Monitoring the Cleanup
Once the environmental cleanup projects were completed – such as removing and disposing of contaminated tanks and soils, lining and covering landfills, and installing groundwater treatment systems – the projects are turned over to the Lab’s Groundwater Protection Group (GPG). This organization is responsible for long-term surveillance, monitoring, maintenance, operating, reporting, and community involvement activities. They make certain that the cleanup has been and continues to be effective, and that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act environmental cleanup activities at Brookhaven National Laboratory comply with the Record of Decision (ROD) for each project. (A ROD documents the selected remedies that were agreed to by the Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.)
Projects currently being monitored by GPG include groundwater and soils projects, the Peconic River, the BGRR, and the HFBR. Land use and institutional controls identified for these projects are also monitored and inspected to assure compliance with the selected remedies in the RODs. The monitoring results are made available to the regulators during monthly teleconference calls, in presentations to the Community Advisory Council during their monthly meetings, and to the community in the annual Site Environmental and Groundwater Reports.
The Five-Year Review
In 2006, the Department of Energy and the Lab conducted the first comprehensive Five-Year Review for cleanup work performed at the Brookhaven Lab site. Site-wide reviews will be conducted every five years to determine if the remedies for the cleanup remain in accordance with the Record of Decision documents. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concurred that the remedies selected and implemented to date, as reported in this Five-Year Review, are protective of human health and the environment.