Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ancient Hawaiian Wetlands - Navy Chemical Dump - Threatens Ewa Leeward Shores

 Ancient Hawaiian Wetlands - Navy Chemical Dump - Threatens Ewa Leeward Shores

In order to provide members of the community with another opportunity to learn about this site, the Navy will be holding an Open House at Ewa Beach Public and School Library at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2017. In addition, the Navy has extended the 30-day public comment period until July 21.

Denise Emsley
Public Affairs Officer
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii
400 Marshall Road
JBPHH HI  96860-3139
denise.emsley@navy.mil
808-221-6387 - cel

Ancient Hawaiian Wetlands - Navy Chemical Dump - Threatens Ewa Leeward Shores.   

More feedback sought for Navy’s landfill cleanup proposal
By William Cole, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

The Navy is extending the public comment period on a proposal to spend $1.2 million
to reduce potential exposure to chemicals at a Barbers Point landfill where asbestos
and burned waste were dumped between 1942 and 1997. The surface soil contains
antimony, lead and hydrocarbons that exceed state Department of Health standards, the
Navy said. The Navy is proposing to add cover material, put in place erosion control
measures and add perimeter warning signs at the site.

Under The Radar: Ancient Ewa Freshwater Karst Pond Wetlands- Navy PCB Toxic Waste Dump

1928 US Army Air Corps Photo


1928 USGS Map


 1936 Army Map

  

1938 USGS Map


Hawaiian habitation site - Wetlands, Navy BRAC 1999 Tuggles Report


Hiding all this from the public for at least 14 years ( and recently revealed 76 years as a waste dump) with an under the radar "public notice" for comment, the Ewa-Kapolei community was shocked and surprised - no neighborhood board notice, no political reps apparently notified - HCDA apparently not notified.


Because of previous bad publicity and a lawsuit on Guam we are all hopeful the Navy will take the correct steps to mitigate the municipal and military waste chemical dump at Kalaleoa.

The recent Navy open house shows that this is a 76 year old dump, begun in 1942 and the only "protective" measure was capping with sand and gravel and later dirt, which all failed after heavy rains. This dump site has never had a liner, with many materials dumped in the bottom of a coral quarry with a ground water table at the quarry bottom. There has never been any analysis of the karst water transport system or what effect this likely has had on the Nimitz and White Plains beach areas, fisheries, seals, birds, F&W wildlife preserve, etc.

A UH Water study done in 2009 for Oahu states that a coral quarry site with high
volume karst waterflows is the absolutely WORST possible place for a waste dump.


On the high end are the coral gravels and reef limestones. These coral reef remnants have the highest hydraulic conductivities of any formation in Hawaii with estimated values as high as 30,000 ft/d based on tidal response analysis (Oki et., 1996).

This means a back and forth flow of ocean water deep underground and why there are values as high as 30,000 ft/d based on tidal response analysis. It means decades of continuous on going ocean pollution. Just piling dirt over it only hides the problem.

NavFac wants to believe Option 3 "contains" it but it cannot possibly because there is no bottom sealer- just the daily subsurface karst tidal water flushing system pulling the finer particles and chemicals to the ocean, especially after heavy rains.

PHOTOS Below show the chemical dump site's natural, cultural history and ecology more complicated than just simple localized chemical dump.

Here's what you likely don't know:
Thermal Desorption Treatment site of PCB-Contaminated Soil, PCB, DDT, Asbestos, Sludge and other hazardous materials brought in to be burned for nearly two decades, maybe more.

Now, the Navy is leaving and wants it off their books and off their inventory. Is what they plan to do sufficient considering future use, site natural, cultural, ecological geography and history?

Navy Contractor Toxic Disposal Plan

Stockpiling of Asbestos, PCB and other toxic chemicals for 14 years (or more) without any analysis of heavy rains washing the materials down subsurface karst ancient coral reef waterway channels into the Leeward beach shorelines used for camping, fishing, parties, endangered seals, turtles, limu, etc.

Recent studies found that high levels of lead and other heavy metals on the surface were exposed by recent rains. They very likely have been washing into the shoreline beaches and fisheries for 10-15 years at minimum.

This site is directly adjacent to a Fish & Wildlife endangered species preserve where school children are regularly taken to observe and care take the rare native plants and Opae Ula native shrimp which live in the same underground coral reef brackish water that comes directly wind borne and via subsurface water from this toxic dump.


US Fish & Wildlife Educational Center Wildlife Preserve




Opae Ula Hawaiian Fresh Water Shrimp

Karst ponds and underground channels act as storm drains during heavy rains.

The Navy wants to treat the site by covering it up with more soil, but environmental watchdogs say that's not enough.

A Kapolei landfill is more hazardous than initially thought as clean up options, costs vary
 Ric Daysog, Hawaii News Now


"If they were going to do anything, they should seal it up and treat it like a Brownfield site," Carroll Cox of Envirowatch Inc. said. (Ric Daysog, HNN Story)



Ewa Plain Karst Water System as also found worldwide




Surface water is found nearly year around because site is WW-II quarry



William Cole, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, interview with HCDA director Tony Ching

This site is an identifiable ancient natural karst pond and wetlands and ancient Hawaiian habitation area. It was identified as wetlands and ancient Hawaiian sites in the major 1999 Tuggles research down for the closing of the Naval Air Station Barbers point.


Thermal Desorption Treatment of PCB-Contaminated Soil.
Former Naval Air Station Barbers Point. Oahu, Hawaii.
Department of the Navy.

An estimated 26,306 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil from 100 sites
at various Navy installations on Oahu were sent to the site for treatment.
Soil from 21 sites totaling more than 5,600 cubic yards had been excavated and
processed through the NAVFAC Kalaeloa site (2003- to ?)

PCB Contaminated soils from military bases all over Oahu, including possibly Kaneohe MCBH where there have been lawsuits filed.

Site Used By Migratory and Endangered Hawaiian Birds

It still has visits by migratory birds, ducks. They have been gradually bulldozing
over it but water keeps appearing. It's an ancient karst water pond but they always
deny it.

Wild ducks and Hawaiian stilts seen at the dump site.
Hawaiian ae‘o (Stilt) was listed as an endangered species in 1967 under the 
Federal Endangered Species Act.


 US Fish & Wildlife Hawaiian ae‘o (Stilt) photo from Hawaii wetland site

What Chemicals Have Been Stockpiled There?

PCB- Short for polychlorinated biphenyl. A family of industrial
compounds used as lubricants, heat-transfer fluids, and plasticizers. The
manufacture and use of PCBs has been restricted since the 1970s because
they are very harmful to the environment, being especially deadly to fish and
invertebrates, and stay in the food chain for many years. Most of the
toxic materials came from WW-II and 50's-60's era Oahu military bases.
PCB's are found in old electric power transformers as dielectric and coolant fluids.
PCBs as definite carcinogens in humans. The maximum allowable contaminant
level in drinking water in the United States is set at zero.

The North American producer, Monsanto Company, marketed PCBs under the
trade name Aroclor from 1930 to 1977. The commercial production of PCBs started in 1929 but their use has been banned or severely restricted in many countries since the 1970s and 80s.

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), DDT and other pesticides had been shown to cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. DDE is dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene-breakdown product of DDT.

DDD (DDT) is dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline. They also are produced when coal, oil, gas, wood, garbage, and tobacco are burned. Cancer is a primary human health risk of exposure to PAHs.[43] Exposure to PAHs has also been linked with cardiovascular disease and poor fetal development.

Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) is a term used to describe a large family of several hundred chemical compounds that originally come from crude oil.

Also: residual sewage sludge (and what ELSE? we don't know?

Navy admits lapses in Red Hill flow studies  
By William Cole  June 24, 2017


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Health sent a June 7 letter criticizing the Navy for providing too little information on water flow modeling to determine where previously spilled fuel might end up, even though the Navy has spent almost two years on the environmental investigation.

A better understanding of groundwater flow patterns is a critical step in the investigation of contamination at Red Hill, the EPA said on its website.

