SHORE REGIONAL HEALTH – PILOT STUDY
JUNE 25, 2014
Mayor Cerino called the Public Briefing to order at 7:35 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper and Samuel T. Shoge, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.
Mayor Cerino stated that Shore Regional Health came before the Town Council with a synopsis of their current plans to remediate the oil spill that resulted from an underground heating oil tank in the 1980’s. He said that several citizens approached him about a meeting dedicated to discuss the proposed pilot test with Ivey Sol, which led them to the meeting being held.
Mayor Cerino stated that Mr. Bob Sipes, Utilities Manager, was present and was the point person for Chestertown. He said that Mr. Chris Ralston of the Maryland Department of Environment was also present in the audience and would be happy to answer questions.
Mayor Cerino stated that this was a chance for the hospital to present their proposal and introduced Mr. Ken Kozell, President and CEO of Shore Regional Health. Mr. Kozell introduced Ms. Patti Willis, Senior VP of Communications and Strategy at Shore Regional Health, Ms. Trena Williamson, Director of Corporate Communication of Shore Regional Health, and Ms. Melissa Hall, Senior VP with Diversified Solutions (consulting firm).
Mr. Kozell stated that there were three (3) agenda items to go over which were the status and activities since the last public meeting, a summary of the pilot study modifications as a result of conversation with the Town, Shore Regional Health and Bud Ivey, and the next steps.
Mr. Kozell stated that there have been a number of conversations since the last public meeting with Shore Regional Health, Mr. Bud Ivey (Ivey Sol), MDE, the Town Manager, Mayor Cerino, and consultants and experts that were brought in as a result of this project. He said that the discussions have rendered fruitful information and advice on a pilot study that is not only conservative, it is also safe.
Mr. Kozell stated that Mr. Ivey has a timeline so he can be prepared for the time needed for the study as he has projects all over the country. He said that the water table was an important part of planning so they were coordinating accordingly.
Mr. Kozell stated that the Town sent a letter with recommendations for modifications to the pilot study from Mr. Mark Eisner, President of Advanced Land and Water, Inc. (consultant for Chestertown). He said that the recommendations were implemented into the pilot study.
Mr. Kozell stated that the Town questioned the financial assurances and guarantees, in the event that something went wrong. He said that The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and Shore Regional Health had assurances from legal counsel that there would be coverage in the event that something went wrong during the study.
Mr. Kozell stated that hydraulic control was an issue that was raised during the Ivey Sol pilot injections. He said that the pump and treat would run the entire time the pilot study was taking place, which puts a better control on the project.
Mr. Kozell stated that there was concern over the efficacy of Ivey Sol and contaminant removal after injection. He said that the pilot study was adjusted to address this concern. He said that dye solution would be used to determine and confirm that any Ivey Sol solution has been dissolved or effectively removed. The Ivey Sol solution, however, was the best marker for what has been removed. Mr. Kozell stated that they did not believe that the dye showed the same level of conservatism in guaranteeing that the solution has been removed.
Ms. Hall stated that dye was absorbed quicker and was not as good of a tracer because the Ivey Sol solution will last longer. Mr. Sipes stated that the dye was for the static test. He said now that the recovery system would be running the entire time, the dye was a moot point.
Mr. Kozell stated that the agreed upon number of wells to be used during the pilot program was four (4). He said the Hospital originally wanted to inject six (6) wells.
Mr. Kozell stated that travel time and hydraulic control to capture the residual was a question. He said that he believed the travel time associated with the cone was not an issue with contamination of the rest of the wells.
Mr. Kozell stated that a Consent Agreement was discussed with MDE but they were not prepared to move forward until there was a sense of the MDE’s response to the pilot study.
Mr. Kozell stated that plans to MDE would be submitted on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Mr. Kozell stated that he felt as though each of the Town’s concerns were addressed. He said that teams have investigated the plans and will use alternate solutions based on the Town’s recommendations.
