Distribution and standard target clean-up levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at Massachusetts Military Reservation, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Geological Sciences & Engineering
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During prior Site Investigations and Remedial Investigations on individual sites at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination has previously been associated with past improper waste disposal activities. However, recent studies on PAHs have shown anthropogenic background levels in urban environments above the acceptable levels for CERCLA, MADEP, and risk/hazard equivalent concentrations. Each site with PAH data is statistically examined at three groups: Surface Risk Soil Samples (0-2 ft depth); Occupational Risk Soil Samples (0-12 ft depth); And, All Soil Data for each site. The three categories roughly show PAH risk receptor levels, PAH depositional history, and any possible migration of PAH contamination. A comparison to CERCLA, MADEP, and risk/hazard equivalent concentrations to the maximum observed PAH contamination reveals which sites may need remedial action. On the other hand, a closer look at the maximum contamination to PAH depositional processes suggest urban anthropogenic processes are related to the PAH contamination on several sites at the MMR. A general look at the spatial distribution of PAHs to major roads, taxiways, and runways reveals a linear trend which suggest significant levels of nonpoint source anthropogenic PAH background contamination. Based on the findings of this thesis, the recommendation for PAH soil target clean-up levels at MMR should be based on published urban PAH levels which take into account nonpoint source anthropogenic contamination.
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