Optimization study aims to expedite Nike CD-78

Published Oct. 29, 2015
Shown here is a 2015 view of closed missile magazines at the Nike CD-78 in Oxford, Ohio.

Shown here is a 2015 view of closed missile magazines at the Nike CD-78 in Oxford, Ohio.

In September, the Louisville District awarded a new contract to conduct a remediation optimization study at Nike CD-78 in Oxford, Ohio, to enhance the existing remedy for groundwater and to more quickly achieve the response complete stage at the site.

The study for the Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) includes a review of current and historical data and assessment of options to move the project ahead. 

“This entire effort is very good news,” said Dave Becker, Corps of Engineers Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise. “The district is moving forward and thinking ahead about the actual implementation of technologies based on the optimization data study.” 

The FUDS site was a Nike-Hercules missile battery used to protect the Cincinnati-Dayton area from possible hostile aircraft attack in the 1960s. Since the site was closed and excessed in 1970, the approximately 14-acre site has been used for a small-arms firing range and a radio tower site. 

The Corps of Engineers has been conducting environmental investigation activities at the site since the mid-90s and achieved a decision document in 2007 approving demolition/closure of the underground Nike missile magazines and monitored natural attenuation of groundwater as the remedial activities. Demolition of the Nike magazines was completed, and groundwater monitoring began in 2009. 

“Monitored natural attenuation is an effective remedy for groundwater if it is determined that contaminants can be degraded under natural conditions,” said Mark Nichter, Louisville District geologist.

But that’s where the optimization study and the motivation for a more timely response complete come into play. 

“Current groundwater monitoring activities suggest that degradation of the contaminants is clearly occurring at the site; however, the rate of degradation may be limited or inadequate,” said Nichter.

This remediation optimization study, which will get underway in 2016, will evaluate innovative technologies and other forms of enhanced remediation to support monitored natural attenuation. This includes possible nutrient amendments, biological amendments, chemical remediation, green and sustainable remediation and an evaluation of delivery methods. 

Completion of the study is anticipated by January 2019, which could possibly accelerate the closure of the site.

“It has the potential to reduce the remediation time by approximately ten years,” said Glen Beckham, Louisville District project manager.

In addition to the new contract helping the project move ahead, Beckham said its award was a huge success for helping the Louisville District meet FY15 programmatic objectives and a great end-of-year team effort that included coordination with Headquarters and the Center of Expertise. 

“This was the last FUDS contract identified for award in FY15 and the PDT was able to execute it on an extremely short timeline in order to help achieve the program’s obligation goals,” said Andrew Dettmer, FUDS program manager.