EA conducted an operational range assessment of a firing range and grenade launcher range on Incirlik Air Base located in south-central Turkey that is jointly used by United States and Turkish military personnel. Based upon evaluation of the Phase I conceptual site model, the potential for MC transport via the groundwater and surface water/sediment pathways was identified. Surface and subsurface soil sampling was performed within the on-range soil impact berm and analyzed for total metals.
Analytical results were incorporated into a vadose zone model to simulate vertical migration of metals through the soil column to determine if MC could impact underlying groundwater. The model accounted for long simulation times, given the low mobility of the identified metals and utilized site-specific inputs including soil pH, lithology, organic carbon content, and rates of precipitation and evaporation. Based upon a 100-year simulation, the model indicated that metals would irreversibly adhere to soils impeding vertical migration, largely due to the alkaline pH and clay soil content at the site. The results of the simulation illustrated a worst-case scenario of source and pathway elements and indicated a low probability for metals dissolution to groundwater and subsequent migration. Sediment sampling was also performed to evaluate the potential for transport of MC via surface water/sediment.
Throughout the project, all work was completed in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement between the United States and Turkey and required extensive coordination due to travel restrictions and U.S. Department of Agriculture foreign import soil requirements.