DEP Approves County’s Plan to Clean Up Fire Training Academy

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HYANNIS – The state’s Department of Environmental Protection has the approved the county’s remediation plan to clean up contaminants from the Barnstable Fire and Rescue Training Academy.

A water quality advisory was issued for the Hyannis Water System in May after PFOS from firefighting foam exceeded federal guidelines in the Mary Dunn wells.

The advisory was lifted in early July and the water is safe to drink.

The DEP received a 57-page plan from the county at the beginning of October.

Plans call for the excavation of soil and the placement of an additive to bind remaining contaminants to prevent it from entering the groundwater.

“We’ve identified what we call the “Hot Spot” and we are going to begin the process of remediating that by removing it,” said Jack Yunits, the Barnstable County Administrator.

Yunits said the county has documents detailing the work needed ready to go out to bid.

“We’ll start the excavation before the ground freezes,” he said.

Plans also call for continued monitoring of the groundwater and the expansion of the existing recovery well system.

Yunits believes more contaminants will be discovered as the monitoring continues.

“It’s a new chemical on the emerging contaminant list. It was never studied before 2007. There were no red flags,” Yunits said. “You are liable to find it anywhere, particularly next to industrial zones, wastewater treatment plants, airports, fire training academies, failed septic systems. It can be anywhere.”

Last week the DEP notified Barnstable Municipal Airport officials that water well contamination may be partly their responsibility.

The letter stated compounds used in firefighting foam have been detected in groundwater “at or near” the airport.


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