UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING
JUNE 6, 2016
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper and Mauritz Stetson, Bob Sipes, Utilities Director, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk, and guests.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Utilities Commission meeting minutes of May16, 2016. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the minutes as presented, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that operating funds on hand is $988,712.30 and an additional $505,000.00 was set aside in capital funds for a total of $1,493,712.30.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay the bills. Ms. Gross moved to pay the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Mr. Sipes stated that he reviewed the latest results from the Hospital and 91% of the “targeted” monitoring wells test for no TPHDRO. The “non-targeted” wells (which were not tested as frequently) indicated that 70% tested positive for TPHDRO.
Mr. Sipes stated that surfactant (Ivey Sol) was still in the groundwater as of April 22. He said that the Town was told that surfactant was completely biodegradable and would disappear in 30 days, and it was still be being picked up 2 months later, in excess of 50 parts per million.
Mr. Sipes stated that the blacktopping on utilities street cuts around Town is finished.
Mr. Sipes stated that Pump Station 2 at Washington Park developed a leak that was going into the wet well. It has now been repaired. Lindstrom Excavating assisted with the work.
Mr. Stetson asked if Mr. Sipes had a theory as to why TPHDRO was showing in non-targeted monitoring wells. Mr. Sipes stated that sometimes detects go from an entire row to a single detect with nothing in between. He said that monitoring well 20 has just seen its highest TPHDRO (7.0 where the previous was 2.0) and said that there was more oil crossing Brown Street than there was previously. Mr. Sipes stated that monitoring well 17 (located at the opposite end of monitoring well 20) also had TPHRDO detects.
Mr. Sipes stated that his theory all along was that the Hospital was not interested in site clean-up, only cleaning the monitoring wells to insure that the wells would give better test results. He said that 90% are not showing TPHDRO, but he did not believe it was not there as it was showing up on 70% of the other “non-targeted” wells. He said that it was not coming into the monitoring well because it is being reabsorbed onto the soils that have been cleaned with Ivey-Sol. Mr. Sipes stated that with all the injections and extractions that took place, there was not one measurable gallon of oil actually removed from the site.
Mr. Sipes stated that the fact that there were detects at monitoring well 17 concerned him because it was the farthest monitoring well to the west of the site. The fact that it was not being picked up in the monitoring wells in the parking lot between the sentinel wells made him worried it was moving closer to the wellheads and moving around the wells. Mr. Sipes stated that the geologist told him there was an underground river bed that goes past the water plant and was still a flow channel.
Mr. Sipes stated that he was contacted by MDE’s Controlled Hazardous Substance Division to notify him that they were reopening the dry cleaner’s PCE case and were sending paperwork to the Town requesting permission to install monitoring wells on Horsey Lane and in some other Town-owned locations. Mr. Sipes stated that MDE was trying to re-establish the groundwater flow paths. He said that he did not think the focus was on keeping pollution to the water plant via the Hospital, but rather to determine a different ground flow pattern. He said that he will return to the Council with the documents.
Mr. Sipes stated that when MDE was reviewing the 7-Eleven site a couple years ago, there was discussion about the PCE contamination. Mayor Cerino asked if there was remediation of the site before 7-Eleven was built. Mr. Sipes stated that he thought MDE performed an investigation, but did not necessarily do any remediation of the ground water, noting that monitoring wells were installed at that time.
Mr. Dan Menefee asked how the PCE related to the oil spill at the Hospital. Mr. Sipes stated that completely different chemicals were involved at the Hospital site. PCE was a VOC (volatile organic carbon) and had nothing to do with fuel oil. MTBE was an additive to gasoline and was not a naturally occurring product in fuel oil. He said that MDE was trying to point out that there were other sources of VOC contamination to redirect the focus from what is taking place at the Hospital and the failures of MDE to fully remediate the site.
Mr. Sipes stated that PCE and fuel oil are completely different and there was no scientific basis to compare them as one does not derive from the other, noting that it was exactly the same with MTBE. He said that all of the contaminants could be traced to their source.
Mr. Menefee stated that he thought the MTBE case and the PCE case were closed out by MDE years ago. Mr. Sipes agreed, stating that they were closed out. He said that they were two examples of how MDE failed to protect the Town from groundwater contamination. He said that the contaminations were identified but MDE walked away from them in the past.
There being no further business, Mayor Cerino closed the Utilities Commission meeting at 7:50 p.m.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor