Barnstable County Shares the Next Phase in an On-going Commitment to PFAS Mitigation
The second phase in a strategic roadmap was presented to the community on June 9
Barnstable County hosted its second PFAS Public Information Planning meeting on June 9, 2022, which the state requires as part of a PFAS mitigation strategy connected to firefighting foams used at the former Barnstable County Fire and Rescue Training Academy and their contamination to groundwater.
The virtual public meeting was held yesterday at 5:30 PM, and representatives from the Environmental Consulting Group BETA presented the final Phase II Comprehensive Site Assessment (CSA) Scope of Work. The public meeting also described the capping and demolition of the former Fire Training Academy site and provided an overall update on the groundwater conditions across the site.
A recording of the virtual meeting can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/KwEOzQpkMys
Phase II CSA Scope of Work has been significantly revised and expanded after public comments were received in response to its draft submitted for public comment in July last year. The first public information meeting was held on August 18, 2021, and can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/SlIFLpex7Ec
“We are pleased to facilitate this presentation to share our progress and plans moving forward to assess and cleanup,” said Beth Albert, County Administrator. “We also value the chance to hear feedback from different perspectives. Our next public meeting to present our progress is being planned for September.”
According to Roger Thibault, Project Manager at Beta, “There are numerous phases of work to assess and clean up PFAS contamination under the MassDEP regulations. We are entering Phase II of the Comprehensive Site Assessment (CSA). During this phase, we will be assessing how far and where the PFAS contamination has traveled with the groundwater and how it has impacted the adjacent pond and other small ponds in the immediate area.”
About PFAS and Contamination of former Barnstable County Fire and Rescue Training Academy (FTA)
PFAS is a collective term for a class of compounds – poly and perfluoralkyl substances present in a wide range of consumer products such as nonstick products, polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and firefighting foams.
PFAS-based firefighting foams have been widely used by the military, fire training centers, and airports for five decades and are one of the most significant sources of water contamination from toxic fluorinated chemicals. Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. Long-term exposure to PFAS/PFOA/PFOS, in high concentrations, causes a buildup in the body. This buildup may have severe and adverse health effects. Many states and countries are banning PFAS.
The former Barnstable County Fire and Rescue Training Academy (FTA) site is believed to be the source of groundwater contamination due to the use of firefighting foams from the 1970s to 2009. Unknown to all, PFAS in the foams were contaminating the soil at the FTA, the groundwater beneath and downgradient of the facility, and Flintrock Pond directly to the west of the FTA. The PFAS release is regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, the environmental regulations that govern the assessment and cleanup of uncontrolled releases of oil or hazardous materials.