on the southern portion. The MBTE probably
      originated from a gas station to the east of the property, as
      Raytheon records indicate no such chemical was used at the
      site.

      Raytheon performs semi-annual groundwater gauging at all
      accessible site monitoring wells, and analyzes groundwater
      samples from select monitoring wells at the site. There are 170
      monitoring wells.

      CATCH 22

      Because Twenty Wayland LLC did not agree to inform the town
      of its discussions with Raytheon, the question arose: how will
      the Planning Board know if redevelopment plans presented by
      the developer will actually meet with Raytheon's permission? If
      Twenty Wayland wants to move forward responsibly and
      expeditiously, it will agree to present to the Planning Board only
      those plans that have received the stamp of approval from
      Raytheon.

      While this sounds too logical to be an issue, one audience
      member noted the existing unused daycare center had been
      constructed at the Route 20 property entrance a few years ago
      despite the restriction on its use. This left some wondering if the
      deed restrictions would preclude construction work on the
      site; they definitely would limit occupancy.

      After repeated questioning, Madera said "there will be word if we
      agree on a plan." "We need to have an agreement on a plan and
      a process before we lift the deed restrictions."

      NORTHERN AREA CLEANUP

      The meeting was held because under DEP regulations
      Raytheon is required to inform the public and town officials of its
      plans to clean up the northern area of the site that is
      contaminated with chlorinated volatile organic compounds. The
      current DEP submittal, recently presented in draft form for
      comment, is Phase IV – Remedy Implementation Plan.

      Raytheon has located "the head of the beast" or the apparent
      source of TCE (trichloroethene) in groundwater, where the
      concentrations are about 100,000 parts/billion. The allowed
      drinking water quality standard, by contrast, is 5 parts/billion.
      Raytheon has a long term goal of achieving drinking water
      standard, but this will take a couple of decades.

      In this area, the water flow is an upward gradient, with the flow
      generally toward the river. Further to the east, the groundwater
      tends to flow downward. However, the contamination plume is
      moving downward even though the water gradient is moving
      upward. While contaminants have not reached the bedrock,
      (about 60 feet below grade) TCE and daughter compounds
      have been found at various depths, which Raytheon may decide
      to leave.

      The northern area site is immediately north of the existing
      parking lot and northwest of the Town's Wastewater Treatment
      Plant and its sphere of influence involves some land owned by
      the Wayland Commons developers.

      Raytheon plans to excavate to a depth of 25 feet using two coffer
      dams with diameters of 80 feet and 60 feet. It will haul away
      about 5500 cubic yards of soil, clean the water via a carbon filter
      and discharge it via the storm drain back into the river. The water
      table at this part of the site is 6 feet below the surface, and the
      top 5 feet of soil are clean.

      The excavation project should begin in August and last for 2-3
      months, and then monitoring will occur for a year. Once the
      residual is known, Raytheon can design an injection system of
      carbon substrate to help degrade the remaining TCE by
      encouraging bacteria that will break it down. The timeline
      in the draft text indicates 2008 should see substrate injections
      and a final inspection report. The Raytheon team said it would
      be difficult to determine how long the TCE will take to degrade,
      but the likely timeframe is decades to reach a purified state.

      The Northern Area also falls within the jurisdiction of the
      Conservation Commission under the state's Wetlands
      Protection Act Regulations [310 CMR 10.05 (4)] and Wayland's
      Wetlands and Water Resources Bylaw, Chapter 194.
      The excavation project is within the Bordering Vegetated
      Wetlands and Buffer Zone. Raytheon therefore filed a Notice of
      Intent for this site work with the ConCom, and that public hearing
      has been continued until June 22.

      Remember to please submit by June 22 whatever written
      comments and questions you may have to Raytheon after either
      viewing the meeting and/or reading the Sraft Phase IV report on
      the project Web site (www.ermne.com).

      (NOTE: Like all other WVN newsletters, this remains available to
      you for future reference at the Yahoo address listed at the bottom
      of this newsletter.)
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