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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Diem

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality discusses contaminant cleanup fund for Tucson sites

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) hosted a virtual Community Advisory Board (CAB) meeting on September 15 to discuss the progress of the already implemented remedies and the Record of Decision (ROD) that was issued for the cleanup of contaminants at some of the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) sites in Tucson.

The WQARF Program aids ADEQ in resolving threats of contamination in both soil and groundwater for sites in Arizona.

Mary McGillicuddy, the ADEQ Community Involvement Coordinator, held the meeting for the Tucson sites that include Park Euclid, Seventh Street and Arizona Avenue, and Stone Avenue and Grant Road.

The Park Euclid site update was presented by ADEQ’s Project Manager, Mary Charlson. The remedial objective of the site is “to restore soil conditions to the remediation standards for non-residential use for the Contaminants of Concern (COC) identified at the site,” Charlson said, and to protect current and future use of the groundwater supply.

The remedial technologies selected for the site are Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA), Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) and potentially wellhead treatment if the impact broadens.

The site is currently at the ROD step as of June of this year, but according to Caroline Oppleman, the Communications Director for ADEQ, the “SVE treatment was initiated at the site as an Early Response Action in 2019.”

Josh Campbell, the Project Manager for the Remedial Projects Unit, presented the progress for the Seventh Street and Arizona Avenue site.

The site is currently at the Implementation of Remedy and Operation and Maintenance stages, but the sampling “can get into single digits of concentrations,” Campbell said, which is major progress for the time that the remedy has been implemented

The cost of remediation so far has been $2.88 million, which includes work that has been conducted from April 2000 to June 2021, and the projected costs for Fiscal Year 2022 sum to $140,000.

According to Project Manager Gianna Trujillo, the Stone Avenue and Grant Road site has two combined properties that are currently at the Implementation of Remedy and Operation and Maintenance stages.

Property A’s SVE has been operational since 2017 and Property B’s SVE site has been installed but will not be operational until it receives power.

In October 2020 both the groundwater and soil vapor were monitored for trends and to ensure no impacts to regional groundwater.

The 2022 Fiscal Year anticipates SVE operations on both Property A and B, soil vapor sampling quarterly for site A and monthly for site B, groundwater sampling annually and indoor air sampling in January and May.

The meeting also included some “housekeeping” items during which the CAB unanimously voted to instate Jacky Turchick as the new co-chair and to reinstate Bill Richards to continue another term as the other co-chair.

The CAB majority voted in favor of McGillicuddy’s suggestion for the revision of the termination section of the Charter Document.

McGillicuddy suggested, “the charter will be terminated when all the sites have met the remedial objectives outlined in the Record of Decision, or by majority vote of the CAB.”

Until the remedial objectives are met and before the charter can be terminated, the CAB will meet when necessary to report the hopefully positive progress at each Tucson site.

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