Division of Spill Prevention and Response

Breadcrumbs

Site Report: Forest Service Road 3030


Site Name: Forest Service Road 3030
Address: Near Coffman Cove, Prince of Wales Island, Coffman Cove, AK 99918
File Number: 1503.38.004
Hazard ID: 4643
Status: Active
Staff: ,
Latitude: 55.969538
Longitude: -132.910335
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.


Problems/Comments

While upgrading Coffman Cove Road, shot rock (large angular rock 2-24 inches in diameter) was removed from a road cut and placed as road fill at culvert crossings and wetland bogs between Milepost 4 and 7.4, Coffman Cove Road, Prince of Wales. In June 2007, the fill--referred to as B-5 material--was found to be the cause of excessive culvert corrosion and water quality impacts including the killing of all downstream fish and invertebrates. About 80,000 cubic meters of B-5 fill was used on more than 3 miles of road. Rock obtained from a sidecut was placed as fill in a high value remote ecological and recreational stream and wetland corridor in a highway construction project. When exposed to air and/or water, the pyritic formation material oxidizes to sulphuric acid which readily dissolves any heavy metals complexed in native material. Limited testing of the material detected Chromium (total), Arsenic, Selenium, and uranium exceeding ADEC soil screening levels. Observed iron (III) hydroxide, "yellowboy" inundated streams exhibit no aquatic life; anadromous fish habitat is directly affected. Water Quality Standard violations have been documented in 7 streams for low pH, dissolved oxygen, elevated iron and copper. The ADEC Water Division Clean Water Act 401 Permit Program issued an Enforcement Compliance Letter to WFHA requesting prompt site characterization and mitigation to quickly halt Water Quality violations that threaten ecological receptors (fish and invertebrates). Also known as Forest Development Road (FDR) 3030. As of May 7, 2010 Former Project Managers: Louis Howard and Bruce Wanstall. Division of Water-Nancy Sonafrank now the point of contact for ADEC. EPA ID AK001002746; EPA site name USDA FS Tongass NF: Coffman Cove Road.



Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
1/23/1987 Update or Other Action Pursuant to Executive Order 12580, as amended by Executive Order 13016, the President delegated authority to conduct various activities under CERCLA to several executive departments and agencies, including the USEPA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The delegated authorities include performing investigations, response activities, and cost recovery, entering into agreements with potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to perform investigations and response actions, and issuing unilateral administrative orders (UAOs). Source: The provisions of Executive Order 12580 of Jan. 23, 1987, appear at 52 FR 2923, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193, unless otherwise noted. (e)(1) Subject to subsections (a), (b), (c), and (d) of this Section, the functions vested in the President by Sections 104(a) , (b) , and (c)(4) , and 121 of the Act are delegated to the heads of Executive departments and agencies, with respect to remedial actions for releases or threatened releases which are not on the National Priorities List ("the NPL") and removal actions other than emergencies, where either the release is on or the sole source of the release is from any facility or vessel under the jurisdiction, custody or control of those departments and agencies, including vessels bare-boat chartered and operated. The Administrator shall define the term "emergency", solely for the purposes of this subsection, either by regulation or by a memorandum of understanding with the head of an Executive department or agency. (2) Subject to subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this Section, the functions vested in the President by Sections 104(b)(2) , 113(k) , 117(a) and (c), and 119 of the Act are delegated to the heads of Executive departments and agencies, with respect to releases or threatened releases where either the release is on or the sole source of the release is from any facility or vessel under the jurisdiction, custody or control of those departments and agencies, including vessels bare-boat chartered and operated. The Secretary of Agriculture has redelegated the authorities under Executive Order 12580 to the Chief of the Forest Service with respect to land and facilities under Forest Service authority (7 CFR § 2.60(a)(39)). The Secretary of Agriculture has redelegated the CERCLA Section 106 Order authority with respect to National Forest System (NFS) lands and resources to the Director, Office of Procurement and Property Management, to be exercised with the Chief of the Forest Service and with the concurrence of the General Counsel (7 CFR § 2.93(a)(17)(xiv)). Louis Howard
2/19/1992 Update or Other Action EPA MEMORANDUM SUBJECT:Permits and Permit "Equivalency" Processes for CERCLA On-site Response Actions FROM: Henry L. Longest II, Director, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response TO: Director, Waste Management Division, Regions I, IV, V, VII, and VIII; Director, Emergency and Remedial Response Division, Region II; Director, Hazardous Waste Management Division, Regions III, VI, and IX; Director, Hazardous Waste Division Region X PURPOSE: The purpose of this directive is to clarify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy with respect to attaining permits for activities at CERCLA sites. CERCLA response actions are exempted by law from the requirement to obtain Federal, State or local permits related to any activities conducted completely "on-site". It is our policy to assure all activities conducted "on site" are protective of human health and the environment. It is not Agency policy to allow surrogate or permit equivalency procedures to impact the progress or cost of CERCLA site remediation in any respect. BACKGROUND: In implementing remedial actions, EPA has consistently taken the position that the acquisition of permits is not required for on-site remedial actions. However, this does not remove the requirement to meet (or waive) the substantive provisions of permitting regulations that are applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs). (For definitions of "substantive" and "administrative," see 55 FR 8756-S7 and the CERCLA Compliance with Other Laws Manual, Part I, pages 1-11-12.) The proposed and final 1982 National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) made no mention of the permit issue. However, EPA addressed the issue in a memorandum entitled "CERCLA Compliance with Other Environmental Statutes" which was attached as an appendix to the proposed 1985 NCP (50 FR 5928, February 12, 1985). The memorandum stated: "CERCLA procedural and administrative requirements will be modified to provide safeguards similar to those provided under other laws. Application for and receipt of permits is not required for on-site response actions taken under the Fund-financed or enforcement authorities of CERCLA." EPA determined in the final rule [1985 NCP section 300.68 (a)(3)] that "Federal, State, and local permits are not required for Fund-financed action or remedial actions taken pursuant to Federal action under section 106 of CERCLA." The 1986 amendments to CERCLA codified section 300.68(a)(3) of the 1985 NCP with a statutory provision, section 121(e) (I). CERCLA section 121(e) (1) provides that no Federal, State, or local permit shall be required for the portion of any removal or remedial action conducted entirely on-site, where such remedial action is selected and carried out in compliance with section 121. The 1990 NCP [section 300.400(e)(1)] implements this permit exemption for "on-site" actions, defining "on-site" as "the areal extent of contamination and all suitable areas in very close proximity to the contamination necessary for implementation of the response action." The preamble to the NCP (at 55 FR 8689, March 8, 1990) explains that "areal" refers both to the surface areas and the air above the site. EPA policy further defines "on-site" to include the soil and the groundwater plume that are to be remediated. On-site remedial actions may involve limited areas of noncontaminated land; for instance, an on-site treatment plant may need to be located above the plume or simply outside of the waste area itself. As provided in NCP section 300.400(e)(I), response actions covered by CERCLA section 121(e)(l) include those conducted pursuant to CERCLA sections 104, 106, 120, 121, and 122. Thus response actions conducted by a lead agency, or by a potentially responsible party or other person under an order or consent decree with EPA, are covered under the ambit of CERCLA section 121(e)(1). Response actions by a lead agency include those response actions implemented by EPA, the Coast Guard, or another Federal agency. They also include response actions implemented by a State or political subdivision operating pursuant to a contract or cooperative agreement executed pursuant to CERCLA section 304(d)(1), under which EPA selects (or must approve) the remedy. Louis Howard
8/28/1996 Update or Other Action Executive Order 13016 of August 28, 1996 Amendment to Executive Order No. 12580 By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 115 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.) (the ‘‘Act’’), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby order that Executive Order No. 12580 of January 23, 1987, be amended by adding to section 4 the following new subsections: Section 1. A new subsection (c)(3) is added to read as follows: ‘‘(3) Subject to subsections (a) and (b)(1) of this section, the functions vested in the President by sections 106(a) and 122 (except subsection (b)(1)) of the Act are delegated to the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Energy, to be exercised only with the concurrence of the Coast Guard, with respect to any release or threatened release in the coastal zone, Great Lakes waters, ports, and harbors, affecting (1) natural resources under their trusteeship, or (2) a vessel or facility subject to their custody, jurisdiction, or control. Such authority shall not be exercised at any vessel or facility at which the Coast Guard is the lead Federal agency for the conduct or oversight of a response action. Such authority shall not be construed to authorize or permit use of the Hazardous Substance Superfund to implement section 106 or to fund performance of any response action in lieu of the payment by a person who receives but does not comply with an order pursuant to section 106(a), where such order has been issued by the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary of Energy. This subsection shall not be construed to limit any authority delegated by any other section of this order. Authority granted under this subsection shall be exercised in a manner to ensure interagency coordination that enhances efficiency and effectiveness.’’ Sec. 2. A new subsection (d)(3) is added to section 4 to read as follows: ‘‘(3) Subject to subsections (a), (b)(1), and (c)(1) of this section, the functions vested in the President by sections 106(a) and 122 (except subsection (b)(1)) of the Act are delegated to the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Defense, and the Department of Energy, to be exercised only with the concurrence of the Administrator, with respect to any release or threatened release affecting (1) natural resources under their trusteeship, or (2) a vessel or facility subject to their custody, jurisdiction, or control. Such authority shall not be exercised at any vessel or facility at which the Administrator is the lead Federal official for the conduct or oversight of a response action. Such authority shall not be construed to authorize or permit use of the Hazardous Substance Superfund to implement section 106 or to fund performance of any response action in lieu of the payment by a person who receives but does not comply with an order pursuant to section 106(a), where such order has been issued by the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary of Energy. This subsection shall not be construed to limit any authority delegated by any other section of this order. Authority granted under this subsection shall be exercised in a manner to ensure interagency coordination that enhances efficiency and effectiveness.’’ Louis Howard
1/3/2000 Update or Other Action Coffman Cove Road Ecological Assessment and Biological Evaluation "Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species" prepared by Thorne Bay Ranger District for US Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division. This combined Biological Assessment (BA) and Biological Evaluation (BE) was prepared for the Coffman Cove Road as required by Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as amended and the USDA Forest Service (FS) threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant and animal species policy (FSM 2670). This document describes the potential effects of this project on species that are federally listed or proposed for threatened or endangered status. This document also serves as a BE by including equivalent information on Forest Service sensitive species. The BE is not required under ESA, but is required by the FS for all internal programs and activities (FSM 2672.4). Biological Assessment-Threatened and Endangered species that may occur in or near the Coffman Cove Road Project Area: Humpback whale, Steller sea lion, and American peregrine falcon. Summary of BA/BE Finding: No effect. The FS has identified sensitive plant and animal species that could potentially occur in or near the proposed reconstruction areas. Trumpeter swan-not likely to adversely impact, Queen Charlotte goshawk, Edible thistel, Davy mannagrass, Wright filmy fern, Unalaska Mist Maid, Loose-flowered bluegrass, Queen Charlotte butterweed: may affect individuals, not likely to adversely affect population viability. Osprey, Peales's peregrine falcon, Goose-grass sedge, Truncate quillwort, Calder lovage, Gog orchid: No effect. The US Fish & Wildlife and the FS have identified the following species as species of concern. These species are not formally listed, but have been frequently discussed as species of concern. The information on these species is provided to aid the Fish and Wildlife Service in their efforts to track these species. Alexander Archipelago wolf, Keen's myotis (Keen's long-eared bat), Marbled murrelet, Harlequin duck, Ascending moonwort fern: May affect individuals, not likely to adversely affect population viability. Olive-sided flycatcher, Spotted frog, Netted willow: No effects. Super round wedge moonwort fern: Not likely to adversely affect. Biological Evaluation-Fish Species. No proposed, endangered, threatened or sensitive (PETS) listed fish species are known to occur in the project area or are found on Thorne Bay Ranger District. Snake River Chinook (All Stocks): The Snake River chinook salmon, Snake River Sockeye, Northern Pike, Large Chum Salmon, Island Run King Salmon are not known to occur in the project area or on the Thorne Bay Ranger District. Executive Order (E.O.) 12962: Recreational Fisheries E.O. 12962 states that Federal agencies shall "evaluat[e] the effects of Federally funded, permitted, or authorized actions on aquatic systems and recreational fisheries and document those effects relative to the purpose of this order ..." to the extent permitted by law and where practicable. Effects of the proposed action on recreational fisheries: The proposed project has the potential to affect water quality and fish habitat of recreational fisheries through the introduction of sediment into streams, increase landslide potential due to road location and design, and affect upstream fish passage through improper placement or sizing of culverts. These effects are expected to be short term and not have significant adverse effects over the long term, provided proper road location and design, proper culvert installation and sizing, and adequate erosion control methods via Best Management Practices (BMPs) take place. Logjam Creek, Hatchery Creek, Chum Creek, Coffman Creek, and Luck Creek, Luck Lake, Eagle Creek are all popular recreational fishing locations. Access to these locations will be limited in the short term as road construction and re-alignment take place. Recommendations for removing, avoiding, or compensating for any adverse effects: - limit work during heavy rains or ground water flow to minimize sedimentation and erosion. - take care when clay soils are encountered to minimize sedimentation and erosion. - keep right-of-way clearing to a minimum along all fish streams. - minimize stream bank and bed disturbances to that which is absolutely necessary. - design and install all culverts on fish bearing streams to provide passage for both juvenile and adult fish. - use instream construction timing windows for all fish bearing streams, and those nonfish bearing streams that have the ability to directly transport sediment into fish bearing streams. - seed and/or hydromulch as soon as possible after culvert installation and road construction to minimize sedimentation and erosion. - pave road as soon as possible after road construction to minimize sedimentation and erosion. - apply BMPs to minimize sedimentation and erosion. Louis Howard
3/31/2000 Report or Workplan Review - Other Part I of II: Dept. of the Army U.S. Army Engineer District, Alaska sent letter to Brian Allen Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD). This is in response to the March 21, 2000, Memorandum from Herrera Environmental Consultants to Brian Allen, and your FAX of March 10, 2000, concerning the proposed Coffman Cove Road improvements on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. I am sorry I will not be able to attend the March 29th meeting, but I have reviewed the agendas included with the above referenced correspondence as well as the Project Checklist for the proposed project and offer the following concerns: Project Checklist A. It appears that culvert maintenance problems are characteristic in road design possibly indicating that more attention should be given to the number, size (both length and diameter) and placement of culverts in the initial design phase and that perhaps more consideration should be given to bridged crossings. B. Please provide the total footprint width which will have impacts (toe of slope to toe of slope, and outside top of ditch to outside top of ditch) as well as road surface width. C. Am I correct in assuming that the total increase in the current road footprint would be at least 63,360 square feet more for the proposed Luck Lake Route than for the Sweetwater Lake route. (28 mi. - 22 mi.). X 5,280 ft./mi. X (18' current average width Sweetwater - 16' current average width Luck lake). D. Selection of snow storage areas, waste disposal sites and borrow areas should he coordinated with Resource Agencies. E. Page 18 indicates the Luck Lake route crosses 26 fish bearing streams but does not indicate how many are anadromous. F. The preliminary wetland delineation should be performed in accordance with the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual and all data, including maps identifying the location and type(3) of wetlands, the transects and data points, as well as data sheets should be submitted to this office for verification prior to incorporation of the delineation into plans or designs. G. Page 33 under item C. Earth, shows (M)edium impacts for item 7 but discussed in impacts from item 8 in the footnote for item 7 and does not discuss impacts for item 7. E. Page 37 under item M. Aesthetics, shows (M)edium impacts for item 3 but does not discuss them in the footnotes. Hererra Environmental Memo A. Type of Mitigation 1. Goal should be at least 1:1 on-site, in-kind replacement. 2. For mitigation on which is proposed to restore previously impacted wetland sites the following should be applied for each site: a. Restoring or creating contours to match those of the surrounding wetland area. b. Restoring or creating wetland hydrology to match that of the surrounding wetland area and sufficient to support establishment and perpetuation of native hydrophytic vegetation. c. Placement of native hydrlc topsoils, removed from nearby wetlands impacted by the new road corridor, onto the mitigation site to a depth sufficient to support establishment and perpetuation of natlve hydrophytic vegetation, but not less than 12 inches deep. d. Restoring and/or introducing native hydrophytic vegetation to match that of surrounding wetlands, through volunteer native plant establishment from seed stock in native hydric topsoils brought to the site, incursion by plants from the surrounding wetlands and by initial planting/transfer of native wetland - plants from nearby impacted new road corridor sites. e. Protecting the site with restrictive covenants or other conservation restrictions to help insure long-term success of mitigation efforts and management of the sites for conservation purposes and in the public interest of the nation as a whole. f . Include a monitoring plan with both qualitative and quantitative measures for determining success or failure of the mitigation efforts, and contain a provision for remediation, and continued monitoring at any sites which do not meet the specified success criteria. 3. Similar actions should be applied to any type of restoration, enhancement or creation mitigation. 4. Off-site and out-of-kind is OK if on-site, in-kind is not possible or practicable, however these typically require higher ratios. 5. On-site is typically preferred to off-site. Restoration is typically preferred followed by creation/enhancement, preservation, and other. Louis Howard
3/31/2000 Report or Workplan Review - Other Part II of II: Dept. of the Army U.S. Army Engineer District, Alaska sent letter to Brian Allen Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD). This is in response to the March 21, 2000, Memorandum from Herrera Environmental Consultants to Brian Allen, and your FAX of March 10, 2000, concerning the proposed Coffman Cove Road improvements on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. I am sorry I will not be able to attend the March 29th meeting, but I have reviewed the agendas included with the above referenced correspondence as well as the Project Checklist for the proposed project and offer the following concerns: B. Avoidance 1. Identify and utilize alternative routes in less valuable areas. 2. Following the existing route is generally a good way avoid additional impacts unless, there are valuable areas which were impacted by the original route which need to be restored or rehabilitated. Designing the project to incorporate posted, slower speeds to avoid realignment/expansion that would impact high value areas. 3. Use of retaining walls is avoidance if the footprint is not increased. C. Minimization (Other ideas) 2 . Construct larger span bridges at creek crossings, especially those experiencing problems with alluvial fan deposits. 2. Span streams rather than culverting and filling. 3. Limit project activity to actual project footprint and minimize footprint. 4. Incorporate and insure maintenance of appropriate E&S controls. 5. Utilize elevated pile supports across open water and higher value wetland areas. D. Compensation (Other ideas) 1 Move alignment which is adjacent to Sweetwater Lake upslope or put on pilings and rehabilitate previously impacted area. 2. Restore previously impacted areas as discussed in II A above. 3. Restore/enhance old timber road corridors located within the vicinity of the project. 4. Clean up and restore/enhance heavily impacted recreational areas in the project vicinity. 5. Locate and restore/enhance/close, heavily used informal foot/4-wheeler/snow machine trails & build elevated board walks in wet lands. 6. Cleanup/restore/enhance, heavily impacted intertidal areas in and near Coffman Cove and Whale Pass. 7 . Reclaim/vegetate previously impacted beach fringe in the vicinity. 8. Develop, promote, and present an environmental awareness workshop to residents in Coffman Cove and surrounding area. Include such topics as the importance of undisturbed beach-fringe/buffers, riparian corridors, wetlands, proper erosion and sedimentation control, other water quality issues, the state and federal regulatory programs, etc 9. Establish an interpretative wetland/aquatic resource reserve/educational/recreationai area in or near Coffman Cove. 10. Sponsor an environmental/water quality/Erosion & sedimentation, or other related position/program for the City of Coffman Cove. 11. Rehabilitate and improve drainage system, culverts, and bridges on the non-selected route. 12. Sponsor a local conservation organization or other group to undertake one or more of the above or other worthy project, preferably aquatic resource related. Louis Howard
4/3/2000 Update or Other Action Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD), in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT & PF) and the Forest Service (FS) is planning to reconstruct the road between the town of Coffman Cove and the intersection of North Prince of Wales Island Road. The FS and the WFLHD entered into a reimbursable agreement (No. 99-A- 17-0002) that addressed the assistance the FS would provide for this project. This included project-specific environmental and resource issues, assessments of the impacts created by the selected alternatives and mitigation measures. A Biological Assessment/Evaluation addressing threatened, endangered and sensitive species for fish, wildlife and vegetation was submitted to WFLHD in August of 1999, according to the reimbursable agreement schedule. This Wetland Report describes wetland types along one existing and three proposed routes: 1) the Common Route, which begins at the intersection of the North Prince of Wales Island Road (National Forest Road - NFR 23) and the Coffman Cove road (FH 44); 2) the Luck Lake Route, which includes the existing route to the intersection of FH 44 and NIX 30, near Hatchery Lake, to Coffman Cove; 3) the Sweetwater Lake Route, which includes the intersection of NFR 30375 and FH 44 following FH 44 to Coffman Cove; and 4) the Sweetwater Lake Cutoff, a new route across Hatchery Creek. The entire road corridor (each alternative) was surveyed to a distance of 45 meters on either side of the existing and proposed roads. In several locations along the Sweetwater Lake Route, where proposed realignments encompass more area, the survey area extended beyond 45 meters. Conclusion of Biologically Significant Wetlands- The landscape analysis area is comprised of 20 watersheds, ranging from 1st to 4th order. The smallest watershed within this area is 107 acres, while the largest is approximately 55,000 acres. Total acres analyzed for wetland occurrence within this landscape area is 116,822 acres. Of that, approximately 23% are composed of forested wetlands, 14% are emergent wetlands, and less than 1% are Riverine and Estuarine wetlands. Approximately 34% of the area is composed of complexes of the above types. The remaining 26% of the landscape area are uplands (non-wetlands). In terms of scarcity, the Riverine wetlands are the least abundant of all habitat types in the landscape analysis area, with no acres mapped at the broad scale, but several acres were mapped during this survey. The common plus northern route has 11 acres and the common plus southern route has 14 acres of Riverine wetlands mapped within these alternatives. Because no acres of these types were mapped at the broad scale, it is difficult to assess the percentage of impact this project would have on the total land area of Riverine wetlands. Estuarine wetlands rank second in terms of least abundant in the landscape analysis area. No acres of estuary are proposed to be impacted in any of the action alternatives. Complexes of wetland scrub-shrub-bog-fen types rank third least abundant in the landscape analysis area, with only 417 acres mapped. Approximately 8% of these wetland types would potentially be affected by the road improvement project for each alternative route, except the short cut where less than 1% would be impacted. All other wetland habitat types are abundant in the landscape analysis area. Less than 1% of their total areas (for each type) will be affected by any of the action alternatives. In terms of overall biological significance, the common plus northern route contains more sites than the common plus southern route. The short-cut contains additional sites that would be added to the northern route. Avoiding impacts to these sites is recommended, however improving the aquatic habitat or other functional value is also an option when avoidance is not possible. The Administration's August 24, 1993 Wetland Plan established a short-term goal of no overall net loss of the Nation's remaining wetlands and long-term goal of increasing the quantity and quality of the Nation's wetland resources. The 1993 Wetlands Plan also created an Alaska Wetlands Initiative (AWI) to address concerns with the implementation of the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit program in Alaska. The AWI Summary Report (USEPA 1994) reaffirms that the "no net loss" policy is applied throughout the United States on a permit-by-permit basis. However, it also recognizes that in Alaska, the goal of "no net loss" may not be attained for each 404 permit issued, especially where a high proportion of developable lands within a watershed are wetlands and where practicable opportunities for compensatory mitigation (i.e. wetland restoration or creation) are limited. This regulatory flexibility is consistent with the Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(l) Guidelines (USDA FS 1997). Louis Howard
1/26/2001 Report or Workplan Review - Other USDOC NOAA NMFS letter to Steve Zaske FHA WFLHD RE: Coffman Cove Road Environmental Assessment. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has reviewed the referenced document. NMFS believes that the project may adversely affect essential fish habitat (EFH) for coho salmon, pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA). However, if the measures outlined in the document to protect and improve such habitat are implemented, then adverse effects will likely be avoided. In addition, we have the following EFH conservation recommendations for the project. Please note that under section 305(b) of the MSFCMA you are required to respond in writing within 30 days to these recommendations. If you will not make a decision within 30 days of receiving NFMS's conservation recommendations, you should provide a letter within 30 days to that effect, and indicate when a full response will be provided. 1) A bridge should be placed for the crossing of the Hatchery Creek tributary, which is anadromous fish stream #106-30-10670-2004-0020-3031-4004 (see USGS Quad, Craig D - 3 ) , and contains coho salmon, cutthroat trout and steelhead trout. Because the stream is askew to the road, it will require a culvert of 30 meters or more. This would eliminate a significant stretch of natural stream, replacing that with an altered bottom,. sides and reduced light conditions. A bridge would therefore be preferable for retaining fish habitat 2) Upstream assessments to determine the extent of fish use above crossings should be conducted at those for which no data exists. Louis Howard
2/27/2001 Update or Other Action Steven Zaske US DOT FHA Western Federal Lands Highway Division sent letter to P. Michael Payne, Assistant Admininstrator for Habitat Conservation NMFS RE: Coffman Cove Road Environmental Assessment. Refer: HPD-17.4 #22915L_SDZ The Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration has considered your recommendation to construct a bridge for the crossing of the Hatchery Creek Tributary, Anadromous Fish Stream #106-30-10670-2004-0020-3031-4004, as an EFH conservation measure. We have done some preliminary alignment and earthwork studies and have received cost estimates and recommendations from our hydraulics, structural and geotechnical engineers. We have reached a consensus that a bridge can be built at a cost not significantly greater than. a large multi-plate culvert, although there wiIl be some trade-offs in minor impacts associated with alignment shifts and providing a detour for through traffic during construction. The higher cost of a bridge will be partially offset by advantages in both constructability and reduced impacts to instream fish habitat. With those factors considered, we concur that a bridge meets our practicability criteria, and our engineers will soon be starting on foundation materials investigations and structural drawings for the crossing at FH 30 MP 57.73, Engineer's Station 10+761 (metric), as identified by the stream number referenced above. Our very early estimates indicate that the bridge will have a skew angle of approximately 15 degrees from perpendicular and will be between 27 and 29 meters (89 and 96 feet) long and 9 to10 meters (30 to 33 feet) wide. It will be constructed of steel-reinforced concrete. In response to your second recommendation, we are working with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service, Thorne Bay Ranger District to complete fish habitat surveys on streams where no data currently exists. We anticipate having preliminary results of those surveys by the end of June of this year. If you have any questions regarding the ongoing bridge design, the upcoming spring fish habitat surveys, or any other aspects of the Coffman Cove Road project, pIease feel free to call me at (360) 696-7723, FAX at (360) 696-7846, mail at the letterhead address above, or E-mail at Steve.Zaske@,fhwa.dot. pov Louis Howard
6/1/2001 Update or Other Action Environmental Assessment (Amended June 2001)-The preferred Coffman Cove (CC) Rd alternative (PA) begins at milepost 68.5 on North Prince of Wales (POW) Road (FH43); continues east on FDR 23 & FDR 30; & then extends north on FDR 3030 along Sweetwater Lake to its terminus on the west side of the Dog Creek bridge in CC. The majority of the project area lies within the Tongass National Forest. The remainder of the project area lies within the city of CC (Segment 3). In the city of CC, one realignment (approximately between MP 17 & 18) would traverse state [of Alaska]-owned lands. One of the State properties in this realignment is part of a 867 hectare national forest community grant 345 designated as mineral or mining lands. Claim SE-89-003 is identified in the POW area plan as settlement land, which allows for (& assumes) subdivision, settlement, & other development, including roads. The PA would meet the project purpose & need by providing the shortest route between CC & FH 43. The PA was selected because it is compatible with existing land use designations in the project area (it is a designated transportation & utility corridor in the Forest Plan); it provides the shortest route across the island to the city of CC; & it is the least expensive route for construction & long-term maintenance. In addition, reconstruction of the roadways along the PA route provides an opportunity to rectify road deficiencies that limit fish habitat in this portion of the island. All three segments of the PA route were designed to conform with AASHTO (1994) design standards. Segment 1 begins on North Prince of Wales Road (FH 43) & ends at the intersection with FH 44, a distance of approximately 0.9 km (0.5 miles). Segment 2 (identified as the Common Route during the screening of alternatives) begins at the intersection of FH 43 with FH 44 & ends at the Y-intersection of FDR 30 with FDR 3030. This segment is approximately 14.5 km (9 miles) in length. Segment 3 (identified as the Sweetwater Lake Route during the screening of alternatives) begins at the Y-intersection of FDR 30 with FDR 3030 near Hatchery Lake & continues northeasterly on FDR 3030 to the western side of the Dog Creek bridge within the city of CC. The total estimated construction cost for the PA is $20.3 million. Ground water (GW) data are not available for the project area. Given that the area is generally underlain by glacial till soils that restrict vertical movement of water, it is likely that there are pockets of perched GW at shallow depths throughout the project area. This perched GW may contribute to wetland conditions in some locations. There are no known GW wells in the immediate project area. The Forest Service, ADF&G, & Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) have conducted a road conditions survey throughout the project corridor. Based on that inventory & additional field visits, there are 60 verified crossings of fish-bearing streams along Segment 2 of the project corridor. Four of these crossings are currently bridges, & another 54 crossings are currently corrugated metal pipes of various sizes. Of the 54 pipe crossings, 26 have been verified by the ADF&G as anadromous streams, & 52 have been verified as supporting resident trout. Preliminary estimates along Segment 3 indicate that there are 35 verified crossings of fish-bearings streams in the project corridor. Three of these crossings are currently bridges, & another 25 crossings are currently corrugated metal culverts of various sizes. In-stream work would be coordinated with the ADF&G through the Title 16 fish passage permit. Culvert work in streams with anadromous fish runs would likely be restricted to the period when adults & juveniles are not migrating through the system. Additional restrictions may apply for resident fish populations. Federal permits & approvals required for proposed project reconstruction include the following: Special use permit from the FS for work on forest land, which may include material source sites, disposal areas, & contractor staging areas; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act section 404 permit, for filling or dredging in waters of the United States, which include project wetlands; NPDES review & stormwater discharge permit from the U.S. EPA. State permits required for the proposed project reconstruction include the following: Title 16 fish passage permit from the ADF&G; Coastal zone management consistency determination from the ADGC; Temporary water use permit from the ADNR; Certification of compliance with Alaska water quality standards (section 401 certification) issued by the ADEC for discharges to waters of the United States, part of federal Clean Water Act section 404 permit from U.S Army Corps of Engineers; Air Quality control permit for open burning by the ADEC; Right of Way permit from the State of AK on Segment 3 where the proposed realignment crosses State[of Alaska] land. Louis Howard
7/22/2002 Report or Workplan Review - Other Tim Rumfelt ADEC Div. of Air & Water Quality Non-Point Source Water Pollution Control sent letter to FHA WFLH Division Steve Zaske RE: Coffman Cove 11, Reference no. 4-1999-1447 State ID no. AK 02-05-01JJ. In accordance with Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act of 1977 and provisions of the Alaska Water Quality Standards, ADEC is issuing the enclosed Certificate of Reasonable Assurance for the proposed placement of fill into wetlands to improve the 9.8 miles of the Coffman Cove Road near Coffman Cove, Alaska. The proposed activity is located within Section 25, T69S, R80E, Copper River Meridian, beginning at North Prince of Wales Highway/Forest Highway 43 MP 68.5 and ending near Hatchery Lake Y, Forest Road 30 MP 55.23 on Prince of Wales Island, Coffman Cove, Alaska. Water Quality Certification is required under Section 401 because the proposed activity will be authorized by a Corps of Engineers permit identified as Coffman Cove 11, reference no. 4-1999-1447 and a discharge may result from the proposed activity. Having reviewed the application and comments received in response to the public notice, ADEC certifies that there is reasonable assurance the proposed activity, as well as any discharge which may result, will comply with applicable provisions of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the Alaska Water Quality Standards 18 AAC 70 and the Standards of the Alaska Coastal Management Program 6 AAC 80. Stipulations: Sediment and erosion control measures outlined in the review packet, and any other necessary measures, shall be actively employed during and after construction to prevent sediment laden runoff from entering natural surface waters. Combined grubbing and grading operations shall be limited to 30,000 square meters (3 hectares) exposed at any one time. Areas of exposed soils shall be stabilized immediately and re-vegetated as soon as possible. Construction operations will be shut down during seasonal periods of heavy rain. Observations indicate that typical erosion and sediment control practices are effective until rainfall exceeds about 1 inch per day, beyond which control structures are overwhelmed. The applicant will work with the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game and ADEC to review precipitation records in order to assess time frames most likely to experience this level of rainfall, and to define a standard seasonal shutdown period for the project. Any variance from the shutdown period MUST be approved in advance by the ADF&G. An erosion and sediment control inspection and maintenance program shall be implemented for the life of the project, including: A) Provision for a full-time erosion control inspector for the project. The inspector will adhere to a regular inspection schedule (at least weekly and daily during periods of heavy precipitation), and will provide weekly inspection reports to ADF&G and other resource agencies. B) The inspector shall have the authority to order shutdown periods in addition to the seasonal shutdown described above in response to extreme precipitation events outside the seasonal shutdown period. C) Provisions shall be made in the contract for the contractor to have workers and equipment available at all times to maintain erosion and sediment control facilities and to remove accumulations of sediment. An erosion and sediment control inspection and maintenance program shall be implemented for the life of the project. Streambed and banks shall NOT be altered to facilitate water appropriation or disturbed in any way. If the banks or bed are inadvertently disturbed, they shall be immediately stabilized to prevent erosion and resultant sedimentation of the water body during and after operations. Any disturbed areas shall be re-contoured and re-vegetated. Pumping operations MUST be done in such a way as to prevent any petroleum products or hazardous substances* contaminating surface water or groundwater. The suction hose at the water extraction site must be clean and free from contamination at all times to prevent introduction of contamination to the water body, and should be in water of sufficient depth so that the stream sediments are not disturbed during the extraction process. “hazardous substance” has the meaning given in AS 46.03.826; AS 46.03.826: "hazardous substance" means (A) an element or compound which, when it enters into the atmosphere or in or upon the water or surface or subsurface land of the state, presents an imminent and substantial danger to the public health or welfare, including but not limited to fish, animals, vegetation, or any part of the natural habitat in which they are found; (B) oil; or (C) a substance defined as a hazardous substance under 42 U.S.C. 9601(14); Louis Howard
11/12/2002 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC (Tim Rumfelt) Div. of Air & Water Quality Non-Point Source Water Pollution Control sent a letter to Jim Rhodes (US Forest Service) Subject: Coffman Cove 11M Reference No. M-1999-1447 State I.D. No. AK 0206-08JJ. In accordance with Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act of 1977 and provisions of the Alaska Water Quality Standards, the Department of Environmental Conservation is issuing the enclosed Certificate of Reasonable Assurance for the proposed rehabilitation of the Forest Highway, near Coffman Cove, Alaska. This certification is one of the approvals required as part of a eoastal management consistency determination issued by the Division of Governmental Coordination under AAC 50.070. Department of Environmental Conservation regulations provide that any person who disagrees with any portion of this action may request an adjudicatory hearing in accordance with 18 AAC 15.200-920. This request should be mailed to the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, 410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 105, Juneau, Alaska 99801-1795. Please also send a copy of the request for hearing to the undersigned. Failure to submit a hearing request within thirty of receipt of this letter constitutes a waiver of that person's right to judicial review of this action. By copy this letter we are the of Governmental Coordination of our actions and enclosing a copy of the certification for their use. A Certificate of Reasonable Assurance, in accordance with Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act and the Alaska Water Quality Standards, is issued to the USDA Forest Service, Tongass National Forest, 648 Mission Street, Ketchikan, Alaska 99901, for the proposed upgrading of3.3 miles of the Forest Highway. The proposed activity is located within section 36, T67S, R81E and sections 1,2, 10, and 11, T68S, R8I Copper River Meridian, beginning at Forest Highway milepost 11.8 and ending at milepost 8.5, near Coffman Cove, Alaska. Public notice of the application for this certification was given as required by 18 AAC 15.180. Water Quality Certification is required under Section 401 because the proposed activity will be authorized by a Corps of Engineers permit identified as Coffman Cove 11 M, reference no. M- 1999-1447 and a discharge may result from the proposed activity. Having reviewed the application and comments received in response to the public notice, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation certifies that there is reasonable assurance that the proposed activity, as well as any discharge which may result, will comply with applicable provisions of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the Alaska \Vater Quality Standards, 18 AAC 70, and the Standards of the Alaska Coastal Management Program, 6 AAC 80, provided that the following stipulations are adhered to. Louis Howard
1/29/2004 Update or Other Action Preliminary Jurisdictional Wetland Determination Report for City of Coffman Cove Prepared for Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division. This preliminary jurisdictional wetland determination report identifies and describes existing wetland conditions within the corporate limits of the City of Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska. Federal laws regulating wetlands and waters of the United States include Clean Water Act section 404, administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Clean Water Act Section 401, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and delegated to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) who certify that Corps permitted projects [MUST] meet Alaska State water quality standards by issuing a Certification of Reasonable Assurance;" Rivers and Harbors Act section 10, administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and the Coastal Zone Management Act, administered in Alaska through the Alaska Coastal Management Program by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) Office of Project Management and Permitting. A Rivers and Harbors Act section 10 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required for working in, over, or under navigable waters of the United States, such as streams, lakes, or ocean waters. A Clean Water Act section 404 permit is required fiom the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for discharging fill material in any water of the United States, including tidal waters, lakes, streams, and wetlands. Due to the abundance of wetlands in the City of Coffman Cove, the majority of proposed projects require this permit. The entire City of Coffman Cove lies within the coastal zone. All projects in the city require a coastal zone consistency review if another federal, state, or local permit is required, whether or not they involve filling waters of the United States. Alaska statutes 41.14.840 (Fishway Act) and 41.14.870 (Anadromous Fish Act) require that an individual or government agency notify and obtain authorization from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Office of Habitat Management and Permitting, for activities within or across a stream used by fish, if the department determines that such uses or activities could represent an impediment to the efficient passage of fish. Culvert installation; stream realignment or diversions; dams; low-water crossings; and construction, placement, deposition, or removal of any material or structure below the ordinary high water mark of a stream require approval from the Alaska Department of NaturaI Resources. These activities are reviewed by means of one or more of three permit applications: the Title 41 Fish Habitat Permit application, the Recreational Suction Dredge Permit application, and the Culvert/Bridge Installation Permit application. Salmon spawning gravels, juvenile fish rearing habitats, and other habitats within the stream course and at the coastal mouths of these streams are the most vulnerable to adverse impacts from flashy hydroperiods. Gravels can be scoured or buried under fine sediment, suffocating existing eggs and fry and reducing future quality spawning habitat. Low-velocity rearing habitats can be altered vegetatively and hydrologically by flashy hydroperiods. The deposition of large pulses of sediment into coastal mouths of streams can alter fish rearing habitat, shellfish beds, and other nearshore habitats. These functions are best preserved through the establishment of buffers around important habitats to protect them from the effects of adjacent development. The future establishment of road systems should be located and designed in a manner that minimally interrupts surface and ground water flow, and contributes minimally to the alteration of natural sedimentation patterns. Artificial alterations to the sediment transport of stream systems result from added input from road runoff and restricted transport because of undersized culverts. Alterations can be minimized with adequately sized bridges or culverts that do not restrict flow at stream crossings, In addition, road alignments should avoid the channel migration zones of streams and rivers. Louis Howard
8/1/2005 Update or Other Action ADNR/Office of Habitat Management and Permitting POW Office Fish Habitat Permit FH05-VII-0043 Issued: August 8, 2005, Expires: December 31, 2009. Letter to Mrs. Terri Thomas, Division Environmental Manager, Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division 610 East Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661-3801. Subject: Proposed Culvert Removal/Installation, Station 24+701, Coffman Cove Road II Phase II, Un-named Tributary to Cataloged Stream 106-30-10670-2004, T. 68S; R. 81E; S. 16, CRM Pursuant to AS? 41.14.840, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources -- Office of Habitat Management and Permitting (OHM&P) has reviewed plans and specifications for your proposal to remove and replace a 36-inch by 40-foot corrugated metal pipe (cmp) with a 48-inch by 62.7-foot cmp at the above referenced location as part of the Coffman Cove II Phase II reconstruction of Forest Highway Road 3030 located near Coffman Cove, Alaska The descriptions, provisions, and stipulations for the proposed work are based on the attached plans, which were received by OHM&P from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on July 11, 2005. This un-named creek supports coho salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden char in the area of your proposed activity. Based upon our review of your plans, your proposed project should not obstruct the efficient passage and movement of fish. In accordance with AS 41.14.840, project approval is hereby given subject to your proposed scope of work and the following stipulations: 1. The fish-passage crossing structure shall be constructed, operated, and maintained for the life of the structure such that free passage of fish is assured. Any obstruction to the free passage of fish (for example, perched culvert, outwash gravel, or excessive water velocity) shall be restored to the satisfaction of OHM&P. 2. Authorized activities shall avoid sensitive fish life stages. The installation of structures shall be conducted in a manner that maintains fish and their habitats. Work within the limits of ordinary high water shall be conducted only between July 18 and August 15. A variance from this timing window may ONLY occur with prior approval from OHM&P. 3. For pumping operations, the water intake structure shall be centered and enclosed in a screened box designed to prevent fish entrapment, entrainment, or injury. The intake structure must be enclosed and centered within a screened box made of non-corrosive material with a maximum screen-mesh size of 0.04 inches (1 mm). To reduce fish impingement on screen surfaces, water velocity at the screen/water interface may not exceed 0.4 feet per second when the pump is operating. 4. Upon completion of the new culvert, all associated fill shall be removed from below ordinary high water and the stream bed and banks restored to approximate their pre-disturbance configuration. 5. Blasting energy (overpressures) transmitted through the ground to fish-bearing waters shall not cause mortality to juvenile fish and shall be limited to a maximum of 2.7 pounds per square inch in fish habitat. In addition, overpressures in anadromous fish spawning beds shall be limited to achieve peak particle velocities of less than 0.5 inches per second during the time eggs are present (the remainder of the year for each of the timing windows above). The recipient of this permit (the permittee) is responsible for the actions of contractors, agents, or other persons who perform work to accomplish the approved plan. For any activity that significantly deviates from the approved plan, the permittee shall notify the OHM&P and obtain written approval in the form of a permit amendment before beginning the activity. Any action taken by the permittee or an agent of the permittee that increases the project's overall scope or that negates, alters, or minimizes the intent or effectiveness of any stipulation contained in this permit will be deemed a significant deviation from the approved plan. The final determination as to the significance of any deviation and the need for a permit amendment is the responsibility of the OHM&P. Therefore, it is recommended that the OHM&P be consulted immediately when a deviation from the approved plan is being considered. Louis Howard
8/8/2005 Update or Other Action ADNR/Office of Habitat Management and Permitting POW Office Fish Habitat Permit FH05-VII-0043 Issued: August 8, 2005, Expires: December 31, 2009. Letter to Mrs. Terri Thomas, Division Environmental Manager, Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division 610 East Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661-3801. Subject: Proposed Culvert Removal/ Installation Station 19+887, Coffman Cove Road II Phase II,Cataloged Stream 106-30-10670-2004-3027, T. 69S; R. 81E; S. 30, CRM. Pursuant to AS? 41.14.870, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources -- Office of Habitat Management and Permitting (OHM&P) has reviewed plans and specifications for your proposal to remove and replace a 84-inch by 50-foot corrugated metal pipe (cmp) with a 198-inch by 132-inch by 72.8.1-foot cmp at the above referenced location as part of the Coffman Cove II Phase II reconstruction of Forest Highway Road 3030 located near Coffman Cove, Alaska The descriptions, provisions, and stipulations for the proposed work are based on the attached plans, which were received by OHM&P from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on July 11, 2005. Cataloged stream 106-30-10670-2004-3027 has been specified as being important for the migration, spawning, or rearing of anadromous fishes in accordance with AS 41.14.870(a). Pink salmon, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden char use this portion of the waterbody. 1. The fish-passage crossing structure shall be constructed, operated, and maintained for the life of the structure such that free passage of fish is assured. Any obstruction to the free passage of fish (for example, perched culvert, outwash gravel, or excessive water velocity) shall be restored to the satisfaction of OHM&P. 2. Authorized activities shall avoid sensitive fish life stages. The installation of structures shall be conducted in a manner that maintains fish and their habitats. Work within the limits of ordinary high water of stream 106-30-10670-2004-3027 shall be conducted only between June 1 and August 7. A variance from this timing window may ONLY occur with prior approval from OHM&P. 3. For pumping operations, the water intake structure shall be centered and enclosed in a screened box designed to prevent fish entrapment, entrainment, or injury. The intake structure must be enclosed and centered within a screened box made of non-corrosive material with a maximum screen-mesh size of 0.04 inches (1 mm). To reduce fish impingement on screen surfaces, water velocity at the screen/water interface may not exceed 0.4 feet per second when the pump is operating. 4. No material shall be disposed of, stockpiled, stored, or otherwise placed below the ordinary high water line of stream 106-30-10670-2004-3027 except for the associated outlet control materials. 5. Upon completion of the new culvert, all associated fill shall be removed from below ordinary high water and the stream bed and banks restored to approximate their pre-disturbance configuration. 6. Blasting energy (overpressures) transmitted through the ground to fish-bearing waters shall not cause mortality to juvenile fish and shall be limited to a maximum of 2.7 pounds per square inch in fish habitat. In addition, overpressures in anadromous fish spawning beds shall be limited to achieve peak particle velocities of less than 0.5 inches per second during the time eggs are present (the remainder of the year for each of the timing windows above). The recipient of this permit (the permittee) is responsible for the actions of contractors, agents, or other persons who perform work to accomplish the approved plan. For any activity that significantly deviates from the approved plan, the permittee shall notify the OHM&P and obtain written approval in the form of a permit amendment before beginning the activity. Any action taken by the permittee or an agent of the permittee that increases the project's overall scope or that negates, alters, or minimizes the intent or effectiveness of any stipulation contained in this permit will be deemed a significant deviation from the approved plan. The final determination as to the significance of any deviation and the need for a permit amendment is the responsibility of the OHM&P. Therefore, it is recommended that the OHM&P be consulted immediately when a deviation from the approved plan is being considered. Louis Howard
8/8/2005 Update or Other Action ADNR/Office of Habitat Management and Permitting POW Office Fish Habitat Permit FH05-VII-0043 Issued: August 8, 2005, Expires: December 31, 2009. Letter to Mrs. Terri Thomas, Division Environmental Manager, Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division 610 East Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661-3801. Subject: Proposed Culvert Removal/ Installation Station 22+196, Coffman Cove Road II Phase II, Un-named Tributary to Cataloged Stream 106-30-10670-2004, T. 68S; R. 81E; S. 20, CRM Pursuant to AS? 41.14.840, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources -- Office of Habitat Management and Permitting (OHM&P) has reviewed plans and specifications for your proposal to remove and replace a 36-inch by 40-foot corrugated metal pipe (cmp) with a 96-inch by 68.6-foot cmp at the above referenced location as part of the Coffman Cove II Phase II reconstruction of Forest Highway Road 3030 located near Coffman Cove, Alaska The descriptions, provisions, and stipulations for the proposed work are based on the attached plans, which were received by OHM&P from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on July 11, 2005. This un-named creek contains resident Dolly Varden char and cutthroat trout downstream of the area of your proposed activity. Based upon our review of your plans, your proposed project should not obstruct the efficient passage and movement of fish but should allow for the increased passage of fish to habitat located above the proposed culvert installation location. In accordance with AS 41.14.840, project approval is hereby given. The recipient of this permit (the permittee) is responsible for the actions of contractors, agents, or other persons who perform work to accomplish the approved plan. For any activity that significantly deviates from the approved plan, the permittee shall notify the OHM&P and obtain written approval in the form of a permit amendment before beginning the activity. Any action taken by the permittee or an agent of the permittee, that increases the project's overall scope or that negates, alters, or minimizes the intent or effectiveness of any stipulation contained in this permit will be deemed a significant deviation from the approved plan. The final determination as to the significance of any deviation and the need for a permit amendment is the responsibility of the OHM&P. Therefore, it is recommended that the OHM&P be consulted immediately when a deviation from the approved plan is being considered. This letter constitutes a permit issued under the authority of AS 41.14.840 and 11 AAC 110 and must be retained on site during the permitted activity. Please be advised that this approval does not relieve you of the responsibility of securing other state, federal or local permits. This permit provides reasonable notice from the commissioner that failure to meet its terms and conditions constitutes violation of AS 41.14.860; no separate notice under AS 41.14.860 is required before citation for violation of AS 41.14.840 can occur. Pursuant to 6 AAC 80.010 (b), the conditions of this permit are consistent with the Standards of the Alaska Coastal Management Plan (ACMP). The work described in this permit complies with General Concurrence GC-7 (Culvert and Bridge Installation). In addition to the penalties provided by law, this permit may be terminated or revoked for failure to comply with its provisions or failure to comply with applicable statutes and regulations. The OHM&P reserves the right to require mitigation measures to correct disruption to fish and game created by the project and which was a direct result of the failure to comply with this permit or any applicable law. The permittee shall indemnify, save harmless, and defend the OHM&P, its agents, and its employees from any and all claims, actions or liabilities for injuries or damages sustained by any person or property arising directly or indirectly from permitted activities or the permittee's performance under this permit. However, this provision has no effect if, and only if, the sole proximate cause of the injury is the OHM&P's negligence. Louis Howard
8/8/2005 Update or Other Action ADNR/Office of Habitat Management and Permitting POW Office Fish Habitat Permit FH05-VII-0043 Issued: August 8, 2005, Expires: December 31, 2009. Letter to Mrs. Terri Thomas, Division Environmental Manager, Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division 610 East Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661-3801. Subject: Proposed Culvert Removal/Installation Station 22+391, Coffman Cove Road II Phase II, Cataloged Stream 106-30-10670-2004-0020-3021, T. 69S; R. 81E; S. 20, CRM Pursuant to AS? 41.14.870, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources -- Office of Habitat Management and Permitting (OHM&P) has reviewed plans and specifications for your proposal to remove and replace a 60-inch by 50-foot corrugated metal pipe (cmp) with a 120-inch by 122.4-foot cmp at the above referenced location as part of the Coffman Cove II Phase II reconstruction of Forest Highway Road 3030 located near Coffman Cove, Alaska The descriptions, provisions, and stipulations for the proposed work are based on the attached plans, which were received by OHM&P from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on July 11, 2005. Cataloged stream 106-30-10670-2004-0020-3021 has been specified as being important for the migration, spawning, or rearing of anadromous fishes in accordance with AS 41.14.870(a). Coho and chum salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden char use this portion of the waterbody. In accordance with AS 41.14.870(d), project approval is hereby given subject to your proposed scope of work and the following stipulations: 1. The fish-passage crossing structure shall be constructed, operated, and maintained for the life of the structure such that free passage of fish is assured. Any obstruction to the free passage of fish (for example, perched culvert, outwash gravel, or excessive water velocity) shall be restored to the satisfaction of OHM&P. 2. Authorized activities shall avoid sensitive fish life stages. The installation of structures shall be conducted in a manner that maintains fish and their habitats. Work within the limits of ordinary high water of stream 106-30-10670-2004-0020-3021 shall be conducted only between July 18 and August 15. A variance from this timing window may ONLY occur with prior approval from OHM&P. 3. For pumping operations, the water intake structure shall be centered and enclosed in a screened box designed to prevent fish entrapment, entrainment, or injury. The intake structure must be enclosed and centered within a screened box made of non-corrosive material with a maximum screen-mesh size of 0.04 inches (1 mm). To reduce fish impingement on screen surfaces, water velocity at the screen/water interface may not exceed 0.4 feet per second when the pump is operating. 4. No material shall be disposed of, stockpiled, stored, or otherwise placed below the ordinary high water line of stream 106-30-10670-2004-0020-3021 except for the associated outlet control materials. 5. Upon completion of the new culvert, all associated fill shall be removed from below ordinary high water and the stream bed and banks restored to approximate their pre-disturbance configuration. 6. Blasting energy (overpressures) transmitted through the ground to fish-bearing waters shall not cause mortality to juvenile fish and shall be limited to a maximum of 2.7 pounds per square inch in fish habitat. In addition, overpressures in anadromous fish spawning beds shall be limited to achieve peak particle velocities of less than 0.5 inches per second during the time eggs are present (the remainder of the year for each of the timing windows above). The recipient of this permit (the permittee) is responsible for the actions of contractors, agents, or other persons who perform work to accomplish the approved plan. For any activity that significantly deviates from the approved plan, the permittee shall notify the OHM&P and obtain written approval in the form of a permit amendment before beginning the activity. Any action taken by the permittee or an agent of the permittee, that increases the project's overall scope or that negates, alters, or minimizes the intent or effectiveness of any stipulation contained in this permit will be deemed a significant deviation from the approved plan. The final determination as to the significance of any deviation and the need for a permit amendment is the responsibility of the OHM&P. Therefore, it is recommended that the OHM&P be consulted immediately when a deviation from the approved plan is being considered. Louis Howard
8/8/2005 Update or Other Action ADNR/Office of Habitat Management and Permitting POW Office Fish Habitat Permit FH05-VII-0043 Issued: August 8, 2005, Expires: December 31, 2009. Letter to Mrs. Terri Thomas, Division Environmental Manager, Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division 610 East Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661-3801. Subject: Proposed Culvert Removal/Installation Station 23+257, Coffman Cove Road II Phase II, Un-named Tributary to Cataloged Stream 106-30-10670-2004, T. 68S; R. 81E; S. 17, CRM Pursuant to AS? 41.14.840, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources -- Office of Habitat Management and Permitting (OHM&P) has reviewed plans and specifications for your proposal to remove and replace a 60-inch by 60-foot corrugated metal pipe (cmp) with a 96-inch by 75.1-foot cmp at the above referenced location as part of the Coffman Cove II Phase II reconstruction of Forest Highway Road 3030 located near Coffman Cove, Alaska The descriptions, provisions, and stipulations for the proposed work are based on the attached plans, which were received by OHM&P from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on July 11, 2005. This un-named creek supports coho and chum salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden char in the area of your proposed activity. Based upon our review of your plans, your proposed project should not obstruct the efficient passage and movement of fish. In accordance with AS 41.14.840, project approval is hereby given subject to your proposed scope of work and the following stipulations: 1. The fish-passage crossing structure shall be constructed, operated, and maintained for the life of the structure such that free passage of fish is assured. Any obstruction to the free passage of fish (for example, perched culvert, outwash gravel, or excessive water velocity) shall be restored to the satisfaction of OHM&P. 2. Authorized activities shall avoid sensitive fish life stages. The installation of structures shall be conducted in a manner that maintains fish and their habitats. Work within the limits of ordinary high water shall be conducted only between July 18 and August 15. A variance from this timing window may ONLY occur with prior approval from OHM&P. 3. For pumping operations, the water intake structure shall be centered and enclosed in a screened box designed to prevent fish entrapment, entrainment, or injury. The intake structure must be enclosed and centered within a screened box made of non-corrosive material with a maximum screen-mesh size of 0.04 inches (1 mm). To reduce fish impingement on screen surfaces, water velocity at the screen/water interface may not exceed 0.4 feet per second when the pump is operating. 4. Upon completion of the new culvert, all associated fill shall be removed from below ordinary high water and the stream bed and banks restored to approximate their pre-disturbance configuration. 5. Blasting energy (overpressures) transmitted through the ground to fish-bearing waters shall not cause mortality to juvenile fish and shall be limited to a maximum of 2.7 pounds per square inch in fish habitat. In addition, overpressures in anadromous fish spawning beds shall be limited to achieve peak particle velocities of less than 0.5 inches per second during the time eggs are present (the remainder of the year for each of the timing windows above). The recipient of this permit (the permittee) is responsible for the actions of contractors, agents, or other persons who perform work to accomplish the approved plan. For any activity that significantly deviates from the approved plan, the permittee shall notify the OHM&P and obtain written approval in the form of a permit amendment before beginning the activity. Any action taken by the permittee or an agent of the permittee that increases the project's overall scope or that negates, alters, or minimizes the intent or effectiveness of any stipulation contained in this permit will be deemed a significant deviation from the approved plan. The final determination as to the significance of any deviation and the need for a permit amendment is the responsibility of the OHM&P. Therefore, it is recommended that the OHM&P be consulted immediately when a deviation from the approved plan is being considered. Louis Howard
8/8/2005 Update or Other Action ADNR/Office of Habitat Management and Permitting POW Office Fish Habitat Permit FH05-VII-0043 Issued: August 8, 2005, Expires: December 31, 2009. Letter to Mrs. Terri Thomas, Division Environmental Manager, Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division 610 East Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661-3801. Subject: Proposed Culvert Removal/ Installation, Station 23+965, Coffman Cove Road II Phase II, Un-named Tributary to Cataloged Stream 106-30-10670-2004, T. 68S; R. 81E; S. 16, CRM Pursuant to AS? 41.14.840, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources -- Office of Habitat Management and Permitting (OHM&P) has reviewed plans and specifications for your proposal to remove and replace a 36-inch by 40-foot corrugated metal pipe (cmp) with a 84-inch by 124-foot cmp at the above referenced location as part of the Coffman Cove II Phase II reconstruction of Forest Highway Road 3030 located near Coffman Cove, Alaska The descriptions, provisions, and stipulations for the proposed work are based on the attached plans, which were received by OHM&P from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on July 11, 2005. This un-named creek supports coho salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden char in the area of your proposed activity. Based upon our review of your plans, your proposed project should not obstruct the efficient passage and movement of fish. In accordance with AS 41.14.840, project approval is hereby given subject to your proposed scope of work and the following stipulations: 1. The fish-passage crossing structure shall be constructed, operated, and maintained for the life of the structure such that free passage of fish is assured. Any obstruction to the free passage of fish (for example, perched culvert, outwash gravel, or excessive water velocity) shall be restored to the satisfaction of OHM&P. 2. Authorized activities shall avoid sensitive fish life stages. The installation of structures shall be conducted in a manner that maintains fish and their habitats. Work within the limits of ordinary high water shall be conducted only between July 18 and August 15. A variance from this timing window may ONLY occur with prior approval from OHM&P. 3. For pumping operations, the water intake structure shall be centered and enclosed in a screened box designed to prevent fish entrapment, entrainment, or injury. The intake structure must be enclosed and centered within a screened box made of non-corrosive material with a maximum screen-mesh size of 0.04 inches (1 mm). To reduce fish impingement on screen surfaces, water velocity at the screen/water interface may not exceed 0.4 feet per second when the pump is operating. 4. Upon completion of the new culvert, all associated fill shall be removed from below ordinary high water and the stream bed and banks restored to approximate their pre-disturbance configuration. 5. Blasting energy (overpressures) transmitted through the ground to fish-bearing waters shall not cause mortality to juvenile fish and shall be limited to a maximum of 2.7 pounds per square inch in fish habitat. In addition, overpressures in anadromous fish spawning beds shall be limited to achieve peak particle velocities of less than 0.5 inches per second during the time eggs are present (the remainder of the year for each of the timing windows above). The recipient of this permit (the permittee) is responsible for the actions of contractors, agents, or other persons who perform work to accomplish the approved plan. For any activity that significantly deviates from the approved plan, the permittee shall notify the OHM&P and obtain written approval in the form of a permit amendment before beginning the activity. Any action taken by the permittee or an agent of the permittee that increases the project's overall scope or that negates, alters, or minimizes the intent or effectiveness of any stipulation contained in this permit will be deemed a significant deviation from the approved plan. The final determination as to the significance of any deviation and the need for a permit amendment is the responsibility of the OHM&P. Therefore, it is recommended that the OHM&P be consulted immediately when a deviation from the approved plan is being considered. Louis Howard
10/12/2005 Update or Other Action Dept. of the Army, US Army Engineer District, Alaska, Juneau Regulatory Field Office, Regulatory Branch, East Section, POA-1999-1447-O sent letter to Steve Zaske FHA, WFLH Division. Enclosed is the signed Dept. of the Army permit modification, file number POA-1999-1447-O, Coffman Cove 11, authorizing the discharge of approximately 602,054 cubic yards of fill material into 20.05 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, for the reconstruction of Segment II of the Coffman Cove Road. Compensatory mitigation would be provided for these impacts by restoring approximately 6.3 acres of wetlands by removing old roadbed from 30 wetland locations. The project starts at the Hatchery Creek bridge in the NE 1/4, NW 1/4 Section 12, T. 69 S., R. 81 E., Copper River Meridian (CRM); Latitude 55.908740 degrees N., Longitude 132.869970 degrees W.; southwest of the City of Coffman Cove, Alaska. Also enclosed is a Notice of Authorization that should be posted in a prominent location near the authorized work. If changes in the plans or location of the work are necessary for any reason, plans should be submitted to this office promptly. Federal law requires approval before construction is begun; if the changes are unobjectionable, approval will be issued without delay. Nothing in this letter shall be construed as excusing you (Federal Highway Administration) from compliance with other Federal, State, or local statues, ordinances, or regulations that may affect the proposed work. Additionally, we have enclosed a Notification of Administrative Appeals Options and Process and Request for Appeal form regarding this Department of the Army Permit Modification (see section labeled "Initial Proferred Permit"). All work will be performed in accordance with the attached plan, 78 sheets dated April 2005. In accordance with your request, General Condition No. 1 of the permit is hereby amended to read as follows: The time limit for completing the work authorized ends on October 31, 2008. If the activity authorized herein is not completed by the above date, this permit modification, if not previously revoked or specifically extended, shall automatically expire. If you find that you need more time to complete the authorized activity, please submit your request for a time extension to the Corps of Engineers for consideration at least one (1) month before permit expiration. The following ADDITIONAL Section 401 conditions apply to this permit modification (continued from the July 22, 2002 Certificate of Reasonable Assurance): All soil-disturbing construction operations that would increase turbidity of surface waters to levels that would violate Alaska Water Quality Standards (18 AAC 70) will be temporarily suspended if on site monitoring demonstrates said violations. During heavy rainfall events, water quality monitoring shall occur on all effected natural waterbodies to determine if they are being adversely impacted by construction activities. If turbidity exceeds water quality standards, ADEC Mr. Jim Powell (907-465-5321) WILL be contacted to help determine what mitigation measures SHALL be employed by FHWA. Suspended activities WILL NOT be resumed until erosion control measures are demonstrated to be effective. If a river diversion channel is constructed, it shall be constructed such that the ends are left plugged until the main stem of the channel is completed, then the outlet end opened prior to the inlet end. This will minimize the introduction of silty water into the stream. Natural drainage patters SHALL be maintained, to the extent practicable, without introducing ponding or drying. The road side ditches, located at all bridge approaches on each side, SHALL be stabilized against erosion and constructed in such a manner as to allow for the treatment of silt laden runoff water which, they may convey. Prior to fill placement, a silt fence or similar structure SHALL be installed on a line parallel to and within 5' of the proposed fill toe of slope within all wetland areas that contain standing water that is connected to any natural body of water or where the fill toe is within 25' of such a water body. This structure SHALL remain in place until the fill has been stabilized or contained in another manner. All other conditions under which the subject authorization and subsequent permit modifications was made REMAIN in full force and effect, as applicable. Please note, the mitigation conditions and monitoring requirements in the mitigation plan, that was signed on Jan. 30, 2003, now apply to the proposes 6.3 acres of wetland restoration for this segment of this project. Louis Howard
10/20/2006 Update or Other Action Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), & personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. Stream adjacent to surcharge at station 23+580 shows turbid water (SRB). NOTE TO FILE: This appears to be the FIRST visual record of Alaska Water Quality Standards VIOLATION at the Site. 18 AAC 70.20(b) (12) TURBIDITY, FOR FRESH WATER USES (criteria are not applicable to groundwater)(A) Water Supply (iii) aquaculture-May not exceed 25 NTU above natural conditions. For all lake waters, may not exceed 5 NTU above natural conditions. CORPS OF ENGINEERS (CORPS) PERMIT POA-1999-1447-0, Coffman Cove 11 prohibits discharge of sediments to waters of the U.S. Dept. of the Army, US Army Engineer District, Alaska, Juneau Regulatory Field Office, Regulatory Branch, East Section, POA-1999-1447-O sent letter to Steve Zaske FHA, WFLH Division. Enclosed is the signed Dept. of the Army permit modification, file number POA-1999-1447-O, Coffman Cove 11, authorizing the discharge of approximately 602,054 cubic yards of fill material into 20.05 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, for the reconstruction of Segment II of the Coffman Cove Road. Compensatory mitigation would be provided for these impacts by restoring approximately 6.3 acres of wetlands by removing old roadbed from 30 wetland locations. The project starts at the Hatchery Creek bridge in the NE 1/4, NW 1/4 Section 12, T. 69 S., R. 81 E., Copper River Meridian (CRM); Latitude 55.908740 degrees N., Longitude 132.869970 degrees W.; southwest of the City of Coffman Cove, Alaska. Also enclosed is a Notice of Authorization that should be posted in a prominent location near the authorized work. Nothing in this letter shall be construed as excusing you (Federal Highway Administration) from compliance with other Federal, State, or local statues, ordinances, or regulations that may affect the proposed work. Additionally, we have enclosed a Notification of Administrative Appeals Options & Process & Request for Appeal form regarding this Department of the Army Permit Modification (see section labeled "Initial Proferred Permit"). All work will be performed in accordance with the attached plan, 78 sheets dated April 2005. In accordance with your request, General Condition No. 1 of the permit is hereby amended to read as follows: The time limit for completing the work authorized ends on October 31, 2008. If the activity authorized herein is not completed by the above date, this permit modification, if not previously revoked or specifically extended, shall automatically expire. If you find that you need more time to complete the authorized activity, please submit your request for a time extension to the Corps of Engineers for consideration at least one (1) month before permit expiration. The following ADDITIONAL Section 401 conditions apply to this permit modification (continued from the July 22, 2002 Certificate of Reasonable Assurance): ALL soil-disturbing construction operations that would increase turbidity of surface waters to levels that would VIOLATE Alaska Water Quality Standards (18 AAC 70) will be temporarily suspended if on site monitoring demonstrates said VIOLATIONS. During heavy rainfall events, water quality monitoring shall occur on all effected natural water bodies to determine if they are being adversely impacted by construction activities. If turbidity exceeds water quality standards, ADEC Mr. Jim Powell (907-465-5321) WILL be contacted to help determine what mitigation measures SHALL be employed by FHWA. Suspended activities WILL NOT be resumed until erosion control measures are demonstrated to be effective. The road side ditches located at all bridge approaches on each side, shall be stabilized against erosion & constructed in such a manner as to allow for the treatment of silt laden runoff water which, they may convey. Prior to fill placement, a silt fence or similar structure shall be installed on a line parallel to & within 5' of the proposed fill toe of slope within all wetland areas that contain standing water that is connected to any natural body of water or where the fill toe is within 25' of such water body. This structure shall remain in place until the fill has been stabilized or contained in another manner. 18 AAC 70.990 Definitions(64) "turbidity" means an expression of the optical property that causes light to be scattered and absorbed rather than transmitted in straight lines through a water sample; turbidity in water is caused by the presence of suspended matter such as clay, silt, finely divided organic and inorganic matter, plankton, and other microscopic organisms; Louis Howard
10/21/2006 Update or Other Action Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. Surcharges at 19+964, 23+965, 23+580, and 24+700 started releasing sediment from the surcharge fill, Sediment is being released from around temporary pipe into streams (SRB). NOTE TO FILE: This appears to be the SECOND visual record of Alaska Water Quality Standards VIOLATION at the Site. 18 AAC 70.20(b)(9) SEDIMENT, FOR FRESH WATER USES (criteria are not applicable to groundwater) (C) Growth and Propagation of Fish, Shellfish, Other Aquatic Life, and Wildlife-The percent accumulation of fine sediment in the range of 0.1 mm to 4.0 mm in the gravel bed of waters used by anadromous or resident fish for spawning may not be increased more than 5% by weight above natural conditions (as shown from grain size accumulation graph). In no case may the 0.1 mm to 4.0 mm fine sediment range in those gravel beds exceed a maximum of 30% by weight (as shown from grain size accumulation graph) (see notes 3 and 4). In all other surface waters no sediment loads (suspended or deposited) that can cause adverse effects on aquatic animal or plant life, their reproduction or habitat may be present. 3. Wherever criteria for fine sediments are provided in this chapter, fine sediments must be sampled by the method described in An Improved Technique for Freeze Sampling Streambed Sediments, by William J. Walkotten, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Forest Service, Forest Service Research Note PNW-281, October 1976, adopted by reference, or by the technique found in Success of Pink Salmon Spawning Relative to Size of Spawning Bed Materials, by William J. McNeil and W.H. Ahnell, United States Department of the Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Special Scientific Report - Fisheries No. 469, January 1964, pages 1 - 3, adopted by reference. 4. Wherever criteria for fine sediments are provided in this chapter, percent accumulation of fine sediments will be measured by the technique found in the Manual on Test Sieving Methods, Guidelines for Establishing Sieve Analysis Procedures, by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), STP 447A, 1972 edition. 18 AAC 70.990(41) "natural condition" means any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological condition existing in a waterbody before any human-caused influence on, discharge to, or addition of material to, the waterbody; (51) "sediment" means solid material of organic or mineral origin that is transported by, suspended in, or deposited from water; A sediment includes chemical and biochemical precipitates and organic material, such as humus; Louis Howard
11/13/2006 Update or Other Action Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. Surcharges at 19+964, 23+965, and 23+580 have continued to release sediment laden water from rock fill. As turbid water mixes with stream water at the outlet of the temporary pipes sediment laden water is mixed and dissipates out in approximately 40-80 meters downstream (SRB). NOTE TO FILE: This appears to be the THIRD visual record of Alaska Water Quality Standards VIOLATION at the Site. 18 AAC 70.20(b)(9) SEDIMENT, FOR FRESH WATER USES (criteria are not applicable to groundwater) (C) Growth and Propagation of Fish, Shellfish, Other Aquatic Life, and Wildlife-The percent accumulation of fine sediment in the range of 0.1 mm to 4.0 mm in the gravel bed of waters used by anadromous or resident fish for spawning may not be increased more than 5% by weight above natural conditions (as shown from grain size accumulation graph). In no case may the 0.1 mm to 4.0 mm fine sediment range in those gravel beds exceed a maximum of 30% by weight (as shown from grain size accumulation graph) (see notes 3 and 4). In all other surface waters no sediment loads (suspended or deposited) that can cause adverse effects on aquatic animal or plant life, their reproduction or habitat may be present. 3. Wherever criteria for fine sediments are provided in this chapter, fine sediments must be sampled by the method described in An Improved Technique for Freeze Sampling Streambed Sediments, by William J. Walkotten, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Forest Service, Forest Service Research Note PNW-281, October 1976, adopted by reference, or by the technique found in Success of Pink Salmon Spawning Relative to Size of Spawning Bed Materials, by William J. McNeil and W.H. Ahnell, United States Department of the Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Special Scientific Report - Fisheries No. 469, January 1964, pages 1 - 3, adopted by reference. 4. Wherever criteria for fine sediments are provided in this chapter, percent accumulation of fine sediments will be measured by the technique found in the Manual on Test Sieving Methods, Guidelines for Establishing Sieve Analysis Procedures, by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), STP 447A, 1972 edition. Louis Howard
12/13/2006 Update or Other Action Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. Surcharges at: 19+964, 23+965, 23+580. and 24+700 continue to release sediment from fill which enters stream channels. Turbidity does not change with stream flow except that it settles out more quickly with the larger flow. Turbidity release changes with the level of the water table within the fill (SRB). NOTE TO FILE: This appears to be the FOURTH visual record of Alaska Water Quality Standards VIOLATION at the Site. 18 AAC 70.20(b)(9) SEDIMENT, FOR FRESH WATER USES (criteria are not applicable to groundwater) (C) Growth and Propagation of Fish, Shellfish, Other Aquatic Life, and Wildlife-The percent accumulation of fine sediment in the range of 0.1 mm to 4.0 mm in the gravel bed of waters used by anadromous or resident fish for spawning may not be increased more than 5% by weight above natural conditions (as shown from grain size accumulation graph). In no case may the 0.1 mm to 4.0 mm fine sediment range in those gravel beds exceed a maximum of 30% by weight (as shown from grain size accumulation graph) (see notes 3 and 4). In all other surface waters no sediment loads (suspended or deposited) that can cause adverse effects on aquatic animal or plant life, their reproduction or habitat may be present. 3. Wherever criteria for fine sediments are provided in this chapter, fine sediments must be sampled by the method described in An Improved Technique for Freeze Sampling Streambed Sediments, by William J. Walkotten, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Forest Service, Forest Service Research Note PNW-281, October 1976, adopted by reference, or by the technique found in Success of Pink Salmon Spawning Relative to Size of Spawning Bed Materials, by William J. McNeil and W.H. Ahnell, United States Department of the Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Special Scientific Report - Fisheries No. 469, January 1964, pages 1 - 3, adopted by reference. 4. Wherever criteria for fine sediments are provided in this chapter, percent accumulation of fine sediments will be measured by the technique found in the Manual on Test Sieving Methods, Guidelines for Establishing Sieve Analysis Procedures, by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), STP 447A, 1972 edition. Louis Howard
2/26/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. FHWA stated that they are not concerned with sediment discharges at surcharges. The FHWA are not concerned of the releases. FHWA sees release as new baseline nephelometric turbidity units since it is coming from the filI (SRB). There are several other SRB erosion control inspection reports between October 20, 2006 and March 31, 2007 which reference the continued reIeases of sediment from surcharges into streams at stations: 19+964, 23+965, 23+580, and 23+700. NOTE TO FILE: This appears to be a continuing record of Alaska Water Quality Standards VIOLATION at the Site. 18 AAC 70.20(b)(9) SEDIMENT, FOR FRESH WATER USES (criteria are not applicable to groundwater) (C) Growth and Propagation of Fish, Shellfish, Other Aquatic Life, and Wildlife-The percent accumulation of fine sediment in the range of 0.1 mm to 4.0 mm in the gravel bed of waters used by anadromous or resident fish for spawning may NOT be increased more than 5% by weight above natural conditions (as shown from grain size accumulation graph). In NO case may the 0.1 mm to 4.0 mm fine sediment range in those gravel beds exceed a maximum of 30% by weight (as shown from grain size accumulation graph) (see notes 3 and 4). In all other surface waters NO sediment loads (suspended or deposited) that can cause adverse effects on aquatic animal or plant life, their reproduction or habitat may be present. 3. Wherever criteria for fine sediments are provided in this chapter, fine sediments must be sampled by the method described in An Improved Technique for Freeze Sampling Streambed Sediments, by William J. Walkotten, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Forest Service, Forest Service Research Note PNW-281, October 1976, adopted by reference, or by the technique found in Success of Pink Salmon Spawning Relative to Size of Spawning Bed Materials, by William J. McNeil and W.H. Ahnell, United States Department of the Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Special Scientific Report - Fisheries No. 469, January 1964, pages 1 - 3, adopted by reference. 4. Wherever criteria for fine sediments are provided in this chapter, percent accumulation of fine sediments will be measured by the technique found in the Manual on Test Sieving Methods, Guidelines for Establishing Sieve Analysis Procedures, by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), STP 447A, 1972 edition. TURBIDITY-May not exceed 25 NTU above natural conditions. For all lake waters, may not exceed 5 NTU above natural conditions. pH, FOR FRESH WATER USES (variation of pH for water naturally outside the specified range must be toward the range)-Growth and Propagation of Fish, Shellfish, Other Aquatic Life, and Wildlife: May not be less than 6.5 or greater than 8.5. May not vary more than 0.5 pH unit from natural conditions. Louis Howard
3/24/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. FHWA stated that something needed to be done with the sediment output at station 24+700 (SRB). Louis Howard
3/26/2007 Update or Other Action Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 40(10): 1575–1582 (1983) | doi:10.1139/f83-182 | © 1983 NRC Canada "Effects of Low pH on Eyed Embryos and Alevins of Pacific Salmon" by Peter J. Rombough Abstract: Ten-day bioassays were conducted to assess the sensitivity of eyed embryos, newly hatched alevins, and buttoned-up alevins of coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch), chinook (O. tshawytscha), sockeye (O. nerka), pink (O. gorbuscha), and chum (O. keta) salmon to low pH. Acid sensitivity varied significantly both with stage of development and with species. The various stages and species were ranked in order of decreasing sensitivity to low pH on the basis of significant differences (P < 0.05) in 10-d LC50 values. [LC stands for "Lethal Concentration". LC values usually refer to the concentration of a chemical in air but in environmental studies it can also mean the concentration of a chemical in water. The concentration of the chemical in water that kills 50% of the test animals in a given time is the LC50 value and 10% of the test animals in a given time is the LC10 value.] Stage sensitivities (10-d LC50 pH range) were ranked buttoned-up alevins (4.4–5.2) > newly hatched alevins (4.4–4.9) > eyed embryos (3.6–4.0) for all species except COHO. COHO were MORE sensitive as newly hatched alevins than near button-up. Species sensitivities were ranked (chum, pink) > sockeye > chinook > coho for eyed embryos, coho > (chinook, sockeye) > (pink, chum) for newly hatched alevins, and (chum, pink, sockeye) > chinook > coho for buttoned-up alevins. Ten-day LC10s for eyed embryos ranged from pH 3.82 for chinook to pH 4.18 for chum. LC10s for the most sensitive alevin stage of each species ranged from pH 5.01 for coho to pH 5.74 for chum. Incipient lethal levels could not be estimated for any stage or species because no toxicity curves approached a pH threshold during the test period. Aberrant behavior was noted in buttoned-up alevins of pink and chum exposed to pH 6.0–6.1 but not in other species at levels above those causing acute mortality. (Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences-Information on this site has been posted with the intent that it be readily available for personal and public non-commercial use and may be reproduced, in part or in whole and by any means, without charge or further permission from the National Research Council.) Louis Howard
4/12/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR/Office of Habitat Management and Permitting POW Office Fish Habitat Permit FH05-VII-0043 Issued: August 8, 2005, Amended: April 12, 2007, Expires: December 31, 2009. Letter to Mrs. Terri Thomas, Division Environmental Manager, Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division, 610 East Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661-3801. Subject:Proposed Culvert Removal/ Installation, Station 19+964, Coffman Cove Road II Phase II, Un-named Tributary to Cataloged Stream 106-30-10670-2004, T. 68S; R. 81E; S. 30, CRM Pursuant to AS? 41.14.870, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources -- Office of Habitat Management and Permitting (OHM&P) has reviewed plans and specifications for your proposal to remove and replace a 30-inch by 50-foot corrugated metal pipe (cmp) with a 72-inch by 94.5-foot cmp at the above referenced location as part of the Coffman Cove II Phase II reconstruction of Forest Highway Road 3030 located near Coffman Cove, Alaska The descriptions, provisions, and stipulations for the proposed work are based on the attached plans, which were received by OHM&P from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on July 11, 2005. During the prescribed instream work window, in 2006, a temporary culvert was installed at this location due to the amount of excavation required and the need for a surcharge. Due to the amount of instream work associated with the overall project, the contractor has requested an extension of the instream work window for the installation of the permanent culvert at this location. Stipulation 2 of the original permit read as follows: 2. Authorized activities shall avoid sensitive fish life stages. The installation of structures shall be conducted in a manner that maintains fish and their habitats. Work within the limits of ordinary high water shall be conducted only between June 15 and September 1. A variance from this timing window may ONLY occur with prior approval from OHM&P. In order to accommodate the installation of the permanent culvert the instream work window contained in stipulation 2 has been amended as follows: 2. Authorized activities shall avoid sensitive fish life stages. The installation of structures shall be conducted in a manner that maintains fish and their habitats. Work within the limits of ordinary high water shall be conducted only between June 1 and September 1. A variance from this timing window may ONLY occur with prior approval from OHM&P. All descriptions, provisions, and other stipulations contained in the original permit apply to the project. Louis Howard
6/4/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. pH samples first taken at 19+964. pH upstream of culvert = 5.8 pH downstream just before stream enters stream 106-30-10670-2004-3027 = 2.33 (SRB). 18 AAC 70.020. Protected water use classes and subclasses; water quality criteria; water quality standards table.(b)(6) pH, FOR FRESH WATER USES (variation of pH for water naturally outside the specified range must be toward the range)(C) Growth and Propagation of Fish, Shellfish, Other Aquatic Life, and Wildlife: May NOT be less than 6.5 or greater than 8.5. May NOT vary more than 0.5 pH unit from natural conditions. 18 AAC 70.990 Definitions(45) "pH" means the negative logarithm of the hydrogen-ion concentration, expressed as moles per liter: pH = -log10 (H+); Louis Howard
6/13/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. FHWA begins conducting pH sampling of streams at stations at 19+964 and 24+700. Only downstream pH was recorded with 19+964 being 2.3 and 24+700 being 2.93. Louis Howard
6/28/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. OHMP staff conduct field inspection with FHWA. pH issues were not discussed and problem sites were not inspected. Louis Howard
7/16/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. FHWA begins conducting ph sampling at all sites. FHWA begins conducting pH up to the present time. Louis Howard
8/15/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. OHMP receives anonymous materials indicating low pH in several streams along CCPHII. Louis Howard
9/12/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. OHMP staff conducts field inspection with FHWA and SRB and first learns of the low pH at station 19+964. Louis Howard
11/14/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. OHMP conducts field inspection with FHWA (Elisa Carlson) and USFS (Tim Chittenden). FHWA and USFS take water samples at 19+964, 23+965, 23+580, 24+700. Louis Howard
11/26/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. OHMP receives pH testing results from June 16, 2007 through November 19, 2007. Louis Howard
11/29/2007 Update or Other Action Letter from USDOT FHA WFLHD to William Ashton ADEC. This letter is intended to document your November 13, 2007, telephone conversation with Elisa Carlsen, Environmental Protection Specialist with Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), regarding low pH balances and violation of Alaska water quality standards. The violation stems from activities associated with the Coffman Cove Road Reconstruction Project, Phase II. Coffman Cove Road is located on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska in the Tongass National Forest. On July 22, 2002, WFLHD was issued a Certificate of Reasonable Assurance (refer to ACOE No. 4-1999-1447, State ID AK-02-05-01JJ) in accordance with Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act. In issuing the 401 Certificate, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) certified that any discharge resulting from construction activities would comply with the Clean Water Act and State water quality standards. Those standards are set forth under title 18 of the Alaska Administrative Code section 70. 18 AAC 70.020 6 (c) for freshwater uses, growth and propagation of fish, shellfish, other aquatic life and wildlife. It states that “pH may not be less than 6.5 or greater than 8.5, and may not vary more than 0.5 pH unit from natural conditions” The following is a brief summary of the FHWA road construction project and current field conditions leading to the violation. During the 2007 construction season for Phase II of the project, it was noted that a temporary culvert installed at project station 19+964 was severely corroded after being in place for approximately eight months. As a result of the corrosion, WFLHD began testing for pH, conductivity, resistivity, total dissolved solids and oxidation reduction potential with an Ultrameter II water quality meter. On June 13th, when testing began, the pH reading approximately one foot downstream of the culvert outlet was 2.3. Orange flocculent in the stream was also visually observed at this location. In considering the contributing factors to the low pH reading, rock material used as backfill for the placement of the culvert was suspected as the primary source of the low pH. The rock material used at this culvert location came from a borrow source identified as B(5) in the contract plans. The B(5) source was a roadway cut that extracted approximately 80,000 cubic meters of material used in support of culvert installations and embankment construction. As a result of the low pH reading at station 19+964 and the associated placement of the rock material throughout the roadway prism, WFLHD construction staff began a pH monitoring program at 15 sites where the material had been placed. The results of the monitoring have identified 4 locations with pH readings below the water quality standards. These locations are associated with culverts at stations 19+964, 22+196, 23+965, and 24+701. In conducting these pH tests, we have no site-specific pH baseline under natural conditions prior to construction to compare the test results at each of the culvert locations. We are currently conducting water and rock chemical analysis to further determine the contributing factors to the low pH readings and the flocculants that are present in the water. The water samples taken will be tested in accordance with ADEC protocols. Water is being analyzed for hardness, iron, copper, sulfate, pH, conductivity, alkalinity and total dissolved solids. We expect the results by mid-December. Upon receipt of the lab results, WFLHD will notify ADEC and its partner and resource agencies. We will then discuss and consider actions we need to take to comply with the regulatory requirements. Thank you very much for your attention to this project. If you have any questions please contact Elisa Carlsen of my staff at (360) 619-7674, or by email at elisa.carlsen@fhwa.dot.gov. Written correspondence may be sent to Ms. Carlsen's attention at the above address. Louis Howard
12/3/2007 Update or Other Action ADNR OHMP Memorandum: Using information received from Southeast Road Builders (SRB), Western Federal Lands Highway Administration (FHA), and personal field inspection notes; the following is a chronology of the work inspections conducted in association with construction of Phase II of the Coffman Cove Road (CCPHII) resulting in low pH in several streams along the project. OHMP receives email from USFS stating lab results of water samples collected on November 14, 2007 by FHWA and USFS will be available December 6, 2007. Louis Howard
12/6/2007 Update or Other Action US DOT FHA WFLH Division sent letter to Kim Ogle Manager, NPDES Compliance Unit US EPA Region 10. In February 2004, The Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was issued National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Construction Permit number AKR10B626 for construction activities associated with the Coffman Cove Road Reconstruction Project, Phase II on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. This letter is being submitted in accordance with the reporting requirements established under Standard Permit Condition 12(F) of the NPDES General Permit for Small and Large Construction Activities. Under that condition a permitted agency is required to report any noncompliance which may endanger health or the environment. The following is a brief summary of the road construction project and current field conditions leading to the NPDES non-compliance concerns. During the 2007 construction season for Phase II of the project, it was noted that a temporary culvert installed at project station 19+964 was severely corroded after being in place for approximately eight months. As a result of the corrosion, WFLHD began testing for pH, conductivity, resistivity, total dissolved solids and oxidation reduction potential with an Ultrameter II water quality meter. On June 13th, when testing began, the pH reading approximately one foot downstream of the culvert outlet was 2.3. Orange flocculent in the stream was also visually observed at this location. In considering the contributing factors to the low pH reading, rock material used as backfill for the placement of the culvert was suspected as the primary source of the low pH. The rock material used at this culvert location came from a borrow source identified as B(5) in the contract plans. The B(5) source was a roadway cut that extracted approximately 80,000 cubic meters of material used in support of culvert installations and embankment construction. As a result of the low pH reading at station 19+964 and the associated placement of the rock material throughout the roadway prism, WFLHD construction staff began a pH monitoring program at 15 sites where the material had been placed. The results of the monitoring have identified 4 locations with pH readings below Alaska water quality standards for pH. These locations are associated with culverts at stations 19+964, 22+196, 23+965, and 24+701. In conducting these pH tests, we have no site-specific pH baseline under natural conditions prior to construction to compare the test results at each of the culvert locations. We are currently conducting water and rock chemical analysis to further determine the contributing factors to the low pH readings and the flocculants that are present in the water. The water samples taken will be tested in accordance with ADEC protocols. Water is being analyzed for hardness, iron, copper, sulfate, pH, conductivity, alkalinity and total dissolved solids. We expect the results by mid-December. Upon receipt of the lab results, WFLHD will notify the EPA and its partner and resource agencies. We will then discuss and consider actions we need to take to comply with the regulatory requirements. Thank you very much for your attention to this project. If you have any questions please contact Elisa Carlsen of my staff at (360) 619-7674, or by email at elisa.carlsen@fhwa.dot.gov. Written correspondence may be sent to Ms. Carlsen's attention at the above address Louis Howard
12/19/2007 Update or Other Action Terri L. Thomas Environmental Program Manager US DOT FHA WFLHD sent a letter to EPA Region 10 NPDES Compliance Unit Kim Ogle from RE: AK-PFH-44(2) Coffman Cove Road Reconstruction Project Phase II. On December 6, 2007 the Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reported a noncompliance concern under Standard Permit Condition 12(F) of the NPDES General Permit for Small and Large Construction Activities to your office. In our letter documenting low pH balances to several stream crossings on the Coffman Cove Road Reconstruction project you were informed that a material source B(5) was a possible contributing factor to the low pH levels. Chemical analyses of the B(5) soil and water samples have been completed. The results of those tests have been received and are included as attachments to this letter. WFLHD’s initial assessment of the water chemistry results suggests increases in sulfate, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), conductivity, copper, and iron at sample locations near the road embankment. On November 15, 2007, WFLHD with its partner agency the United States Forest Service (USFS) collected 60 water samples from 20 separate locations upstream and downstream of the fish passage culverts where the B(5) material had been placed. Additionally, one site was selected as background for water sampling where the B(5) material had not been placed. A vicinity map of the project area is attached. The Acid Base Accounting and Saturated Paste pH suggests that the single B-5 soil sample submitted for testing has a low potential to generate acid. The tests also indicate the material has high levels of iron and copper. This sample was taken from fill material placed in the fall of 2006 at roadway station 19+964. Without additional water and soil sampling and analysis; biological testing; geomorphic, geological, and hydrological assessments, it is difficult to identify the source with any certainty. WFLHD plans to procure additional expertise to assist with further testing and analysis in identifying the contributors to elevated iron and copper levels and low pH balances. Thank you very much for your attention to this project. If you have any questions please contact Elisa Carlsen of my staff at (360) 619-7674, or by email at elisa.carlsen@fhwa.dot.gov. Written correspondence may be sent to Ms. Carlsen's attention at the above address. Louis Howard
12/20/2007 Update or Other Action US DOT FHA WFLHD sent letter to Mark Minnillo ADNR HM&P RE: AK-PFH-44(2) Coffman Cove Road Reconstruction Project Phase II. In follow up to our letter dated October 26, 2007 the Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) would like to share the laboratory results from water and soil testing taken as part of our investigations into low pH balances to several stream crossings on the Coffman Cove Road Reconstruction project. The results of those tests are included as attachments to this letter. WFLHD’s initial assessment of the water chemistry results suggests increases in sulfate, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), conductivity, copper, and iron at sample locations near the road embankment. On November 15, 2007, WFLHD with its partner agency the United States Forest Service (USFS) collected 60 water samples from 20 separate locations upstream and downstream of the fish passage culverts where the B(5) material had been placed. Additionally, one site was selected as background for water sampling where the B(5) material had not been placed. A vicinity map of the project area is attached. The Acid Base Accounting and Saturated Paste pH suggests that the single B-5 soil sample submitted for testing has a low potential to generate acid. The tests also indicate the material has high levels of iron and copper. This sample was taken from fill material placed in the fall of 2006 at roadway station 19+964. Without additional water and soil sampling and analysis; biological testing; geomorphic, geological, and hydrological assessments, it is difficult to identify the source with any certainty. WFLHD plans to procure additional expertise to assist with further testing and analysis in identifying the contributors to elevated iron and copper levels and low pH balances. Thank you very much for your attention to this project. If you have any questions please contact Elisa Carlsen of my staff at (360) 619-7674, or by email at elisa.carlsen@fhwa.dot.gov. Written correspondence may be sent to Ms. Carlsen's attention at the above address Louis Howard
