Friday, March 19, 2010

Oregon National Guard wins environmental award for Camp Withycombe cleanup efforts


Well, we've done it again!

The Oregon Army National Guard’s Camp Withycombe won the FY 2009 Secretary of the Army award for environmental restoration efforts on an installation.

Camp Withycombe completed the remediation of six former training ranges in preparation for a major Oregon Department of Transportation highway development project. The use of green remediation technologies at Oregon Army National Guard’s largest ever restoration project earned them recognition in the Army’s environmental awards program.

In preparation for freeway construction starting in 2012, Camp Withycombe is working to clean up the proposed highway corridor and transfer the land to the state. The area to be transferred includes six former training ranges. Though closed for live–fire training in the 1990s, the former ranges accumulated lead bullets during their use for approximately 100 years.

With freeway construction set to begin, the National Guard immediately began planning to design a sustainable cleanup for completion by 2011 that would use green remediation technologies.

If Camp Withycombe had used a traditional approach to site cleanup, more than 30,000 tons of contaminated soil would have been excavated and hauled by dump trucks to a hazardous waste landfill 120 miles away from the site on highways that pass through a national scenic area. This solution would have cost approximately $11 million with excavation, disposal and transport costs, and would have produced high levels of emissions (due to transport).

By contrast, the green remediation soil treatment system was implemented at a cost of $5.9 million, a cost avoidance of more than $5 million.

This green treatment system remediated more than 30,000 tons of soil using dry particle separation and a wet gravity separation process to remove bullets and fragments using gold mining equipment. The contaminated soil was delivered by conveyor belt to a wet screening machine, where the soil was separated through sifting into various sizes.

Inside the machine, the soil was sprayed with a high pressure blast of water to break down the soil clods. Soil was then treated and reclaimed. More than 50 percent of the soil was cleaned and ready to be used in reforestation to refill a mountain.

Nearly 300 tons, or approximately 25,205,000 bullets, were sifted out and reclaimed for recycling. Revenue generated by lead recycling was reinvested into restoration.

For more information on the U.S. Army Environmental Command, go here.


(The above is taken from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds press release dated Mar. 18, 2010)

Posted by Tech Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard Social Media Manager

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