Mr. Kozell stated that after this briefing, the Hospital would submit to MDE their recommendations. MDE had a timeline of approximately 3-weeks for approval. He said that they have negotiated with Mr. Bud Ivey to hold the dates of July 28, 2014 as the time where the initial pilot study will begin. He said that this date was consistent with the timing of the water tables as well. The study, if started on July 28th will run to August 1st. Results of that study would be back by September 1st and then another Town briefing will be arranged to discuss the results and effectiveness of the study. At that time, potential plans for continual studies will also be discussed, and hopefully begin around October 2014.
Mr. Sipes asked if the recovery system will remain operating for that entire time line. Mr. Kozell stated that the recovery system (pump and treat) will remain in operation.
Mr. David Foster stated that during previous tests the pump and treat system was cut off and he lives just a few blocks from the site. He said that he did not receive any notification and MDE did apologize, but he was concerned that it would happen again. He said that Mr. Kozell referred to a private agreement with MDE at an earlier meeting where information did not have to be shared with the public. Mr. Kozell stated that if he made that statement, it was in error.
Mr. Kozell stated that citizens would be notified in the future if the system was shut down. Mr. Foster stated that there were MDE and EPA regulations requiring that the information is shared with the public.
Mr. Foster stated that an individual asked for results from a pressure test on a tank and they were not provided. Mr. Kozell stated that there was a misunderstanding on how information was supposed to be shared.
Mr. Foster stated that there was a request for the constituents of Ivey Sol and the Town was told that they could not have that. He said he did not understand how MDE could approve something being injected into a well without knowing the ingredients. Mr. Kozell stated that information was made available.
Mr. Sipes stated that the information was not made available to him; he found it on the patent office website. Mr. Kozell stated that the hospital was trying to adhere to patent laws. Mr. Foster stated that patent laws do not prohibit sharing information; the entire reason for a patent was to make information available.
Mr. Foster stated that the Hospital consultants have said that there was only 15,000 gallons of oil remaining in the ground. He asked how that could be verified. He said that he doubted that estimate because an EPA report states that using conventional practice; you can at best remove only 50%. He said that if 85,000.00 was removed, what would remain would be 85,000 gallons.
Mr. Foster asked if MDE verified the 15,000 gallon estimate. Mr. Ralston stated that MDE did not verify that estimate.
Mr. Foster stated that during the Exxon spill, in an attempt to avoid miscommunication, there was a repository set up for documents in the local library. He said that the Kent County Library would be happy to have such a repository for information. Mr. Ralston stated that the reports were on MDE’s website.
Mr. David Sobers stated that it would have been nice to have graphics at this meeting as he was having a difficult time relating the relationship to the wells and the cones of influence, as well as average depths. He said that he thought the meeting should be done over providing those documents.
Mr. Charles Hedenstad asked if it has been confirmed that the material that will be used in the injection was the same mixture described in the patent and if travel time could be elaborated. Ms. Hall stated that the Ivey Sol was what would be used. Mr. Sipes stated that the individual ingredients may not have patents, and the patent for Ivey Sol was a specific mixture of how ingredients were mixed. Mr. Ivey had not patented any elements in the mixture. Mr. Sipes stated that there were a number of chemicals used in the process and it was the way that the chemicals were put together that created Ivey Sol. He said that there was no chemical reaction, but targeting of specific products for the contamination.
Mr. Ralston stated that travel time was measured through different methods of collecting data. He said that at best there was a range of travel times and it was not an exact science. He said that data collected for this project and the fact that the pump and treat system would be running removes a significant amount of concern over travel. He said that a day after the surfactant was added; 5 to 6 times that amount of water would be pumped out, so it was extremely unlikely that any contaminant would pass through and likely not be able to be measured. If however, a contaminant did enter the public intake wells, it would essentially be non-existent by the time it reached the public intake well.
Mr. Ralston stated that the surfactant would be in the parts per trillion range within 3 to 6 months. He said that MDE was extremely optimistic that the pilot test would show if the surfactant will be beneficial in cleaning up the spill, in a very controlled environment.
Mr. Hedenstad said that the existing properties will change once the surfactant is added and how fast it will move will also change, which is what concerned him. Mr. Ralston stated that during the pilot test the pump and treat would be running. He said that based on calculations (if the system was not on) it would take groundwater (and anything carried by groundwater) a week to travel 20’. The pump and treat system establishes a cone of depression which extends 60’ to 70’ outside the areas where the surfactant will be added.
Mr. Ralston stated that the hospital parking lot to the well field was approximately 1500’. He said that there was a period of a year with a trial system shutdown to see the effect it would have, and the travel time of 20’ was based on that timeframe and was also the most aggressive number based on a worst case scenario.
Mr. Sipes stated that the rate of flow on groundwater was the key to the travel time, so he did not know how the flow rate was determined. Mr. Ralston stated that they took groundwater level measurements from all the wells and looked at the center line from the Emergency Room entrance across the Brown Street parking lot, in the direction of the Town’s wells and travel time was based on an average of that site.
Mr. Brad Holloman asked whether organisms could be added to the spill that would eat the contamination. Mr. Ralston stated that there were bacteria and similar organisms in the ground consuming the spill. He said that similar types of bacteria clog the well screens and consume the oxygen and other metals that are in the soil that overtime leech out to the groundwater. He said that because this was heating oil there was not a significant dissolve phase emanating from the residual oil from the Hospital property. He said that they wanted to loosen the residual oils in the soil and pump it out.
Mr. Ralston stated that the Hospital was at the end of the pump and treat system, so they would not get substantially more out of the ground. Mr. Sipes stated that the pump and treat has been running for 25 years and has kept any contamination from migrating offsite. He asked if the hospital meant to stop the pump and treat altogether, because it was still controlling whatever contamination is onsite because of the cone of depression.
Mr. Sipes stated that he understood the Hospital’s point of view and the cleanup of the site was everyone’s goal, with the priority being that any steps taken do not have a negative impact on the aquifer or drinking water. He said that the Town wants to work with the hospital to accomplish the goal, while maintaining safety in the aquifer and the drinking water.
Mayor Cerino stated that the 2 key components for the Town was reducing the number of wells in the study to 4, which were also the most uphill wells (easiest to maintain within the cone of depression), and keeping the pump and treat system running so that the surfactant stays in the controlled area.
Mr. Kozell stated that members of the Town would be invited to the site when the study is underway to observe.
Ms. Elizabeth Watson stated that the Town lost a well when this started and said that with the alteration to the plan, she asked about risk assessment. Mr. Kozell stated that he would have to go back to the legal department to get the specificities of assurances and would produce a statement.
Ms. Watson asked if the material that was being submitted to MDE on Tuesday would be shared with the Town. Mr. Ralston stated that the Hospital’s consultant gave them a concept last year and MDE had some technical meetings with an actual plan submitted in October, all of which was available on MDE’s website at www.mde.maryland.gov.
Mr. Kozell stated that the information that would be provided to MDE on Tuesday was the request for the pilot study, which gave the exact information, timeframe, solution that would be used to try to remediate the oil, the process of testing, and estimations of results along with next steps. The Mayor and Council will receive copies as well.
Ms. Watson asked how the Hospital defined success of the pilot study, and also if this experiment was done anywhere else in Maryland. Mr. Ralston stated that after the period of injection there will be a period of extraction and field tests, with monthly samples for 3 months of all of the injection wells and wells down gradient of the site to test for the surfactant and any detects of oil. There would be a reevaluation and/or plans for next steps after 3 months.
Mr. Sobers asked next steps were planned after the pilot study. Mr. Kozell stated that the assurance that the pilot study worked was what they wanted, and then to work with MDE and the Town again to expand the pilot study beyond the original scope, as appropriate.