2/26/2008 Update or Other Action USDOT FHA WFLHD sent letter to William Ashton ADEC RE: AK-PFH-44(2), Coffman Cove Road Reconstruction Project Phase II Proposed Response Plan. This is a response to your letter dated January 22, 2008 in which you request additional information on water quality monitoring, the location of water samples taken in the field, and the quantities and placement and of the B(5) source material. You requested this information because of a water quality violation associated with the Coffman Cove Road Reconstruction Project. As we noted in our December 20, 2007 letter, Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has hired a consulting firm, David Evans and Associates (DEA), to conduct further investigations on this issue. Base mapping will be developed in support of this effort and will be made available to you when it is received. As you have previously discussed with Elisa Carlsen of my staff, plan and profile sheets of the roadway, spreadsheets containing the potential hydrogen (pH) monitoring results, and the quantities and placement of the B(5) material source are available to you on WFLHD’s ftp site, ftp://198.145.188.2/pub/Coffman_Cove/Coffman%20Phase%20II%20Environmental%20Issues/ You also requested an explanation of why sampling began on June 13, 2007 and why your office received a first notice of this situation on November 13, 2007. Initial testing for pH values was conducted by our construction contractor. WFLHD expanded testing for pH to thirteen sites during the month of July. Since that time we have been collecting data and monitoring field conditions. The early data suggested the pH balance was neutralizing at several locations. On October 10th, 2007, WFLHD received a letter from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) Office of Habitat Management and Permitting (OHMP) concerning the low pH and impacts to fish habitat at station 19+964. WFLHD responded by putting together a team to manage the situation. Our notification to you on November 13, 2007 coincided with our initial water sampling for sulphur, iron and copper. WFLHD has tasked DEA to develop a Site Characterization Plan and Quality Assurance Project Plan that will comply with Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) requirements. Our proposed approach to exchange information between WFLHD and ADEC includes: • WFLHD will provide ADEC with a draft Phase 1 Sampling Plan and draft outline of the Site Characterization Plan for your review and initial comment the beginning of March. • WFLHD will host a conference call to discuss ADEC’s comments prior to conducting Phase 1 sampling currently planned for mid-March. • Once Phase 1 sampling results are in, WFLHD will submit a draft Characterization Plan and Quality Assurance Project Plan and transmit the draft to ADEC for review and comment. • The draft plan would then be revised based on ADEC’s review and comments and re-submitted for ADEC’s approval. Thank you very much for your attention to this project. If you have any questions please contact Elisa Carlsen at (360) 619-7674 or by email at elisa.carlsen@fhwa.dot.gov. Written correspondence may be sent to Ms. Carlsen's attention at the above address. Louis Howard
3/27/2008 Report or Workplan Review - Other William Ashton ADEC Division of Water sent WFLHD FHA Terri Thomas a letter RE: Review of "Outline for Draft Site Characterization Plan--Coffman Cove Road Water Quality Assessment" dated March 2008. In our letter of January 22, 2008 ADEC requested copies of existing information, the development of a site characterization workplan and the development of a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for sampling to be conducted this spring. The following are our comments on the information submitted to date. 1. Items 1 through 4 of our letter of January 22, 2008 were made available through an “ftp” site referred to in an email on February 22, 2008 from Elisa Carlsen to William Ashton with the exception that the sample locations were not indicated on a map or plan/profile sheet. 2. Item 5 and 6 of our letter of January 22, 2008 were submitted by email on March 17, 2008 from Elisa Carlsen to William Ashton. Comments on these submittals follow. 3. Page 1. Section 1.1 Include a discussion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit for the project and ADEC’s 401 certification of the project. 4. Page 1. Section 1.1 Include more detail on the temporary culvert replacement, such as, were pH measurements taken before the replacement of the temporary culvert. During replacement of the temporary culvert was more than just the bedding material excavated. If so, did this have any effect on pH. How many temporary culverts were replaced? Of these how many exhibited corrosion. 5. Page 3. Section 2.0 Discuss where ADF&G cataloged anadromous fish streams cross the road. 6. Page 7. Section 4.1.1 For the bullet on fish observations should this be ADNR letter of October 10, 2007? 7. Page 7. Section 4.1.1 Add an addition item: evaluate the representativeness of the water quality data collected in 2007. Is the existing data useful in determining the impact of the road on water chemistry. 8. Page 7. Section 4.2.1 Discuss the seasonality in fish use of the streams and this affect on representativeness of fish sampling conducted in early April. Discuss and estimate the amount of fish habitat lost due to changes in water chemistry. 9. Page 9. Section 7.1 Provide recommendations for corrective action for 19+964, and other locations identified by April 2008 sampling, that can be implemented prior to paving this summer. 10. App. C The name of the Department is Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. 11. Page C-2 , Section 2.1 Please correct our (ADEC) organization name to “Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation”. 12. Page C-3, Section 2.3 2 a Please correct the typo to capitalize the H in pH. 13. Page C-6, under Representativeness: Please correct the typo for matrix type to soil. 14. Page C-8, under Compliance Sampling: Consider adding Total Dissolved Solids as an indicator of changes in water quality. 15. Page C-15, Table 7 It is very unclear to me from the entries in the Calibration column when the field meters will be calibrated. For example, the listing for the TempHion instrument is “Before and after by NW Instrumentation”. Does this indicate before and after the entire project, or daily or before each sample is collected? In addition, it is important to indicate for a multisensor instrument when each detector will be calibrated. For temperature, before and after project would be acceptable, but a pH meter must be calibrated (minimum 2 calibration buffers) at the beginning of the day and checked (by running the standards as samples) at the end of the day. Turbidity meters are normally calibrated every three months. Does the calibration procedure for the Swoffer flow meter include a one minute spin test? 16. Page C – 16 Please correct the typo from USGA to USGS. 17. Page C-17 Section 3.2.2 We have not been able to get the review by the mining person by the time of sending this letter 18. Page C-18 Table 10 We have not been able to get review by the mining person by the time of sending this letter. 19. Page C-18 Table 9 In March of 2007, the EPA revised the list of approved methods that can be used under the Clean Water Act. They removed many of the EPA methods that are equivelant to those in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (SM). Below are method numbers that should be used as replacements in Table 9. The metals test by 200.7 is currently approved. Alkalinity: SM 2320B, SO4 by IC: EPA 300.0, Hardness: SM2340 B or C and TDS: SM 2540 C. We are aware of the contracts to pave the road this summer have been let. Please be aware that WFLHD does so with the understanding that corrective action may necessitate removal of fill and this could affect areas paved this summer. Louis Howard
5/28/2008 Update or Other Action Fax received from National Response Center, Incident Report #872336 taken at 17:08 May 28, 2008. INCIDENT LOCATION- FSR 3030 County: PRINCE OF WALES-OTHER KETCHIKAN, COFFMAN COVE ROAD, City: COFFMAN COVE State: AK Distance from City: 4 MILES Direction from City: SW, Latitude: 55 Degrees 57' 44" N , Longitude: 132 Degrees 55' 31" W, Section: 9, 16, 17, 20, 30, 31 Township: 68S Range: 81E 4 MILES SOUTHWEST OF TOWN OF COFFMAN COVE ON COFFMAN COVE ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROJECT. DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT- IN THE FALL OF 2006, SHOT ROCK (LARGE ANGULAR ROCK 2-24 INCHES IN DIAMETER) REMOVED FROM A ROAD CUT WAS PLACED AS ROAD FILL AT CULVERT CROSSINGS AND WETLAND BOGS BETWEEN MILEPOST (MP) 4.0 AND MP 7.4. THIS ROCK IS REFERRED TO AS B-5 MATERIAL. BEGINNING IN JUNE 2007, FHWA PERSONNEL OBSERVED THAT NEWLY INSTALLED METAL CULVERTS LOCATED AT MP 4.3, 4.9, AND 7.4 WERE SHOWING SIGNS OF EXCESS CORROSION. TESTS CONDUCTED ON THE B-5 MATERIAL SHOWED THAT IT HAS HIGH ACID GENERATION POTENTIAL. WATER TESTING (FALL 2007) DOWNSTREAM FROM THE FILL SITES SHOWED PH LEVELS AS LOW AS 2.3. FHWA HIRED A CONSULTANT TO DO FURTHER TESTING AT THE SITE AND RECEIVED THEIR REPORT IN APRIL 2008. TESTS INDICATED THAT PH LEVELS IN DOWNSTREAM WATERS MAY BE APPROACHING 2.0, PROMPTING THIS REPORT. NOTIFICATIONS BY NRC- ALASKA DEPT OF ENVIRO CONSERVATION (MAIN OFFICE) 28-MAY-0817:35 USCG HSOC AT DHS (USCG HSOC DESK) 28-MAY-0817:35 DOT CRISIS MANAGEMENT CENTER (MAIN OFFICE) 28-MAY-0817:35 FEMA REGION 10 (MAIN OFFICE) 28-MAY-0817:35 NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE COORD CTR (MAIN OFFICE) 28-MAY-0817:35 NOAA RPTS FOR AK (MAIN OFFICE) 28-MAY-0817:35 SECTOR JUNEAU (COMMAND CENTER) 28-MAY-0817:37 WEB REPORT (WEB REPORT SUBMITTER) 28-MAY-0817:35 Louis Howard
6/12/2008 Update or Other Action ADNR, Office of Habitat Management & Permitting Prince of Wales Area Office, Mark Minnillo, Habitat Biologist sent letter to Diane Spencer, Environmental Program Manager, Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division RE: Coffman Cove Road Phase II, Draft Site Characterization Plan. On May 16, 2008, the Office of Habitat Management and Permitting (OHMP) received an email from Ms. Elisa Carlsen (WFLHD) containing a link to the Draft Site Characterization Plan and Preliminary Report- Coffman Cove Road Water Quality Assessment (Draft Plan) which was prepared by David Evans and Associates. The following are our comments on the Draft Plan, and the teleconference held on May 22, 2008, between WFLHD and state and federal agencies. The purposes of the Draft Plan were to document impacts and provide a basis for the cause, and propose a mitigation approach and additional characterization. About 1.5 miles of phase II of the Coffman Cove Road received fill material from the rock source known as B-5. This material has been found to contain elevated concentrations of iron and copper and has been determined to be the cause of decreased pH concentrations in several streams along the road alignment. The Plan indicates that about 2180 lineal feet of stream (7 cataloged anadromous streams) have been impacted. Impacts include the loss of some of the 2 age classes of anadromous fish present. During the teleconference the consultant clarified that the total lineal feet of stream impacted only measured to the farthest downstream sample locations and not the total length of the streams impacted. All of the impacted streams are tributary to Sweetwater Lake (ADF&G Stream Number 106-30-10670-2004) cataloged for pink, chum, coho, and sockeye salmon, and steelhead trout. During the May 22, 2008, teleconference; WFLHD discussed possible mitigation measures. These ranged from alkaline addition to complete removal of the B-5 material. WFLHD proposed to conduct additional investigation work during the summer of 2008 and install temporary, bench mitigation measures in the fall of 2008. OHMP does not believe that additional investigative work and temporary bench remediation tests are needed. As stated in the Draft Plan, “the B-5 material was a geochemically unsuitable fill material in the environment into which it was placed”. The placement of this material into cataloged anadromous waters and the resulting low pH concentrations has caused the loss of some anadromous fish and has decreased the quality of the anadromous fish habitat present. As we originally stated in our letter dated October 10, 2007, OHMP recommends that all of the B-5 material be removed as soon as possible and disposed of in a proper manner. Our goal is to ensure the proper protection of fish resources in all of the fish-bearing water bodies impacted by the Coffman Cove Road project. Please let us know what actions you plan to take and when the work will occur. Louis Howard
6/12/2008 Site Added to Database Site added to the database. Mitzi Read
6/13/2008 Update or Other Action Part II of II William Ashton ADEC Div. Of Water sent Diane Spencer WFLH Div. FHA a letter RE: Review of Draft Site Characterization Plan & Preliminary Report -- Coffman Cove Road Water Quality Assessment May 2008. (5.d.) The SCP report does NOT satisfy ADEC’s request to evaluate the potential threat to human health. The SCP report needs to add a brief discussion of the US Forest Service cabin(s) in the area and briefly evaluate of the potential threat to human health from the change in water quality. With completion of Objective 1, as described on page 80 of the SCP report, WFLHD will have adequately satisfies ADEC’s request to evaluate the potential threat to the fisheries and habitat, and provide a discussion of the proximity to cataloged fish streams. (5.e.) The SCP report does NOT satisfy ADEC’s request to identify any interim removal or mitigation actions. Additional work needs to be done in terms of identifying and describing interim removal or mitigation actions. ADEC requested in 7.b. that the SCP report sets out the results of the sampling and analysis. The SCP report adequately satisfies ADEC’s request to describe the results of the sampling and analysis of the surface water quality and B-5 material. Additional work needs to be done in terms of describing the nature and extent of the water quality in the seeps and groundwater. ADEC requested in 7.c. that the SCP report adequately satisfies ADEC’s request to demonstrate that the inspections, sampling, and analysis performed adequately characterized the extent of the conditions contributing to the exceedance of the water quality standards. The SCP report is adequate in terms of surface water quality. The SCP report is INADEQUATE in terms describing the role and interaction of groundwater and the groundwater-surface water interactions. ADEC requested in 7.d. that the SCP report proposes remediation for the site. The SCP report does NOT satisfy ADEC’s request to propose remediation for the site. 8. The Department will approve the report submitted under number 7 above if the Department determines that the work described in the report and the remediation techniques are protective of human health, safety, and welfare, and of the environment. ADEC partially approves the SCP report as submitted May 16, 2008. The areas that do NOT satisfy ADEC’s request of January 22, 2008 are described above. On May 28, 2008 WFLHD filed Incident Report # 872336 with the National Response Center. With the filing of that notice ADEC decided to handle the site under our Federal Facilities Environmental Restoration Program. The point of contact for ADEC is changing from me to Jennifer Roberts, Program Manager, Federal Facilities Environmental Program, 555 Cordova St., Anchorage, AK 99501 she can be reached at 907-269-7553 or jennifer.roberts@alaska.gov. Ms. Roberts will follow-up with WFLHD to address the areas that need further work in addressing site characterization, interim removal actions, long-term actions, addressing regulatory compliance issues or violations of Alaska’s environmental regulations and statutes. Louis Howard
6/13/2008 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking with ETM completed. Contaminated media include surface and subsurface soil, ground and surface water. Pathways to these media are complete and receptors are present in the high value ecological and recreational area of the Tongass National Forest. Bruce Wanstall
6/20/2008 Potentially Responsible Party/State Interest Letter ADEC SPAR/CS Program sent Diane Spencer WFLHD, FHA and Forrest Cole USFS Tongass National Forest a cost recovery letter for the Coffman Cove Road. This letter is to advise you that a contaminated site has been identified at the Coffman Cove Road Project. As current operator and land owner representative, the Western Federal Land Highway Division of Federal Highway Administration (WFLHD) and the U.S. Forest Service Tongass National Forest (USFS) are potential responsible party(s) and may be financially responsible for the required assessment and cleanup actions associated with the rock material used in construction of the Coffman Cove Road. Alaska Statute 46.03.822 establishes responsibility for the release of hazardous substance. Records available to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) indicate that the WFLHD and the USFS meet the criteria, as follows: managed or controlled the hazardous substance at the time of its release; -managed or operated the property from which the release occurred; managed or operated property at which the hazardous substances came to be located. There is documented evidence that imported fill material continues to cause Alaska Water Quality Standards violations in stream and wetland receiving waters in the Coffman Cove Road corridor. In accordance with 18 AAC 75.310, the WFLHD and USFS are required to immediately contain and control the release and seek approval of cleanup and disposal plans from the ADEC. In accordance with 18 AAC 75.320, ADEC provides technical oversight of containment and cleanup to determine if a responsible person’s actions are inadequate under 18 AAC 75.315 or 18 AAC 75.325 – 18 AAC 75.396. The ADEC was not immediately notified of the release that is now well documented in Coffman Cove Road Water Quality Assessment dated May, 2008. “During the 2007 construction season, WFLHD realized there was an issue with excessive culvert corrosion because a temporary culvert in one of the surcharge areas was severely corroded after being in place for approximately eight months.” WFLHD construction contractor measured in-situ water quality on June 13, 2007, at the problem culvert and found a stream pH reading of 2.3 immediately downstream of the culvert. ADEC will provide the technical and regulatory oversight assistance in cleaning up this contamination as long as adequate response actions are employed. Based on the information provided to date, ADEC has determined that the following response actions are necessary: a) Submit a conceptual site model (in accordance with ADEC’s Risk Assessment Procedure Manual) to evaluate potential receptors and exposure pathways. b) Submit a draft removal action plan (in accordance with 18 AAC 75.330) that will comply with Alaska Water Quality Standards (ADEC letter dated June 13, 2008). c) Submit a plan that addresses the proper transport and storage of the B-5 material in a location where the material will not violate Water Quality Standards. d) Characterize the B-5 contaminated material in order to develop treatment and/or disposal options. e) Establish and monitor the contamination trends in ground and surface water. f) Conduct an ecological risk assessment (in accordance with ADEC’s Risk Assessment Procedures Manual) of impacts to aquatic receptors and g) Submit a draft plan that proposes to restore safe and productive habitat and ensures re-population by resident fish in the ecosystem. Prior ADEC review and approval of the removal action work plan, conceptual site model, and risk assessment work plan is required before any action is taken by the responsible party. Based on the results of the work described above and other on-going site investigation work, further characterization and/or cleanup may also be necessary. Alaska Statute Title 46 authorizes the State to respond to a documented ongoing hazardous substance release and to take appropriate action to minimize potential damages to human health, safety or welfare or to the environment if the responsible party is unwilling or unable to do so. In the event that response actions by the State are necessary and the State assumes the lead role in the response actions, Alaska Statute Title 46 authorizes recovery of the cost for those response actions from the responsible party(s). Recoverable costs include personnel salaries, travel, contracts, legal fees, indirect costs and interest and other costs associated with the response. Alaska Statute 46.08.070 requires that the State seek recovery for certain costs, including oversight activities, incurred in responding to a hazardous material release event. If you are determined to be a responsible party, the State will bill you at a later date for State expenditures associated with this hazardous material release event. Billable State expenditures include the direct costs of State staff time and indirect State overhead costs. Jennifer Roberts
6/21/2008 Final Cleanup Report Reviewed USFS Tongass Natl. Forest News release. Coffman Cove Road Reconstruction and Water Quality PRINCE OF WALES ISLAND, Alaska - The Forest Service is working with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and a number of other federal and state agencies to address problems associated with lower-than-normal pH levels in several streams near Sweetwater Lake along a 3-1/2-mile stretch of the Coffman Cove Road Project. The road project is being administered by the Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the FHWA. They are currently making decisions about how to proceed with the remaining portions of the project, including the paving. This drop in pH has caused a significant increase in dissolved metals in the steams, including iron and copper. In some of the streams, obvious discoloration can be seen in the form or orange and brownish deposits on the rocks. The increased acid levels are causing the copper and iron from the rocks in the road bed to dissolve. Fish are leaving the affected streams and the insects in the affected streams are being killed by dissolved metals. Further investigation may be needed to help identify the range of solutions to the situation. The agencies will study ways to mitigate the damage to streams and aquatic life. The acidity of water is measured by pH, with low numbers indicating much greater acidity in the water. Water draining down into the streams from this 3-1/2 mile portion of the road project is creating stream pH levels that are in violation of Alaska Water Quality Standards. There are no dwellings on any of the affected streams. State of Alaska and Federal Agencies are working together to determine the most effective and expedient way to correct the situation and re-establish acceptable water conditions. Beginning in May 2007 water samples down stream from the section of the road closest to the Forest Service cabin on Sweetwater Lake began to show decreases in the pH readings, with levels ranging as low as 2.5 in some of the 60 water samples taken. There are six affected streams over which the road crosses along this 3.5 mile stretch. Normal pH levels in Southeast Alaska can range from near 4.5 to 7.0. This indicates that the pH levels have dropped as a result of the road construction. A caution will be posted for people who may rent the public recreation cabin on an island in Sweetwater Lake. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been notified and is working closely with FHWA and the Forest Service in evaluating the potential next steps. Other state and federal agencies including the Alaska Department of Transportation, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the US Army Corps of Engineers have been consulted with and are assisting in the response to remove the acid and metal levels in the impacted streams. The agencies will establish a schedule for removal to fully address the situation. At this point the agencies are evaluating whether the next immediate steps will be in the form of a removal action this fall or whether time for additional investigation is needed to determine the best resolution for the site. All of the agencies involved understand the economic and community importance of the road project to all of the communities on POW. We are all working together to develop the testing and assessment of the area, and make the determination of how to best protect, sustain, and restore natural resources, maintain healthy fish habitat in the area surrounding Sweetwater Lake, and improve the communities’ quality of life. The Forest Service will pass along information about this important project as soon as it is available. Louis Howard
6/24/2008 Update or Other Action Kimberly Ogle NPDES Compliance Unit Manager, EPA (OCE-133) sent letter to Diane Spencer WFLHD FHA RE: Draft Site Characterization Plan & Preliminary Report-Coffman Cove Road Water Quality Assessment. Thank you for providing the U.S. EPA the opportunity to comment on the Draft Site Characterization Plan & Preliminary Report – Coffman Cove Road Water Quality Assessment, dated May 2008. At this time, EPA is not providing criticism concerning the methodology of the initial study & report; instead, the following comments are focused on proposed mitigation & next steps. Please note that these comments are limited in scope & do not constitute a formal agency action or approval. EPA is concerned that immediate attention given to the proposed in-situ solutions, if done in lieu of removal of the B-5 material, is inappropriate due to the urgency of the situation. Both the SUBMERGENCE option & the IN-SITU TREATMENT option (alkaline addition) appear to require the kind of complex chemical & hydrological engineering that takes adequate time, research & iterative testing to implement. It would likely take YEARS before the Forest Service & Western Federal Lands Highway Division could investigate, evaluate data, conduct bench testing, install a system, & overcome all the obstacles of using these approaches in such a variable environment. In the meantime, continuing discharges from the rock deposits (not having been removed) would likely kill the rest of the returning salmon runs in the affected streams - and with them any hope of natural repopulation. Both immediate and long-term efforts will be needed to address the environmental harm resulting from the B-5 material placement. The IN-SITU options being examined (e.g. IN-SITU TREATMENT or SUBMERGENCE) are untested in the southeast Alaska environment and all appear to require immense operation and maintenance costs – especially given the remoteness of the area. The proffered remedies also appear fragile, since they seem to require predictable amounts of rain, groundwater flow and direction, water levels, temperatures, etc all in an area known for climatic extremes. In addition, the logistics of being able to predictably inundate and isolate the submerged rock in an anoxic environment, when there is already a high degree of documented groundwater-surface water interaction, are unclear. The nature of the discharges also makes the cost of any failure extremely high; a failure could wipe out any restoration efforts that have taken place. With regard to wetland impacts and mitigation, we note that after on-site remediation and on-site habitat restoration have occurred, the mitigation efforts SHOULD also include additional off-site COMPENSATORY MITIGATION (e.g., fish passage restoration, riparian enhancement, wetland preservation) to address the impacts of the apparent 404 permit violations. While on-site remediation and restoration are necessary, they are not sufficient to fully offset the DAMAGE done to aquatic resources. The ecological and economic reality is that due to technical and cost feasibility, we will likely reach a point of diminishing returns, where partial restoration on site is possible, but the incremental cost of getting full restoration is not reasonable. Beyond that point, it will be more cost effective to invest in off-site COMPENSATORY MITIGATION. There is limited data on possible ecological or human health impacts downstream of the B-5-wetland interaction. For instance, at least one Forest Service cabin is located downstream of the highway project and reportedly still within the visibly impacted area. This contaminated water may be used by cabin users as a drinking water source. The only water quality parameters tested for have been pH, DO, turbidity, iron and copper. We would like to see water quality testing for the additional components that were found to exist within the rock and that could threaten human health (e.g. Chromium, Selenium, Arsenic). Having heard from the Forest Service that its downstream cabin is still available for rent, and in the absence of data suggesting the water is safe for consumption or recreation, EPA strongly encourages the parties take the low-cost step of posting warning signage to make recreational users aware of potential exposures. Moreover, attention should also be given to ecological receptors (fish, birds, macro invertebrates) that could be exposed to site contaminants through direct contact with contaminated materials and by ingestion of water and sediments contaminated by the materials. Impacts on the groundwater, soils and Sweetwater Lake have not yet been studied. Considering that the discharges have occurred continuously over the past two years, there may be cumulative impacts. We suggest that, no matter what option or options are selected for MITIGATION and restoration of the site, further testing is also needed to ascertain the lake, sediment and groundwater impacts of the B-5 placement. Louis Howard
6/26/2008 Update or Other Action Letter of Delegation for Ken Vaughn USFS. File Code 1230/2100. Subject: Designation as On Scene Coordinator, Coffman Cove Road Cleanup, Thorne Bay Ranger District, Tongass National Forest. You are designated the On Scene Coordinator in compliance with requirements under the National Contingency Plan for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) releases, and investigation of suspected CERCLA releases associated with the reconstruction of the Coffman Cove Road by the Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration. The Coffman Cove Road is located on Prince of Wales Island, Thorne Bay Ranger District, Tongass National Forest. Signed Sam Carlson, P.E., Director, Engineering and Aviation Management. NOTE To file: CERCLA, as it was passed in 1980, did not contain a specific requirement pertaining to the compliance of on-site CERCLA actions with other laws. CERCLA §105, which authorizes EPA to prepare the National Contingency Plan (NCP) for Hazardous substance response, says only that the NCP shall include “methods and criteria for determining the appropriate extent of removal, remedy, and other measures.” EPA, however, stated in the NCP (as revised in 1985)2 and in its policy memorandum on CERCLA compliance with other environmental statutes, which was attached to the preamble to the 1985 NCP, that it would attain or exceed applicable or relevant and appropriate Federal environmental and public health standards in CERCLA response actions unless one of five specifically enumerated situations was present. Remedial actions MUST attain a general standard of cleanup that assures protection of human health and the environment, MUST be cost effective, and MUST use permanent solutions and alternative treatment technologies or resource recovery technologies to the maximum extent practicable. In addition, for ANY material remaining ON-SITE, the level or standard of control that MUST be met for the hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant is at least that of any applicable or relevant and appropriate standard, requirement, criteria, or limitation under any Federal environmental law, or any more stringent standard, requirement, criteria, or limitation promulgated pursuant to a State environmental statute. In addition, remedial actions are now required by §121 to at least attain levels or standards of control established by Maximum Contaminant Level Goals under the Safe Drinking Water Act and Federal Water Quality Criteria under the Clean Water Act, when those standards or goals are relevant and appropriate under the circumstances of the release. Section 121 also establishes special requirements for the use of alternate concentration limits. Louis Howard
6/27/2008 Update or Other Action Part I of II: Forest Service Manual, Washington, Title 2100 - Environmental Management, Amendment No. 2100-94-3, Effective November 10, 1994. 2164 - HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE MANAGEMENT. For related direction on funding of actions required by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), see section 95 of FSH 6509.11g, Service-wide Appropriation Use Handbook. For additional information on CERCLA response actions, see the Forest Service Guide to CERCLA (FSM 2164.06). 2164.01 - Authority. (FSM 2160.1). 1. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA; FSM 2160.1, para. 2). 2. Executive Order 12580 (E.O. 12580; FSM 2160.1, para. 15). 3. Agriculture Property Management Regulations, chapter 104, part 42 (FSH 6409.31 - AGPMR 104-42; FSM 2160.1, para. 16). 4. Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 300 (40 CFR 300), National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (FSM 2160.1, para. 17). 5. Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 228 (36 CFR 228), Minerals (FSM 2160.1, para. 18). 6. Title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 11 (43 CFR 11), Natural Resource Damage Assessments (FSM 2160.1, para. 22). 7. Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2.60 (7 CFR 2.60), Chief, Forest Service (FSM 2160.1, para. 24). 2164.03 - Policy. 1. Ensure that response actions taken by the Forest Service pursuant to CERCLA are consistent with the National Contingency Plan (40 CFR Part 300; 42 U.S.C. 9604(a)). This policy applies whether or not such responses are related to a site on the National Priorities List. 2. Do not use National Forest System lands for permanent treatment, storage, or disposal of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous wastes or Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) toxic substances resulting from CERCLA response actions taken on non-National Forest System lands and lands leased by the Forest Service. 3. Initiate cost recovery actions for cleanup of hazardous substances unless the Regional Forester or Station Director has made and has documented in the administrative record, the decision not to initiate cost recovery actions. Decisions not to initiate cost recovery shall be based only on such factors as the absence of potentially responsible parties; disproportionate litigation risks, such as financial insolvency of potentially responsible parties or absence of evidence implicating these parties; or response costs that are minimal in relation to the expense of recovering the costs. Consult the appropriate Office of General Counsel before making a final determination not to pursue cost recovery. 4. Complete a natural resource damage preassessment screen (43 CFR 11) when there is a discovery or notification of injury to natural resources on National Forest System lands. Initiate a natural resource damage assessment when the results of the preassessment screen indicate further assessment of the injuries is justified (43 CFR 11.23(e)(1-5)). Consult with the appropriate Office of General Counsel prior to participating in natural resource damage activities where the Forest Service is a potentially responsible party or is a defendant in a lawsuit. 5. Pursue potentially responsible parties in order to have them conduct or fund investigative work, removal actions, remedial actions, and natural resource damage actions resulting from: a. Releases of hazardous substances; b. Discharges of oil; and c. Uncontrolled hazardous materials sites. 6. Serve as the lead agency in planning and implementing remedial actions and removal actions other than emergencies, where the release is on, or the sole source of the release is from, any facility or vessel under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of the Forest Service. The Forest Service maintains its lead agency responsibilities whether the remedy is selected by the Forest Service for sites that are not on the National Priorities List or by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Forest Service or by the Environmental Protection Agency alone under CERCLA section 120 (42 U.S.C. 9620) for sites that are on the National Priorities List. Louis Howard
6/27/2008 Update or Other Action Part II of II: Forest Service Manual, Washington, Title 2100 - Environmental Management, Amendment No. 2100-94-3, Effective November 10, 1994. 2164 - HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE MANAGEMENT. 2164.04 - Responsibility. 2164.04a - Chief. As the Secretary's designated Natural Resource Trustee (7 CFR 2.60(a)(43)), the Chief of the Forest Service has the authority to conduct assessments of the impact of releases of hazardous substances and discharges of oil on the natural resources on National Forest System lands and to seek restitution from potentially responsible parties for injuries to these resources (42 U.S.C. 9601(14)). 2164.04b - Washington Office, Director of Engineering. It is the responsibility of the Washington Office, Director of Engineering to provide overall program leadership and coordination for the Forest Service Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) program. These responsibilities include: 1. CERCLA Coordinator. Designating a national CERCLA coordinator to provide overall leadership and coordination of the program. 2. Removal and Remedial Actions. a. Ensuring that removal and remedial action cases are referred to the Office of General Counsel for litigation, if appropriate. b. Ensuring that an inventory of all cases is maintained based on Regional Office and Station records. 3. Natural Resource Damage Assessment Actions. a. Coordinating interagency activities, which include: (1) When appropriate, entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding early notification and participation in settlements and litigation involving potential natural resource damage claims arising from a National Priorities List site. (2) When appropriate, cooperating with State, tribal, and other Federal natural resource trustees through memorandums of understanding (FSM 1580) that set forth the procedures and responsibilities for inter-trustee notification and coordination. b. Ensuring that an inventory of all natural resource damage cases based on Regional Office and Station records is maintained. c. Providing technical support in the evaluation of damage assessment methods other than those outlined in 43 CFR 11, taking into consideration the amount of damages and the alternate methods considered by the Regional Forester or Station Director for a particular case. d. Ensuring that natural resource damage cases are forwarded to Office of General Counsel for referral to the Department of Justice for litigation. 3. Natural Resource Damage Assessment Actions. For natural resource damage assessment actions to: a. Act as the authorized official on behalf of the Forest Service as Natural Resource Damage Trustee for all natural resource damage actions arising under CERCLA (42 U.S.C. 9607(f)) and the Oil Pollution Act (33 U.S.C. 2701; FSM 2160.1, para. 11). b. Make the formal discovery of injury to a natural resource resulting from the release or threatened release of a hazardous substance or discharge of oil. c. Notify the Washington Office, Director of Engineering; Office of General Counsel; other trustees; and potentially responsible parties of injuries to natural resources resulting from the release or threatened release of hazardous substances or oil. Encourage involvement by all other trustees in order to avoid duplication of effort; expedite the natural resource damage assessment; and present a coordinated front to the potentially responsible parties. d. Ensure that natural resource damage assessment activities are undertaken where necessary and review and approve, as appropriate, each of the following: (1) Preassessment screens; (2) Assessment plans; (3) Damage assessments; and (4) Restoration plans. Louis Howard
