An Interim Feasibility Study evaluated various long-term drinking water solutions. The study identified seven remedy alternatives that meet the nine criteria specified in the National Contingency Plan (NCP). The alternatives were presented to the public in July 19, 2017.
An Interim Proposed Plan was developed by the USAF to present the USAF’s preferred alternative evaluated in the Interim Feasibility Study. The preferred alternative is to supply potable water from the City of North Pole, with a local water distribution system to each property with an existing water well. The Interim Proposed Plan was presented to the public on April 23, 2018 and comments collected and considered.
An Interim Record of Decision (I-ROD) was prepared, that documents the selected remedy for the community of Moose Creek. It was finalized by the USAF in June 2019 with concurrences from the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC).
The Main Components of the Selected Remedy:
- Provide a new water supply from the City of North Pole Water Treatment Plant to the community of Moose Creek. The main components include: a new water main from North Pole, a local distribution system and local connections to each affected property with an existing water well. The new water supply system will be maintained and operated by the City of North Pole;
- Remove the temporary water supply equipment installed as part of the TCRA. This includes water tanks and granular activated carbon systems and carboys;
- Establish land use controls to prevent the use of contaminated groundwater. The USAF will petition the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to define and establish a Critical Water Management Area (CWMA); and environmental covenants will be negotiated with all impacted real properties owners and recorded in accordance with the Alaska Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA). The CWMA and environmental covenants will preclude use of untreated, contaminated ground water.
1. Provide New Water Supply
The USAF has entered into an agreement with the City of North Pole to design and construct a potable water supply to the Community of Moose Creek.
Design Development and Procurement
This design will require increasing the capacity of the existing water treatment plant at North Pole and designing and permitting a water main from North Pole to the community of Moose Creek.
Within the community of Moose Creek, a local reservoir and pump station to supply the Moose Creek properties will be designed and a local distribution system developed to serve the properties. The City of North Pole will contact local property owners to determine routes, obtain necessary utility easements, establish service connections onto each eligible property, and obtain service agreements with property owners.
The design is anticipated to take approximately 6 months to finalize and receive all permits required to start construction. A request for proposals will then be advertised for a construction contractor to install the system. Design will take approximately 5 months.
The City of North Pole will begin contacting owners in August 2019 to obtain required easements and service agreements from property owners.
2. Remove Temporary Water Supply Equipment
Once the new water supply has been connected and is operating, the equipment installed during the TCRA will be removed. The equipment will have been isolated from the water supply system during the local property connection to the new water distribution system. The USAF will arrange with residents to have the equipment removed, water wells abandoned according to State regulations, and landscaping of property to conditions before equipment was installed.
3. Establish Land Use Controls to Prevent Use of Contaminated Groundwater
The USAF will petition the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to designate the groundwater in the Moose Creek area as a Critical Water Management Area (CWMA). This designation will deem the groundwater as unusable for all uses and will prevent the future use of contaminated groundwater and prohibit the installation of new water wells.
The USAF will also negotiate environmental covenants with impacted landowners in accordance with the provisions of the UECA. These agreements will include: 1) decommissioning of existing wells; 2) discontinued use of groundwater for any purpose; 3) provide access for the USAF, USEPA, and ADEC implementation of environmental responses, and monitoring of groundwater and land use controls; and 4) prohibit future well installation and contaminated-groundwater use. The environmental covenant places deed restrictions on the property and is required to be filed with the local property deed office. The USAF will be in contact with property owners to negotiate the environmental covenant starting in August 2019.