“While most parties agree that groundwater generally flows from the mountains to the ocean, there are specific geologic characteristics in the area around Red Hill that may cause some groundwater to flow in directions other than directly towards the ocean,” the EPA said.


Ground water and contaminants migrate underground through karst channels to the
shore and into the sand, tide pools, limu and reef fish food chain

 http://health.hawaii.gov/wastewater/files/2015/09/OSDS_OAHU.pdf

UH Hawaii water study: On the high end (worst for waste storage) are the coral gravels 
and reef limestones (which what the Ewa Plain is). These coral reef remnants have the highest hydraulic conductivities of any formation in Hawaii with estimated values as high as
30,000 ft/d (feet a day) based on tidal response analysis (Oki et., 1996).

Other professional hydrology research shows that the twice a day tide change can be 
measured up to a mile inland beneath the Ewa Plain.

All of the toxic chemicals are either absorbed by the native birds, shrimp and plants, or they get flushed into the nearby reef and ocean.


Location of the site in Google Maps


Running out the comment clock: Started May 23 - public was not aware.
Navy says they ran notice in daily newspaper which makes it "ok"
Claim they wanted "public comment" but seem to hope they get ZERO as this was
all Under The Radar.

Is there a plan to make this a new City trash dump that has been a hot
potato for many years? Politicians want all trash and toxic substances
dumped in West Oahu and "Wild West" back roads Kalaleoa are ideal. Is this next?

Only now is there admission of a remediation plan, however these toxic
substances were trucked in from all over Oahu since 2003 and stockpiled
for disposal. How much has all the waste leaked into the porous karst
caves and channels down into the shoreline food chain of limu, reef fish,
turtles, seals etc. ? It has all been kept a secret for at least 14 years.

Only discovered two weeks ago, information about the "public notice" and
"public meeting"  was already well underway- started May 22 .


Thermal Desorption Treatment of PCB-Contaminated Soil.
Former Naval Air Station Barbers Point. Oahu, Hawaii.
Department of the Navy.

An estimated 26,306 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil from 100 sites at various Navy installations on Oahu were sent to the site for treatment. Soil from 21 sites totaling more than 5,600 cubic yards had been excavated and processed through the NAVFAC Kalaeloa site (2003- to ?)

PCB Contaminated soils from military bases all over Oahu, including Kaneohe MCBH where there have been lawsuits filed.

Site At Kalaeloa Was Freshwater Pond Before WW-II, 2003 Navy Turned It Into Turned Into PCB Toxic Dump

Still visited by migratory birds, ducks. They have been gradually bulldozing over it but water keeps appearing. It's an ancient karst water pond wetlands but the Navy denies it. 1928 air photos show it was there before WW-II Navy airfield, then after base closure was turned into toxic waster disposal site because it was so far away and out of sight. Nobody ever asked any questions.

Guam lawsuit says Navy should pay 

its share of dump cleanup

 https://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/guam-lawsuit-says-navy-should-pay-its-share-of-dump-cleanup-1.457398#.WVlyT1Fujkg

 Guam has filed a lawsuit against the Navy, claiming the service is partially responsible for
environmental contamination at a closed landfill once used for municipal and military waste.

In 2002, the U.S. government sued Guam under the Clean Water Act, saying that discharge
from the unlined and uncapped landfill was leaking into the Lonfit River and two of its tributaries, the complaint said filed by
Guam Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson.

 
This eventually led Guam to agree to close the landfill and shoulder the burden to repair the
environmental damage, which included capping the landfill, installing stormwater management ponds, discharge water storage tanks and a sewer line. That work began in 2013 and continues today.


More feedback sought for Navy’s landfill 
cleanup proposal

By William Cole wcole@staradvertiser.com


The Navy is extending the public comment period on a proposal to spend $1.2 million
to reduce potential exposure to chemicals at a Barbers Point landfill where asbestos
and burned waste were dumped between 1942 and 1997. The surface soil contains
antimony, lead and hydrocarbons that exceed state Department of Health standards, the
Navy said. The Navy is proposing to add cover material, put in place erosion control
measures and add perimeter warning signs at the site

*******************************************

Not one person in the entire community was informed about this Project Plan, including either of the two local neighborhood boards which is where nearly all community projects are presented and questions answered. No one with the Hawaii Community Development Authority were this Navy parcel is located was aware of this plan or the claimed public meeting. A call to all of the local offices of elected officials in the area revealed not one of them or their staff knew about any public meeting.


 NOT AWARE OF NAVY REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

Elected leaders of the Neighborhood Board # 34
Hawaii Community Development Authority (Governor Appointed leaders)
State Senator(s) of the district and surrounding areas
State Representative(s) of the district and surrounding areas
City Council Members of the district and surrounding areas
Adjacent Neighborhood Boards (downstream of potential PCB run-off)
Hawaiian Cultural leaders in the area
Residents of the Kalaeloa community


The Navy remediation actually only covers a small part of this dump site



Overlay shows a 1928 air photo on the closed former naval air station and the
adjacent ancient karst water ponds.




The 1928 air photo also shows the very distinctive submarine water outlets which 
created highly prolific sealife and fisheries which all feed in the rich 
freshwater nutrients - today all being killed off. 




Water stands nearly year around because the entire area was a known wetlands before
the WW-II base was built and also noted in 1943 Army engineer maps









More Suits Filed Over Fears Of Toxic Soil At 
Marine Corps Base Hawaii


Residents began to report problems with asthma, cancer and birth defects.

Navy seeks comment on waste mitigation plan

  • 16 Jun 2017
  • By William Cole wcole@staradvertiser.com

The Navy is seeking public comment on a proposal to spend $1.2 million to reduce potential exposure to chemicals at a Barbers Point landfill where asbestos and burned municipal waste were in trash dumped between 1942 and 1997. Surface soil contains antimony, lead and hydrocarbons that exceed state Department of Health action levels, the Navy said. The Navy is proposing to add cover material, put in place erosion control measures, add perimeter warning signs and conduct a review every five years at the industrial site in an old coral pit south of Runway 11 at Kalaeloa Airport.

The Barbers Point Sanitary Landfill is adjacent to the site of a 2003-04 operation to cleanse more than 44,500 cubic yards of soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that were collected from 14 military installations around Oahu. A thermal treatment plant was brought in to bake the soil at 900 degrees to remove PCBs as sludge.

A coral pit used to generate fill and road-base material in the early 1940s was subsequently used for the landfill, the Navy said. “Bagged asbestos was reportedly disposed of at the site between 1976 and 1991,” the Navy said in a synopsis of the mitigation plan. “According to historic reports, municipal waste was burned and placed in the landfill, then covered with coralline soil from a nearby coral pit. A landfill cover of compacted gravel and sand was placed over the site prior to closure in 1997 as a final waste containment measure.”

A Navy review between 1994 and 1998 indicated that chemicals of potential concern were not present in concentrations that could pose a risk, but the report was reviewed in 2011 and found to have “data gaps” over the characterization of the surface soil, the Navy said.

Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as Superfund, the Navy is responsible for the investigation and cleanup of contamination resulting from its past operations.

The landfill, consisting of about 4.8 acres, no longer is in operation, but is part of the Navy’s Solid Waste Management Facility, which takes in green waste and sewage sludge.

The landfill cover was maintained as a vegetated surface until 2009, when heavy rain caused flooding and erosion of the cover, the Navy said. Compost material was spread across the surface, but charred wood and plastic started to become visible.

The $1.2 million mitigation plan is the Navy’s “preferred” alternative among several being considered. The most expensive would be the $42 million removal and disposal of soil and debris down to 10 feet.

Ewa Beach historian John Bond said he has concerns over the contamination remaining in the ground. Army Air Corps photos from 1928 show a karst sinkhole pond mauka of the landfill site, and “anything you put in the ground there is going to leach right down into the water table and into the ocean,” he said.

Bond said the Navy mitigation plan is new to him and other community members and that further review of the alternatives is needed. The state Department of Health in December said it concurred with the Navy’s preferred plan.