7/25/2008 Update or Other Action US DOT Federal Highway Administration, 610 East Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661-3801 (360) 619-7700 FAX: (360) 619-7846. Michael S. Traffalis, Project Manager sent ADEC Jennifer Roberts a letter regarding the June 19, 2008 ADEC letter File# 1503.38.004. In reply Refer to: HFL-17, File: AK PFH 44-1. The Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) would like to thank you for taking the time to provide us your detailed assessment of the issues and proposed next steps in fully characterizing the Coffman Cove Site. Your letter documents the listing of a contaminated site on the Coffman Cove Road Construction Project on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. As stated in your letter, WFLHD first notified the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) in writing of a water quality violation for low pH levels on November 29, 2007. That letter was sent to document a November 13,2007 telephone call between Elisa Carlsen of my staff and William Ashton of your staff, which first notified ADEC of water quality concerns on the Coffman Cove Road Project. Since that initial notification we have continued to consult with you, have conducted surface water sampling and geochemical analysis on the B(5) material to identify the source of the violation and consulted with state and federal agencies on the water quality concerns. In March 2008, WFLHD submitted to ADEC an outline to begin initial phases to characterize the site. We received comment from ADEC on that outline and commenced with field investigations. We have shared the results of all field investigations into this matter and released the Draft Site Characterization Plan and Preliminary Report prior to internal review to begin discussions with all regulatory and interested parties including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Marine Fisheries (NMFS), US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), US Forest Service (FS), Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) and Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (AKDOT&PF). On May 28,2008 WFLHD reported a release of a hazardous substance to the National Response Center (NRC) for pH levels reaching 2.0. The NRC determined that the hazardous release was not of a reportable quantity. WLFHD is finalizing the Draft Site Characterization Report, which we are now calling our Preliminary Site Assessment and developing a plan that will fully characterize the site, defining the extent of environmental impacts and identifying appropriate and feasible response actions to mitigate the impacts to natural resources. We are documenting the process under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA) process. We will continue to seek your comment and coordinating with you fully as we move forward in this process. WFLHD's goal is to develop an effective and timely response to address the environmental impacts at the site. Thank you very much for your attention to this project. If you have any questions please contact Elisa Carlsen of my staff at (360) 619-7674 or at elisa.carlsen@,fhwa.dot.gov. Written correspondence may be sent to Ms. Carlsen's attention at the above address. Jennifer Roberts
7/25/2008 Update or Other Action Mark Minnillo, Craig Area Office Manager, DF&G Division of Habitat sent a memorandum to Al Ott Operations Manager. RE: Trip Report: Coffman Cove Road (*a.k.a. Forest Service Road 3030 Project) Phase II Station 19+964 Stream Inspection. On July 2, 2008, Steve McCurdy (ADF&G Sportfish) and I conducted an inspection of the stream located at station 19+964 on the Coffman Cove Road. The purpose of the inspection was to get Steve familiar with the project and some of the impacts associated with the use of acid generating rock along a portion of the road. We began the inspection at the culvert at station 19+964. I took a pH reading just upstream of the culvert and another approximately 20 feet downstream of the culvert receiving readings of 6.8 and 3.8 respectively. Walking downstream we observed the thick orange precipitate on the stream bottom and the heavy turbidity in the water. Reaching the confluence with cataloged stream 106-30-10670-2004-3027 (approximately 300 feet downstream from station 19+967 and cataloged for pink salmon) we walked downstream to Sweetwater Lake (cataloged stream 106-30-10670-2004 cataloged for pink, chum, sockeye, and coho salmon; steelhead and cutthroat trout; and Dolly Varden char) and looked for the presence of fish. Contrary to a similar stream inspection I conducted in the fall of 2007 during which I observed hundreds of juvenile coho salmon in cataloged stream 3027, Steve and I did not see any fish of any kind until we were within 50 feet of Sweetwater Lake where we observed 6 juvenile coho salmon. The same orange staining on the substrate as in the 19+967 stream was observed for the complete length of stream 3027. Although not as heavy, the water in stream 3027 was also somewhat turbid for its entire length as well. Returning to the confluence with the 19+964 stream we walked approximately 100 feet upstream of the confluence in stream 3027 and looked for fish in several pools. No fish were observed. We also walked approximately 100 feet upstream of the culvert (station 19+887) located in stream 3027 and observed no fish. Steve and I agreed it would be worthwhile to return with minnow traps and see if we can capture any fish in stream 3027. *note to file: Sec. 16.10.010. Interference with salmon spawning streams and waters. States: (a) A person may not, without first applying for and obtaining a permit or license from the Department of Environmental Conservation, (1) obstruct, divert, or POLLUTE waters of the state, either fresh or salt, utilized by salmon in the propagation of the species, by felling trees or timber in those waters, casting, passing, throwing, or dumping tree limbs or foliage, underbrush, stumps, rubbish, earth, stones, rock, or other debris, or passing or dumping sawdust, planer shavings, or other waste or refuse of any kind in those waters; (2) erect a dam, barricade, or obstruction to retard, conserve, impound, or divert the waters described in (1) of this subsection to prevent, retard, or interfere with the free ingress or egress of salmon into those waters in the natural spawning or propagation process; (3) render the waters described in (1) of this subsection inaccessible or UNINHABITABLE for salmon for spawning or propagation. Louis Howard
8/1/2008 Update or Other Action USDA Forest Service Alaska Region, PO Box 21628, Juneau AK 99802-1628, Sam Carlson, P.E. Director, Engineering and Aviation Management sent Jennifer Roberts (ADEC) a letter regarding the June 19, 2008 ADEC letter sent to Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole regarding the Coffman Cove Road (Site) contamination. The Forest Service is working with the Western Federal Lands Highways Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) under CERLCA* to respond to the release of hazardous substances, such as copper, resulting from the reconstruction of the Coffman Cove Road. The Forest Service values encourages ADEC's involvement in the ongoing CERCLA process. In particular, thank you for your personal participation in the July 22, 2008, site visit and the discussion at the Prince of Wales Community Advisory Council meeting at Whale Pass. The Forest Service is hopeful that our on-site discussions with you, WFLHD, and EPA will lead to the initiation of a needed CERCLA response at the earliest opportunity (hopefully during the 2008 field season). The Forest Service anticipates that the agencies will also undertake the additional investigation and analysis necessary to fully respond to the hazardous substances at the Site. Should any questions arise, please feel free to call me at (907) 586-8733. * Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601, et seq. and Executive Order 12580 as amended by EO 13016. Jennifer Roberts
8/6/2008 Update or Other Action ADEC (Bruce Wanstall & Louis Howard) received a work plan for installation of piezometers at the B-1 quarry on August 5, 2008. The purpose of the work plan is to confirm the geology of the B 1 pit and installation of piezometers for ground water level determination and future (long-term) monitoring at the B-1 quarry. ADEC is concerned with the location of the B-1 quarry and associated groundwater seeps that may cause further complications with the storage of B-5 material being considered at this location from the FS 3030 Road Cleanup Project. ADEC has the following comments regarding the work plan. 1. - The text states the purpose of the work is to confirm the presence of limestone bedrock in the B-1 quarry and install open standpipe piezometers. 18 AAC 75.355 requires the investigative work be conducted by a "qualified'" impartial third party. In the future, if WFLHD or USFS staff are to be involved in the collection, interpretation, and reporting of data, and the required sampling and analysis during this project, then a third party waiver request will be required to be submitted to ADEC in accordance with 18 AAC 75.355. 18 AAC 75.355 Sampling and analysis(b)-A responsible person and the owner or operator of an offsite or portable treatment facility under 18 AAC 75.365 shall ensure that the collection, interpretation, and reporting of data, and the required sampling and analysis is conducted or supervised by a qualified, impartial third party. The department will waive the requirement for use of an impartial third party if a responsible person demonstrates that work performed will be conducted or supervised by a qualified and objective person, and if the department determines that a waiver is protective of human health, safety, and welfare, and of the environment, and that strict compliance with the impartial third party requirement is not practicable. 4. Logging and Sampling Procedures of Proposed Holes - The text states the field logs will be generated based on drill cutting color, texture, presence of water and driller's comments. Typically, the boring (field) log typically also contains a description of the soil type as classified under the Unified Soil Classification System or other universally accepted soil classification method."Soil type" means the predominant Unified Soil Classification (USC) soil type between the deepest point of contamination and the seasonal high groundwater table; a responsible person may seek to demonstrate that otherwise coarse-grained soil has an organic carbon content that might enable a lower point classification. 5. Staff on site for logging of holes. See comment above regarding the need for a "qualified" impartial third party or a request for a waiver in the future from ADEC. 6. Determination of Ground Water Levels. The text state piezometers will be surveyed after installation by a WFLHD surveyor prior to measuring water levels. A registered professional surveyor or registered civil engineer engaged in the practice of surveying must conduct this surveying work. The location survey should achieve a horizontal accuracy of 0.2 foot, and the elevation surveys should achieve a vertical accuracy of 0.01 foot. Vertical elevation control should be the National Geodetic Vertical Datum 1929, and the horizontal control should be the North American Datum 1983. Include a record of the actual piezometer well design, installation, and the materials used with the final report. 8. Piezometer Development. ADEC requests during the development of the piezometers, monitoring for water quality parameters be conducted (e.g. turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, alkalinity, hardness, reduction-oxidation potential and specific conductance). 9. Final Reporting. ADEC requests the final reporting memorandum include a conceptual site model. Based on the available information, a preliminary hydrogeologic conceptual model will be developed for the B-1 quarry. The purpose of the model is to estimate the distribution of the predominant soil and rock units and the flow conditions at the site. This is not a mathematical model, nor a computer model, though either may be used to aid in understanding the hydrogeology system at the B-1 quarry. The model may include estimates of the distribution of the aquifer(s) and aquitards at or near the site, hydrologic boundaries, the range of potentiometric surface(s), and other pertinent hydrogeologic properties. Bruce Wanstall
8/7/2008 Update or Other Action ADEC Comment letter to USFS/WFLHD-FHA RE: Comment Resolution for B-1 Piezometer Installation Work Plan Rev 080508. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) held a conference call with Mr. Michael S. Traffalis, Federal Highway Administration on August 7, 2008. The purpose of call was to resolve comments ADEC had on the work plan submitted by the Federal Highway Administration. The purpose of the plan is to install piezometers to determine ground water levels and the geology at the B-1 quarry. Based on the discussion among project managers during the call, it appears that ADEC concerns regarding the proposed work have been addressed and the work plan is approved. Please note that ADEC review and approval of this specific work plan is to ensure that the work is done in accordance with State of Alaska Environmental Conservation laws and regulations. While ADEC may comment on other state and federal laws and regulations, our approval on the plan does not relieve responsible persons from the need to comply with other applicable laws and regulations. NOTE TO FILE: The purpose of this work will be to confirm the presence of lime stone bedrock in the B-1 quarry on the Coffman Cove roadway project and to install open standpipe piezometers. This work will be done in accordance with the FLH project development design manual (PDDM) Chapter 6 geotechnical section and FHWA Publication – FHWA NHI-01-031 Subsurface Investigations – Geotechnical Site Characterization Reference Manual, and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Recommended Practices for Monitoring Well Design, Installation, and Decommissioning (April 1992). The existing conditions of the pit will be documented based on visual observations and incorporated into a B-1 Investigation and Piezometer Installation memorandum. In addition all relevant available information on the B-1 pit will be recorded. This information should include: a. When the pit was first established b. Approximately how much material has already been removed c. Ground treatment performed to access the pit. Six air-track installed 4" diameter boreholes are proposed. The depth of all borings is anticipated to be 30 feet. However, the final depth could change based on field observations during drilling. A WFLHD geotechnical engineer and a USFS geologist will be on site to log the holes. Ground water levels will be measured using the top of the stand pipe as a reference with an electronic water level meter in accordance with FHWA NHI-01-031. The electronic water level meter consists of a weighted electric probe attached to the lower end of a length of electrical cable that is marked at intervals to indicate the depth. When the probe reaches the water a circuit is completed and this is registered by a meter mounted on the cable reel. A WFLHD geotechnical engineer will assist with the installation of the installation of proposed 5 to 6 piezometers. Again this work will be performed in accordance with FHWA NHI-01-031. A B-1 Investigation and Piezometer Installation memorandum will be developed that summarizes the results of this work. The memorandum will include final boring logs for the proposed six holes, as well as site photographs, and a plan figure of well locations. Initial water level readings will also be presented. The memorandum will be provided to FS, EPA, and ADEC within 30 days of piezometer installation. Copies of all borehole and well completion logs will be sent to the Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, DNR. Louis Howard
8/15/2008 Update or Other Action Draft Time Critical Removal Action Memorandum, Starting on or About September 15, 2008 at the Forest Service 3030 Road near Coffman Cove, Thorne Bay Ranger District, Tongass National Forest received by ADEC. This Action Memorandum documents & explains the decision to commence a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, & Liability Act (CERCLA; 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.) Time-Critical Removal Action (TCRA) at the Forest Service 3030 Road near Coffman Cove, Thorne Bay Ranger District, Tongass National Forest. On site removal activity is expected to begin on approximately September 15, 2008 & be completed in the Fall (approximately November 15, 2008). This Memorandum is prepared pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 9604, 7 C.F.R. 2.60(a) (39) & Executive Order 12580. The TCRA described herein is proposed to be integrated with conduct of a non-time-critical removal action (NTCRA) to ensure that all early actions are conducted in accordance with applicable state & federal laws, regulations, & policy. Conduct of the NTCRA will follow the completion of an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) to be prepared separately & conducted concurrently with the TCRA described herein, & to also ensure that all early actions will be consistent with any long-term action that may eventually be required. The Forest Service is the “lead agency” for response actions occurring on lands within the National Forest System as defined in section 300.5 of the National Oil & Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), & all response actions overseen by the Forest Service & cooperating agencies will not be inconsistent with the NCP. The Forest Service (FS) is working cooperatively with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Contaminated Sites Program (ADEC), & Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) to approach the actions on a collaborative basis, “ideally with consensus.” These four agencies, working together are herein after called the Agencies. The proposed action is an interim removal at three locations along the Forest Service 3030 Road. The actions include removal of pyritic rock that is producing acid rock drainage (ARD) from road fill near Stream 3027; installation of a cut collection & buffering trench using limestone rock at the B5 borrow source; & installation of a site drain & limestone treatment below the D-2 site. A removal action to 1) excavate pyritic rock & replace it with limestone; 2) install limestone features to neutralize acidity; & 3) to install site drains & limestone treatment is an appropriate response since these actions are expected to raise pH downstream from the 3 locations & reduce the concentration of copper going into solution with of the acidity of the water; based on factors set forth in the National Oil & Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), 40 CFR 300.415. Time is of the essence, in part because of the identification of long reaches of Stream 3027 which were identified as having no rearing fish this summer where there were rearing fish last summer , high copper levels reported in laboratory results below the D-2 site, & visual staining along slopes below the B-5 source in Section 17. The coming of winter is another factor to affect timing. Freezing weather, snow, & short days limit the effective field season to November as the latest date to plan for. Winter shutdown is normally expected to extend to 5-6 months in most years. The removal action will be conducted by Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD), Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation. The CERCLIS ID No. is AKN001002746 & the Site ID No. is 10GE. This action meets the criteria for initiating a removal action under the National Contingency Plan (NCP), 40 CFR §300.415. Ecological receptors could become exposed to site contaminants through direct contact with hazardous substances, pollutants, & other contaminated materials & with water contaminated by hazardous substances; ingestion of materials contaminated by hazardous substances; & ingestion of contaminated food (e.g., sediment- or soil-dwelling insects, vegetation). The DEA report notes that copper levels exceed lethal levels (LD50) for rearing salmonids. Iron precipitates are accumulating on the stream bottoms. Iron precipitates commonly cause cementing of aggregates & the filling of voids resulting in a loss of habit function & biological capacity within the streams. Cementing of stream bottoms in spawning areas decreases the ability of spawning gravels (redds) to function for propagation of salmonids. Actual or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants from this site, if not addressed by implementing the response action selected in this Action Memorandum, may present an imminent & substantial endangerment to public health, or welfare, or the environment. Louis Howard
8/22/2008 Report or Workplan Review - Other The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) has received the TCRA removal action memorandum on August 15, 2008 via electronic mail. ADEC has the following comments regarding the document for the Forest Service 3030 Road (the Site). As a courtesy to the Forest Service an expedited review of the Time-Critical Action Memorandum is being provided by ADEC. I. Purpose- This section refers to a time-critical removal action (TCRA) as well as a non-time critical removal action (NTCRA). The TCRA should proceed, but no official determination has been made as to whether additional cleanup/investigation work will proceed under a NTCRA or a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS). 3. Site Characteristics-ADEC requests additional text be included with the fifth bullet “... potentially completed as a non-time critical removal action (NTCRA) or as part of a remedial investigation/feasibility study See comment above in I. Purpose regarding a NTCRA and a RI/FS. 4. Release or Threatened Release into the Environment of a Hazardous Substance, or Pollutant or Contaminant-ADEC requests the document show that water quality issues were first realized by the contractor in the fall of 2006 as documented in field notes. B. Other Actions To Date 1. State and Local Actions to Date-The second paragraph states ADEC conducted a fish and macro invertabrate survey. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) conducted the survey. Please correct text. Additionally, ADEC requests the Forest Service add text to the second paragraph immediately after the first sentence as follows: The ADF&G has not conducted a fish and macro invertebrate survey at the other potentially affected creeks besides Stream 3027. Excavation of B-5 Rock Material from the Stream 3027 Road Crossing Area-The second paragraph and fifth paragraph refer to a long-term monitoring plan associated with the development and implementation of the NTCRA. See comment above in I. Purpose regarding NTCRA and RI/FS. ADEC wishes to clarify that removal of the B-5 rock material should result in achieving Alaska Water Quality Standards. B-5 Road Cut Collection and Buffering Trench-This section refers to long-term monitoring program associated with the development and implementation of the NTCRA. See comment above in I. Purpose regarding a NTCRA and a RI/FS. The text states water will be discharged to a naturally occurring low spot. ADEC requests clarification on where the discharge water will be disposed of and how it will be tested prior to discharge. D-2 Soil Disposal Site Drain-The third paragraph refers to a long-term monitoring program associated with the development and implementation of the NTCRA. See comment above in I. Purpose regarding a NTCRA and a RI/FS. 2. Contribution to Remedial Performance-The text state the need for further action will be evaluated as part of the NTCRA and the results of long-term surface environmental monitoring activities. ADEC wishes to add text to clarify that the TCRA will determine future actions, which may proceed under either a NTCRA or a RI/FS. 3. Description of Alternative Technologies-ADEC requests the Forest Service include the following text to this section: The Agencies agreed to an expedited action at the Site due to financial constraints imposed by existing contractual obligations the Federal Highway Administration is operating under, availability of equipment, shortness of the 2008 field season and the Agencies’ desire to conduct an action at the Site in lieu of conducting a future action based on the findings of a remedial investigative/feasibility process. The proposed response actions may not be the only practicable remedial action for mitigating exposure to hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants at the Site. Bruce Wanstall
8/27/2008 Update or Other Action Draft Time Critical Removal Action Work Plan FS 3030 Road Site August 2008 Project No. 14481 Prince of Wales Island, Alaska received for comment. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) obtained the draft work plan for a time critical removal action on August 18, 2008. The purpose of the work plan is to describe the time-critical removal action (TCRA) to be completed at the U.S. Forest Service (FS) 3030 Road site located near the city of Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island. ADEC has the following comments on the document. ADEC requests the document delete references to a future non-time critical removal action NTCRA) in this time-critical removal action work plan since it has not been officially determined whether a NTCRA or a RI/FS is appropriate after the TCRA has been implemented. Purpose-The text states more information will be gathered for the other portions of the road under a non-time critical removal action (NTCRA). The decision to conduct a non-time critical removal action or conduct a remedial investigation to address the other portions of the road where streams are impacted by a release (B-5 material) into the surface water has not been officially determined at this time. Problem Description-Description of the rock fill material should include the words “Clean Fill” as stated in the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) permit. Water quality issues were first realized by the contractor in the fall of 2006 as documented in field notes and not in 2007 as stated in the text. Proposed Actions-The text states the Forest Service (FS) elected to pursue cleanup under the Time-Critical and Non-Time Critical Removal Authority in CERCLA. Further investigation and cleanup may be required utilizing the remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) process to determine the nature and extent of the problem presented by the release into other streams where B-5 material exists. Stream 3027 Removal Action-The text states the intent of removal at 3027 is to restore water quality to baseline conditions however, the paragraph goes on to say that the removal action is “not being conducted to meet a specific performance standard”. ADEC disagrees. At a minimum, the Alaska Water Quality Standards (18 AAC 70) must be met. Performance Criteria-The text states surface water samples will also be collected prior to the removal action to enable WFLHD in the future, as part of the NTCRA, to assess the impact the removal action has on water quality. It has not been officially determined whether a NTCRA or conduct a RI/FS is appropriate after the TCRA has been implemented. The text also states long-term monitoring may need to be conducted to ensure that water quality has been restored to acceptable conditions. ADEC requests the text be changed to “...ensure that water quality has been restored to meet Alaska Water Quality Standards (as amended through December 28, 2006). Performance Criteria-The text states no performance criteria have been set. ADEC disagrees. At a minimum, Alaska Water Quality Standards (18 AAC 70) will need to be met. The text states the long-term surface water monitoring will be designed and conducted as part of the NTCRA to evaluate the effectiveness of the limestone drain and buttress and to ensure water quality improves to acceptable levels. It has not been officially determined whether a NTCRA or a RI/FS is appropriate after the TCRA has been implemented and whether future studies and monitoring of the D-2 waste pile will be part of either process. Long-term monitoring-The text states the long-term monitoring plans will be developed for monitoring and implemented as part of the NTCRA process. The number, location, and frequency of samples will be determined in the NTCRA and implementation will begin with the NTCRA sampling events. It has not been officially determined whether a NTCRA or a RI/FS is appropriate after the TCRA has been implemented and whether future studies and monitoring will be part of either process. Louis Howard
9/7/2008 Update or Other Action Forest Service letter to WFLH Division - The Forest Service has reviewed the Time Critical Removal Action Workplan, FS 3030 Road Site, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, Submitted to Western Federal Lands Highway Division, Vancouver WA, by AMEC Geomatrix, Inc., Seattle Washington. The document was made available on September 5, 2008 in the form of three electronic files 2008_09-04_TCRA Work Plan.pdf; 2008_09_05_Appendix_E_TCRA_Workplan.pdf; 2008_09-04_TCRA Sampling and Analysis Plan.pdf. These three files, in aggregate, constitute the Workplan reviewed. The second file listed is Appendix E, and was added to the review record at Gary Dupuy’s request on September 5, 2008. As such it is not listed in the Table of Content of the Workplan. The Workplan is substantively complete and represents an adequate analysis to support the Time Critical Removal Action at three locations along with the consolidation of removed materials at the B-1 limestone rock pit. The workplan presents plans for the development of limestone rock at the B-1 rock pit. The Workplan was developed in a short time interval to meet the exigencies of available resources, and anticipated normal seasonal weather limitations. The efforts of Western Federal Lands Staff and Contractors in accomplishing the workplan development in a short time is appreciated. Louis Howard
9/10/2008 Site Visit The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) attended and participated in a site visit on Prince of Wales Island on September 10, 2008. At the M-1 pit [where the B-5 material is proposed to be stored] and in a previous meeting on September 9, 2008, Mr. Vaughan stated the Forest Service’s desire and intent to reuse the B-5 material in a future paving project on Prince of Wales Island. The B-5 material is scheduled for excavation as part of a removal action for the FS Road 3030 site. Louis Howard
9/25/2008 Update or Other Action This Interagency Agreement (IA) is entered into voluntarily by the US Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service (FS) & the US Dept. of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA) in connection with the FS 3030 Road (the "Site") located within the Tongass National Forest in the State of AK. This IA is executed to create a collaborate & effective working relationship between the FS & FHWA in carrying out the authority vested in the President of the US by Section 104 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, & Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. § 9604, as amended ("CERCLA"). This authority was delegated to the Secretary of the Dept. of Agriculture (the "Secretary of Agriculture") & the Secretary of the Dept. of Transportation (the "Secretary of Transportation") by Executive Order 12580, 52 Fed. Reg. 2923-36 (January 23, 1987),3 C.F.R. Compilation, p. 193. The Secretary of Agriculture's authority was further delegated to the Chief of the FS (the "Chief") by 7 C.F.R. § 2.60(a)(39). The Chief's authority was re-delegated to Regional Foresters, pursuant to the FS Manual 2164.04c, 2.1, effective November 10, 1994. Waste Material will mean 1) any hazardous substance under Section 101 (14) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 (14); 2) any pollutant or contaminant under Section 101 (33) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 (33); 3) any solid waste under Section 1004(27) of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. § 6903(27); & 4) any hazardous substance under AS 46.08.900(6) & 46.09.900(4). The FS & FHWA make the following Conclusions of Law: The Site is a "facility" as defined by Section 101 (9) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 (9). The contamination found at the Site, as identified in the Findings of Fact above, includes hazardous substances as defined by Section 101 (14) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 (14). The conditions described in the Findings of Fact above constitute an actual or threatened "release" of a hazardous substance from the facility as defined by Section 101 (22) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 (22). All sampling & analyses performed will comply with EPA guidance regarding sampling, quality assurance/quality control ("QA/QC"), data validation, & chain of custody procedures. FHWA & the FS will ensure the lab used to perform the analyses participates in a QA/QC program that complies with the appropriate "Quality Assurance/Quality Control Guidance for Removal Activities: Sampling QA/QC Plan & Data Validation Procedures" (OSWER Directive No. 9360.4-01, April 1, 1990), as guidance for QA/QC & sampling. The agencies will use only labs that have a documented Quality System that complies with ANSI/ASQC E-4 1994, "Specifications & Guidelines for Quality Systems for Environmental Data Collection & Environmental Technology Programs" (American National Standard, January 5,1995), & "EPA Requirements for Quality Management Plans" (QAJR-2) (EPAJ240/B-01/002, March 2001), or equivalent documentation as determined by the agencies. The agencies may consider labs accredited under the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program as meeting the Quality System requirements. FHWA & the FS will perform all actions required pursuant to this IA in accordance with all applicable local, state, & federal laws & regulations except as provided in Section 121 (e) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 6921 (e). & 40 C.F.R. §§ 300.400(e) & 300.415(j). (e) Permits & Enforcement.- (1) No Federal, State, or local permit shall be required for the portion of any removal or remedial action conducted entirely on-site, where such remedial action is selected & carried out in compliance with this section. (2) A State may enforce any Federal or State standard, requirement, criteria, or limitation to which the remedial action is required to conform under this Act in the US district court for the district in which the facility is located. Any consent decree shall require the parties to attempt expeditiously to resolve disagreements concerning implementation of the remedial action informally with the appropriate Federal & State agencies. Where the parties agree, the consent decree may provide for administrative enforcement. Each consent decree shall also contain stipulated penalties for violations of the decree in an amount not to exceed $25,000per day, which may be enforced by either the President or the State. Such stipulated penalties shall not be construed to impair or affect the authority of the court to order compliance with the specific terms of any such decree. (e) Permit requirements. (1) No federal, state, or local permits are required for on-site response actions conducted pursuant to CERCLA sections 104, 106, 120, 121, or 122. The term on-site means the areal extent of contamination and all suitable areas in very close proximity to the contamination necessary for implementation of the response action. (2) Permits, if required, shall be obtained for all response activities conducted off-site. Louis Howard
9/26/2008 Update or Other Action In implementing remedial actions, EPA has consistently taken the position that the acquisition of permits is not required for on-site remedial actions. However, this does not remove the requirement to meet (or waive) the substantive provisions of permitting regulations that are applicable or relevant & appropriate requirements (ARARs). (For further discussion on ARARs in general, see the attachment to this directive. For definitions of "substantive" & "administrative," see 55 FR 8756-57 & the CERCLA Compliance with Other Laws Manual, Part I, pages 1-11-12.) The proposed & final 1982 National Oil & Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) made no mention of the permit issue. However, EPA addressed the issue in a memorandum entitled "CERCLA Compliance with Other Environmental Statutes" which was attached as an appendix to the proposed 1985 NCP (50 FR 5928, February 12, 1985). The memorandum stated: "CERCLA procedural & administrative requirements will be modified to provide safeguards similar to those provided under other laws. Application for & receipt of permits is not required for on-site response actions taken under the Fund-financed or enforcement authorities of CERCLA." EPA determined in the final rule [1985 NCP section 300.68(a)(3)] that "Federal, State, & local permits are not required for Fund-financed action or remedial actions taken pursuant to Federal action under section 106 of CERCLA." The 1986 amendments to CERCLA codified section 300.68(a)(3) of the 1985 NCP with a statutory provision, section 121(e)(1). CERCLA section 121(e)(1) provides that no Federal, State, or local permit shall be required for the portion of any removal or remedial action conducted entirely on-site, where such remedial action is selected & carried out in compliance with section 121. The 1990 NCP [section 300.400(e)(1)] implements this permit exemption for "on-site" actions, defining "on-site" as "the areal extent of contamination & all suitable areas in very close proximity to the contamination necessary for implementation of the response action." The preamble to the NCP (at 55 FR 8689, March 8, 1990) explains that "areal" refers both to the surface areas & the air above the site. EPA policy further defines "on-site" to include the soil & the groundwater plume that are to be remediated. On-site remedial actions may involve limited areas of noncontaminated land; for instance, an on-site treatment plant may need to be located above the plume or simply outside of the waste area itself. As provided in NCP section 300.400(e)(1), response actions covered by CERCLA section.121(e)(1) include those conducted pursuant to CERCLA sections 104, 106, 120, 121, & 122. Thus response actions conducted by a lead agency, or by a potentially responsible party or other person under an order or consent decree with EPA, are covered under the ambit of CERCLA section 121(e)(1). Response actions by a lead agency include those response actions implemented by EPA, the Coast Guard, or another Federal agency. They also include response actions implemented by a State or political subdivision operating pursuant to a contract or cooperative agreement executed pursuant to CERCLA section 104(d)(1), under which EPA selects (or must approve) the remedy. There are several possible ways to alleviate the delays & cost increases caused by a permit "equivalency" process. First, lead agencies can refuse to participate in this process, based on the fact that actual permits are not required under CERCLA section 121(e)(1), & procedural requirements are not ARARs under CERCLA section 121(d)(2) & the NCP. Alternatively, & preferably, the lead agency could actively consult on a regular & frequent basis with the permitting authority, in situations where the lead agency deems it helpful to hasten ARARs identification. To facilitate such consultation, the lead agency should provide copies of the submittals of the design contractor & remedial action contractor in a timely manner to the permitting authority whose ARARs are the subject of the submittals. The NCP preamble explains (at 55 FR 8757, March 8, 1990) that if EPA is the lead agency, the coordination & consultation with State permitting authorities will generally be conducted through a single State office. Support Agency Cooperative Agreements, Superfund Memoranda of Agreement, or other protocols may be appropriate vehicles to establish specific time limits for the permitting authority to provide technical assistance in the evaluation of site-specific ARARs. Louis Howard
11/21/2008 Update or Other Action Part I of II: Prince of Wales Island Forest Road 3030 Surface Water and Sediments Assessment (Draft) received. ADEC hired a contractor to conduct an impact assessment on streams and wetlands along a road near Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island, AK. The information was gathered to assist ADEC understand impacts from acid rock leachate from road construction material (B-5 borrow material) into the waters and lands of State of Alaska along Forest Road 3030 near Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island. The assessment documents physical conditions and potential impacts to aquatic life associated with waterbodies in the watershed of the road corridor from the B-5 leachate, and to help establish baseline conditions for comparison of impacted streams with reference conditions to quantify the toxic effects of hazardous substance from the B-5 borrow material on the ecosystem. The scope of sampling included both upstream and downstream samples of ten potentially impacted streams as well as the B-5 borrow site from which the fill was collected. Sites were identified based on ADEC direction and information in an earlier report. Water quality parameters (pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, temperature and turbidity) were collected using onsite analytical equipment. To the extent possible, paired sediment samples were obtained. Laboratory analysis was performed on the collected samples for total dissolved solids, alkalinity, hardness, sulfate/sulfite and nitrate/nitrite, aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, mercury, manganese, nickel, potassium, selenium, silver, uranium, and zinc. Samples were collected in each stream approximately 0.1 miles upstream of its FS 3030 road crossing, within 100 feet downstream of the crossing, and a third collected another .25 mile downstream. To the extent possible, samples were collected at 0.25 mile intervals downstream of the second downstream sample site until the stream flowed into Sweetwater Lake. Additional samples were collected at TCRA streams 3 and 6 and others. GPS technology was used to locate and record locations of sample and habitat assessment sites. Five un-impacted wetland and habitat sites which were representative of habitats found in TCRA streams 3 and 6; upgradient and down gradient water and sediment samples were collected from these. These sample areas were selected based on field observations of suspect conditions that indicated an impact had occurred. A total of 56 sites were sampled. From these sites, 62 water samples and 42 sediment samples were collected and submitted for analysis. Of these, 6 sets were duplicates to assure quality control. The study found at least one exceedance of AK Water Quality standards at each site. The number of criteria exceeded at each site ranged from one to 12. Exceedances were seen for these metals, accompanied with their number of sites with exceedances: aluminum (55), cadmium (24), cobalt (4), copper (26), iron (35), lead (10), manganese (33), mercury (8), nickel (16), selenium (1), and zinc (18). Exceedances were seen for : chloride (1), color (8), pH (35), dissolved oxygen (11), sulfate (10), and total dissolved solids (9). In addition, many of the streams and wetlands may not meet AK WQS criteria for alkalinity, which is of special concern where acid rock drainage occurs. AK’s WQS set a minimum concentration level for Alkalinity a 20 mg/L as CaCO3, except where natural conditions are less. Natural conditions have not yet been established for alkalinity for these streams; however 42 of them do not meet the criteria of 20 mg/L (as CaCO3). Some of these sites were upgradient of the road, indicating that natural buffering capacity provided through alkalinity mechanisms may be poor for some of these waters. Exceedances of WQS were not found for these metals: antimony, arsenic and barium. Louis Howard
11/22/2008 Update or Other Action Part II of II Prince of Wales Island Forest Road 3030 Surface Water and Sediments Assessment (Draft) received. Based on these findings, the report recommends conducting a more detailed stream habitat inventory study include a reach scale monitoring program, as well as a more intensive site-specific monitoring effort where warranted for estimating biotic productivity at impacted sites. The reach scale stream habitat inventory in this project can be used to determine sites to establish as reference conditions. These habitat data were collected during this study where appropriate for the type of waterbody: Rosgen channel type, stream velocity and discharge rates, bankfull width, wetted width, depth, Cowardian depth, Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) class, fish barriers, channelization determination, and qualitative substrate evaluation. Additional physical components should be Wolman Pebble Count, and a large woody debris assessment. No biological information was collected as part of this assessment. Future evaluation of the impacts to the project area should evaluate impacts to aquatic life and other organisms that utilize the areas. The report recommends that evaluations of benthic macro-invertebrates and periphyton use procedures and reference site information and metrics established for Southeast Alaska streams by the University of Alaska ENRI. Impacts to fish, amphibians, mammals and birds should also be evaluated using appropriate methods; at minimum their presence/absence should be determined. Louis Howard
11/22/2008 Conceptual Site Model Submitted POW Forest Road 3030 Surface Water and Sediments Assessement Conceptual Site Model Part I of II Ecological CSM Discussion: the source of contamination is heavily mineralized iron pyrite rock. The rock was mined from a nearby outcropping, crushed, and used as road bed. The crushed rock was placed into wetlands, directly into exposed groundwater, and uplands. Primary Release Mechanism-The increased surface area and exposure to air and water resulted in metals leaching from the rock either directly into ground or surface water or in precipitation related runoff. The leached metals also lowered the pH of the water, likely enhancing the mobilization of metals. The range of pH in streams upgradient from the crushed rock placement was higher than the pH downstream from the crushed rock. Wind erosion associated with upland placement of crushed rock is also a possible release mechanism. It was likely a significant mechanism for the spread of rock particles during mining and construction of the road bed. Once construction was complete the surface area of crushed rock exposed to wind erosion is relatively small compared to the mass of material available for leaching. Furthermore, the mass of particles subject to wind erosion is finite because continued disturbance of the crushed rock is unlikely considering that the primary use of the rock is as a road base for a paved road. Consequently, while the wind erosion release mechanism is present and may have been significant, it is now qualitatively considered to have a minor contribution to continued contaminate migration. Should removal of the rock occur or road maintenance result in disturbance of the rock then the wind erosion release mechanism will become more important. Secondary Source-Groundwater will become impacted either through direct leaching from tailings placed in exposed groundwater or through runoff and percolation from crushed rock that migrates into groundwater. Air deposition is also a possible secondary source that is qualitatively considered minor. The most obvious exposure medium is surface water. Impact is directly observable by measuring contaminant concentrations and pH in affected water bodies. Streams flow into Sweetwater Lake and may affect the lake, albeit dilution with unaffected water will mitigate the affect. Wetlands and sediment will likely accumulate metals through chelation, precipitation, and adsorption. Dissolved phase contaminants will flow through these mediums as well. Surface water discharge of groundwater, i.e. upwelling, will affect gaining areas of streams. The exposed road prism, primarily the side slopes, allow for direct exposure to the crushed rock. Exposure to dissolved phase contaminants, and to a lesser extent undissolved particulates, in surface water, wetlands, and sediment occurs. Aquatic creatures will uptake contaminants through their gills during breathing. Areas of very low pH in surface water and wetlands will likely kill most resident species of fish and plants in the affected area. Robust fish and transient species will likely avoid the areas. Areas of low oxygen have been observed in some of the waters. The low oxygen areas are possibly deposition points for metals and represent effective dead zones. Immersion is the primary route for exposure to low pH water. All classes of creatures, including insects, are subject to this exposure route. Ingestion of water is the primary route of exposure for mammalian and avian creatures to metal contaminants. Aquatic creatures will also ingest water, though breathing is considered a more significant pathway. Seven contaminants classified as bio-accumulative were identified above the hardness adjusted water quality standard: cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, zinc. These contaminants will affect the food chain through dietary exposure. Mammals, birds and predatory fish will primarily be affected by food chain exposure. Louis Howard
11/23/2008 Update or Other Action POW Forest Road 3030 Surface Water and Sediments Assessement Conceptual Site Model Part II of II Human Health CSM Discussion-Exposure to dissolved phase contaminants, and to a lesser extent undissolved particulates, in surface water, wetlands, and sediment occurs. However, the metals contaminants are not readily absorbed through the skin. People will have only incidental exposure associated with immersion. The area is not really suitable for swimming related activities and the only immersion expected is likely inadvertent and of short duration. Consumption of surface water likely occurs on a limited basis when people are hiking, hunting or fishing in the area. No evidence of ground water use was observed. Exposure to low pH waters is an important acute direct exposure route. Seven contaminants classified as bio-accumulative were identified above the hardness adjusted water quality standard: cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, zinc. These contaminants will affect the food chain through dietary exposure. Deer and bear, water fowl, upland birds and fish are all present in the area and probably targeted for subsistence and sport use. Berries, mushrooms, and other natural plant foods possibly grow in the area as well. Bioaccumulation of metals in people is possible from these wild food sources. Direct exposure to the road prism is possible, but likely only important for road maintenance workers. Inhalation of airborne particles and ingestion of deposited particles is a complete exposure route. Road maintenance workers likely have the most significant exposure through these routes. Louis Howard
2/18/2009 Update or Other Action Part I of II: Bruce Wanstall sent letter to WFLHD Federal Highways (M. Traffalis) and US Forest Service (K. Vaughn) regarding the clarification of B-5 Material (as a hazardous and/or toxic substance), sediments and water quality. Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) has, upon learning of the release of hazardous substance during construction of the Forest Service Road 3030 on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska, under the National Contingency Plan (NCP) appropriately reported the release and in accordance with Alaska Statute (AS) 46.09.020 and under the direction of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) On Scene Coordinator (OSC), made reasonable efforts to contain and clean up the hazardous substance promptly after learning of the release. During previous meetings and conversations with the CERCLA cooperating agencies: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), theunited States Forest Service (USFS), WFLHD, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), and Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), it has come to ADECYs attention that the USFS OSC does not consider the B-5 material a "hazardous substance or toxic substance." ADEC disagrees. This letter is to advise you that the site identified as Forest Service (FS) Road 3030 on Prince of Wales Island is identified as a contaminated site due to a release of a hazardous substance and/or toxic substance into surface water/sediments from the acid rock drainage related to the B-5 material used in road construction activity on the FS 3030 Road. ADEC believes the B-5 material [which] used in the construction activities of FS Road 3030 meets the definition of Title 18 Alaska Administrative Code 75.990 (48) "hazardous substance" which has the meaning given in AS 46.03.826 and has caused a release to the lands and waters of the State and is subject to site cleanup rules established by 18 AAC 75.325. Hazardous Substance Hazardous substances are CERCLA Hazardous Substances or under AS 46.09 are those that pose "imminent and substantial danger to public health, welfare, or to fish, animals, vegetation or any part of the natural habitat" in which those things are found. Release is defined under Alaska Statute 46.09 as "any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment, except that "release" does not include a permitted release or an act of nature". Cleanup Regulation During the January 2009 meeting at Environmental Protection Agency offices Seattle, the OSC and WFLHD selected a CERCLA Time Critical Removal Action (TCRA) Plan cleanup remedy for 2009120 10 to remove B5 hazardous material from the finished roadbed to a depth one meter below water level (itself a variable) in areas of the highway not near stream culverts. In the current TCRA Plan, the hazardous material (B5) will be left to remain submerged in areas of the road prism where water body flow conditions are static (wetland areas) based on the unsubstantiated belief that the oxidation rate of the pyritic shale will be retarded sufficiently to be abated by the insertion of limestone rock backfill, if it is available. In consultation with mining permit staff in ADEC Solid Waste and Water Programs and Alaska Department of Natural Resources Mining, Land, and Water Program, Contaminated Sites Program found no basis for these assumptions made in the FSR3030 2009 TCRA Plan either in literature, feasibility study, or existing long term waste rock stabilization permits. Impermeable or semi-permeable barriers against moisture contacting the waste rock are the industry standard for impoundment of acid rock such as the B5 material. ADEC can find no regulatory basis for this remedy selection and no consideration of the cleanup remedy selection as best management practice for a site that is destined for high-value subsistence, recreational, and transportation future land use. The only acceptable remedy selection, regardless of cost or how long it may take, is complete removal of the B5 material from the highway corridor, just as was done in the 2008 TCRA Plan for the highway crossings of catalogue stream #I3029 (DEA stream #3). ADEC site cleanup regulation states under Title 18 Alaska Administrative Code 75.325 (a) the requirements of 18 AAC 75.325 - 18 AAC 75.390 are referred to in this chapter as the "site cleanup rules". The site cleanup rules establish administrative processes and standards to determine the necessity for and degree of cleanup required to protect human health, safety, and welfare, and the environment at a site where a hazardous substance is located. Bruce Wanstall
2/18/2009 Update or Other Action Part II of II Bruce Wanstall sent letter to WFLHD Federal Highways (M. Traffalis) and US Forest Service (K. Vaughn) regarding the clarification of B-5 Material (as a hazardous and/or toxic substance), sediments and water quality. In accordance with 18 AAC 75.345 (d) Toxic substances in sediment may not cause, and may not be reasonably be expected to cause, a toxic or other deleterious effect on aquatic life, except as authorized under 18 AAC 70. For purposes of this subsection, "toxic substances" has the meaning given in 18 AAC 70.990. 18 AAC 70.990 (61) "toxic" means of, relating to, or resulting from a substance or substance combination that causes in affected organisms or their offspring (A) death, disease, malignancy, or genetic mutations; (B) abnormalities or malfunctions in growth, development, behavior, or reproduction; or (C) other physical or physiological abnormalities or malfunctions; 18 AAC 70.990(62) "toxic substances" means those substances or substance combinations, including disease-causing agents, which after discharge and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation, or assimilation into an organism, either directly from the environment or indirectly by ingestion through food chains, will, on the basis of information available, cause a toxic effect in the affected organism or its offspring; "toxic substances" includes the following substances, and any other substance identified as a toxic pollutant under 33 US. C. 131 7(a) (Clean Water Act, sec. 307(a)): 2-chlorophenol; 2,4-dichlorophenol; 2,4-dimethylphenol; acenaphthene; acrolein; acrylonitrile; AldridDieldrin; ammonia; antimony; arsenic; asbestos; benzene; benzidine; beryllium; cadmium; carbon tetrachloride; Chlordane; chlorinated benzenes; chlorinated naphthalene; chlorinated ethanes; chlorine; chloroalkyl ethers; chloroform; chlorophenols; chlorophenoxy herbicides; chromium; copper; cyanide; DDT; Demeton; dichlorobenzenes; dichlorobenzidine; dichloroethylenes; dichloropropane; dichloropropene; dinitrotoluene; diphenylhydrazine; Endosulfan; Endrin; ethylbenzene; fluoranthene; Guthion; haloethers; halomethanes; Heptachlor; hexachlorobutadiene; hexachlorocyclohexane; hexachlorocyclopentadiene; isphorone; lead; Lindane; Malathion; mercury; methoxychlor; Mirex; napthalene; nickel; nitrobenzene; nitrophenols; nitrosamines; p-dioxin; Parathion; PCBs; pentachlorophenol; phenol; phthalate esters; polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons; selenium; silver; tetrachloroethylene; thallium; toluene; Toxaphene; trichloroethylene; vinyl chloride; and zinc; Liability: Under Alaska Statute 46.03.822 responsible parties are strictly liable, jointly and severally, for 1) Damages (broadly defined in .822(m) & 324); 2) For the costs of response, containment, removal or remedial action incurred by the state, a municipality, or a village; and 3) For increased costs of certain government projects and services. Water Quality Criteria: There is documented evidence that imported fill material originating from the B5 borrow site continues to cause Alaska Water Quality Standards violations in stream and wetland receiving waters, and in the sediments intersecting the highway prism on FS Road 3030. The 2009 TCRA plan to partially remove B5 material without feasibility study is a high-risk cleanup remedy. The ADEC does NOT support the choice made by the cooperating agency technical team at the January 2009 meeting in Seattle. The remedy selection was made without the benefit any discussion of an exposure risk evaluation promised by federal agencies in fall 2008 and now overdue in 2009. Furthermore, in order to designate those metals detected in high concentrations in waters only upgradient from the FSR3030 prism as background or natural occurring, State Water Quality criteria must be met. Bruce Wanstall
4/10/2009 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed and commented on the WFLHD FHA/USFS Data Gaps Investigation Scope of Work Addendum 2 for the Forest Service Road 3030 site on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) has downloaded the Data Gaps Investigation Scope of Work Addendum 2 after receiving notice it was available in an April 10, 2009 email from the U.S. Forest Service. ADEC is providing an expedited review as a courtesy to the U.S. Forest Service and the Federal Highway Administration. In the future, ADEC requests additional time be provided for agency review and comment on scopes of work, work plans, reports and other work products associated with this site. ADEC has the following comments regarding the addendum. Changes to the Sampling and Analysis Plan The changes in this section for the following items are approved by ADEC: • surface water sampling, • groundwater sampling, • sediment sampling • Biological Monitoring Plan ADEC requests the U.S. Forest Service and Federal Highway Administration report all sampling data in accordance with ADEC’s Technical Memorandum- “Environmental Laboratory Data and Quality Assurance Requirements” as amended through March 2009 and the associated “Laboratory Data Review Checklist” as amended through March 2009. This assures that the submittals will meet the minimum requirements for both laboratory data packages and QA Summaries (data reduction, verification, evaluation, etc.) that must be included in all reports containing analytical data submitted to the CS program. Additionally, ADEC requests the Technical Memorandum – 08-001 “Guidelines for Data Reporting, Data Reporting, Data Reduction and Treatment of Non-Detect Values” (August 12, 2008) be followed by the U.S. Forest Service and Federal Highway Administration to ensure consistent data when making site management decisions. The latest versions of these documents can be found at http://www.dec.state.ak.us/spar/guidance.htm within the Analytical Methods and Quality Assurance section. Upon incorporation of the above items in the sampling efforts for this project, ADEC concurs with the April 2009 addendum. ADEC review and concurrence on this addendum is to ensure that the work is done in accordance with State of Alaska environmental conservation laws and regulations. While ADEC may comment on other state and federal laws and regulations, our concurrence on the addendum does not relieve responsible persons from the need to comply with other applicable laws and regulations Louis Howard
4/17/2009 Update or Other Action Part I of II: Staff reviewed and provided comments on the Draft Time Critical Removal Action Work Plan FS 3030 Road Site April 2009 Project No. 14481 Prince of Wales Island, Alaska from the USFS/FHA. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) obtained the draft work plan for a time critical removal action on April 10, 2009. The purpose of the work plan is to describe the second time-critical removal action (TCRA) to be completed at the U.S. Forest Service (FS) 3030 Road site located near the city of Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island. ADEC has the following comments on the document. 2.2.2 AMEC and Oasis Investigations Page 8- The text states: “The results from the two investigations (AMEC, 2008; Oasis, 2009) indicated that six streams or tributaries of streams have been impacted by acid rock drainage (ARD) and do not meet ADEC surface water quality standards for pH and a number of metals....” ADEC requests the Forest Service state the results “...do not meet 18 AAC 70 Alaska Water Quality Standards for pH and a number of metals....” 2.2.3 WFLHD 2008 TCRA Page 3-The text refers to the concentration of all metals are below water quality screening criteria. ADEC requests the Forest Service change the text to state “The concentration of all metals are below 18 AAC 70 Alaska Water Quality Standards (amended as of July 2008)....” 3.0 Proposed Actions Page 6-The text states compliance with applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) is not required by National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan (NCP) for removal actions. This statement requires some clarification. The NCP actually states at 300.415(j): “...removal actions pursuant to CERCLA section 106 shall, to the extent practicable considering the exigencies of the situation, attain applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) under federal environmental or state environmental or facility siting laws. Waivers described in Sec. 300.430(f)(1)(ii)(C) may be used for removal actions. Other federal and state advisories, criteria, or guidance may, as appropriate, be considered in formulating the removal action (see Sec. 300.400(g)(3)). In determining whether compliance with ARARs is practicable, the lead agency may consider appropriate factors, including: (1) The urgency of the situation; and (2) The scope of the removal action to be conducted.” “(C) An alternative that does not meet an ARAR under federal environmental or state environmental or facility siting laws may be selected under the following circumstances: (1) The alternative is an interim measure and will become part of a total remedial action that will attain the applicable or relevant and appropriate federal or state requirement; (2) Compliance with the requirement will result in greater risk to human health and the environment than other alternatives; (3) Compliance with the requirement is technically impracticable from an engineering perspective; (4) The alternative will attain a standard of performance that is equivalent to that required under the otherwise applicable standard, requirement, or limitation through use of another method or approach; (5) With respect to a state requirement, the state has not consistently applied, or demonstrated the intention to consistently apply, the promulgated requirement in similar circumstances at other remedial actions within the state; or (6) For Fund-financed response actions only, an alternative that attains the ARAR will not provide a balance between the need for protection of human health and the environment at the site and the availability of Fund monies to respond to other sites that may present a threat to human health and the environment.” With the exception of discharge of water (consistent with FHWA BMPs) generated during the course of the time-critical removal actions (as in interim measure) which may not meet Alaska Water Quality Standards, ADEC is unaware of any ARARs which have been formally waived under the circumstances identified above. 3.1 B-1 Consolidation Area Page 6- The text states the B-1 Pit will be engineered and developed as a final consolidation area for the B-5 waste rock. ADEC requests the Forest Service change the text The B-1 Pit will be engineered and developed as a final consolidation area for the disposal of the B-5 waste rock. Louis Howard
4/17/2009 Update or Other Action Part II of II: RE: Draft Time Critical Removal Action Work Plan FS 3030 Road Site April 2009 Project No. 14481 Prince of Wales Island, Alaska from USFS/WFLHD-FHA. 3.1.1 Proposed Action Description Pages 6 and 7: The text states the borrow pit will be enlarged as necessary to account for the maximum potential volume of material that is described in the 2009 TCRA Action Memo. Enlarging the pit would also be necessary to generate the volume of limestone rock needed to replace the B-5 rock excavated from the existing road bed. ADEC requests the Forest Service provide additional information regarding the potential volume of material from the 2010 construction season and whether the borrow pit will be able to handle the extra B-5 waste rock that could be disposed at the borrow pit. Finally, ADEC requests clarification on whether the estimate on the total volume of excavated B-5 rock was based on what would be removed from the areas specified in Section 5.0 or some other estimate: • Stream 6, Culvert 22+196; • Stream 8, Culvert 23+745; • Stream 8, Culvert 23+965; • B-5 Cut; • Stream 6, Culvert 22+391; • Stream 6, Culverts 22+800 & 22+831; • Stream 9, Culvert 24+701; and • Undesignated Stream at Culvert 18+947 3.2 Stream Removal Actions Page 9 See comments above in section 3.0 for ARAR compliance and waivers as specified by the NCP for removal actions. ADEC disagrees the removal actions are not being conducted to meet specific water-quality performance standards. Meeting the applicable 18 AAC 70 Alaska Water Quality Standards is surface water bodies is the reason the Forest Service is conducting removals of B-5 waste rock in the road bed which have caused or are causing water quality and habitat impairment. 3.2.1.1 Stream 6 Culvert 22+196 Proposed Action Description Page 10 The text states the remaining B-5 rock has the potential to produce some ARD, the amount of ARD had been shown by modeling to be small and the limestone rock should buffer the water quality. The accuracy of the modeling of the amount of ARD being generated will need to be confirmed through actual monitoring of the surface water to ensure that ARD is not being generated or will be generated in the future for years to come. ADEC requests the Forest Service refer the reader to the Appendix E for additional information regarding the modeling of ARD generation by the B-5 rock. 3.2.1 2 Stream 8 Culvert 23+745 Proposed Action Description Page 10 See comment above regarding modeling of ARD generation. 3.2.1.3 Stream 8 Culvert 23+965 Propose Action Description Page 11 See comment above regarding modeling of ARD generation. 3.2.1.4 Stream 6 Culvert 22+391 Proposed Action Description Page 11 See comment above regarding modeling of ARD generation. 3.2.1.5 Stream 6 Culverts 22+800 and 22+831 Proposed Action Description Page 12 See comment above regarding modeling of ARD generation. 3.2.2 Performance Criteria Page 14 In addition to water quality criteria measurements taken after the removal actions to demonstrate the improvement of surface water quality, there will also be a need to conduct other measurements of stream health (e.g. fish surveys/trapping, benthic macroinvertebrate surveys) as a part of the overall monitoring program for the site. 3.5 Reporting Page 17 The text states a memorandum documenting the removal actions, including as-builts of the actions, will be completed and submitted to the FS once the removal action is complete. ADEC requests the Forest Service provide the results from the initial samples collected to document water quality conditions prior to the removal action(s) with the memorandum (report). Additionally, ADEC requests the data be reviewed in accordance with ADEC’s Technical Memorandum “Environmental Laboratory Data and Quality Assurance Requirements” (March 2009) and the required Laboratory Data Review checklist (March 2009). Please note that ADEC review of this specific work plan is to ensure that the work is done in accordance with State of Alaska environmental conservation laws and regulations. While ADEC may comment on other state and federal laws and regulations, our comments on the plan does not relieve responsible persons, their consultants, contractors, sub-contractors, or personnel acting on their behalf from complying with other applicable laws and regulations. Louis Howard
4/21/2009 Update or Other Action Part I of II Jennifer Roberts (ADEC) sent an electronic mail message to Ken Vaughn (USFS) re: Alaska Statutes and Rock. As requested this will clarify our numerous phone conversations regarding Bruce Wanstall’s letter of February 18 2009. Alaska statutes define a hazardous substance as an element or compound which, when it enters into the atmosphere or in or upon the water or surface or subsurface land of the state, presents an imminent and substantial danger to the public health or welfare, including but not limited to fish, animals, vegetation, or any part of the natural habitat in which they are found (AS 46.03.826). In the case of Forest Service Road 3030, naturally occurring rock from the B-5 quarry was processed and subsequently put into locations under conditions that created releases of acidic leachate. This acidic leachate created an imminent and substantial danger to, at a minimum, fish and habitat. This qualifies as a release of hazardous substance as defined by Alaska Statutes. Again let me state that the Department’s goal is to halt the release of acidic leachate from the processed B-5 rock material which was placed in conditions that promoted acid generation resulting in a release of acid that qualifies as hazardous substance as defined by Alaska statutes. Emergency removals to halt the immediate impacts of the acid release are a reasonable initial action. However, the Department is concerned that emergency removals are not the appropriate mechanism to establish any type of long term monitoring when processed rock placed in acid generating conditions are not completely removed. Further removals do not adequately evaluate all the pathways that maybe impacted by the release. We have talked before about the need to develop some type of “best management practices” that could be used for evaluating rock materials prior to using in road construction projects so the type of releases at FSR 3030 will not occur. This seems a reasonable effort and one that I encourage you to discuss with our permitting program. Let me know if this resolves the issues we have discussed--Jennifer Source: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/cgi-bin/folioisa.dll/stattx08/query=46!2E09!2E900/doc/%7B@13520%7D? Alaska Statutes – 2008 Sec 46.09.900 (4) "hazardous substance" means (A) an element or compound that, when it enters into or on the surface or subsurface land or water of the state, presents an imminent and substantial danger to the public health or welfare, or to fish, animals, vegetation, or any part of the natural habitat in which fish, animals, or wildlife may be found; or (B) a substance defined as a hazardous substance* under 42 U.S.C. 9601 - 9657 (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980); "hazardous substance" does not include uncontaminated crude oil or uncontaminated refined oil; -------------------------------------------------------------------------- NOTE TO FILE: 42 U.S.C. 9601 Definitions (14) The term "hazardous substance*" means (A) any substance designated pursuant to section 311(b)(2)(A) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, (B) any element, compound, mixture, solution, or substance designated pursuant to section 102 of this Act, (C) any hazardous waste having the characteristics identified under or listed pursuant to section 3001 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (but not including any waste the regulation of which under the Solid Waste Disposal Act has been suspended by Act of Congress), (D) any toxic pollutant** listed under section 307(a) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, (E) any hazardous air pollutant listed under section 112 of the Clean Air Act, and (F) any imminently hazardous chemical substance or mixture with respect to which the Administrator has taken action pursuant to section 7 of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The term does not include petroleum, including crude oil or any fraction thereof which is not otherwise specifically listed or designated as a hazardous substance under subparagraphs (A) through (F) of this paragraph, and the term does not include natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas, or synthetic gas usable for fuel (or mixtures of natural gas and such synthetic gas). Jennifer Roberts
4/21/2009 Update or Other Action Part II of II § 401.15 Toxic pollutants. The following comprise the list of toxic pollutants designated pursuant to section 307(a)(1) of the Act: 1. Acenaphthene 2. Acrolein 3. Acrylonitrile 4. Aldrin/Dieldrin1 1 Effluent standard promulgated (40 CFR part 129). 5. Antimony and compounds2 2 The term compounds shall include organic and inorganic compounds. 6. Arsenic and compounds 7. Asbestos 8. Benzene 9. Benzidine1 10. Beryllium and compounds 11. Cadmium and compounds 12. Carbon tetrachloride 13. Chlordane (technical mixture and metabolites) 14. Chlorinated benzenes (other than di-chlorobenzenes) 15. Chlorinated ethanes (including 1,2-di-chloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and hexachloroethane) 16. Chloroalkyl ethers (chloroethyl and mixed ethers) 17. Chlorinated naphthalene 18. Chlorinated phenols (other than those listed elsewhere; includes trichlorophenols and chlorinated cresols) 19. Chloroform 20. 2-chlorophenol 21. Chromium and compounds 22. Copper and compounds 23. Cyanides 24. DDT and metabolites1 25. Dichlorobenzenes (1,2-, 1,3-, and 1,4-di-chlorobenzenes) 26. Dichlorobenzidine 27. Dichloroethylenes (1,1-, and 1,2-dichloroethylene) 28. 2,4-dichlorophenol 29. Dichloropropane and dichloropropene 30. 2,4-dimethylphenol 31. Dinitrotoluene 32. Diphenylhydrazine 33. Endosulfan and metabolites 34. Endrin and metabolites1 35. Ethylbenzene 36. Fluoranthene 37. Haloethers (other than those listed elsewhere; includes chlorophenylphenyl ethers, bromophenylphenyl ether, bis(dichloroisopropyl) ether, bis-(chloroethoxy) methane and polychlorinated diphenyl ethers) 38. Halomethanes (other than those listed elsewhere; includes methylene chloride, methylchloride, methylbromide, bromoform, dichlorobromomethane 39. Heptachlor and metabolites 40. Hexachlorobutadiene 41. Hexachlorocyclohexane 42. Hexachlorocyclopentadiene 43. Isophorone 44. Lead and compounds 45. Mercury and compounds 46. Naphthalene 47. Nickel and compounds 48. Nitrobenzene 49. Nitrophenols (including 2,4-dinitrophenol, dinitrocresol) 50. Nitrosamines 51. Pentachlorophenol 52. Phenol 53. Phthalate esters 54. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)1 55. Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (including benzanthracenes, benzopyrenes, benzofluoranthene, chrysenes, dibenz-anthracenes, and indenopyrenes) 56. Selenium and compounds 57. Silver and compounds 58. 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) 59. Tetrachloroethylene 60. Thallium and compounds 61. Toluene 62. Toxaphene1 63. Trichloroethylene 64. Vinyl chloride 65. Zinc and compounds [44 FR 44502, July 30, 1979, as amended at 46 FR 2266, Jan. 8, 1981; 46 FR 10724, Feb. 4, 1981] Jennifer Roberts
5/4/2009 Update or Other Action Time Critical Removal Action Memorandum, Starting on or About July 15, 2009, at the Forest Service 3030 Road near Coffman Cove, Thorne Bay Ranger District, Tongass National Forest released. I. PURPOSE This Action Memorandum documents and explains the decision to commence a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA; 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.) Time-Critical Removal Action (TCRA) at the Forest Service 3030 Road near Coffman Cove, Thorne Bay Ranger District, Tongass National Forest (Site) in Field Season 2009. This response action is the second removal action authorized. On site removal activity is expected to begin on approximately July 15, 2009, and be completed during 2010 field season (approximately August 2010). This action memorandum is to address the release of low pH waters containing dissolved metals, with particular concern for copper and zinc, into streams tributary to Sweetwater Lake. The waters are leachate from water percolating through pyritic rock obtained from a rock source labeled as “B-5” and used in road construction. This Action Memorandum includes monitoring and closures needed to prevent disturbance of materials removed from the road and damage to removal action components. This Action Memorandum is prepared pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 9604, 7 C.F.R. 2.60(a) (39) and Executive Order 12580. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service intends to integrate the TCRA with any future response actions deemed necessary at the Site. Future response actions may follow the completion of further CERCLA analysis, which will include monitoring required by this TCRA. Coordinated planning should ensure that this TCRA is consistent with any future response actions. The Forest Service is the “lead agency”, as defined in section 300.5 of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP; 40 C.F.R. Part 300), for response actions on National Forest System land. All response actions overseen by the Forest Service in cooperation with support agencies will not be inconsistent with the NCP. This decision is also based on the administrative record for the Site. The support agencies are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Contaminated Sites Program (ADEC), and Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD). The Forest Service and the support agencies are hereinafter called the Agencies. A March 2009 Risk Evaluation Technical Memorandum (RETM) assessed the extent and probable significance of the effects of pyritic rock used as road fill material. The RETM confirms adverse impacts to aquatic life in several streams, likely due to low pH and the release of hazardous substances, including copper and zinc. The ecological effects on the impacted streams justify immediate action. The human health conceptual site model suggests that human health risks are considered insignificant at the site due to the low or nonexistent subsistence and recreation use combined with a the low probability that recreational users will drink from impacted waters. This response action is the second CERCLA response action for the removal of pyritic rock along the Forest Service 3030 Road. This response action addresses seven additional locations. The proposed TCRA includes: 1) treatment with limestone at one site; 2) preparation of consolidation cells in a rock pit known as B-1; 3) a structure for monitoring the effects of the response actions; and 4) administrative actions, such as withdrawals from mineral entry and restrictions on activities near filter trenches and the borrow site known as B-5. In 2008 WFLHD removed pyritic rock that was producing ARD from road fill near one stream and installed a buffering trench using limestone rock at the B-5 borrow source and below the D-2 site. Subsequent water sampling indicates that the 2008 removal action improved downstream water quality. The Forest Service anticipates that the 2009 removal action will raise pH downstream from the treatment locations and reduce the concentration of copper and zinc based on the removal factors set forth in NCP section 300.415(b)(2). Due to the apparent success of the similar 2008 removal action, and successes reported in the literature, the Forest Service expects that the proposed removal actions will be effective. WFLHD plans to conduct the removal action. Louis Howard
5/5/2009 Site Visit Part I of II: On Scene Coordinators Field Inspection Notes and Discussion FS 3030 Road Cleanup – Coffman Cove Road FH 44, May 5, 2009 Attending-Bob Lale, Western Federal Lands Highway Division, Mike Traffalis, Western Federal Lands Highway Division, Tim Chittenden, Forest Service, Ken Vaughan, Forest Service, Bruce Wanstall, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Louis Howard, ADEC-CSP. Culvert 18+947. This site was inspected after discussion of potential fisheries effect of the proposed work at this location. Review concluded that the treatments proposed are appropriate. Stream 3 and tributary at 19+964. Water flow was low with flow well within the channel of the stream. These were sites that were treated with the 2008 Time Critical Removal Action (TCRA). Walked down below the culvert at 19+964 to examine the channel and the condition of the precipitate that had accumulated below the culvert. The greatest accumulation had been marked by Chittenden with a red topped lathe. The precipitate had been cut down in the center of the channel flow leaving standing walls of eroded precipitate. The shapes were reminiscent of the “grand canyon” in miniature. The depth of remaining precipitate in the center chanell was reduced to about 2inches to 4 inches depth. The edges of the channel are well defined, and the precipitate appears to be more dense. Downstream in the woody debris, discoloration of the precipitate remains on some branches, but little accumulation remains above firm bottom substrate. The riffles in the stream were largely free of precipitate. Expectation of increased mobilization and flushing with high flows remains reasonable. All indications continue to show the rock replacement was effective, especially when compared to field reviews of this site in July and September 2008. Stream 4-This stream is proposed for continued monitoring. The inspections showed iron staining on the lateral edges of the main stream crossings. The staining extended 1-2 feet below the culvert on both sides. Mike walked through the culvert and noted that he saw some corrosion on the culvert band. Some discussion was held on site, and continued monitoring will be continued. A tributary stream located to the east cross under the road and joins the main channel near the road. No visual observations to indicate ARD discharges were seen and the culver appeared to be in good condition. Stream 5. This crossing is proposed for continued monitoring. Inspection showed no visual reason to change the prescription. Stream 6, West Crossing Sta 22+196. This crossing is the highest priority location for the 2009 TCRA. The site shows signs of orange precipitate along the upstream ditch joining the stream near the culvert inlet. The low flow of water coming into the culvert does not show the orange precipitate until about 2 feet before the culvert. Downstream shows extensive precipitate and Chittenden reported the presence of precipitate all the way to the junction with main channel of Stream 6. The observations confirmed the plans for removal at this location. Low stream gradient suggest that recovery via high flow flushing may be slow. Stream 6 main channel-Iron staining was present on the rock substrate in the stream channel. The proposed actions at this location is proposed for later in the fall. There is a possibility that the discharges from the crossing at 22+196 may account for much of the visual indication. Should the indicated actions not occur until the following spring, monitoring results may be available to re-assess the status of the site. At this time, the actions are appropriate and conservative and should proceed. D2 Filter Trench and Culverts downstream-These two locations were visited sequentially, but are related and combined. The filter trenches below the D-2 disposal area were installed under the 2008 TCRA. They appear to be intercepting both subsurface flows from the disposal area (an old rock pit) as well as bog flows. Subsurface water elevation is very shallow, and observation down one of the piezometers showed the water surface less than a foot below ground surface (bgs), with the water surface being above ground surface as the filter trench approaches the small stream course it is hydraulically connected with. Chittenden discussed his meter readings taken March 25th. Other observations were of yellow boy flakes in the soils, and as sulfurous odor indicative of a reducing bog environment. Exposed water surfaces along the lower reaches of the filter trench showed signs of iron bacteria colonies developing with deep red colors being predominate. Examination of orange-white precipitate down gradient from the filter trench could not determine it if was deposited before the filter trench construction or later. Water sample data will be needed to evaluate the situation more completely, Louis Howard
5/5/2009 Update or Other Action Part II of II: On Scene Coordinators Field Inspection Notes and Discussion FS 3030 Road Cleanup – Coffman Cove Road FH 44, May 5, 2009 A small non fish bearing stream down gradient from the pit crosses the road. These locations shows the precipitate and are slated for removal. Vaughan walked up the 3030700 road with Wanstall and Howard seeking to locate the sampling sites used by Oasis in the September 2008 sampling by ADEC. The locations were not found in the field. Vaughan discussed the plans of the Tongass to cap the road with a lift of crushed limestone rock as a road maintenance activity. The Forest Geologist had identified pyrite crystals along the road and the use of limestone was proposed as potentially helping any actions from weathering pyrite. The potential to resample at similar locations at the Oasis work and the ability to make comparisons may be useful in the future. Wanstall and Howard indicated they thought the limestone was a good measure and agreed that it potentially could help, and could not hurt. B-5 Cut Filter Trench and Stream 7 locations down gradient from the cut.-The filter trench shows signs of iron staining on the north side of the road near the end of the limestone. Iron staining was on the surface. Chittenden provided information on the piezometers and results. The stream channel on the north side of the road shows signs of iron staining below the cut. The road is constructed directly on the bottom of the rock borrow cut at this location. Chittenden described observations during the filter trench discussion including the presence of an intrusion on the west side of the ridge that changes sharply to the shale with pyrite present. The filter trench extended about 3 meters below ditch grade. The staining in the stream suggests that sub surface flows are occurring below the cut and upwelling into the stream channel. Continue examination of the monitoring results will be important because stream 7 and 8 join down stream and extend to Sweetwater Lake. Stream 7-AMEC biological sampling staff were coming out of the stream when we arrived at the crossing. This location is to have dressings with limestone rock. The work is not expected to have any effects on the aquatic species. Stream 8-Two crossings were visited. Both are high priorities for action in 2009. The westerly site at 23+965 continues to show precipitate development extending upgradient towards a rock cut slope. Stream 9-AMEC crew was working on sampling test wells in the road fills along the roadway. Mike described the conditions at this site as complex leading to the removal action of complete removal of very deep fills. This is proposed to be accomplished in 2010 and will be the most extensive amount of excavation and highest cost for a single location. Iron Staining in Ditch east of Coffman Cove Bridge near MP 3-The road at this location had not shown iron staining in the ditch line at previous inspections. The coating of vegetation in the ditch line with red iron oxide colored precipitate was clearly solid and visible on the North side of the road. The south side of the road was a borrow pit apparently fill with excavation and the slopes were trimmed. This portion of the highway had been reconstructed long before the borrow site known as B-5 was opened. The iron was likely from subsurface flows traveling above an ice lens and daylighting into the ditch line along the road. At the time of observation, there was no water evident in the ditch or seen down gradient in Coffman Creek. Meeting in Coffman Cove-Public open house was attended by two persons other than the city of Coffman Cove staff in the City offices. A total of 5 person discussed the project status. Summary is that people were satisfied that work was proceeding and the issues were being addressed. Several other matters unrelated to the Cleanup Project. Summary-Nice day to view the work as the vegetation has not leafed out and visibility along the waterways was good. Nothing observed led to any suggestions of changes in the actions included in the TCRA signed on May 4, 2008. Sampling work observed appeared to be in good order. Chittenden reported good work by the AMEC staff on site. Work shown in the 2009 TCRA is field validated and should proceed. Next Technical Team Meeting-Next meeting of the Technical team is scheduled for mid-September on Prince of Wales Island with lead topics being : • data from the spring sampling results, • discussion of CERCLA background data, • effectiveness monitoring plan • review of work progress. Louis Howard
8/17/2009 Update or Other Action Part I of IV ADEC was emailed regarding the availability of the Data report for Spring 2009 Sampling by AMEC Geomatrix for WFLHD at the USFS website. Western Federal Lands Highway Division's (WFLHD) report presents data collected at the U.S. Forest Service (FS) 3030 Road Site (Site) on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, during a sampling event in spring 2009. The objectives of this sampling were (1) to fill data gaps regarding the extent of acid rock drainage (ARD) potentially related to road construction activity on the FS 3030 Road; & (2) to monitor & evaluate the effectiveness of Time Critical Removal Actions (TCRAs) performed in fall 2008. The Spring 2009 sampling was performed as a continuation of the Data Gaps Investigation initiated in fall 2008. AMEC collected samples in four areas within the FS 3030 Road site, including the three areas where TCRA activities were performed & the vicinity of the proposed consolidation (disposal) area where TCRA wastes will be temporarily stored. Fish & invertebrate data were not collected during the spring 2009 TCRA monitoring effort, as the consortium of regulatory agencies decided that biological indicators would require at least a year to show signs of recovery. In accordance with Work Plan, AMEC completed the following activities in April/May 2009: • Performed water quality sampling at four streams within the FS 3030 Road study area: - Stream 2 (3029). This stream is outside the area of interest & serves as a background stream; - Stream 2.5 at culvert 18+947. Additional reconnaissance was conducted to identify the stream mouth, which was not sampled during the fall event due to difficulty of access; - Stream 4 (3025); & - Stream 5 (3023). • For each known fish-bearing stream listed above, collected water samples at the following locations (sample points are designated based on the distance from the culvert: Points upstream of the culvert are designated by a negative number & points downstream by a positive number): - 15 m (50 feet) upstream of the culvert (-15 m); - 1 m (3.3 feet) downstream of the culvert (+1 m); - 150 m (492 feet) downstream of the culvert (+150), & every 150 m (492 feet) thereafter until 600 m (1,968 feet) downstream (+600 m); & - A location near the mouth of the stream for any streams longer than 600 m (1,968 feet) • Analyzed water samples from each known fish-bearing stream listed above for the set of parameters designated as the “limited” set. The limited set consists of field parameters (pH, specific conductivity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, total dissolved solids, turbidity, oxidation-reduction potential) plus hardness, dissolved & total metals (Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni, Se, Zn), dissolved cations (Ca only), & limited anions (alkalinity, SO4). • Collected water quality samples from seeps identified along roadway sections flanking areas proposed for removal actions in 2009. Analyzed seep samples for the limited set of parameters. • Performed water quality sampling at selected locations within & near Stream 8, upstream of culvert 23+965. This stream section has been identified as impacted, although the stream at this location has not yet passed beneath FS 3030 Road. Visual reconnaissance was conducted to evaluate the extent of impact (such as ARD-related precipitation) upstream of the road. Three samples were collected in this area. One sample was collected within the impacted area, one sample was collected immediately upstream of any visual impact, & one sample was collected from a seep emerging from the road bed in this area. • Performed water quality sampling at three seeps near Stream 9. During the fall 2008 sampling event, samples from Stream 9 collected 300 m (984 feet) downstream of the road exhibited a higher concentration of metals & a lower pH than samples collected at the sample location immediately downstream of the road. The source of the high concentration of metals & low pH was identified as a data gap. To investigate this data gap during the spring 2009 sampling event, visual reconnaissance was conducted along a logging road adjacent to the stream & also along a small tributary that enters Stream 9 approximately 150 m (492 feet) downstream of FS 3030 Road. Two samples were collected from seeps along the logging road & one sample was collected from the small tributary. Louis Howard
8/17/2009 Update or Other Action Part II of IV ADEC was emailed regarding the availability of the Data report for Spring 2009 Sampling by AMEC Geomatrix for WFLHD at the USFS website. Groundwater Sampling - In fall 2008, 26 wells were installed along FS 3030 Road and its associated streams, wetlands, and borrow/disposal pits. The spring 2009 sampling event included the following actions: • Conducted water quality sampling according to the Sampling and Analysis Plan (AMEC, 2008c) at groundwater wells installed in the road embankment and peat upstream and downstream of the following streams: - Stream 6 (10 wells); - Stream 9 (5 wells upstream and downstream of culvert 24+701); and - Stream 3 (2 wells). These wells were sampled as part of the monitoring for the 2008 TCRA (see section 3.0). According to the TCRA Work Plan, wells at the B-5 cut, D-2 pit, and B-1 pit were also sampled (see section 3.0). • Analyzed groundwater samples collected from these wells for the limited set of parameters. This information will provide a baseline against which to compare subsurface water quality monitoring results over time. Sediment and Soil Sampling -- The following actions were taken in accordance with the Data Gaps Investigation Work Plan (2008b): • Collected sediment samples downstream of the road in each affected creek (Streams 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) in the same or similar locations as sediment samples collected in fall 2008 by OASIS Environmental, Inc. (OASIS, 2009). One sample was collected at the mouth of each stream at Sweetwater Lake (where sediment was present). An additional sample was collected in the upstream portion of each creek. • Evaluated the thickness and extent of precipitate at each location, and recorded visual observations of the precipitate. • Evaluated sediment samples for bulk density (per ASTM Method E1109-86) and particle size (by sieve and hydrometer per ASTM Method D422). • Recorded visual observations along the full length of the affected streams to determine the extent of ARD-related precipitation. • Collected eight soil samples in areas upstream of the road from the banks of known fish-bearing creeks (Streams 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) and one sample from Stream 3. The purpose of this sampling was to evaluate the metals content of native soils contributing sediment to the creeks. Biological Sampling -- The benthic invertebrate sampling and fish trapping program presented in the Biological Monitoring Plan (AMEC, 2008d) will be postponed until 2010, as recovery of biological populations is not expected until at least a year following removal actions. The biological monitoring program will be further defined in the pending Long-Term Monitoring Plan. The Data Gaps Investigation effort performed in spring 2009 included: • Visual observations of stream habitat and surrounding terrain, including a visual assessment of vegetation and hydrology, such as wetland features and type(s), were recorded in spring 2009 at all affected creeks and at background Stream 2. Stream habitats were classified based on the Alaska Stream Condition Index (ASCI). • A visual survey of wetlands in spring 2009 to assess potential ARD impacts along the road and document potential new problems. The survey focused on vegetation impacts along the road, such as dying or distressed vegetation. Deviations from the Work Plan: Two wells at the B-1 consolidation area were unsuitable for sampling. B1 Pit-MW4 was dry upon arrival, and B1Pit-MW9 ran dry during parameter stabilization and after four hours had not recharged sufficiently for sampling. Well MW-9 is located in a shallow drainage channel. As a result, this well receives surface water run-on, even when very little precipitation occurs. This well can be sampled only during a long period of dry weather. Other wells formerly present in the B-1 consolidation area are now covered and obscured by excavation material. Additional samples were collected from the flanks of the October 2008 removal action areas. These samples were not part of the proposed TCRA monitoring, but were collected as per requested by WFLHD to determine whether the removal action areas adequately addressed the full spatial extent of ARD effects. Due to heavy tree canopy cover in the project area, two Brunton Atlas-MNS GPS units were used instead of units with submeter accuracy. The Brunton Atlas-MNS units were used to collect GPS coordinates for both TCRA and Data Gaps Investigation sampling. Louis Howard
8/17/2009 Update or Other Action Part III of IV ADEC was emailed regarding the availability of the Data report for Spring 2009 Sampling by AMEC Geomatrix for WFLHD at the USFS website. Points upstream of the culvert were designated by a negative number, and points downstream were designated by a positive number. Water quality sample points were likewise designated based on the distance from the culvert, with upstream points designated by a negative number and downstream points designated by a positive number. All water samples for this investigation were submitted to Test America’s laboratory in Tacoma, Washington, and to Analytical Resources, Inc. (ARI), in Tukwila, Washington, as discussed in the Quality Assurance Project Plan (AMEC, 2008e). ARI analyzed the samples for Al, As, and Cd because Test America was UNABLE to meet low screening levels for these constituents. Fish were observed by the sampling team during sampling at Stream 4. Four fry were observed near the +150 m sample location. A juvenile salmonid was observed 115 m (377.3 feet) downstream of culvert 20+852. Juvenile salmonids were also observed upstream of the beaver pond at the -15 m location downstream of culvert 20+917. A thin coating of orange precipitate was observed on rocks along both banks immediately downstream of culvert 20+852. The precipitate, however, did not extend beyond 1 m (3.3 feet) downstream and was confined to the banks. No orange precipitate was observed upstream or downstream of culvert 20+917. With the exception of staining observed immediately adjacent to culvert 20+852, the stream is free of orange precipitate and staining along its entire length. Fish were observed by the sampling team during sampling at Stream 5. A large fish – possibly a trout – approximately 1 foot long was observed in the stream approximately 600 m (1,968.5 feet) downstream of the culvert. Two medium-sized (~ 8 to 10 inches long) trout were also observed in a pool approximately 450 m (1,476.4 feet) downstream. A large salmonid (10 to 12 inches) was observed near the mouth of Stream 5. Stream 8 and associated tributaries- Additional visual reconnaissance was conducted to address an identified data gap regarding the extent of impact upstream of the road. A water sample was collected 100 m (328.1 feet) upstream of culvert 23+965, about 10 m (32.8 feet) upstream of apparent visual impact. Visual impact consisted of orange precipitation. The precipitation appeared to be present in and immediately downstream of seepage from the base of the road, including input from a seep sampled during this investigation referred to as 23+965-Seep 1. Additional seeps appear to enter Stream 8 in this area, but they were obscured by root systems and were not sampled. A sample was collected from 24+701 Seep 1, which enters Stream 9 approximately 150 m (492.1 feet) downstream of culvert 24+701. Samples were collected from 3030650 Seep 1 and 3030650 Seep 2, downstream of the logging road (FS 3030650 Road) flanking Stream 9. The sample from 3030650 Seep 1 was collected downstream of FS 3030650 Road 1 m (3.28 feet) below a culvert. The pool below the culvert contained orange precipitate buried by organic matter. Orange precipitate below the seeps was about 0.3 m (1 foot) deep, and pebbles and cobbles were stained orange. More samples than the number proposed in the Work Plan were collected from the flanks of the proposed removal action areas. These samples were not part of the Data Gaps Investigation Work Plan; they were collected as requested by WFLHD to determine whether proposed removal action areas would adequately address the potential ARD effects. Water Quality Criteria for Aluminum was exceeded in all streams sampled. Samples where exceedances were noted downstream greater than upstream results: Stream 3: Aluminum (87 ug/L)-890 ug/L total B-5 Cut: Iron (300 ug/L)-50,000 ug/L Manganese (50 ug/L): 13,000 ug/L, Nickel (52 ug/L)-690 ug/L, Zinc (100 ug/L)-1,700 ug/L and Sulfate (250 mg/L)- 1,800 mg/L D-2 Pit: Aluminum (87 ug/L)-Seep-D2 0409:1,580 ug/L, Copper (9 ug/L)-200 ug/L, Iron (300 ug/L)-76,000 ug/L, Nickel (52 ug/L)-540 ug/L, Zinc (100 ug/L)-2,500 ug/L and Sulfate (250 mg/L)-870 mg/L. Stream 8: Aluminum (87 ug/L)-26,000 ug/L, Arsenic (0.018 ug/L)-41.6 ug/L, Cadmium (0.25 ug/L)-15.5 ug/L, Chromium (74 ug/L)-170 ug/L, Copper (9 ug/L)-2,600 ug/L, Iron (300 ug/L)-210,000 ug/L, Manganese (50 ug/L)-4,700 ug/L, Nickel (52 ug/L)-770 ug/L, Selenium (4.6 ug/L)-14 ug/L, Zinc (100 ug/L)-2,200 ug/L and Sulfate (250 ug/L)-2,800 ug/L Stream 9: Aluminum (87 ug/L) 210 ug/L, Copper (9 ug/L)-18 ug/L, Iron (300 ug/L)-13,000 ug/L, and Managanese (50 ug/L)-13,000 ug/L Louis Howard
8/17/2009 Update or Other Action Part IV of IV Groundwater results Stream 3 (3027) MW-101S: Aluminum (87 ug/L) 120 ug/L, Iron (300 ug/L), 1,700 ug/L. MW-102S: Aluminum-5,900 ug/L, Cadmium (0.25 ug/L)-6.8 ug/L, Copper (9 ug/L)-350 ug/L, Iron-570 ug/L, Manganese (50 ug/L)-970 ug/L, Nickel (52 ug/L) 140 ug/L, Zinc (100 ug/L)-740 ug/L B-5 Cut: B5Cut-MW-2 Arsenic (0.018 ug/L) 1.8 ug/L, Iron (300 ug/L)-250,000 ug/L, Nickel (52 ug/L) 1,100 ug/L, Zinc (100 ug/L)-3,600 ug/L and Sulfate (250 mg/L)- 1,600 mg/L B5Cut-MW5 Sulfate (250 mg/L): 1,400 mg/L B1 Pit: B1Pit-MW10: Iron (300 ug/L)-2,200 ug/L, Manganese (50 ug/L) 8,300 ug/L, D-2 Pit: D2Pit-MW1: Iron (300 ug/L)-120,000 ug/L, Manganese (50 ug/L)-14,000 ug/L, Nickel (52 ug/L)-170 ug/L, Zinc (100 ug/L)-290 ug/L, Stream 6 water table well MW-105WT: pH at 3.11, Deep well MW-106D: pH at 6.7, Water Table Well MW-107WT: pH at 3.96 Highest values MW-113WT: Aluminum 18,700 ug/L, Deep well MW-106D Arsenic 25.8 ug/L, Water table well MW-113WT Cadmium 32.9 ug/L, Water Table Well MW-113WT: Copper 2,600 ug/L, Water Table well MW-107WT Iron: 98,000 ug/L, Water Table well MW-113WT: 2,800 ug/L, Nickel 650 ug/L, Zinc 3,800 ug/L and Sulfate 1,200 ug/L. Stream 9 Water table well MW-113WT pH: 3.44 Louis Howard
8/27/2009 Update or Other Action Solicitation Number: AG-0109-S-09-0021 Notice Type: Cancellation (originally sent out 8/5/2009 and then cancelled 8/27/2009). This solicitation is being canceled because the quotes are unreasonable. This project is being advertised through the GSA Schedule, solicitation number RFQ400364. Primary Point of Contact.: Della Koelling dkoelling@fs.fed.us Phone: 907-586-8852 In November 2007, the Western Federal Lands and Highway Division (WFLHD) reported to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) that water quality exceedances had resulted from placement of corrosive rock material in wetlands on Prince of Wales Island as part of a WFLHD FS Road 3030 construction project. The subsequent Coffman Cove Road Water Quality Assessment (David Evans and Associates, Inc., 2008) concluded that impacts to water quality had occurred as a result of chemical oxidation of acid generating rock material placed in the road prism. This material is referred to as B5 material. It was determined that the material weathers rapidly and released acid rock drainage (ARD) that impacts to water bodies, aquatic life and critical habitat as a result of the ARD. The objective of this project is to conduct a bench-scale assessment of the ARD/metal leaching potential (ARD/ML) of B5 material under various combinations with B1 limestone. This assessment will enable a management plan to be developed for handling this material in the future. Specific goals and objectives of the proposed program are: 1. Determine the ARD/ML potential of several different combinations of B5 material mixed with limestone, including identification of ARD/ML prediction criteria (e.g. sulphide content, NPR, metal concentration) as shown in Section 3.1. The proposal, at a minimum perform analytical testing and report the results of testing; 2. Determine the primary reaction rates (acid generating and acid neutralizing) of the two materials; and 3. Estimate the time to onset of acid generation and/or metal leaching of the two materials. 4. Determine the ARD/ML potential of unmixed B5 rock sample and the unmixed B1 rock sample, including identification of ARD/ML prediction criteria (e.g. sulphide content, NPR, metal concentration); The scope of work includes design and performance of an ARD/ML assessment program consistent with the data requirements of the USEPA’s Final Technical Document, Acid Mine Drainage Prediction (EPA-530-R-94-036). The assessment shall be performed in two phases; static testing will be performed initially followed by kinetic testing. 1. Bulk sample B5 pyritic rock: from excavations on the Coffman Cove Road, Shot Rock Fill from B5 Rock pit, Descon Shale containing iron pyrite. Standard sample containers, 2. Bulk sample B1 Crushed Limestone: 1 ½ inch minus pit run in standard geotechnical sample containers from the B-1 Rock Pit near the Coffman Cove road Government furnished materials will be sampled by the government and shipped to the Contractor in standard geotechnical sample containers such as 5 gallon polyethylene buckets by the government. The Bidder shall work with the USFS to obtain enough B5 & B1 limestone material to prepare the following 11 mixtures of B5 & limestone: Table 1 Sub-Sample Mixtures Number of sub-samples : Percent B5 Material : Percent B1 Limestone Material 2 95 5 2 90 10 2 85 15 2 80 20 1 75 25 1 70 30 Sub-sample size is estimated to be approximately 10 kg. Sample materials will be combined, crushed to 1.5-inch gravel size, & then well mixed. The Proposal shall provide at a minimum: • Conduct static acid-base accounting (ABA) tests, with sulfur forms (total, sulfate, and sulfide), on each of 10 sub-samples (Section 3.1) , and unmixed samples (Section 2.0 Item 4). Parameters that will be measured shall include: o bulk Neutralization Potential (NP) using the modified Sobek method, o inorganic carbon content and carbonate NP, o total sulphur, sulphate sulphur and sulphide sulphur, and o total extractable metals via hot aqua regia digestion, or similar analysis such as SW-846 method 6010 or equivalent for total metals. The Bidder will interpret the results of static tests and provide a preliminary assessment of the ARD/ML potential of each sample. • Calculate tonnage-weighted values of acid generating potential (AP), acid neutralizing potential (NP), net acid neutralization potential (net-NP = NP – AP), and the neutralization potential ratio (NPR = ANP/AGP). • Conduct U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP) or other acceptable leaching test on each sample. SPLP leachate will be analyzed for the following: o dissolved metal concentrations o pH, specific conductivity o alkalinity, chloride, total dissolved solids (TDS), sulphate o alkalinity and acidity (pH 8.3 endpoint). Louis Howard
9/11/2009 Report or Workplan Review - Other I of III The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) commented on an electronic copy of the long-term monitoring plan received via electronic mail on August 17, 2009. The purpose of the long-term monitoring plan has been designed to monitor stream response to mitigation [and removal] activities conducted at the U.S. Forest Service (FS) 3030 Road Site in Coffman Cove, Alaska in 2008, and planned for 2009 and 2010. General comments- ADEC believes any subsequent removal actions should be actually be non-time-critical removal actions (NTCRA) per the NCP (§ 300.415(b)(4)). NTCRA is taken when the removal action is determined to be appropriate, but a planning period of at least six (6) months is available before on-site activities must begin. In lieu of the NTCRA, ADEC still believes the best approach is a CERCLA remedial investigation/feasibility (RI/FS) in accordance with CERCLA guidance (see EPA/540/G-89/004 OSWER Directive 9355.3-01 October 1988 Guidance for Conducting Remedial Investigations and Feasibility Studies Under CERCLA). Early remedial actions (interim actions) are allowed under the RI/FS process. ADEC believes the B1 Pit/disposal area for the excavated B5 material is located “off-site” and not located in very close proximity to the FS 3030 Road Site being addressed by the time-critical removal actions. What constitutes “off-site” is derived from the definition of on-site by the NCP. Without a determination by EPA as to whether or not the B1 Pit is “in close proximity” to the contamination (on-site) or within the boundaries of the FS 3030 Road site, the B1 Pit likely will need to be permitted by EPA RCRA as a treatment/disposal facility. 1.0 Introduction Page 1-The text states this long-term monitoring plan was developed using the EPA regulatory requirements and guidance documentation for the CERCLA “site close-out” process. For the purposes of this guide (which is actually Department of Defense [DOD] guidance not EPA or CERCLA guidance), “Site Closeout” refers to the point at which the DOD will no longer engage in active management or monitoring at an environmental restoration site, and no additional environmental restoration funds will be expended unless the need for additional remedial action is demonstrated. This process may not be appropriate for the Forest Service 3030 Road site at this time. “Environmental Site Closeout Process” refers to the steps in the cleanup process after the cleanup decision has been made and the remedial action is scheduled to begin. 1.3.1 2008 Removal Actions Page 5-The text in the first paragraph states: “Excess rock generated during the 2008 TCRA was placed in a consolidation area at the B1 Material Source (the B1 Consolidation Area or B1 Pit). Sampling of groundwater wells to evaluate groundwater quality was conducted at this location in April/May 2009. No constituents were determined to be out of compliance with site-specific screening levels in groundwater samples from the B1 Pit, and concentrations of copper and zinc were below detection limits in these samples (AMEC, 2009c). No further sampling is proposed for the B1 Pit. ADEC disagrees. One or two rounds of groundwater sampling from two wells at the B-1 Pit are not enough to demonstrate the long-term effectiveness of the removal actions and disposal of B-5 rock at the consolidation area. ADEC requests the Forest Service meet the substantive requirements of 18 AAC 60 Solid Waste Regulations. Specifically, ADEC believes the following portions of 18 AAC 60 are applicable to disposal activities occurring at the B1 Pit: 18 AAC 60.005 Purpose and applicability (b) Except as described in (c) of this section, this chapter applies to any person who accumulates, stores, transports, treats, or disposes of solid waste . The general requirements of 18 AAC 60.005 - 18 AAC 60.265 and 18 AAC 60.800 - 18 AAC 60.860 supplement the specific requirements for (2) monofills as covered by 18 AAC 60.400 - 18 AAC 60.495; and 18 AAC 60.485. Industrial solid waste. ADEC has concerns regarding the limestone underlying the B1 Pit preventing any potential transport of acidic drainage from the pit to the nearby Hatchery Creek. ADEC is requesting the Forest Service to adequately characterize the subsurface hydrology beneath and around the B1-pit so that (1) the monitoring points can be properly located and (2) the appropriate type of monitoring device is installed. This level of effort is required by 18 AAC 60.825 (especially (c)(3) and (4)), in that groundwater monitoring points have to be located such that they “...ensure detection of groundwater pollution in the uppermost aquifer” as determined by the characteristics of the groundwater environment. Similarly, 18 AAC 60.810(b) requires surface water monitoring points to be located such that they will detect “...the highest concentration of hazardous constituents migrating off the facility”. Louis Howard
9/11/2009 Report or Workplan Review - Other II of III The removal action selected (disposal of the B-5 material removed from the streams at the B1 Pit) has resulted, and will result, in hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remaining above levels that allow for “unlimited use and unrestricted exposure”. According to EPA, “Unlimited use and unrestricted exposure” (UU/UE) means that the selected remedy will place no restrictions on the potential use of land or other natural resources. In general, if the selected remedy relies on restrictions of land and/or groundwater use by humans and/or ecological populations to be protective, then the use has been limited and a five-year review should be conducted. For example, if a site is cleaned up to an industrial-use level, and/or other types of uses are restricted (e.g., residential use), then, generally, UU/UE is not met (EPA 540-R-01-007 Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance, June 2001). After the first five-year review, the data from the long-term monitoring and inspections of the consolidation area will be evaluated to determine whether groundwater monitoring frequency needs to be reduced, increased, or additional remedial action is needed to address the B-5 material (i.e. leachate generation observed from the consolidation area). As a disposal area, the site will never have an unlimited use or unrestricted exposure designation. There will always be five-year reviews throughout the life of the site until hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants no longer remain on site at levels that do not allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. If the B-1 Consolidation Area conditions change (i.e. buffering by the limestone treatment is ineffective and ARD is being generated), then contingency plans must be in place and implemented so as to contain the ARD on site, and trigger its treatment. 1.3.2 Proposed Additional Removal Actions Page 6 -The text states Stream 2.5 (undesignated stream flowing through culvert 18+947) is not currently planned for a removal action. At this stream, potential slight ARD effects were noted during fall 2008 sampling (AMEC, 2008b) but were not observed during April/May 2009 Data Gaps sampling (AMEC, 2009c). Significant ARD effects are considered to be absent at this stream, and the stream will not be included in this monitoring program. ADEC disagrees. This one event was not enough to show a trend. All that can be said was that ARD effects were present in fall 2008 and a subsequent sampling event the ARD effects were absent at this stream. ADEC requests the Forest Service plan on conducting more monitoring of sufficient duration to definitively show ARD effects are not present in the spring and fall. 2.0 Purpose of Long-Term Monitoring Page 7-The text states the main objective of long-term monitoring plan under CERCLA is to serve as “a general plan indicating how a successful remedial action will continue to be monitored to ensure that the remedy remains effective. (EPA 1999).” ADEC requests the monitoring plan be developed in accordance with EPA’s OSWER Directive No. 9355.4-28 “Guidance for Monitoring at Hazardous Waste Sites: Framework for Monitoring Plan Development and Implementation” January 2004. This guidance presents a six-step framework for developing and documenting a Monitoring Plan that will support management decisions. The framework includes the identification of monitoring objectives and development of monitoring hypotheses to focus the monitoring program, and the development of decision rules (exit criteria) that include action levels and alternative actions for terminating or continuing the site activity and/or its monitoring program. Last Paragraph Page 7-The text states that the primary goal of this long-term monitoring plan is to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the selected removal action remedies for the FS 3030 Road Site. The Forest Service has not developed and signed a Record of Decision which selected a remedy or a decision document which selected a remedy. ADEC requests the Forest Service change text to: The primary goal of this long-term monitoring plan is to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the selected removal actions for the FS 3030 Road Site. Additionally, the text also states: “These remedies were designed to ensure that actions taken to address the source of releases of ARD-related constituents are effectively eliminating or controlling the impacts to the environment.” ADEC requests the Forest Service change the text to: “These removals were designed to ensure that actions taken to address the source of releases of ARD-related constituents are effectively eliminating or controlling the impacts to the environment.” Louis Howard
9/11/2009 Report or Workplan Review - Other III of III 2.0 Purpose of Long-Term Monitoring Page 8-The first paragraph’s 2nd sentence states: “Although monitoring of habitat recovery subsequent to contaminant source removal is not a CERCLA requirement, WFLHD has agreed to perform limited monitoring of habitat & biological populations following the removal actions.” ADEC disagrees. A more correct statement would be: “Although monitoring of habitat recovery subsequent to contaminant source removals conducted in accordance with the NCP (specifically § 300.415 Removal action) is not required, WFLHD has agreed to perform limited monitoring of habitat & biological populations following the time-critical removal actions. CERCLA, as amended by Superfund Amendments & Reauthorization Act (SARA), & the NCP provide authority for 2 types of response actions. Removal actions are short-term actions taken to clean up or remove released hazardous substances or pollutants or contaminants; mitigate a threat of release of hazardous substances; monitor & evaluate release conditions; dispose of removed material; &/or mitigate or prevent damage to public health, welfare, or the environment Remedial actions include the study, design, & construction of longer-term actions aimed at permanent remedy. 2.1 Evaluation of Removal Action Implementation & Effectiveness Page 8-The 1st sentence states: “The primary goal of long-term monitoring at the FS 3030 Road Site will be to evaluate implementation & effectiveness of the removal action remedies at the site in relation to stated cleanup objectives.” ADEC requests the USFS change the text to: “The primary goal of long-term monitoring at the US FS 3030 Road Site will be to evaluate implementation & effectiveness of the removal actions at the site in relation to stated cleanup objectives.” The text goes on to state: “Groundwater at the site is not currently used as a drinking water source (AMEC, 2009a) nor is it likely to be used as a drinking water source in the foreseeable future.” ADEC disagrees. All groundwater is considered a drinking water source unless a “350” groundwater use determination is made by ADEC. In accordance with 18 AAC 75.350 Groundwater use. Last sentence in the 1st paragraph for Section 2.1 states: “As a result, groundwater will be monitored to the extent that it represents a potential ongoing source of COCs to surface waters based on ecological receptors.” ADEC interprets the phrase: “...a potential ongoing source of contaminants of concern (COCs)...” to mean: a release or discharge of COCs from the B5 material to surface water which has an acute or chronic effect upon ecological receptors (i.e. aquatic organisms, wildlife, plants & fish). The last paragraph on Page 9 states: “Based on discussions of appropriate metrics at the Juneau meeting, copper (Cu) & zinc (Zn) will be used as general indicator parameters to determine the success of the remedies, since these metals are the COCs with the highest risk to ecological receptors.” ADEC requests the USFS change the text to: “Based on discussions of appropriate metrics at the Juneau meeting, copper (Cu) & zinc (Zn) will be used only as general indicator parameters, to determine the success of the removal actions. Successful removal actions will be determined by meeting all of the 18 AAC 70 AK Water Quality Standards (as amended through July 1, 2008) & water quality criteria listed in the companion document adopted by reference: “AK Water Quality Criteria Manual for Toxic & Other Deleterious Organic & Inorganic Substances, as amended through December 12, 2008.” 2.1 Evaluation of Removal Action Implementation & Effectiveness Page 10-The text refers to partial removal (to a depth of 1 meter below the existing low water table) of source rock fill known as B-5 material that contributes to ARD within the drainage. ADEC requests the USFS to provide the source of the information on the existing low water table for each stream that partial removal of B-5 material is being conducted. ADEC’s preference is for full removal to avoid the possibility of ARD generation in times of low water flow which puts the surface water level below the 1 meter threshold used for the partial removal action & exposing the B-5 previously underwater. Periodic monitoring at partial removal locations will consist of both visual & collection of field water quality parameters since ADEC is unaware of any visual observation that can discern pH levels in water or changes in dissolved metals concentrations. Louis Howard
9/15/2009 Update or Other Action ADEC received by hand delivery from K. Vaughn: a letter from Robert B. Lale III P.E. Director of Project Delivery Western Federal Lands Highway Division of Federal Highway Adminstration to Ken Vaughn FS 3030 CERCLA On Scene Coordinator (OSC) PO Box 21628 Juneau AK 99201-1628 RE: HFL-17. Forest Service 3030 Road Cleanup Project Thorne Bay Ranger District, Tongass National Forest This letter is a follow-up to our discussions on July 15, 2009, concerning options for dealing with the impacts at Stream 9. After consideration of the conditions, options, and location of Stream 9, we feel the best course of action to pursue is for us to positively remove the effect of the road prism, and perform a full removal of the site as documented in the current action memo. I value our continued cooperation and the strong relationship our agencies share as we work to complete the Forest Service 3030 Road Cleanup Project. During the upcoming work in this and future years, we would appreciate the continued sharing of information between our project administration staff and your On Scene Coordinator's representative. This sharing helps to assure complete records for both parties as we move through the project execution. As always, if you wish to discuss this letter or other project information, please give myself or Mike Traffalis a call. Louis Howard
9/28/2009 Update or Other Action U.S. Department of Transportion, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Federal Lands, Western Federal Lands Highway Division. COFFMAN COVE IDIQ These contracts have been awarded to cover a multitude of projects in specified areas. This section lists the name of the contracts, contract period, and area of coverage. Additionally, the IDIQ (prime) contractors’ company name, phone, and address is available for subcontracting inquiries. Projects awarded to the prime contractor are listed below the contractors’ information. Contract Period: Base Period: June 29, 2009 through September 30, 2011. Area of Coverage: Road near Coffman Cove, Alaska Southeast Road Builders Inc Contract Number: DTFH70-09-D-00005 Address: HC60 Box 4800, Haines AK 99827 Phone: (907) 766-2833 Awarded Projects: DTFH7009D00005/T-09-002, AK PFH 44(8) USFS 3030 Date: 09/28/2009, Award Amount $1,766,392.81 DTFH7009D00005/T-09-001, AK PFH 44(7) USFS 3030 Road Clean Up Date: 06/29/2009, Award Amount $1,110,069.25 Louis Howard
11/20/2009 Update or Other Action Part I of III Draft Site Characterization Report made available by the U.S. Forest Service. AMEC Geomatrix, Inc. (AMEC) has prepared this Site Characterization Report for the FS 3030 Road site on behalf of the Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD). It presents the results of activities undertaken in 2008 and 2009 to characterize the nature and extent of acid rock drainage (ARD) potentially related to road construction activity on FS 3030 Road on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. The site characterization activities presented in this report were undertaken by WFLHD in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service (FS) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). WFLHD and the FS have entered into a formal Interagency Agreement specifically to address the CERCLA actions associated with the FS 3030 Road site. In addition to WFLHD and the FS, other environmental regulatory agencies are part of a technical team that will be reviewing the project work and providing comments. These agencies include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), the City of Coffman Cove, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). WFLHD, which designed and managed the construction of FS 3030 Road in partnership with the FS and ADOT&PF, is voluntarily proceeding with removal actions conducted in 2008 and proposed for the 2009–2010 construction season to address apparent releases of ARD into surface water along the FS 3030 Road site. The actions were or will be completed as removal actions under the removal action response program authorized by CERCLA and the enabling legislation, the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Section 300.415 [40 CFR 300.415]). For the purposes of this report, the word “site” refers to the areas of FS 3030 Road in which ARD is related to road construction activities and specifically to the use of pyritic rock from the B5 road cut as road fill. In this report, “site” is used for the area of FS 3030 Road between Stream 2 (ADF&G Stream 3029) and Trumpeter Creek (ADF&G Stream 3017), including the area of ARD effects downstream of the road. This report provides the background and history of the site; describes the nature, extent, and risks associated with the ARD; and summarizes the proposed and completed removal action(s) with respect to their observed and expected effectiveness in addressing ARD effects along the FS 3030 Road site. Characterization activities were conducted in 2008 and 2009. The first sampling was performed in 2007 by WFLHD without a formal work plan or quality assurance plan. The bulk of the characterization work was completed according to the program established in the Data Gaps Investigation (AMEC, 2008a). Initial data were presented in two previous data reports prepared by AMEC (2008b, 2009a) and another report prepared by Oasis Environmental, Inc. (Oasis, 2009). In early 2008, WFLHD and its consultant, David Evans and Associates (DEA), conducted a preliminary environmental assessment of the site (WFLHD, 2008). This Site Characterization Report presents and analyzes all the data that have been collected for the site. The results of the investigations are presented together with a characterization of the nature and extent of ARD-related contamination at the site. Fate & Transport COPCs on the site are not expected to persist within media such as streams or groundwater. Once the source – road fill within FS 3030 Road – is removed, contamination at the site is expected to rapidly decline to less than the cleanup goals as has been observed almost immediately following a removal action was completed at Stream 3. In general, analytical data collected from groundwater wells at the site suggest that oxidation reactions associated with ARD are taking place slowly or are not occurring at depth in areas of the site where surface waters are affected. Little to no ARD-related impact has been identified in deeper groundwater, which is expected to move slowly through deeper peat at the site. Most ARD impacts are confined to shallow peat, which is closely linked to surface waters and expected to have similarly rapid exchange with incoming precipitation. Geochemical modeling has shown that ARD effects are greatest at the soil or rock interface with surface water or groundwater due to this zone having the highest oxygen levels. Once below the water table, ARD generation still can occur but at a greatly slowed rate. Removal of rock from the stream locations down to a depth of at least 1 meter (3.28 feet) below the water table is expected to eliminate the risk of ARD effects on water quality above cleanup goals. Louis Howard
11/20/2009 Update or Other Action Part II of III Draft Site Characterization Report made available by the U.S. Forest Service. AMEC Geomatrix, Inc. (AMEC) has prepared this Site Characterization Report for the FS 3030 Road site on behalf of the Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD). It presents the results of activities undertaken in 2008 and 2009 to characterize the nature and extent of acid rock drainage (ARD) potentially related to road construction activity on FS 3030 Road on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. Fate & Transport Precipitates from ARD processes have accumulated in some areas of the site. However, these sediments do not contain concentrations of ARD-related constituents significantly greater than the concentrations found in sediments collected from background areas, or in soils collected from upstream bank areas that form the source for stream sediments. Moreover, in areas where TCRA actions have been conducted, ARD-related precipitation has been observed to be in the process of washing out of affected stream areas. The ARD-related precipitation is less dense than natural stream sediments and has a density only slightly greater than the density of water. Once the source of ARD is removed via removal actions, storm events and continued flushing are expected remove remaining precipitation from site streams. The predominant medium for transport of COPCs is therefore anticipated to be site surface waters. The streams therefore provide the best indication of the occurrence of ARD on the site. Moreover, because streams provide the predominant source of oxygenated water to road fill, stream areas are considered likely to be the main locations where ARD drainage will occur at the site, with the exception of pit areas where pyrite-containing material is exposed to drainage from precipitation. Risk Evaluation A risk evaluation for human health risk and ecological risk has been performed, employing CSMs for human health risk and for ecological risk at the FS 3030 Road site. The human health CSM for the site suggests that human health risks are insignificant at the site due to the low or nonexistent usage of the site for subsistence or recreational fishing and due to the low probability that recreational users will drink water from affected waters. The main risks at the site are therefore considered to be ecological. Benthic invertebrates, and fish and to a much lesser extent birds and mammals that use this area, could be at risk from chemical and physical factors, including elevated concentrations of metals and the presence of ARD-related precipitates, such as yellowboy. The main receptors at risk at the site are considered to be aquatic organisms, including aquatic invertebrates, resident fish, and aquatic vegetation. However, the benthic invertebrate sampling indicates that the affected streams are in good condition based on the ASCI and are not showing a significant impact on benthic invertebrates except possibly in the areas of the thickest precipitate (nearest the road). Conclusions ARD has resulted in a number of streams along FS 3030 Road being affected by elevated metals concentrations and lowered pH. Fish and aquatic organisms have been affected by the ARD in these streams and are at risk long term. The ARD is clearly a result of rock road fill containing iron sulfides (pyrite). The source of the rock used for FS 3030 Road is the rock borrow pit referred to as the B5 Cut, which was developed from a rock cut along the road. The borrow pit was developed by shooting (blasting) and excavating the rock into roughly 15.2-cm (6-inch) pieces referred to as shot rock. This shot rock was used in areas where the road alignment crossed peatlands, which entailed excavating the deep peat and filling the roadbed with shot rock. The pyrite in the rock is exposed to the atmosphere when the shot rock is generated and used as road fill. ARD effects are maximized when water and oxygen are at optimum levels. This occurs at the water table/rock interface at the various stream crossings. Below the water table, ARD generation is greatly reduced. ARD is also occurring naturally in the area of the road that is cut through bedrock along the area where the B5 Pit was developed and is likely related to the conditions associated with seeps emanating from the bedrock face at the B5 Cut. At the B5 location, the blasting required for the road cut likely opened fractures in the bedrock exposing new surfaces of the rock to water and oxygen. Louis Howard
11/20/2009 Update or Other Action Part III of III Draft Site Characterization Report made available by the U.S. Forest Service. AMEC Geomatrix, Inc. (AMEC) has prepared this Site Characterization Report for the FS 3030 Road site on behalf of the Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD). It presents the results of activities undertaken in 2008 and 2009 to characterize the nature and extent of acid rock drainage (ARD) potentially related to road construction activity on FS 3030 Road on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. Conclusions A removal action at Stream 3 (Stream 3027) was completed in fall 2008. This action removed the existing B5 rock fill from the roadbed in the area of the Stream 3 culverts. Improvements to water quality were immediate; sampling in May 2009 indicate all water quality parameters are within ADEC standards or background and salmon were observed spawning in this stream in September 2009. This indicates that removing the source material from the road at the stream crossings is a highly effective means of mitigating the ARD problem. Two other removal actions, one at the B5 Cut and the other at the D2 Pit, used limestone buffering to address ARD. Buffering in these two removal actions is meeting project objectives but long-term monitoring is needed, with maintenance likely needed in the future. The site characterization work has indicated that ARD is currently still affecting Streams 6, 8, and 9, and additional removal actions are planned for the fall of 2009 and 2010. Some further work is also needed to the buffering system installed at Stream 7 (B5 Cut area) to capture and buffer seeps emanating from the bedrock beneath the road. This work will also be done in 2010. The removal actions at Streams 6 and 8 will be partial removals, with rock removed down to a minimum of 1(3.3 feet) below the water table. Stream 9 will be a full removal action. Streams 2, 5, and 10 (Trumpeter Creek) are not affected by ARD. No further monitoring is necessary at these streams. Stream 2.5 and 4 have shown minor impacts of ARD but theses impacts are so slight that they not considered a risk to human health or the environment. Further actions or monitoring are not warranted. Long-term monitoring is also planned for the affected streams following completion of the removal actions. The monitoring will be designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the actions. Louis Howard
12/7/2009 Update or Other Action The Forest Service's response three months later to ADEC's September 2009 comment letter on the draft long-term monitoring plan. ADEC's letter correctly points out that field-meter readings are an appropriate monitoring tool and that is consistent with the September 2009 discussions in Coffman Cove. Note that one meter below low water at partial removal locations means that the water levels would need to be at 1 meter below the bottom of the streams at the crossings before there was potential for oxygen from the air to interact with pyrite. Field removal activity has been monitored to provide rock removal to at least 1 meter below the inverts of the culvert for perennial streams. That means that the perennial streams would go dry for at least 50-100 meters down gradient (stream grades from 1-2% slope) from the current crossings before any residual pyritic rock would potentially become aerated for the pyrite-oxygen reaction to occur. Such an event would be highly unusual in this area of average annual precipitation of approximately 100 inches. All the streams remained flowing during low water conditions during the summer of 2009. ADEC letter page 13, MP 3.1.1 Data Quality Objectives Page 15; The Forest Service expects all laboratory results for all tests performed to be reported. The notes from the December 2008 meeting indicate that a suite of metals will be analyzed from the water quality samples and this suite was documented in the Sampling and Analysis Plan issued in April 2009. Your comment requests the use of dissolved metal sampling results. The Draft Monitoring Plan proposes to use dissolved concentrations for its five-year reviews. During the first three years, interim monitoring will be conducted using total concentrations for the sole purpose of providing an indication of activity at the site. If the total concentrations indicate a problem, the Forest Service will coordinate with the interested agencies to determine what further actions should be taken. We discussed this choice at the September 2009 Coffman Cove meeting. The factors supporting the use of total concentrations include: 1) there are correlations established between total and dissolved concentrations; and 2) the comparison between upstream and downstream analytes (background comparison concurrent measurement approach) should provide a valid trigger of when additional sampling and testing should be undertaken. ADEC's letter expresses concern with the consolidation of biological and water quality sampling into a single August event. Review of the data to date, as well as historic water flow patterns in southeast Alaska, suggests that the critical period for habitat utilization occurs during low water and high water temperatures/solubility. These conditions normally occur in August. August sampling should provide the highest probability of elevated concentrations of analytes. August is the appropriate sampling period due to cold temperatures in the spring, and heavy rains and high flows in the fall. Collection of both chemical and biological parameters at the same time will aid data interpretation. ADEC's letter page 15 MP Table 1 Cleanup Goals Page 37; While we do not agree that cobalt and mercury are contaminants of concern, you make a good point that the analytes for sampling in the vicinity of the D-2 Pit should also be tested for sulfate, cobalt and mercury. FHWA will analyze for cobalt, mercury, and sulfate at this location, at least in the near future. This sampling need is confirmed by the implementation monitoring data, which shows that zinc concentrations near the D-2 pit remained elevated during the spring sampling. The locations of the samples Oasis Inc. collected for ADEC generally correlate with results from samples taken by AMEC for FHWA. The mercury levels, at the Oasis D2-U location higher in the watershed than the D-2 Pit, show similar levels as the other D-2 sites, but no cobalt. The Oasis B-5A sample taken below the road appears to correlate with seep data taken by AMEC in the general vicinity, and is at a location not associated with the rock removed from the B-5 rock pit. ADEC's letter page 16, MP Table 3 Implementation Monitoring Page 39; The letter seeks spring and fall sampling rather than the proposed sampling in August of each year. The outcome put forward at September 2009 Coffman Cove meeting was to conduct water chemistry, biological, and habitat monitoring at the same time. The best time for this monitoring is in August, when stream flow, marine weather patterns, and biological utilization of the habitat are all at the most critical levels. AMEC indicated at the September 2009 Coffman Cove meeting that the 2007, 2008, and 2009 data supports the annual August sampling approach. Louis Howard
2/2/2010 Report or Workplan Review - Other Part I of II Draft Site Characterization Report FS 3030 Road. Site November 2009 Prince of Wales Island, Alaska comment letter sent by ADEC to FHA and USFS. The comments in this letter are in addition to those made in conference with the agency technical team on December 8th and 9th, 2009. The severity of ARD and impacts from ARD are primarily a function of the mineralogy of the rock material and the availability of water and oxygen. While acid may be neutralized by the receiving water, some dissolved metals may remain in solution. Dissolved metals in acid drainage may include lead, copper, silver, manganese, cadmium, iron, and zinc, among other metals. The Forest Service has chosen to use the analytical results for six (6) parameters as being indicative of ARD processes dissolved copper, dissolved zinc, total iron, sulfate, alkalinity, and pH at the site (see Section 7.4.1 Surface Water Sampling). Elevated concentrations of these metals in surface water and ground water can preclude their use as drinking water or aquatic habitat. Low pH levels and high metal concentrations can have acute and chronic effects on aquatic lifelbiota. While ARD can enhance contaminant mobility by promoting leaching from exposed wastes, releases can also occur under neutral pH conditions. Dissolution of metals due to low pH is a well known characteristic of acid drainage. Low pH is NOT necessary for metals to be mobilized and to contaminate waters; there is increasing concern about neutral and high pH mobilization. (EPA "Abandoned Mine Site Characterization and Cleanup Handbook" 910-B-00-00l , August 2000). Please note that the department Guidance for Implementation of Natural Condition-Based Water Quality Standards Division of Water, 2006a, for establishing natural condition of a water body is not approved by the EPA for compliance with the Clean Water Act. The arguments for best attainable conditions presented in Background Water Quality Standard Technical Memorandum in Appendix H of the report rely on using a reference site location for each stream to establish a background-based water quality standard natural condition value for each parameter of concernfor that sampling event. Following the department guidance, concentrations of these parameters at the test sites are compared to concentrations at the reference site for compliance with Water Quality Standards for that sampling event. While useful for implementation monitoring, the concurrent approach is not supported in regulation and is not appropriate to preclude using the statistical approach for compliance monitoring. Unless a statistically valid number of samples (twenty to thirty) are collected over a period of several years, a valid reference condition is not established for a water body. As a result, compliance with Alaska Water Quality Standards require the use of published parameter values in Alaska Water Quality Criteria Manual for Toxic and Other Deleterious Organic and Inorganic Substances which has been amended as of December 12,2008. 2.4.1 Time-Critical Removal Actions in 2008 Page 11-The department still has concerns regarding the limestone "bedrock" beneath the B 1 Pit providing an adequate barrier to the migration of any leachate generated by the disposal area to nearby Hatchery Creek. The limestone pit is highly fractured as demonstrated by previous site work conducted in 2008 at the BI-Pit/disposal area (see boring logs: BIPit-MWll (MW-ll) very fractured in all directions, some fractures, diagonal and horizontal, large fractures, BIPIT-MW8 (MW-8R) highly fractured, very fractured, and BIPIT-MW9 (MW-9) very fractured with horizontal and vertical fractures, diagonal fractures). The department does not agree with the Forest Service's decision to eliminate groundwater monitoring wells at the B 1 Pit. The department does not agree with the use of piezometers at the toe of the consolidation area for leachate monitoring at the B-1 Pit. The piezometers will not adequately demonstrate whether any leachate traveling through the stockpiles of B5 rock and limestone is impacting groundwater or traveling off-site to Hatchery Creek. Installation of a groundwater monitoring well network and/or an impervious liner beneath the stockpiles of B5 rock at the B 1 Pit are the only acceptable options for this site to comply with the applicable requirements of 18 AAC 75 Contaminated Site regulations and 18 AAC 60 Solid Waste regulations. Louis Howard
2/4/2010 Report or Workplan Review - Other Part II of II Draft Site Characterization Report FS 3030 Road. Site November 2009 Prince of Wales Island, Alaska comment letter sent by ADEC to FHA and USFS. 4.1 Historical Sampling and Analytical Methods Page 35-The department requests the text for AMEC Data state it reported both dissolved and total metals in fall 2008 and spring 2009 sampling events. Also, it should be noted for current and future sampling events, the Forest Service has chosen to use sampling methods which only report total metals for "semi-qualitative" use. Use of sampling and analytical methods to report dissolved metals was viewed by the Forest Service as unnecessary and too expensive to regularly implement every year. Analysis for dissolved metals was deemed only necessary at periodic intervals to see ifthe sample results actually complied with water quality standards at each of the formerly impacted streams. 8.3.3 Summary and Conclusions, B5 Cut TCRA Monitoring Page 144-The text states the concentrations of cadmium, iron, nickel, and zinc were detected at concentrations greater than the cleanup goals in a seep sample collected from the toe of the filter trench. Buffering capacity provided by the trench does not appear to be sufficient to remove all metals from solution, particularly because the detected metals are soluble at higher pH than copper, which was measured at concentrations less than the reporting limit. The treatability study or selected treatment (limestone filter trench) appears to not be successful in meeting the applicable 18 AAC 70 Water Quality Standards (amended as of September 19,2009). ADEC requests the Forest Service select another cleanup/treatment method which will address metals above cleanup levels exiting the filter trench (e.g. cadmium, iron, nickel and zinc.) 8.4.1 Surface Water Sampling Pages 145 and 146-The text states no concurrent background value reference site is available for the D2 Pit, so these concentrations (iron and aluminum) could represent natural background condition. ADEC disagrees. The D2 Pit (soil disposal area) is not a natural feature at the site nor is it representative of natural conditions and therefore any determination or statement of natural conditions being represented needs to be qualified. The WFLHD used this old pit to place the waste muskeg and other soils excavated during the road construction. It was reportedly developed and used [as a rock source] to build the original road.l8 AAC 70.990 (41) defines "natural condition" to any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological condition existing in a waterbody before any human-caused influence on, discharge to, or addition of material to, the waterbody. Table 6-1 Alaska Drinking Water Criteria for Metals-The table lists copper as not having an established drinking water cleanup level. Please note 18 AAC 80 defines "contamination" to mean the presence in water of (A) a contaminant at a level exceeding a maximum contaminant level set by 18 AAC 80.300 or the lead or copper action level established under 40 C.F.R. 141.80, adopted by reference in 18 AAC 80.010." 40 C.F .R. 141.80 (2) states: The copper action level is exceeded if the concentration of copper in more than 10 percent of tap water samples collected during any monitoring period conducted in accordance with § 141.86 is greater than 1.3 mg/L (i.e., if the "90th percentile" copper level is greater than 1.3 mg/L). Table 7-5 Laboratory Analytical Results for Sediment Samples OASIS Investigation S5-A (Stream 5, 21 +519, 30.48 m downstream) detected aluminum at 28,200 mg/kg which is not highlighted as exceeding the 25,550 mg/kg SQuiRT screening level. W6 (Wetland 6) detected manganese at 995 mg/kg which is not highlighted as exceeding the 460 mg/kg SQuiRT screening level. ADEC requests the Forest Service highlight the exceedances reported by OASIS in this table. Table 7-14 Water Quality Field Parameters for Surface Water: Stream 3 (Stream 3027) SW-19+964 -(+01)-x-0908 l(dup) 9/9/2008 lists 36.3 for turbidity (NTU) which is more than 25 NTU above the upstream value of 8 NTU. This value should be highlighted as exceeding the Water Quality Standard for the designated use: Water Supply (iii) aquaculture regarding turbidity. ADEC requests the Forest Service highlight the exceedances ofNTU levels in this table. Table 7-17 Water Quality Field Parameters for Surface Water: Stream 4 (Stream 3025) SW-20+852 -(+01)-1008 10/3/2008 lists 30.3 for turbidity (NTU), SW-20+852-(+150)-1008 at 168 for turbidity which is more than 25 NTU above the upstream value of 0 NTU. This value should be highlighted as exceeding the Water Quality Standard for the designated use: Water Supply (iii) aquaculture regarding turbidity. Louis Howard
5/7/2010 Update or Other Action Spill Prevention and Response Director states all work by CS Program staff is over and remaining work will be centered on cost recovery of expenses incurred. Site will be transferred to Division of Water and Division of Environmental Health for follow-up and oversight. Louis Howard
5/7/2010 Update or Other Action As of May 7, 2010 Former Project Managers: Louis Howard and Bruce Wanstall. Division of Water-Nancy Sonafrank now the point of contact for ADEC. Louis Howard

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