Corps of Engineers partners with community as it expands environmental sampling beyond Hanover lab site

Published March 26, 2013

HANOVER, NH – The U.S. Army Environmental Command and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), Dartmouth College, the Town of Hanover, and School Administrative Unit #70, public schools of Hanover, as they expand their continuing, on-site environmental monitoring program to facilities adjacent to the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL).

The Corps’ New England District, which is managing the effort, is broadening the vapor intrusion program to determine if vapors from trichloroethylene (TCE), a contaminant last used by the laboratory as a secondary refrigerant in 1987, may have migrated in vapor form through soils as a result of past accidental releases. Recent samples collected near the lab’s boundary indicated the presence of trace levels of TCE soil vapor concentrations at depths of 10 to 20 feet and elevated levels at depths greater than 50 feet. 

Environmental experts will be collecting samples to analyze soil vapor, sub-slab soil and indoor air at the Francis C. Richmond Middle School, several Dartmouth College housing units, and local businesses adjacent to CRREL.

All environmental investigations are being conducted in accordance with methods provided by NHDES, the Department of the Army, and EPA. Results of the sampling will be reported to property owners and made available to the general public through the CRREL “TCE” website, which also offers frequently asked questions, fact sheets, and many links concerning TCE (see Useful Links below).

The Corps is implementing a community outreach initiative to inform the public and to seek community input on the sampling activities being conducted at the CRREL facility. The Corps and its contractors will also be interviewing members of the Hanover and Norwich communities to determine their interests, concerns and information needs.

CRREL’s Administrative Record is available to the public at the Kilton Public Library located at 80 Main Street, West Lebanon, N.H.

CRREL is one of seven laboratories that comprise the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). ERDC is the premier research and development facility for the Corps of Engineers, with more than 2,500 employees, $1.2 billion in facilities, and an annual research program exceeding $2 billion. It conducts research in both military and civil works mission areas for the Department of Defense and the nation.

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