Brunswick Wood Preserving Site Video Transcript
Hello, my name is Brian Farrier. I am the Environmental Protection Agency’s Project Manager for the Brunswick Wood Preserving Site here in Brunswick, GA. Brunswick Wood Preserving is a former wood treating facility that operated from 1958 to 1991. That year EPA first responded to the site and both EPA and the State of GA have conducted work over the years at this site. The current work is remedial action that is being done under Superfund’s National Priorities List. This remedial action was begun last year in 2007 and it consists of several different components, or parts, each of which we would like to talk to you about today. As part of this construction work, EPA has also taken steps to protect the health and safety both of residents who live near the facility of the site and also the health and safety of the workers that are conducting the work at the site. Now, we would like to talk about those steps that are being taken also. We look forward to sharing this information with the community in Brunswick. Thank you.
Each morning at Brunswick Wood Preserving begins with the health and safety briefing, that is conducted by EPA’s prime contractor, Black and Veatch Special Projects Corporation. Each worker doing work at the site is required to obtain their OSHA 40 hour certification for hazardous waste operations. They are also required to maintain their certification on an annual basis. While doing work at the site, each worker is also required to wear personal protective gear. This protective gear consists of a minimum of a hard hat, protective vest, and iron toe boots.
As part of the health and safety plan at Brunswick Wood Preserving, we also monitor the air quality throughout the working day. Everyday we sample air through one of the air samplers that you see next to me right here. This is one of eight air samplers that have been strategically placed around our construction activities. Every fifteen minutes an air sample is drawn in and analyzed for dust particulates and for volatile organic compounds. And this data, at the end of each day, is compared to OSHA standards for worker safety to make sure that they have not been exceeded.
Dust control is an important engineering control that EPA has implemented at the site during the work at Brunswick Wood Preserving. Each day an average of about 20,000 gallons of water is used to control dust.
In October 2005, Tropical Storm Tammy passed over the southern Georgia area, resulting in widespread flooding, including residential areas next to the Brunswick Wood Preserving site. A year and a half later, EPA held a public availability session to kick off this Remedial Action, and many public comments were submitted on behalf of making drainage improvements at the site….. what you see in front of me is improvements that have been made on the western end of the site, done as part of EPA’s Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.
Right now, you can see behind me the stockpiled materials…. that consist of the pond sediments, Burnett Creek sediments, site soils above the performance standard set for dioxin. These materials have been stockpiled in preparation for treatment as part of the solidification component of the remedy. From December 2007 until February 2008, we had a temporary shutdown of site operations, during which we conducted additional treatability studies on how best to handle this material. In order to prevent contaminant migration and control dust, it was decided that we would use a geotechnical material to cover the stockpile, both underneath and on top. What you see behind me right now is the preparation for the proper offsite disposal of that geotechnical material.
Right now I’d like to talk to you about the solidification component of the remedy at Brunswick Wood Preserving. To my right, you can see the stock piled materials that consist of the most contaminated sediments and soils that we have at the site. This includes the pond sediments that were excavated that I talked to you about earlier, the old waste cell that was contaminated with copper chromium arsenic, the site soils above the dioxin performance standard of one part per billion, and these materials are stockpiled over here to my right in preparation for treatment. There is a power screen with a power screener that removes debris that you can see to my left. Over here, uh, this material will be placed underneath the subcaps of the ponds on either end of the site. What you see behind me right now is the contaminated materials after they have been power screened and after they have been mixed with 10% fly ash. After the mixing with the fly ash, these materials are now ready to be taken to the pugmill so that they can be mixed with 10% Portland cement, after which they will be placed on either end of the site as part of the subcaps that are planned for this remedy.
As part of the current work that we have been talking about, EPA also addressed sediments at Burnett Creek, in particular, we excavated two areas of the creek. The first is where the creek meets Perry Lane Road. Sediments here were excavated in between Perry Lane Road and the railroad trestle just shortly downstream. We also excavated a second area of the creek shortly downstream. Sediments from that area, and here, were both placed in the stockpile to be treated and placed as part of the subcaps at Brunswick Wood Preserving.
During the years that Brunswick Wood Preserving was in operation, creosote was often discharged into Burnett Creek where it meets Perry Lane Road. The concrete piping that was used for this purpose has been excavated as part of the current work and what you see behind me is preparation for the onsite disposal of this concrete. It will be placed underneath the subcap on the eastern end of the site.
Behind me, right now, you can see the old creosote pond that has been designated number 2 on the western end of the site. When EPA began this work in the summer of 2007, it was recognized that cost savings could be realized due to the drought conditions that existed at that time. These ponds had to be de-watered with the water filtered through a carbon filtration unit. After the dewatering was conducted, the ponds were then excavated of their soft sediments. These pond sediments were then taken to a central area of the site to be stockpiled for treatment later on. After the excavation was done, the ponds were then backfilled with site soils that were less than the performance standard set for dioxin. And then, subcaps were built on top of the ponds which I will be talking to you about in a little while.
Right now, I’m standing on the western end of the site next to the old creosote pond that has been designated number 1. You can see the subcap that has been built on the number 1 pond. These subcaps consist of treated materials from the solidification component of the remedy. The subcaps are three feet thick, and they serve several purposes. In addition to preventing exposure to the contamination underneath, they also prevent rainfall leaching through the top, and they also provide a physical barrier to breaching in the future. These subcaps consist of 10% Portland cement which is also used to make concrete. The remedy that EPA is building at this site can be likened to a tin can. The top of the can consists of the subcap and the engineered cap that will be placed on top of that. The slurry walls will act as the sides of the can, and then Mother Nature has provided a geological barrier at about 50 to 65 feet thick that will serve as the bottom of the can, if you will. As I said, these subcaps are 3 feet thick. They have been built over both the number one pond behind me. And, they have also been built to the same grade as the number 2 pond over here to my left. The slurry wall on this end of the site will encompass both the number 1 and number 2 ponds. Also, behind me, you see a little dip in the grade which is holding standing water. That is where the old railroad spurs used to be that the state of GA put in in ’97. There also used to be a railroad spur that connected the eastern railroad to the western railroad. And, what EPA has done here will accommodate the potential re-use of the new rail spur that will expedite a future land use for this property.
Right now, I’m standing on the subcap on the eastern end of the site. After the subcap is built, we then proceed to building the barrier wall to depths of 50-65 feet beneath ground surface. Remember, when earlier I talked about how the remedy we’re building at the Brunswick Wood Preserving site can be compared to a tin can. The subcaps represent the top of the can, the barrier wall represents the sides of the can, these barrier walls are tied into the geology that will prevent downward migration of contaminants, basically acting as the bottom of the can.
Right now, I would like to give a little bit closer look at the barrier wall that is being built on the eastern end of the site. As I said, these trenches are dug to depths up to 5-65 feet beneath ground surface. The trench is held open by a bentonite clay slurry mix. Later, this slurry will be displaced by a soil-bentonite backfill that will act as the contents of the barrier wall that will prevent outward contaminant migration.
As you can see here, I’m walking through the bentonite backfill area. A little bit muddy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the video that we’ve made of the Brunswick Wood Preserving site. We’ve talked about many of the activities that EPA is taking at the site to clean it up, and we hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as we’ve enjoyed making the video for you. If you have any questions about any of the health and safety aspects or about any of the remedial actions that EPA has taken, we encourage you to contact EPA. We have an 800 number, that number is 800-435-9234. You may also contact me via email. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much for watching.