EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a $36 million, nine-year contract to a Massachusetts firm to continue a Superfund cleanup at the William J. Hughes Technical Center.
The FAA is funding the effort, which also encompasses property at Atlantic City International Airport and facilities of the New Jersey Air National Guard.
The property was designated a National Priority Listed hazardous waste site in 1990, in the early years of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program, FAA spokesman Rick Breitenfeldt said.
More than 30 areas of concern have been identified at the 5,000-acre site, according to the firm that won the contract, TRC of Lowell, Massachusetts.
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It is the firm that has been serving as the FAA’s engineering contractor there since 1986.
Materials known to contaminate parts of the site are aviation fuels, pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs, mercury and emerging contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. PFAS are found in firefighting foams often used in aviation facilities.
According to the EPA, the FAA has been remediating the site by pumping contaminated groundwater to a treatment plant, then back to the aquifer.
Contaminated soil and sediment have been removed or covered to prevent exposure, according to EPA reports. TRC will lead further remedial investigation, risk assessment and design work for the cleanup, the company said.
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Pollution was first documented there by the state Department of Environmental Protection in 1983, when it assessed groundwater pollution ahead of developing a drinking water well field nearby.
When asked how the FAA is protecting nearby drinking water sources for the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority, such as the Doughty Pond Dam Reservoir, Breitenfeldt wrote in an email that the FAA “must maintain regulatory compliance with federal and New Jersey laws for drinking water, surface water, underground storage tanks, storm water management, air pollution, environmental assessments, spill prevention, migratory birds, wetlands and floodplains, endangered and threatened species, waste reduction and hazardous waste management.”
No one from the ACMUA could be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
The contract is a continuation of previous contracts to monitor soil and groundwater in parts of the Technical Center’s 5,059-acre property, according to the FAA.
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The contract was actually awarded last year, Breitenfeldt said.
TRC said it will also perform groundwater and surface water modeling, wetlands and hydrology monitoring, hydrogeological and engineering studies, long-term groundwater and seep sampling, ecological and human health risk assessments, and natural resources damage assessments.
A naval air base was constructed on the site in 1942, and since then it has been used as an airport, aviation research facility and home to the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard.