The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the Pease Air Force Base (AFB) Groundwater Treatment Team with its Federal Facility Response Outstanding Achievement team award, citing the comprehensive efforts taken to protect public health and the community near Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Seven years ago, the US Air Force contracted Wood to assess potential PFAS contamination at 39 former military bases with a history of use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). Today, one of those locations is a booming economic hub that includes an international airport and a business park with offices, retail stores, children’s daycare, and thousands of workers. From 1956 to 1991, it was home to Pease AFB and, in 2014, a public water supply well was shut down after sampling detected elevated levels of unregulated PFAS substances.
In the six years since then, we have brought in hundreds of specialists from across Wood, collected 4,500+ samples, and designed and constructed two innovative groundwater treatment plants to treat the site contamination.
The award from EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management cites the “extraordinary efforts” undertaken to ensure construction of the two systems, which are able to treat upwards of 350 million gallons of contaminated groundwater annually. The citation called it “a monumental task” since the hydrogeology of the area is exceptionally complicated and the impacted supply well was located directly in the middle of the active airport’s runway. It said, “These treatment systems ensure the long-term safety of the Pease drinking water sources, as well as preserve and further the extensive redevelopment at the Pease International Tradeport.”
Joe Sczurko, CEO of Wood’s Technical Consulting Solutions business, says this federal award is tremendous recognition for the work of our team, on behalf of our long-term client – the US Air Force as well as the EPA and the NHDES. “Innovative solutions to identify, address and remediate emerging contaminants are an important part of our business and the value we add to clients as they manage their risks and protect their assets. This project, and the excellent work by our team, demonstrates the trust and confidence that our clients have in us, particularly given the importance of reassuring local communities that both land and water contamination are being addressed.”
Our team, which has remained onsite even during the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to complete its work at Pease in 2022.
Learn more about the project here.