Mr. Kozell stated that enormous effort can be gone through to collect data and models but the network of wells gives enough information that it was not required. He said that how much was left versus what was removed was not the Hospital’s main concern. He said that they were concerned with the data from the wells, and satisfactory monitoring.
Mr. Foster asked what the Hospital considered a reasonable time for monitoring before the matter was closed out. Mr. Kozell stated that monitoring would be for at least a year, stating that it took almost a year for any detect to show, at which time the system was turned back on.
Mr. Ralston stated that the Hospital was required to clean up product to a point where it no longer represents a risk to human health. He said that the main focus right now is cleaning up the residual free product.
Mr. Ralston stated that this particular surfactant had not been used in the State of Maryland, but surfactants in general have been used and proven successful, noting that this pilot study will be highly conservative.
Mr. Holloman asked about hazards and risks. Mr. Ralston stated that there were several compounds detected on site. He said that health concerns as far as MDE understood for surfactants could cause irritation to the digestive system.
Mr. Sobers asked about installing ACG compounds as a prophylaxis at each well. Mr. Sipes stated that installing a filter at each well head would consist of 8’ wide cylinders that were 10’ high at a cost of $275,000.00 each and would have to be maintained every 3 to 6 months by completely removing all of the carbon and furnace blasted to remove the hydrocarbons. He said that the Utilities Budget would not be able to handle that and the initial outlay would be in the $5-million range.
Mr. Holloman asked what would be used for monitoring purposes over the next 3 months. Mr. Ralston stated that 8260 would be used to monitor the volatiles, 5540D for the surfactant and there would be a full suite of VOC for drinking water.
Ms. Watson asked if what was being submitted to MDE tomorrow was an alteration to an already submitted plan. Mr. Kozell stated that a remedial action plan was submitted last fall and MDE scaled it back to a pilot scale. That pilot scale was then scaled back farther and would be submitted for approval. If it works, a corrective action plan will be submitted after the pilot study.
Mr. Ralston stated that it was before he was involved, but the pump and treat system had to have been the corrective action plan, along with monitoring. He said that monitoring is done both monthly and quarterly depending on the tests administered. He said that, in his opinion, the pilot program will improve upon that using surfactants to remove additional oil.
Ms. Watson asked if a permit was issued. Mr. Ralston stated that a permit was issued for the discharge of the pump and treat system. He said that there was a permit by rule for the pilot injection plan. Ms. Watson asked if a hearing was required for this type of action. Mr. Ralston stated that under the oil control laws and regulations, this action or permit by rule did not require a public hearing. Mr. Ralston stated that if a permit was required for the underground injection control program there would have to be a public hearing but was used on projects of a much larger scale that the proposed pilot test.
Mr. Sipes asked if the only difference in getting an underground injection permit and a permit by rule was a public hearing. Mr. Ralston stated that he did not know the answer to that question. Mr. Sipes stated that permit by rule sounded like a way to get around a public hearing. Mr. Ralston stated that Mr. Mike Eisner at MDE would better know the rules.
Mayor Cerino stated that permit or not, he would request that MDE continue the dialogue that was happening now. Mayor Cerino stated that Mr. Ralston changed his entire schedule to be available for this meeting so he had confidence that they would meet again.
Ms. Ruth Menefee stated that a more direct link to the Chestertown documents on MDE would be helpful as the MDE website was not easy to navigate. Ms. Menefee asked if the pilot study was a public document and if it was on the site. Mr. Ralston stated that the pilot plan was a smaller, more controlled test. Mr. Sipes agreed, stating that the pilot study was simply a test in a controlled environment to see if it was effective and not part of a remediation plan.
Mr. Ralston stated that he would provide a more condensed link to the Town for MDE’s links referencing the Hospital.
Mayor Cerino thanked the representatives from the Hospital and MDE for coming to the meeting. He said that the Town will make every effort to have more meetings to ask questions regarding this situation.
The meeting ended at 9:03 p.m.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor