News Release: CRREL, state and federal agencies are proceeding with TCE remediation

Release No. 91-3
Published Feb. 4, 1991

HANOVER, NH --At a workshop held at the Army's Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory, representatives from the CRREL technical staff. the states of Vermont and New Hampshire, USEPA, and the Army's Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency (USATHAMA) met to discuss methods for cleaning up TeE contamination at CRREL. Also in attendance were representatives from some private companies in the environmental remediation business.

The workshop arose out of the events of last November when CRREL notified local. state and federal authorities that traces of TeE (trichloroethylene) had been found in wells on the laboratory property. Subsequently, TCE was found in two drinking wells in Vermont across the Connecticut River from the facility.

During the workshop case studies of similar situations were presented to provide an appreciation for the scope of the remediation operation that lies ahead. Representatives from the private companies presented their particular company's technology and how it could contribute to the clean up of the TCE on the CRREL property.

USATHAMA. the Corps of Engineers agency responsible for toxic and hazardous materials remediation for the Army, will provide project management of the cleanup operation. USATHAMA is located at the Aberdeen proving Ground, MD.

Regarding the monitoring of water wells in Vermont, a total of 45 wells have been jointly sampled by the state of Vermont and CRREL for TeE levels. and only the two wells presently on filters systems have turned up positive.

Vermont officials have decided to drill monitoring wells at the towns of Wilder and Norwich public water wells and near the two houses with contaminated wells in order to detect any possible signs of TCE migration.

For the time being as a precaution, CRREL and the state of Vermont will continue to monitor a core group of 10-12 wells in the Norwich area. The residents of the two houses on filtered well water continue to receive bottled water for drinking purposes. Although the filtered well water meets EPA standards for safe drinking water, it is recommended that it be used only for bathing and other routine uses.

On the New Hampshire side a total of nine wells have been sampled with only the original wells on the CRREL property testing positive for TCE.