EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Tracy Mustin speaks during the operational kickoff event for the 200 West Pump and Treat System this month.
An aerial view of the 200 West Pump and Treat System at the Hanford site.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Workers recently completed a new groundwater treatment plant at the Hanford site — the largest of its kind in the EM complex — more than $41 million under budget and two months ahead of schedule.
The 200 West Pump and Treat System is just one of the many successful environmental cleanup capital asset projects across the EM complex. In fact, 43 of 45 of those completed through mid-August of fiscal year 2012 were cost successes and 44 of 45 were schedule successes.
That compares with 32 of 34 projects completed in fiscal year 2011 that were cost successes and 33 of 34 that were schedule successes. These projects include decontamination and demolition, contaminated soil removal and groundwater remediation.
A cost success means a project was completed at a cost within 10 percent of the cost baseline originally approved for the project. For a project less than five years in duration, schedule success means it was finished within one year of the originally approved schedule. Projects spanning more than five years are defined as successful as long as they are no more than 20 percent over schedule.
More cleanup capital asset projects are scheduled for completion this fiscal year. EM expects 46 of 51 projects — just over 90 percent — will be completed within their original scope baselines and within 10 percent of their originally approved cost baselines.
Earlier this month, EM’s Richland Operations Office and contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company celebrated the beginning of operations of the new plant at Hanford.
“One of the most significant challenges we face here at Hanford is the groundwater contamination and the threat to the Columbia River. This groundwater treatment facility represents a significant step toward addressing the groundwater contamination and is a highly successful project,” EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Tracy Mustin said.
The facility is designed to treat contaminated groundwater beneath the center of Hanford. Past plutonium production and process activities at Hanford released billions of gallons of contaminated water to the soil column, creating large contaminant plumes in the underlying groundwater.
“DOE, the contractor workforces and the Environmental Protection Agency worked together to make sure this facility was constructed safely and met all the requirements,” DOE Richland Operations Manager Matt McCormick said at the operational kickoff event. “This is a state of the art treatment facility that was built with the future in mind.”
The facility — comprising a network of wells, piping, and treatment technologies — will extract the contaminated groundwater for treatment. The treated water will be injected back into the aquifer to help drive the contaminated groundwater towards the extraction wells.
During the next 25 years, the system will treat nominally 25 billion gallons of groundwater and remove millions of pounds of contaminants while cleaning up the aquifer for future generations.
Construction of the facility was completed in just two years without a lost day due to injuries. The facility is not only environmentally friendly in function, but also in design. The facility was designed to achieve Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system. The facility’s largest process building achieved the first gold level certification for the DOE Environmental Management Complex. The building’s efficient design is expected to result in an energy cost savings of more than 70 percent over the life of the facility.
The facility also doubles Hanford’s groundwater treatment capacity. This facility, in conjunction with Hanford’s five other pump-and-treat facilities, will treat more than 2 billion gallons of groundwater per year.