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Site Report: ARRC Gold Creek Derailment


Site Name: ARRC Gold Creek Derailment
Address: ARRC Milepost 262, 40 Mi. North of Talkeetna, Talkeetna, AK 99676
File Number: 2225.38.001
Hazard ID: 3181
Status: Cleanup Complete - Institutional Controls
Staff: Grant Lidren, 9072698685 grant.lidren@alaska.gov
Latitude: 62.764167
Longitude: -149.708333
Horizontal Datum:

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.

Problems/Comments

The release of approximately 120,516 gallons of jet-A-fuel occurred on December 22, 1999. ARRC and its contractors implemented emergency response actions, with oversight by the ADEC. The response efforts included attempts to recover as much of the spilled fuel product as possible before it infiltrated into the ground. It was estimated that 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of product were recovered. The emergency response action transitioned into a site remediation effort designed to manage the remaining contamination in a manner so that it does not pose a risk to human health or the environment.The contaminants of concern at the site are diesel range organics (DRO), gasoline range organics (GRO), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) in the soil and groundwater. The soil contaminant levels exceed regulatory levels in the area of the spill site and impacts are from the surface down to the groundwater table. There is also free phase and dissolved phase contamination in the groundwater defined in the investigative reports. The surface water samples collected from the Susitna River did not detect any violation of water quality standards. Monitoring conducted at Gold Creek in 2006 indictes that hydrocarbon constituents are biodegraded to concentration below risk based drinking water levels- up gradient of the "Madonna Loop" senitinel monitoring wells. The 2006 water quality data appear to support the recommendation for "monitored natural attenuation and with institutional controls" as the long term management/remedial approach for the Gold Creek site. Ongoing remediation and monitoring. Adjacent Landowner contact: ADNR Dale Bingham. Near railstop called Gold Creek; Mat-Su Borough.

Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
3/8/2001 Update or Other Action Creek January 2001 Fieldwork Results containg 3 maps from Geosphere, Inc. Report dated March 6, 2001 recieved March 8, 2001Gold Renee Evans
5/9/2001 Update or Other Action Geosphere, Inc. Gold Creek April 2001 Fieldwork results w/ two maps Renee Evans
6/18/2001 Update or Other Action Summer 2001 monitoring plan received. Approximately 15 new monitoring wells are proposed to be installed. The monitoring will include surface and groundwater samples to further characterize the site. Renee Evans
6/18/2001 Site Characterization Workplan Approved Summer 2001 monitoring/characterization plan approved with condition to ensure existing sentinel wells are constructed in accordance with ADEC standards. Renee Evans
7/6/2001 Update or Other Action Geosphere Inc. Gold Creek, May 2001 groundwater sampling results Renee Evans
8/21/2001 Site Added to Database Wave of Jet Fuel. Bruce Wanstall
8/22/2001 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Site ranked - high priority. Renee Evans
9/17/2001 Update or Other Action Gold Creek, June & July 2001 Groundwater Sampling Results recieved 9/20/2001. Groundwater samples were analyzed for free prouct thickness and measured groundwater elevations in selected MWs Renee Evans
11/30/2001 Update or Other Action Geosphere Inc., Gold Creek August 2001 Groundwater Sampling Results. Measured free product thickness and measured GW elevations data presented on two maps. Renee Evans
3/21/2002 Meeting or Teleconference Held Meeting with AG's, DNR-Parks, and PERP regarding NRDA and Civil Penalties. Renee Evans
4/12/2002 Update or Other Action Grounding monitoring information and Fate and Transport Modeling received. Renee Evans
5/21/2002 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere which covers the April 2002 monitoring event. See report for details. Linda Nuechterlein
6/3/2002 Update or Other Action Geosphere letter responding to DEC inquiries regarding land ownership information and estimate of free phase product remaining. Free product estimate varies (2300 to 4500 gallons) with fluctuations in groundwater. Jim Frechione
8/22/2002 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere recieved by DEC on 8/27/2002. It covers the June 2002 monitoring event. See report for details. Linda Nuechterlein
9/18/2002 Update or Other Action Aoproval given for Geosphere proposal dated 9/16/02 to decommission variouis MWs and install one new MW. Linda Nuechterlein
9/30/2002 Update or Other Action Letter sent to ARRC requesting additional info/deliverables to be submitted to ADEC within 90 days to include a monitoring performance plan; FP recovery techniques; and contingency plan with criteria and design specs for active remediation. See letter for details. Linda Nuechterlein
10/30/2002 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere which covers the August 2002 monitoring event. See report for details. Linda Nuechterlein
11/13/2002 Update or Other Action Letter to ARRC requesting additional deliverable to evaluate GW parameters and provide technical rationale as to where GW use should be restricted on this site. Linda Nuechterlein
12/10/2002 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere which covers the November monitoring event. See report for details. Linda Nuechterlein
12/11/2002 Update or Other Action ADEC and ARRC met to discuss status of Gold Creek cleanup and deliverables requested by ADEC to be submitted by 12/31/02. Linda Nuechterlein
12/17/2002 Update or Other Action Letter sent to ARRC granting extension for contingency plan and report until March 15, 2003. Linda Nuechterlein
2/25/2003 Meeting or Teleconference Held ADEC; ARRC and Geosphere met to discuss GW model and groundwater monitoring plan. They propose quarterly samples in 2003; three times per year in 2004; two times per year in 2005 through 2008. The contingency plan was also discussed. Jim Frechione
3/4/2003 Update or Other Action Geosphere letter regarding the model results of the capture zone related to the installation of drinking water wells in the area. Jim Frechione
3/14/2003 Update or Other Action Draft "Notice of Environmental Contamination" sent to adjacent property owners (Zeroths). Area of restricted groundwater use was identified and noted on the notice. It was agreed that the document did not have to be recorded immediately - because the property might be sold. The Zeroths agreed not to install any water wells in the restricted area during this interim period. Jim Frechione
3/28/2003 Meeting or Teleconference Held ADEC; ARRC and Geosphere met again to discuss GW model and corrective action "triggers". ARRC proposes Susitna River water quality as the 1st trigger. ADEC identified Madonna Loop wells as the trigger. Jim Frechione
7/14/2003 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere recieved by DEC on 7/22/2003 containing April 2003 GW monitor results. Jim Frechione
8/27/2003 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere and recieved by the DEC on 9/4/2003 containing June 2003 GW monitor results. The conclusion is that the free phase product is stable and dissolved phase continues to biodegrade "upgradient" of the Madonna Loop wells. Jim Frechione
11/12/2003 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere containing August 2003 Groundwater Monitoring Results. The report includes 4 maps indicating that the free product area is relatively smaller than when the spill occured. Linda Nuechterlein
2/7/2004 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere and recieved by the DEC on 5/21/2004 containing GW monitoring conducted during November 2003. Linda Nuechterlein
5/20/2004 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere, containing April 2004 Ground water monitoring results with 4 maps. Free product thickness was measured in 23 wells inside the free product footprint area. Most wells had less than 0.5 feet freeproduct with the most at 1.33 feet in well HDX5. Linda Nuechterlein
