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Use of Direct Push Techniques, Membrane Interface Probe, and Colorimetric Test Kits for Solvent Plume Delineation at Hurlburt Field, Site ST-123, Florida

Triad Elements Used

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Table of Contents

  1. Site Information
  2. Project Information
  3. Triad Approach Information
  4. Supporting Information



In the Spring of 2004, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) instituted the Florida Triad Initiative at three active installations representing different major commands. Under the direction of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Hurlburt Field selected a Site Investigation (SI) and exit strategy for site closure at site ST-123 to implement the Triad Approach.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were discovered in groundwater at the site in the mid-1990s. A number of investigations and treatment activities occurred between that time and the initiation of the Triad Initiative in June 2004. At the outset of the Triad activities, considerable uncertainty existed concerning the location of the sources of the VOCs, the hydrostratigraphic system, and the distribution of VOCs in that system.

Systematic project planning (SPP) for the investigations began in June 2004 and included a work plan that used a DWS and real-time instrumentation, which culminated in initiation of field activities in October 2004. A risk assessment and Statement of Basis were underway in April 2005. Highlights of the project from the Triad perspective include:

1. Site Information

Site Name Hurlburt Field, Site ST-123
Location Hurlburt Field, FL
Site Types 
  • Aboveground Storage Tank
  • Contaminated Aquifer - Contamination Source Unknown
  • Federal Facility
  • Gasoline Service Station/Petroleum Storage Facility
  • Petroleum, Oil, Lubricant (POL) Line
Project Lead Organization U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)
Project Lead Type  U.S. Air Force Lead
Regulatory Lead Program  RCRA Corrective Action
Triad Project Status Field Program Completed
Reuse Objective Identified  Yes
Proposed Reuse:  Commercial/Industrial ? Military mission

Background Information About Site 

Contaminant(s) of Concern 

Contaminated Media 

Project Results and Outcomes 

Field work was conducted from October 2004 through January 2005.

Source Areas
Prior to the Triad investigation, suspected source areas included:

The Triad investigation identified the following probable source areas:

Prior to the Triad investigation, lithography was poorly resolved:

Subsequent to the Triad investigation:

Prior to the Triad investigation, hydrogeology was understood as follows:

Revised contaminant zones based on high-resolution membrane interface probe (MIP) response and lithologic layer data from the Triad investigation were as follows:

The project team and stakeholders agreed that the Triad investigation adequately completed the CSM and collected sufficient high-resolution data to allow attainment of the project objectives. A risk assessment and a Statement of Basis that evaluate the exit strategy and other alternative courses of action for the site were in preparation at the time this Triad Profile was originally prepared.

2. Project Information

Project Objectives/Decisions 

The primary objectives of this Triad field investigation were to:

Remedial Phase

Site Investigation (Includes RI/FS or Similar Detailed Investigation Work)

Triad Project Benefits 

The focus on and prioritization of decision uncertainty led to an understanding of the contamination that would allow the exit strategy to be immediately pursued. This accomplished in roughly 10 months what approximately 10 years of prior work had sought to do.

The focus on the exit strategy for ST-123 required that an integrated, installation-wide exit strategy be considered.

Cost and Time Savings 

No cost savings evaluation was developed. However, the compressed time frame of the Triad investigation (see the "Triad Project Benefits" section) would be expected to produce significant cost savings relative to a multiphase investigation process.

3. Triad Approach Information

Systematic Project Planning 

A 3-day, facilitated SPP session was conducted. The primary contractor to the USAF presented the CSM. Session discussions initially centered on reaching consensus on an optimum exit strategy (i.e., meet MCLs) and potential contingencies to the optimum strategy. Hydrostratigraphic and contaminant uncertainty was defined in light of the exit strategy and potential remedial technologies that might be applied to the problem (including monitored natural attenuation [MNA]). A dynamic decision logic was developed that would systematically address the highest priority uncertainties using the most appropriate technologies.

An important element of the SPP sessions was that technical leadership passed from the Triad facilitator/expert to the USAF Project Manager (PM) to the lead contractor (CH2M HILL) over the course of the sessions. It was recognized by all that the contractor had to take ownership of the concepts by the end of the sessions in order to incorporate the key elements into the DWS work plan and execute them in the field.

Constant communication was maintained between stakeholders and team members. Time was taken for social interaction and discussion to build social capital.

Project Team Description 

Dynamic Work Strategies 

A robust decision logic was developed as a result of SPP and development of the DWS work plan. A graded approach was taken to defining and addressing decision uncertainty. Data needed to inform major decisions (i.e., likelihood of achieving MCLs vs. need for source treatment and land use controls) were collected early. Contingencies for limitations on field technologies were built into the decision logic.

Decision Logic 

An example decision logic flow chart can be found here.

Real-Time Measurement Technologies 

High-resolution source area evaluation

Hydrogeology investigation

Dissolved plume delineation and monitoring well installation

Monitoring well groundwater sampling CVOC analysis: 75 laboratory samples and 93 samples by Color-Tec test kits in the field

Geotechnical soil samples: 4 samples

Water level measurements

Technology Category(s) for Sampling and Analysis 

Specific Technology(s)/Model Used (e.g., SCAPs) 

Technology Vendor(s)

Attached Technology Quick Reference Sheet (TQRS) Form 

TQRS not prepared

Data Quality Assessment 

Four categories of data were collected as part of this field effort, with each category having a different level of support Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) documentation. The four categories, or levels, correspond to QC Levels I, II, III, and IV. Level I includes field monitoring activities such as measurements of pH, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, oxidation-reduction potential, and turbidity. Level II includes field screening activities, which are indicative of the nature of contamination (such as Color-Tec and MIP), whereas Level III analyses provide laboratory "confirmation" (that is, collaborative data that manage analytical uncertainty from the field screening methods). Level IV laboratory analyses include the highest level of QC with significant documentation, equivalent to EPA Contract Laboratory Program analytical methods.

Data quality indicators of precision, accuracy, representativeness, comparability, and completeness (PARCC) were assessed by the following data QC parameters for Level III/IV confirmation data: daily calibration checks, method blanks, trip and purge blanks, surrogate spikes, matrix spikes, and matrix spike duplicates (MS/MSD).

Color-Tec test kit quality control included the analysis of equipment rinsate blanks, analytical blanks, and field duplicates. Lot numbers of gas detector tubes were also recorded with analytical notes. No calibration using target compounds was used for the Color-Tec test kit analysis because the presence of CVOC standards onsite and in the office required special storage and handling. A ?correction factor? was developed by comparing Color-Tec test kit results to laboratory results from selected samples. The correction factor was then applied to all samples to provide a field-determined concentration. Laboratory samples were selected to encompass the range of concentrations detected by Color-Tec test kits and the MIP.

Data Management Approach and Tools 

General data management protocols
Data management and communication activities incorporated:

Data Communication was managed through 1) conference calls and meetings; 2) daily field meetings; 3) email; and 4) use of a ftp site for posting data sets, maps, and documents.

No Further Action (NFA) Feasibility Screening Spreadsheets
As additional data were collected, the decision logic specified that the refined CSM would be used to evaluate whether NFA was feasible at the site. This was managed using a screening process, provided in a Microsoft® Excel® worksheet [see Slide 23 of the presentation
"Triad Initiative: Tools for Defining Site Requirements"]. The NFA Feasibility Screening Matrix is intended to assist project stakeholders in deciding whether to proceed with a NFA site remediation strategy for a particular source area. This tool was basically designed to form the basis for the decision of whether to go with an aggressive remediation approach, or some less aggressive approach such as containment and partial mass removal. The process prescribed in this tool is relatively new and is meant to be updated, as necessary, to remain current with technological advances in remediation. This tool uses a weight-of-evidence approach to "score" source areas (and project conditions), realizing there are uncertainties in the problem. All project team members have input into the scoring process. The results from this scoring process were used to determine whether or not aggressive remediation options should be considered for Site ST-123. This screening tool was used to accomplish the following objectives:

4. Supporting Information

Key Triad Project Milestones 

Dates of Operation - Field Work

Field work was conducted from October 2004 through January 2005.

Source(s) of Information

Electronic Documentation of Supporting/Related Information

PDF Adaptations to Triad for Exit Strategy Development. Poster presented by Kim-Lee Yarberry; Chris Hood, P.E.; and Tom Palaia, P.E. (CH2M HILL). (3.7 MB)
PDF Best Practices Used in the Triad Approach to Characterize TCE in Ground Water at Hurlburt Field, FL. October 25, 2005. (1.1 MB)
PDF CH2M Hill. Decision Logic Flowchart for Site ST-123 Hurlburt Field. (218 KB)
PDF Triad Initiative: Tools for Defining Site Requirements, Presentation to Land Revitalization Summit. October 30, 2006. (1.8 MB)
PDF Triad: The Fast Track to Reducing Conceptual Site Model Uncertainty. Poster presented by Kim-Lee Yarberry; Chris Hood, P.E.; and Tom Palaia, P.E. (CH2M HILL) and Artur Kolodziejski (AFSOC, Hurlburt Field). (2.1 MB)

Point(s) of Contact 

Artur Kolodziejski
Project Manager
U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)
427 Cody Avenue, HQ AFSOC/CEVR, Building 90033
Hurlburt Field, Florida  32544-5244
Telephone icon 850-884-2609
Fax icon 850-884-5982
E-mail icon

John Steele
Restoration Project Manager
Hurlburt Field
427 Cody Avenue, Building 90033
Hurlburt Field, Florida  32544-5244
Telephone icon 850-884-6117
Fax icon 850-884-5982
E-mail icon

David S. Miller
Triad Facilitator/Mentor
Argonne National Laboratory, Environmental Assessment Division
9700 S. Cass Ave, Building 900
Argonne, Illinois  60439
Telephone icon 630-252-7191
Fax icon 630-252-6311
E-mail icon

Last Update:  08/01/2006

To update this profile, contact Cheryl T. Johnson at or (703) 603-9045.