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Site Report: ADNR Former Head Start Bldg - Ruby

Site Name: ADNR Former Head Start Bldg - Ruby
Address: Good Time Road, Ruby, AK 99768
File Number: 870.38.004
Hazard ID: 26137
Status: Active
Staff: Robert Burgess, 9074512153
Latitude: 64.739232
Longitude: -155.489024
Horizontal Datum:WGS84

We make every effort to ensure the data presented here is accurate based on the best available information currently on file with DEC. It is therefore subject to change as new information becomes available. We recommend contacting the assigned project staff prior to making decisions based on this information.


Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff conducted an inspection of a state-owned parcel in Ruby known as the Old Head Start Building - it is reported by DNR that DNR owns both building and land. During the routine inspection strong petroleum and chemical odors were noted near a crushed pipe believed to be part of an abandoned fuel oil tank on the north side of the building. Odors were noted from the crawl space under the west side of the building. Historic notes from DNR indicate that contamination was released at this site prior to leasing the building, and that it may have contaminated the structure itself (reference to a 12/20/1981 DNR field report of a 'fuel soaked floor.'). It is not certain if any cleanup activities were ever conducted at this site before the City leased the property. Analytical sampling has not yet been conducted to determine contaminant concentrations. DNR refused to continue or extend lease as a result of their observations.

Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
10/2/2013 Spill Transferred from Prevention Preparedness and Response Program Spill transferred by PERP staff Patrik Sartz. Spill no. 13309916803; spill date = 6/17/13; substance = unknown; quantity = unknown; PERP file no. 870.02.006. Mitzi Read
10/22/2013 Site Added to Database A new site has been added to the database Mitzi Read
10/22/2013 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking with ETM completed for source area id: 79529 name: ADNR Former Head Start Bldg - Ruby Mitzi Read
10/23/2013 Update or Other Action A review of the records from DNR led to this summary. DNR issued letter of entry to City of Ruby in 1980, and reportedly a lease for the property in 1981; however, the City was not interested in leasing the building as of April 1981. However, the City allowed the Tanana Chiefs Conference to use the site in 1981 for Headstart school function (it is not certain that this is the same building). DNR records from Dec 1981 indicate that contamination was identified at the primary structure resulting from vandalism (Dec 1981) with a fuel soaked floor documented. In 1981-82, the buildings were actually designated for demolition, but this did not occur. Further use of the site was documented after 1989 - no clarification on any actions taken by DNR on the pre-existing contamination reported in 1981. It is further not clear how the old impacts relate to new impacts that were identified in 2013 by DNR staff where a broken fuel pipe was observed, and fuel/chemical odors were noted in the vicinity of the piping and beneath the structure in the crawl space. John Carnahan
4/22/2015 Meeting or Teleconference Held Stakeholder meeting with the City of Ruby, Ruby Tribal Council, DNR, and DEC. Additional information about the building history and potential contamination issues were discussed, as well as paths forward and using DBAC funding to address exposure risks. Robert Burgess
6/25/2015 Brownfields Award ADEC notified ADNR of selection for DEC Brownfield Assessment and Cleanup (DBAC) Service for SFY 2016. The requested services include: hazardous building materials survey, assessment with soil sampling and a Property Cleanup Work Plan. Lisa Griswold
7/23/2015 Update or Other Action Notice to Proceed issued to consultant. Scope of work includes soil sampling around and beneath the building, hazardous building materials survey, reporting on potential exposure risks from building use, and recommendations for mitigating exposure. Robert Burgess
7/30/2015 Meeting or Teleconference Held Stakeholder meeting with City of Ruby, Ruby Tribal Council, DNR, ADEC, and consultants Ahtna Engineering and Arctic Data Services, LLC. The scope of work and schedule were presented and discussed to ensure that the goals and scope of work are clear and satisfactory to all stakeholders. Robert Burgess
8/11/2015 Update or Other Action Arctic Data Services, LLC visited the site to perform an initial inspection of the property and building, including using a photoionization detector (PID) to search for fuel-soaked flooring as well as a hazardous building material survey. Interviews with residents and the Tribal Council were also conducted during this visit. Robert Burgess
9/9/2015 Report or Workplan Review - Other DEC received and reviewed the hazardous building material survey report for the Ruby Headstart Building. The report indicates that non-friable asbestos containing materials are present in the flooring of the building as well as some sheetrock mud in the furnace room. Robert Burgess
9/18/2015 Report or Workplan Review - Other DEC reviewed and approved the Ruby Former Headstart Building Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan Work Plan, which describes soil sampling activities around the building and in the crawl space, as well as crawl space ventilation for contaminant vapor mitigation. Robert Burgess
4/19/2016 Report or Workplan Review - Other DEC received the draft Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan (PACP) report from Ahtna. The report details the location of known contamination and provides basic cost estimates for proposed cleanup of petroleum contaminated soil. Robert Burgess
5/19/2016 Update or Other Action Community Relations Plan and Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives documents were reviewed and approved by the EPA. Robert Burgess
5/26/2016 Public Notice Public notice was posted to begin the Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) 30-day comment period. ABCA was posted online and at the offices of the City of Ruby and the Ruby Tribal Council. Public meeting was scheduled for June 16 at 4 PM. Robert Burgess
6/9/2016 Site Characterization Report Approved DEC reviewed and approved the Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan (PACP) report submitted by Ahtna Engineering. The report documents two areas of petroleum contamination in soil, one around the underground heating oil tank and another at the location of a former above-ground heating oil tank; estimates a total of 430 cubic yards of contaminated soil; and proposes ex situ phytoremediation as the remedial method. Robert Burgess
6/22/2016 Site Visit DEC project manager visited the site with DEC's contractor and DNR's representative to observe locations of contaminated soil and work performed to install vents on crawl space skirting. Robert Burgess
6/22/2016 Meeting or Teleconference Held Public meeting was held to discuss the Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives. Community was supportive of proposed remediation via ex situ rhizoremediation. Concerns expressed included noise and smell during work and possible runoff into stream near proposed treatment area. Roughly 20 people attended the meeting including some elders, tribal council members, and representatives of the city. Robert Burgess
7/6/2016 Update or Other Action Final Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives document incorporating public comments was approved by the EPA. Robert Burgess
9/7/2016 Update or Other Action A new treatment plot location was selected due to concerns regarding access. The City of Ruby owns the location in question and a request for access will be sent to the City from DEC. Robert Burgess
9/14/2016 Update or Other Action DEC received a signed access agreement from Ruby's mayor approving the use of the proposed location of the phytoremediation plot, which is on city-owned land adjacent to the air strip. Robert Burgess
9/21/2016 Cleanup Plan Approved DEC reviewed and approved the Former Headstart Building Brownfield Property Cleanup Work Plan (Draft) submitted by Ahtna Engineering Services, LLC in partnership with Arctic Data Services, LLC. The plan describes the removal and disposal of a buried heating oil tank and its contents, the excavation of soil from the Headstart Building property, and the construction and maintenance of a phytoremediation plot to treat contaminated soil. Robert Burgess
10/11/2016 Update or Other Action DEC received an update from Ahtna and Arctic Data Services (ADS). ADS was onsite conducting the removal and setup of the phytoremediation treatment plot on September 27 through October 7. Excavation proceeded in the two areas of known soil contamination; the underground heating oil tank was removed, demolished, and disposed. The treatment plot location was not as flat as expected so a total of three small plots had to be set up in order to fit the excavated soil. Because of space limitations, the excavation did not remove all of the contaminated soil, however the top 4-6 feet of contamination was removed. Grass and willows were planted in the remedial plots to begin phytoremediation treatment. Robert Burgess
10/28/2016 Update or Other Action Preliminary results from soil sampling during excavation and remedial plot setup were received. Consultants report that all contaminants detected were below human health levels with the exception of diesel range organics, which was detected above inhalation levels at two locations, including the excavation sidewall beneath the building, where soil cannot be removed due to compromising building integrity, and at a single location at the base of the above-ground tank excavation. Robert Burgess
9/20/2017 Report or Workplan Review - Other DEC received the final Soil Remediation Plan, which reports on the setup of three phytoremediation plots and describes plans for their maintenance. Checklists were included with the plan so to facilitate maintenance by City of Ruby employees or other locals. Robert Burgess
9/20/2017 Final Cleanup Report Reviewed DEC reviewed the Brownfield Cleanup Report describing the excavation of petroleum contaminated soil, removal and disposal of an underground heating oil tank, and the setup of phytoremediation treatment plots. The report documents that some contamination was left in place in the subsurface, due to project constraints including available space for treatment plots. The conceptual site model indicates that the remaining contamination could present an exposure risk in the future, if the soil is excavated, and recommends the use of institutional controls to prevent exposure in the future. Although groundwater was not sampled during this project, current understanding of contaminant distribution, hydrologic connections, and site use indicate that the exposure risk, if any, is minimal. Robert Burgess
12/20/2017 Update or Other Action DEC and DNR project managers met with Arctic Data Services to discuss treatment plot status and long-term maintenance. Willow survival was reportedly low, particularly in one treatment plot, and likely due to inadequate moisture. DNR and DEC are in the process of finding funding to set up an irrigation system that can be used to enhance phytoremediation and plant survival. Plans are to design and install the irrigation system in the spring/summer of 2018, and to re-plant plots with additional willow cuttings. Robert Burgess
2/4/2019 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking A new updated ranking with ETM has been completed for source area 79529 Heating Oil Tanks. Megan Roberts

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