11/2/2004 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere containing results from GW monitoring conducted during June 2004. Madonna Loop wells ELV 26B (.056 ppm) and ELV 42B (.04 ppm) had detectable DRO concentrations. DRO was also detected in ELV 29 (.12 ppm) and ELV4 (.76). ELV4 also had detectable GRO at .13 ppm. Overall results from this monitoring event are similar to the previous events, in that DRO and GRO detections in all wells, including the Madonna Loop wells are below Table C, GW Cleanup Levels. Free product thickness (FP) was measured in 48 wells, four of which contained FP. However, the thickest accumulation of FP was 0.01 ft. in all four wells Linda Nuechterlein
11/16/2004 Meeting or Teleconference Held Susan Shrader (ARRC), Larry Acombe (Geosphere) met with DEC (Jim Frechione & Linda Nuechterlein) at 9:00 AM November 16, 2004 to discuss overall progress at Gold Creek and status outstanding contingency plan/ GW summary report for 2002 - 2004. The following topics were discussed during the meeting: ground water monitoring results & trends through 2004, contingency plan, trigger points, and viable remediation alternatives if needed. It was decided that Larry Acombe will complete the draft contigency plan and submit to DEC by November 30, 2004. Once DEC has had a chance to review, another meeting will be scheduled to discuss it. Linda Nuechterlein
1/28/2005 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere, containing GW monitoring conducted during Oct 2004. Madonna Loop wells ELV 26B (.16 ppm), ELV 28B (.086) and ELV 42B (.052 ppm) had detectable DRO concentrations. DRO (.65 ppm) and GRO (.060 ppm) were detected in ELV 29 and DRO was also detected in ELV57 and ELV58. ELV4 showed an increase of DRO (1.7 ppm) which exceeds Table C GW Cleanup levels. ELV4 also had detectable GRO (.15 mg/L) and Benzene (2.3 ug/L) . Although results are higher than April and June 2004, overall results from this monitoring event are similar to the previous events, in that DRO and GRO detections in all wells are below Table C, GW CU Levels with the exception of ELV 4 for DRO. Free product thickness (FP) was measured in about 26 wells inside the FP footprint, nine of which contained FP. The thickest accumulation of FP was 0.69 ft. in ELV9. Linda Nuechterlein
2/15/2005 Update or Other Action Completed review of the Gold Creek Contingency Plan submitted by Geosphere on behalf of the Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC), and forwarded comments to the ARRC. DEC is requesting the ARRC to design a contingency plan and have the resources available (or staged) for immediate response in the event the contaminant plume migrates beyond its present boundaries. ARRC has argued that the point of compliance (trigger point) for contingency action should be the Susitna River whereas DEC has established the trigger point to be the leading edge of the existing plume. This has raised discussions related to risk factors versus anti-degradation issues. Final CP due by March 11, 2005. Linda Nuechterlein
7/7/2005 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere and recieved by the DEC on 8/19/2005 containing, May 2005 Groundwater Monitoring Results. 19 MWs inside product footprint area were measured for free product thickness. Free product was detected in 16 wells. 2 of those wells showed a product thickness of over 0.5 feet. Free product detection in said wells is dependant on fluctuations in groundwater due to seasonal variations. The dissolved plume is shorter than previous monitoring events. Linda Nuechterlein
7/29/2005 GIS Position Updated GIS Position Update action was not added during site intake. Lat/long was verified and coverted to NAD83 using TopozonePro at a 1:50,000 scale with a 1:63K (AK) Series USGS topo base map. Sarah Cunningham
8/18/2005 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date submited by Geosphere containing July 2005 Groundwater Monitoring Results. Free product thickness was measured in 25 wells insides the footprint area. Free phase product was detected in 10 wells all of which contained 0.5 feet of free product or less. Hydrocarbon constituents are biodegraded to concentrations below risk based drinking water levels up-gradient of the "Madona Loop" sentinel Monitoring wells, except for one well. ELV42B had DRO above drinking water levels. DRO in the rest of the wells in the loop was not detected. A follow up trip to sample ELV42B on August 2005 was planned. Linda Nuechterlein
3/7/2006 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date, submited by Geosphere, containing August 2005 Groundwater Monitoring Results. Free product thickness was measured in 25 wells inside the free product footprint area. Free product was detected in 3 of these wells none of which had free product thickness over 0.5 feet. MW ELV4 had DRO levels above groundwater cleanup levels. BTEX was also detected, but was below groundwater cleanup levels. Linda Nuechterlein
3/9/2006 Update or Other Action GW monitoring report with this date, submited by Geosphere, containing October 2005 Groundwater Monitoring Results. submitted by Geosphere, Inc. Free product thickness was measured in 25 wells inside the free product footprint area. 5 of these wells contained free product no greater than 0.5 feet. MW ELV4 had DRO levels above groundwater cleanup levels. BTEX was also detected, but was below groundwater cleanup levels. Linda Nuechterlein
3/1/2007 Update or Other Action Gold Creek, May, August, & October 2006 Groundwater Monitoring Results submitted on 3/01/07 by Geosphere, Inc. Free product was measured in 25 wells inside the footprint area. Seasonal fluctuation fo groundwater hydrology effected varitations between the three months. In May during seasonal low water levels- 16 wells had free product, 2 of which had free product thickness over 0.5 feet. In August during seasonal high water levels- 3 wells had free product with a thickness of less than 0.5 feet. In October between high and low water levels-free product was detected in 4 wells, with none of these wells showing product thickness more than 0.5 feet. ELV30, the furthest downgradient well in the footprint area, contained no free product during all three 2006 monitoring events. Previous to the 2006 monitoring events, ELV30 did contain free product. MW4 had DRO just above groundwater clean up levels during May & August. In October, MW4 showed DRO to be below groundwater cleanup levels. BTEX was also detected in MW4, but was below groundwater cleanup levels Linda Nuechterlein
4/6/2007 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Site ranked with ETM Linda Nuechterlein
11/20/2007 Update or Other Action September 2007 groundwater monitoring report recieved from Geosphere. Free product was gauged in 25 wells within the free product footprint area and detected in one well, ELV11 at 0.02 feet. Downgradient wells that previously had contained free product contained none during htis event. DRO was detected in three downgradient monitoring wells, but only exceeded the Tabel C cleanup level in well ELV4. Linda Nuechterlein
11/20/2007 Update or Other Action AK Railroad Gold Creek site Summary Report received on this date. The overall objectives for this report as follows: to summarize GW monitoring conducted between 2002 - 2007; summarize Modflow modeling of contaminant transport at Gold Creek; and to request conditional closure of the Gold Creek site. Linda Nuechterlein
1/10/2008 Institutional Control Record Established The conditional closure decision is subject to the following conditions which the ARRC has agreed to: 1. A Notice of Environmental Contamination will be recorded on the ADEC database to document that there is residual contamination remaining on site above the most stringent ADEC cleanup levels. In addition, ADNR shall be requested to post a notice on State status plats that indicates there are restrictions on land and groundwater use in the area, and that ADEC shall be contacted regarding any proposed uses. 2 Any proposal to transport soil or groundwater off site requires ADEC approval in accordance with 18 AAC 75.325(i). 3. A groundwater monitoring plan will be submitted to ADEC for review and approval prior to the next 2008 GW sampling event. The need for further groundwater sampling will be evaluated after results from the 2008 monitoring event are available. 4. Any monitoring wells that are not needed for future groundwater monitoring shall be decommissioned in accordance with an ADEC approved work plan. 5. Groundwater wells will not be installed on this property without prior approval from ADEC. 6. Any proposal to excavate soil on site will require ADEC approval to ensure protection of workers. 7. DEC should be notified by the appropriate land owner (either ADNR or ARRC) if land use changes, or if the land is leased or transferred to another owner. Linda Nuechterlein
1/10/2008 Conditional Closure Approved There is contamination remaining above established cleanup levels at the ARRC Gold Creek Derailment Site but monitoring data indicates the plume is stable or decreasing in concentration; and there is no unacceptable risk posed to human health or the environment based on information presented to date. Therefore, this site is conditionally closed subject to conditions documented in the ROD and also the CS database. The ARRC submitted their signed acceptance to ADEC which documents that they agreed to terms/conditions stated in the ROD dated 1/10/08. Linda Nuechterlein
12/5/2008 Update or Other Action October 2008 groundwater (GW) monitoring report recieved from Geosphere. GW fieldwork was conducted on Oct. 18 & 19, 2008. Free product was gauged in about 20 wells within the free product footprint area and detected in the following 4 wells: ELV8, ELV9, PW3 & HDX4. DRO was detected in three downgradient monitoring wells, but only exceeded the Tabel C cleanup level in well ELV4. BTEX concentrations were below detection limits in all MWs that were sampled. Water quality data indicate that that hydrocarbon constituents continue to biodegrade and that the downgradient dissolved plume which exceeds drinking water standards was less than about 100 ft. long. Linda Nuechterlein
6/9/2010 Report or Workplan Review - Other Gold Creek Monitoring & Well Decommissioning Work Plan dated May 26, 2010 approved on this date. Linda Nuechterlein
1/20/2011 Update or Other Action Received GW Monitoring and MW Decommissioning Results Report on this date. This report documents GW monitoring and MW decommissioning activities that occurred at the Gold Creek site during June 2010. The report is on file at the Anchorge DEC office. Linda Nuechterlein
3/18/2015 Potentially Responsible Party/State Interest Letter PRP letter sent to ARRC on this date. Grant Lidren
8/27/2015 Site Characterization Workplan Approved The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) Contaminated Sites Program (CSP) has received and reviewed the 2015 Groundwater Monitoring Work Plan, Rev 1 Gold Creek submitted by FES and dated August 26, 2015. ADEC has no objections to the Work Plan and FES may proceed with the following comment: ELV36 should be sampled if it does not contain a heavy sheen or free product. Grant Lidren
2/9/2016 Site Characterization Report Approved The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) Contaminated Sites Program (CSP) has received and reviewed the 2015 Groundwater Monitoring Work Report Gold Creek submitted by FES and dated December 29, 2015. Free product was noted in four wells within the spill footprint area which included ELV9, ELV33, ELV36, and PW3. Groundwater samples were collected from 12 monitoring wells. Monitoring wells LK205, ELV3, ELV46, ELV55, ELV56, and WEST06 were not located and therefore not sampled. Only two monitoring wells, ELV11 and ELV14 located within the spill footprint area, contained DRO above ADEC table C groundwater cleanup levels as well as a heavy petroleum sheen and odor. ELV11 contained DRO at 63.8 mg/L and ELV14 and its duplicate contained DRO up to 16.5 mg/L. All other monitoring wells contained petroleum constituents, but below ADEC table C groundwater cleanup levels. Groundwater flow was to the west southwest consistent with historical flow data. Grant Lidren

Contaminant Information

Name Level Description Media Comments
DRO > Human Health/Ingestion/Inhalation
Benzene Between Method 2 Migration to Groundwater and Human Health/Ingestion/Inhalation Soil
DRO > Human Health/Ingestion/Inhalation Soil
Benzene > Table C Groundwater
DRO > Table C Groundwater

Control Type

Type Details
CS Database Notation And Letter To Landowner/RP A Notice of Environmental Contamination has been recorded on the ADEC database to document that there is residual contamination remaining on site above the most stringent ADEC cleanup levels. The ROD dated 1/10/08 documents this.
Land Use Plan / Maps / Base Master Plan ADNR posted a notice on State status plats that records restrictions on land and groundwater use in the area, and that ADEC shall be contacted regarding any proposed uses.

Requirements

Description Details
Groundwater Monitoring A groundwater monitoring plan will be submitted to ADEC for review and approval prior to the next 2008 GW sampling event. The need for further groundwater sampling will be evaluated after results from the 2008 monitoring event are available. Annual
Excavation / Soil Movement Restrictions Any proposal to excavate soil on site will require ADEC approval to ensure protection of workers. Requires ADEC approval prior to excavation of soil.
Groundwater Use Restrictions Groundwater wells will not be installed on this property without prior approval from ADEC. Any monitoring wells that are not needed for future groundwater monitoring shall be decommissioned in accordance with an ADEC approved work plan.
Periodic Review ADEC should be notified by the appropriate land owner (either ADNR or ARRC) if land use changes, or if the land is leased or transferred to another owner. If land use changes, then ADEC must be notified.
Advance approval required to transport soil or groundwater off-site. Any proposal to transport soil or groundwater off site requires ADEC approval in accordance with 18 AAC 75.325(i).

Missing Location Data

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