General Environmental Services – Heath/Newark/Licking County Port Authority (HNLCPA) – Heath, Ohio
STONE received a blanket environmental consulting contract from the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority (HNLCPA, formerly the Newark Air-Force Base [AFB]) in February 2023 to work on various environmental issues. Initially, the HNLCPA contacted STONE regarding a letter they had received from the City of Heath which stated they had an illicit discharge. The discharge was in relation to the three groundwater sumps that extracted groundwater in order to keep the approximately 80 feet deep basement at the facility from flooding. The three sumps, which run intermittently, had previously been discharging to the stormwater outfalls which entered the adjacent creek. In order to be in compliance, frac tanks were brought on site and the sump water was re-routed to the frac tanks. Due to the rate at which the frac tanks filled, it soon became apparent that this was not a viable, long-term alternative. The City of Heath waste-water department was contacted and release of the water from the frac tanks to the sanitary was arranged pending analytical results of the water in the tanks. Additionally, it was negotiated that the sumps could be tied into the HNLCPA sanitary sewer and continue to be discharged through the sanitary.
As a result of the sump pump issue, the HNLCPA also requested that STONE evaluate the tenants of the HNLCPA properties for compliance with the Ohio EPA Industrial Stormwater General Permit that was updated in 2022. HNLCPA wanted to know which of their tenants could apply for a No Exposure Exclusion (NOE) and which tenants could apply for a Notice of Intent (NOI) under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES General Stormwater Permit. After the evaluation, HNLCPA requested STONE to help them apply for the required permits.
In March 2023, the U.S. EPA proposed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) under the National Primary Drinking Water Standard for a group of chemicals commonly known as PFAS which had been used in many things, including fire-fighting foam. As a former AFB which had a fire department, the main HNLCPA campus has been previously investigated for the presence of these compounds. The HNLCPA requested STONE to determine whether the suggested MCLS for these compounds could impact the facility when these standards are enacted. This is an on-going issue with the facility that will continue to be addressed as more information about the proposed MCLs becomes available.