FHWMF Above-grade Structures Removed

June 2003

FHWMF Above-grade Structures Removed

Demolition crews dismantle landmark incinerator at the FHWMF

Background

The Former Hazardous Waste Management Facility (FHWMF) is located on 12 acres in the southeastern portion of the BNL site. Buildings and pavement covered approximately 3 acres of the facility.

The FHWMF was used from the 1940s to 1997 as the central receiving facility for processing, limited treatment (neutralization), and storage of radioactive waste, hazardous waste, and mixed waste. The facility operated as a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permitted facility from 1992 until it closed in 1998.

As the result of several spills of hazardous and radioactive materials during operations, soil and groundwater became contaminated with cesium-137, radium-226, strontium-90, mercury, and lead. The soils in a small wetland adjacent to the facility were also contaminated with cesium-137 from runoff from the FHWMF.

Description of Cleanup

Cleanup began with a 1996 Remedial Investigation that identified unacceptable levels of cesium-137 and strontium-90 in the soils at the FHWMF. During the summer of 2003, eight buildings and structures that had been used for chemical and radioactive operations and storage were demolished. The debris was disposed of at a licensed disposal facility in Utah. The remaining concrete slab foundations were decontaminated.

In August 2004, approximately 15,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and below-grade structures were excavated and transported off-site via rail cars.

The three-quarter acre wetland, which was identified as a Tiger Salamander breeding pond, was also remediated in 2004. During the late summer and early fall, approximately 30 cubic yards of contaminated soil were excavated. The wetland was restored with clean fill and revegetated.

The area will be monitored until cleanup goals are reached in 50 years.