As indicated below, HGL’s capabilities and excellent performance on several projects has earned special recognition from clients and independent organizations.
HGL Awarded AAEES Superior Achievement Prize for In Situ Treatment Project at Joint Base Andrews (JBA)
On April 7, 2022, HydroGeoLogic, Inc. (HGL) received the 2022 Superior Achievement for Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Award for its innovative use of in situ groundwater treatment technologies at Joint Base Andrews (JBA), Maryland. The award is presented annually by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists® (AAEES) to the best project entered in its Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Awards Competition.
The project addressed a 21-acre trichloroethene (TCE) plume extending from the JBA-controlled former Brandywine Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) yard beneath active railroad tracks and a public road into an adjacent residential area. DoD used the DRMO site for storage from 1943 to 1987, and spills, leaks, and storage practices common to that era resulted in the release of solvents and fuels into the environment and ultimately to the placement of the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1999.
HGL designed, constructed, and operated a groundwater extraction and treatment system to achieve hydraulic control of the dense nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) source area. In addition, HGL designed and executed an extensive in situ enhanced reductive dechlorination remedy. By 2015, the entire plume beneath the residential area had been remediated to EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels.
To address residual sources of TCE and 1,4-dichlorobenzene (1,4-DCB), HGL oversaw the design, construction, and operation of the first in situ thermal treatment project ever completed under an active railway. HGL worked with CSX Transportation, the owner of the railway, to install electrodes within its right-of-way for the large-scale electrical resistance heating (ERH) system. ERH treatment reduced TCE levels by 97.2% and 1,4-DCB levels by 99.5%. Throughout the project, HGL managed communication among numerous stakeholders, fostering open communication and transparency. Owing to the success of the project, HGL was selected by the Design and Construction Issues at Hazardous Waste Sites (DCHWS) symposium committee to present its process and outcome as part of the April 2019 Successful Applications for Thermal Treatment panel (https://www.same.org/Portals/0/posts/philadelphia/documents/DCHWS/DCHWS2019/DCHWS2019_P3S2.pdf).
HGL is proud of its project work and use of innovative in situ treatment technologies to remediate groundwater contamination in challenging environments such as the one at JBA.
HGL’S 3RS (Recognize, Retreat, Report) Explosives Safety Education Program Support Garners Prestigious AAEES Honor Prize Award
In March 2020, the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (USAESCH), with HGL as its munitions response services supporting contractor, received an Honor Award in Environmental Communications from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists® (AAEES) for USAESCH’s 3Rs (Recognize, Retreat, Report) Explosives Safety Education Program (https://3Rs.mil). AAEES’ annual competition evaluated projects based on innovation, future value, creativity and clarity, effectiveness, and integrated design approach.
The 3Rs Program is a collaborative effort between the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health (DASA-ESOH), USAESCH, HGL, and participating installations to expand safety education and awareness concerning unexploded ordnance. USAESCH provides technical expertise, engineering solutions, and innovative approaches for addressing national environmental issues through centrally managed programs, such as the 3Rs Program. HGL has been supporting USAESCH directly for 10 years on munitions-related projects and has been providing community relations support to USAESCH and other clients for over 20 years.
Outreach events have been one of the most successful methods for bringing the 3Rs message to children and families. A prize wheel with 3Rs giveaways and games entertain children at the 3Rs outreach booth, while parents are engaged with a brief survey to build awareness of the dangers of unexploded ordnance. And when Sergeant Woof, the 3Rs Program mascot, arrives at the outreach booth, everyone wants a photo.
HGL’s contract with USAESCH is focused on outreach at active Army and National Guard installations and involves working with installations to identify 3Rs Program needs, develop site-specific educational material and training, participate in outreach events, and provide installations with support to expand and maintain their 3Rs Program. Additionally, HGL has provided general 3Rs Program support by conducting website usability assessments, storyboarding new social media videos, and maintaining a 3Rs helpline.
Innovative Research – Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Competition
On April 13, 2017, HGL received a Grand Prize in the Research category of the Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ competition for its Physics-Based Management Optimization (PBMO™) technology. The annual competition, organized AAEES, has been identifying and rewarding the best in current environmental engineering and science since 1989. PBMO™ is a cutting-edge computer software system capable of being run in the cloud environment that links calibrated groundwater flow and transport models with highly efficient optimization algorithms. HGL’s cloud-based PBMO™ runs exponentially faster than other available systems and can obtain optimal solutions in a practical amount of time, ranging from a few minutes for small problems to a day for very large problems. PBMO™ has provided optimized management solutions in support of a variety of environmental remediation and water resource projects. Benefits resulting from PBMO™ applications include a reduction of potential human-health risks, conservation of natural resources, significant cost savings, and timely attainment of cleanup goals. The breadth of opportunity for applying PBMO™ to challenging environmental and water resource management problems is immense. The more complex the problem, the more value PBMO™ provides in finding optimal solutions.
Successful Execution of Challenging PBR Project – Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Competition
AAEES also awarded HGL a Grand Prize for its work on a highly complex environmental remediation project at the former Fort Ord. The award was received in the Small Projects category of the Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ competition. Fort Ord is a former U.S. Army base encompassing more than 28,000 acres in Monterey County, California. Closed by Congress in 1994, the base has been undergoing cleanup with oversight by federal and state regulatory agencies. Fire training activities conducted at the installation released volatile organic compounds to groundwater in the area subsequently identified as Operable Unit 1 (OU-1). The 1995 OU-1 Record of Decision (ROD) identified 10 volatile organic compounds, including trichloroethene (TCE), total 1,2-dichloroethene, and benzene, as chemicals of concern (COCs). The TCE plume footprint encompassed the individual plumes of all 10 COCs. In December 2003, HGL was contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a Performance-Based Remediation (PBR) with the objective of Site Closure. Remedial action objectives (RAOs) included restoring groundwater quality beneath 130 acres of the Fort Ord Natural Reserve (FONR) to cleanup goals identified in the ROD. HGL successfully implemented integrated approaches and remediated the site despite the discovery that the TCE plume had extended off site approximately 1,400 feet beyond the previously estimated limit. Other challenging constraints overcome by HGL included conserving FONR habitat and plant species and not affecting other contaminated areas of the site. Given the high probability that compounds containing emerging contaminants perfluorooctane sulfonate/perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOS/PFOA) were used in training activities, the regulators overseeing the cleanup required site-specific data to support the Army’s site closeout request. HGL developed a strategy to reach site closure that included attainment monitoring for the COCs and PFOS/PFOA along with follow-up criteria based on the Provisional Health Advisory. HGL achieved cleanup goals in 2014, three years before the 2017 date estimated in the ROD; completed attainment monitoring in 2015; and obtained remediation action completion concurrence from regulatory agencies in 2016.