Devens (BRAC)

DRINKING WATER

The Army is committed to ensuring quality drinking water is provided to its Soldiers, family members, and civilians.  Proactive sampling is performed by the Army on its drinking water systems and coordination with other purveyors of drinking water to installations occurs to ensure PFOS/PFOA remains below 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOS and PFOA (individually or combined) on or off the installation. While not an enforceable regulatory standard, this level represents a concentration in drinking water that is not expected to produce adverse health effects if the water is consumed over an entire lifetime.

Status:  The Army no longer owns or operates a drinking water system at this closed installation. Current property occupants receive water supplied by the local utility.

CLEANUP ACTIONS

The Army follows the federal cleanup law, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 (also known as “Superfund”), and long-standing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for all chemicals in its cleanup program, including PFAS.  CERCLA provides a consistent, science-based approach across the nation for cleanup.  The Army moves through the CERCLA process in collaboration with regulatory agencies, communities, and facilities to ensure open and transparent information sharing.

During the Preliminary Assessment (PA), the Army reviews existing information and may conduct site visits to identify locations where Army activities may have caused a PFOS/PFOA release. The next step in the CERCLA process is to perform a Site Inspection (SI) on locations identified during the PA to confirm whether a PFOS/PFOA release occurred. Once the Army Components have information from the PA/SI, they can make informed decisions on which sites need to move to the next phase (i.e., Remedial Investigation (RI)/Feasibility Study (FS)).  During the RI, the Army collects detailed information through field investigations to characterize site conditions, including the nature and extent of the PFOS/PFOA; assess actual and potential exposure pathways; and evaluate risks to human health. If PFOS/PFOA results in an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment based on EPA's risk assessment policies, then the Army will conduct an FS to evaluate cleanup alternatives and work with regulators to select a permanent solution that is protective of human health and the environment. The Army prioritizes its cleanup response based on the highest risk to address worse sites first. 

CERCLA Phase:  RI Underway

More information about CERCLA and the current CERCLA phase is available here.

PFAS TEST RESULTS
Sample Type Highest
PFOS/PFOA
levels (ppt)
Cleanup Actions
Off-Base Drinking Water 122 Installed water
treatment system
Groundwater

36,000 (PFOS)
3,000 (PFOA

Remedial Investigation Underway

 

Link to final documents:

General Information on the PFAS response is available at:
https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects-Topics/Former-Fort-Devens-Environmental-Cleanup/  

For more information, contact:  Mr. Richard Ramsdell

Office phone number:  (703) 830-8663

Office e-mail address:   richard.c.ramsdell2.civ@army.mil