The Army Corps of Engineers plans to conduct soil sampling and related surveys later this year at the former Brush Beryllium site near the Village of Luckey as part of an ongoing remedial program for the 40-acre parcel located at 21200 Luckey Road.
Also, sampling of groundwater monitoring wells, which is performed annually, is scheduled for this month under rules set by the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program, said Duane Lenhardt, project manager for the Luckey site.
“Later this year, we will further define the extent of the FUSRAP-related soil contamination on the site by performing soil sampling and geophysical and topographic surveys,” Lenhardt said, adding results from the testing will provide the Corps with the necessary data to enter what is called the remedial design phase of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
“This data is required to complete our remedial design, update the estimated cost associated with the cleanup, and proceed to environmental remediation,” he said.
Completion of the field studies is scheduled for the end of the year.
The Corps announced last month it will use $1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds at the Luckey site to conduct the data collection and prepare remediation cost estimates.
A contract for $719,394 for the work was awarded to TPMC-Energy Solutions Environmental Services, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
In 2008, the Corps approved a groundwater monitoring plan for the Luckey site, which became contaminated during the federal government’s venture into atomic energy and weaponry.
Sampling of groundwater wells for beryllium, lead, and uranium was implemented to determine when test results would show a trend that indicates safe drinking water standards have been met.
The Corps has contended the site poses no immediate risk to human health.
In July, 2006, the Corps approved a soil remediation plan for the site to excavate and remove soil contaminated with beryllium, lead, Radium-226, Thorium-230, Uranium-234, and Uranium-238.
The clean-up is scheduled to begin in 2010, depending on the availability of funds.
The Luckey site is one of 21 throughout the country to be placed in the remedial action program.
According to a history of the site compiled by the Corps, a magnesium processing facility was built at the site in 1942 on what was then federal land. National Lead operated the facility for the government during World War II. In 1949, the Atomic Energy Commission built a beryllium plant at the site where Brush Beryllium Co. (later Brush Wellman) produced beryllium oxide and beryllium pebbles.
In late 1951 and early 1952, the AEC sent about 1,000 tons of radioactive contaminated scrap metal to the site, anticipating a resumption of magnesium processing at the facility.
The scrap, which contained radioactivity within guidelines at the time, was stored at the site but not used in processing. In 1959, the AEC contracted with Brush Beryllium to close the facility. A two-acre dike-enclosed landfill was constructed on the northeast corner of the property and sludge material from three lagoons was moved to the landfill.