Bill Frederick has been working in the hazardous, toxic, and radioactive waste (HTRW) field for 21 years. He has both private and public sector experience as a hydrogeologist with Dames & Moore (then URS) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Bill currently is a lead hydrogeologist with the Corps and a Licensed Professional Geologist in Pennsylvania. He guides groundwater and soil remediation projects for the Buffalo District, as well as several remediation programs under the DOE and EPA.
Hydrogeologic Conditions at the Niagara Falls Storage Site, Niagara County, New York
The Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS) is located in the Town of Lewiston, NY and a parcel contained within the previous Lake Ontario Ordinance Works (LOOW) property. The LOOW manufactured trinitrotoluene (TNT) from 1944 to 1946, after which the Manhattan Engineering District (MED) used the land to store, stage, transfer, and contain radiologically contaminated uranium-ore residues derived from early atomic weapon manufacturing. This land use caused soil, sediment, and groundwater contamination that lead to several remedial actions, which culminated in the construction of the Interim Waste Containment Structure (IWCS) on the NFSS. The site is surrounded by Chemical Waste Management Chemical Services, LLC (CWM) to the north and Modern Landfill, Inc. (ML) to the east and south; other private commercial and public lands border the site to the west and northeast.
The hydrogeology of the NFSS (and LOOW in general) is governed by low-permeability ground moraine and glacio-lacustrine sediments that overly more permeable alluvial sands and gravels, all of which cover the Queenston Shale. Groundwater flow is broken down into three hydrostratigraphic units: 1) the Upper Water Bearing Zone (UWBZ), 2) the Glacio-lacustrine Clay (GLC) Aquitard, and 3) the Lower Water Bearing Zone (LWBZ), which are vertically bounded by unweathered Queenston Shale.
The low-permeability UWBZ exhibits low recharge and shallow northwesterly regional gradients that follow the topography and are interrupted by local anthropogenic drainage channels. Regional groundwater flow in the LWBZ is northwesterly towards the Niagara River. The UWBZ also contains high-permeability sand lenses that add localized complexity to the flow regime, as exemplified by hydraulic responses in proximal wells.
Natural water quality conditions, anthropogenic impacts from historic operations, and past remedial actions have produced a complex picture of groundwater conditions. Geochemical sampling, groundwater flow mapping, and contaminant-transport modeling have coalesced into a hydrogoechemical conceptual site model that is used to simulate groundwater flow and transport within the NFSS and surrounding area. The groundwater data and modeling indicate that 1) uranium impacts derived from past ore-residue handling operations still exist, 2) impacts from other inorganic and organic compound exist in TNT manufacturing and support areas, 3) residual soil contamination still exists in certain areas of the site, and 4) contaminant transport from past source areas is minimal.
The scale of the NFSS and complexity of prior operations provide many investigatory challenges. Public interest in this legacy site is very high at many levels and concerns about site risks dominate stakeholder discussions. Please come for a technical presentation and lively discussion.
This meeting is kindly being sponsored by: