News Release: Cold Regions Lab TCE Plan and Public Meeting

Release No. H11-03
Published April 11, 2003

HANOVER, N.H.—The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, N.H., has available for public review the final draft decision document for CRREL’s trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination remediation plan.

In 1990, CRREL discovered TCE contamination in the groundwater beneath the facility on Lyme Road. After extensive investigations, it was determined that the contamination did not pose a threat to human health or the environment and there was no off-site migration of the contaminated groundwater.

CRREL’s TCE contamination has been attributed to separate leaks from a storage tank and an experimental ice well and a 1970 explosion of another tank. Until 1987, CRREL used TCE as refrigerant for its low-temperature research complex.

As part of the initial remediation effort, a groundwater treatment plant was constructed to remove TCE from the groundwater. Over the next several years, with oversight and concurrence from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), CRREL investigated several remedial technologies at the site. Those investigations were successful and have now been concluded.

A remedial action plan, as required by state law, has been submitted to NHDES and approved. The Army’s Installation Restoration Program requires that a decision document be prepared as a binding legal agreement between NHDES and the Army regarding final remediation of the site. 

The draft decision document and approved Remedial Action Plan will be available from the lab for public review April 14 to May 16. A public meeting will be held at the lab on April 30, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This will be an opportunity for the public to voice any concerns and ask questions. In attendance will be representatives from ERDC, NHDES, and the Army Environmental Center.

For a copy of the review documents or meeting information, please contact Robert Sletten, CRREL  Remedial Program Manager, at (603) 646-4443.

CRREL is one of seven laboratories that comprise the ERDC. The ERDC is the premier research and development facility for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with more than 2,000 employees, $1.2 billion in facilities, and an annual research program exceeding $570 million. It conducts research in both military and civil works mission areas for the Department of Defense and the nation. 

CRREL is the only Department of Defense laboratory addressing problems and opportunities unique to the world’s cold regions. Located in Hanover, N.H., CRREL also has field offices in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska.