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National Science Foundation: opp93055

National Science Foundation: opp93055

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Published by: NSF on Jan 12, 2008
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Title : Addendum to Liquor EAMType : Antarctic EAMNSF Org: OD / OPPDate : January 13, 1992File : opp93055DIVISION OF POLAR PROGRAMSOFFICE OF THE ENVIRONMENT202/357-7766MEMORANDUMDate: January 13, 1992From: Environmental Officer, DPPSubject: Environmental Action Memorandum (Addendum toEnvironmental Action Memorandum (New Liquor StorageFacility at McMurdo Station, Antarctica) - DatedDecember 19, 1991)To: Files (S.7 - Environment)BackgroundOn December 19, 1991, the Environmental Officer authorizedconstruction of a new liquor storage warehouse adjacent toexisting Building 121 at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Since thatauthorization, a change in the building design has been proposedthat would require regrading of the site and removal of approxi-mately 150 cubic yards of fill. As this proposed action isinconsistent with the information originally submitted regardingthis project the following Environmental Action Memorandum adden-dum was prepared. The proposed work would take place during the1991-1992 austral summer season. The civilian support contrac-tor's Environmental Engineer developed the basic information forthe addendum on December 29, 1991.Environmental Assessment Queries and ResponsesGENERALBased on information submitted by the civilian contractor, theinitial Environmental Action Memorandum (EAM) on this proposedwork states:"Regrading of the site would only requireleveling the existing grade by rearrangingon-site fill. No new fill or removal of fillfrom the location would be required."After the date when the civilian contractor submitted informationregarding the proposed project, an additional change in thedesign of the building was proposed. Specifically, it is propos-ed to increase the size of the building from approximately 2,200
to 3,000 square feet. The larger design was originally approvedby the Manager, Operations Section, Division of Polar Programsand has been deemed necessary by the Morale, Welfare andRecreation Department of the Naval Support Force, Antarctica.The increase in size would require regrading a larger area thanpreviously planned, and would include removal of approximately150 cubic yards of substrate. Transfer of this substrate to thearea just East of the building for use in providing earth fillmaterial to level an area for installing new fuel tanks forBuilding 155 is included in the proposal. An EAM covering theproposed tank installation will be submitted during the earlyplanning phase for the Building 155 fuel tank facility. Anyextra fill would be taken to McMurdo's earth fill storage areafor use in the future.Based on the questions contained in the standard EAM format thepotential impact of the proposed change has been considered. Asummary of responses to relevant questions follows:What alternatives were considered?Two alternatives were considered: 1) building a smallerfacility; and, 2) the proposed alternative. A building withthe dimensions initially proposed cannot fit within theavailable level area beside building 121. The newlyproposed, larger building cannot be constructed, therefore,without removing fill from the site.What would be the probable impacts?Regrading the site would affect water drainage within theimmediate area. Depending on the soil conditions andweather, fugitive dust emissions during earth moving opera-tions is probable. In addition, construction equipmentwould consume fuel and would emit exhaust gases.What actions would be taken to mitigate the probable impacts?Before regrading begins a contour plan for the area showingthe proposed final grades and drainage patterns would bedeveloped and submitted to the Environmental Officer, DPP;the Environmental Engineer, DPP and the ASA EnvironmentalEngineer for review. Regrading shall promote drainagefrom the area to an existing ditch or culvert system. Thedrainage system shall be orderly, use shallow slopes orother measures to avoid flow velocities that would causeerosion at the proposed site. It is recognized that theproposed site is and will continue to be an area character-ized by high levels of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.Of necessity, to prevent fugitive dust emissions duringregrading a water truck would be used to moisture-conditionthe area using brine discharged by the water treatmentplant.How would the planned activity change the traditional use of thesite?
The traditional and characteristic use of the site would notbe changed by the proposed action.Is the activity expected to adversely affect scientific studiesor locations or research interest? Are the physical or environ-mental characteristics of the land suitable for the proposedactivity?The area to be excavated and regraded is currently a dead-end street which has obviously been regraded before.The area is currently vacant. On occasion it is likelythe area has been used for temporary storage of materials.However, the site is not a designated cargo lot and does notprovide significant storage area.FindingThe Environmental Officer has reviewed the initial EAM and theinformation presented for this addendum. The Program's concernfor conservative, selective and wise use of earth fill materialsat McMurdo Station is encouraging. Reference should be made tothe Environmental Action Memoranda on: "Review of "EnvironmentalAssessment for Collection [and Placement] of Earth Fill Materi-al", dated November 17, 1990; and "Assessment of Additional EarthFill Materials Available at McMurdo Station, Antarctica", datedJanuary 10, 1991. Also, attention should be given to Safety,Environment and Health Program Policy Memorandum 90-2. Subject:Authorization and Reporting Procedures for, Gathering and Use ofFill and Associated Activity, at McMurdo Station, Antarctica;dated October 1, 1990.The contractor shall consider the benefits of assuring that thefill material collected to provide adequate level space for thenewly proposed, larger liquor storage building (and to be used inconnection with the proposed Building 155 fuel tank facility) isre-worked so as to possesses an aggregate size that is wellgraded, and that when wetted, exhibits a cementing quality thatsets up as a hard surface requiring less frequent replacement.In addition, the contractor shall consider the benefits ofassuring that any substrate placed around the newly proposed,larger liquor storage building is well graded, and when wetted,exhibits a cementing quality that sets up as a hard surfacerequiring less frequent replacement. Also, consideration shallbe given to establishing clearly marked and regularly maintainedwalkways and waiting-line areas around the proposed liquorstorage building. The area around the building is expected to becharacterized by a high level of pedestrian traffic and should bedesigned to minimize the impacts of such activity.In light of the abovementioned EAMs and USAP policy, and fillpreparation and area use considerations, the EnvironmentalOfficer authorizes adoption of the newly proposed actionsassociated with liquor storage facility. The EnvironmentalOfficer believes that the proposed actions would have no morethan minor and transitory impacts on the environment.

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