General Information

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Groundwater Protection Group

The Groundwater Protection Group (formerly know as the Long Term Response Action (LTRA) Group) was formed in 2004 as part of the Environmental Protection Division. The GPG Group is responsible for the long-term surveillance, monitoring, maintenance, operating, reporting, and community involvement activities required to complete the CERCLA environmental cleanup activities at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

The mission of the Laboratory’s Groundwater Protection Program is to protect and restore the aquifer system at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The four key elements that make up the program are:

  • Pollution prevention – preventing the potential pollution of groundwater at the source.
  • Monitoring - monitoring the effectiveness of pollution-prevention efforts, as well as progress in restoring the quality of degraded groundwater.
  • Restoration - restoring groundwater quality that BNL has impacted.
  • Communication - communicating the findings and the results of the program to regulators and other stakeholders.

The Laboratory has implemented aggressive pollution prevention measures to protect groundwater resources. An extensive groundwater monitoring well network is used to verify that prevention and restoration activities are effective. As of December 2010 there were 13 groundwater treatment systems in operation, one groundwater treatment system in stand-by mode, and two groundwater treatment systems that had been decommissioned. From the beginning of active groundwater remediation in December 1996 through December 2010, the Laboratory has removed 6,553 pounds of volatile organic compounds by treating over 17 billion gallons of groundwater. In addition to the volatile organic compounds, two additional groundwater treatment systems have removed approximately 23 millicuries of strontium-90, while remediating approximately 79 million gallons of groundwater. During March 2012, a fourteenth volatile organic compound treatment system began start-up testing.

The Community Relations Office has put together a timeline of environmental cleanup activity at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Environmental Timeline provides an online location for easy access to historical information on the environment at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The timeline can be found here.

Ongoing Projects

Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Groundwater Protection Management Program is made up of four elements: prevention, monitoring, restoration, and communication. The Laboratory has implemented aggressive pollution prevention measures to protect groundwater resources. An extensive groundwater monitoring well network is used to verify that prevention and restoration activities are effective. More »

A number of soil remediation projects have been completed at BNL including the Current and Former Landfills, the Peconic River sediments, Chemical pits, Animal Pits and Glass Holes, the former Hazardous waste Management Facility (FHWMF), Buildings 650 and 811, Landscape Soils, etc. Land use and institutional controls are currently in place to protect both the remedy and exposure to any residual contamination. More »

Land use and institutional controls (LUICs) have been deployed at Brookhaven National Laboratory to prevent exposure to environmental contamination and to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the environmental cleanup remedies. LUICs, along with other mitigating or preventive measures as necessary, have been implemented to ensure that if one control temporarily fails, other controls will be in place, or actions will be taken, to mitigate consequences resulting from the failure. LUICs will be maintained for as long as necessary in order to ensure performance of the completed remedies as described and documented in the BNL Records of Decision (RODs). More »

The first comprehensive site-wide Five-Year Review Report of all the remediation work at BNL was released in 2006. A subsequent Five-Year Review Report was issued in 2011.

The mission of the Environmental Information Management System (EIMS) is to store, manage, protect, retrieve, interpret and archive Brookhaven National Laboratory’s environmental data. The goal of all EIMS activities is to provide timely access by its stakeholders to high-quality data. The EIMS originated in 1993 as a database to store environmental characterization data generated by the Laboratory’s Environmental Restoration program as part of its Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) activities. As the program expanded, this database was integrated with a geographic information system (GIS) to add data analysis and graphical representation capabilities. Data were brought together from many sources, including other BNL divisions (Plant Engineering (PE) and Safety and Environmental Protection) and Federal, State, and local government offices. In 1999 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) declared the EIMS to be mission-essential. In 2000, as part of the BNL Groundwater Protection Implementation and Integration Plan, the EIMS became the direct repository not only for CERCLA data but also for routine site monitoring data gathered by the Environmental Protection Division.

BNL has implemented long term surveillance and maintenance (S&M) programs to manage the inventory of radioisotopes remaining at the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) and the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor (BGRR) complexes and to ensure that the complexes are maintained in safe conditions. More »