The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center recently launched a large-scale soil washing effort to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl, or PFAS, pollutants at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.
The $27.6 million military construction-funded project is led by a joint team from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, and supports the Department of the Air Force’s effort to address PFAS at the close air support training installation. AFCEC is a primary subordinate unit of AFIMSC.
Soil washing is a closed-loop, water-based process that separates soil fractions and captures PFAS substances in granular activated carbon and ion-exchange resin filters, said Guy Warren, Project Manager at USACE’s Alaska District who manages onsite project execution.
This remediation technology has been in the market for the past three decades, but the partners have expanded its applicability to treat highly challenging fluorinated chemicals.
“This is the first-time soil washing has been used to treat PFAS-impacted soil,” said Michael Boese AFCEC Lead Restoration Project Manager at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
AFCEC awarded the contract through USACE in November 2022 to treat and dispose of 130,000 cubic yards of PFAS-impacted soil that had been excavated during a MILCON project to build infrastructure to house F-35A fighter squadrons.
The cleanup effort began in August 2023 and is projected to be complete in summer 2025.
“Both AFCEC and USACE teams bring deep technical, engineering and environmental knowledge and have played a key role in determining a viable and cost-effective technology to treat Eielson’s soil piles,” said Roy Willis, AFCEC Restoration Project Manager at JBER.
Prior to selecting soil washing for the Eielson project, AFCEC environmental restoration experts participated in two PFAS pilot studies at Eielson AFB funded by the Department of Defense’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program. The pilot program provided a site-specific comparison of the cost and performance for two viable technologies – soil washing and thermal desorption.
Additionally, with the support of USACE, the Air Force conducted a similar soil washing study at Colorado’s Peterson AFB.
Data obtained from soil washing pilot studies showed high success rates achieving more than 99% PFAS reduction in the coarse soil fraction in Colorado and approximately 70% in fine-grained soils at the Alaska installation.
“We determined soil washing to be the most effective technology for the scale and scope of the Eielson project,” Willis said. “The team feels confident this technology will bring successful results.”
Since the project’s kick-off, Eielson’s treatment plant is fully operational and approximately 1,500 cubic yards of soil have been processed. Due to the weather, the field season will resume in May and run through September when the operation is expected to be in full swing and treating 30 cubic yards of soil per hour.
“Once the soil has been cleaned and deemed safe with no PFAS detection or levels below the Alaska state standards, it can then be repurposed for other projects,” Boese said. “However, if there is detection, we will dispose it within PFAS guidance.”
The restoration work follows the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation PFAS soil disposal standards.
Since 2017, AFCEC’s environmental team has been coordinating project requirements with the state and federal regulatory agents ensuring the selected remediation technology is fully approved.
Use of this technology at other Air Force sites will require a significant volume of impacted soil to make it cost-effective and similar soil type, Warren said. For example, PFAS soils with high clay content may not be suitable for this technology.
“We are excited to see the effort is already providing results,” Boese said. “The efficacy of soil washing technology will produce cost and performance data that will help DAF and our regulatory partners program and approve future remediation projects.”
Aleut Building Company, LLC (Aleut), a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) certified 8(a) program participant and Small Disadvantaged Business, is proud to announce that it has been awarded a Single Award Task Order Contract (SATOC) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Huntsville to serve U.S. Army Garrison Alaska (USAG-Alaska). This non-personal services contract encompasses multi-disciplinary maintenance and repair services for a wide range of USAG-Alaska facilities, systems, sub-systems, components, and equipment.
"This contract award further solidifies Aleut's commitment to supporting the mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," said Aleut Federal's Senior Vice President of Construction Services, John Mroz. "Aleut is honored to contribute its expertise and resources to ensure the continued operational readiness and excellence of USAG-Alaska's facilities."
Under this contract, Aleut will be responsible for providing comprehensive maintenance services at various locations, including Fort Wainwright (FWA), Fort Greely Alaska (FGA), Donnelly Training Area (DTA), Yukon Training Area (YTA), Black Rapids Training Site (BRTA), and Seward Military Resort (SMR). Aleut will deploy its highly skilled personnel, along with state-of-the-art equipment, tools, vehicles, materials, supervision, subcontracts, and other necessary resources to perform all corrective maintenance (CM) tasks for designated sites and facilities.
The contract has a base period of performance of one year and includes four 1-year option periods, ensuring long-term support for USAG-Alaska's critical infrastructure and operational needs. Aleut's expertise positions them as an ideal partner for this endeavor, capable of delivering innovative and efficient solutions across a diverse range of construction services.
"Aleut looks forward to a successful partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntsville and USAG-Alaska, delivering exceptional services that meet and exceed the highest standards of quality, safety, and efficiency," said Mroz.
Formed in 2021, Aleut Building Company, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aleut Federal, LLC, a holding company for federal subsidiaries of The Aleut Corporation (TAC). TAC is one of 12 Alaska Native regional corporations established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1971.
Aleut Building Company, LLC is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) certified 8(a) program participant and Small Disadvantaged Business specializing in design-build and design-bid-build solutions, providing a wide range of traditional and specialty construction services.
Aleut Federal, LLC
SOURCE Aleut Federal, LLC
Col. Jeffrey S. Palazzini became the 30th commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District during a change of command ceremony today on the front lawn of the organization’s headquarters here.
Brig. Gen. Kirk E. Gibbs, commanding general of the USACE Pacific Ocean Division at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, served as host of the event.
Palazzini replaces Col. Damon A. Delarosa, whose tenure as district commander began in August 2020. He departs to attend the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania.
Palazzini takes the reins of an organization responsible for executing major programs focused on military construction, civil works development and environmental cleanup within the state. He also will oversee the delivery of contracting, regulatory, interagency, international, real estate and emergency management services, along with operations and maintenance activities.
Before assuming command in Alaska, Palazzini worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2022 to 2023 and Defense Threat Reduction Agency from 2020 to 2022 in the National Capitol Region. His most recent USACE assignment was as commander of the Charleston District in South Carolina from 2017 to 2019.
Previously, Palazzini served in a variety of other command and staff positions that include assignments with the 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (505th Parachute Infantry Regiment), 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 2012 to 2014; E Company, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado from 2005 to 2006; and 16th Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Division in Giessen, Germany from 2000-2002.
His operational deployments include Operation Inherent Resolve with the USACE Mosul Dam Task Force from 2016 to 2017, Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2004 and 2005 to 2006, and Operation Joint Guardian (Kosovo Force 2A) in 2000.
Palazzini also served as deputy commander of the USACE Sacramento District from 2014 to 2017 and as an assistant professor in the Social Sciences Department at West Point from 2009 to 2011.
His military education includes the Army Engineer Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advanced Course, Senior Service College at the National Defense University’s College for International Security Affairs, Sapper Leader Course and Jumpmaster School. In addition, he is a certified Project Management Professional.
Palazzini’s military awards and decorations include the Army Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with “V” device, Humanitarian Service Medal, Senior Parachutist Badge, Combat Action Badge and Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal.
Palazzini was commissioned as an Army engineer officer in 1999. He holds a bachelor-of-science degree in economics from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, as well as an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia, and master-of-arts degree in strategic security studies from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
Palazzini is originally from Mercerville, New Jersey, and is married with two children.
Eight firms will compete for each order of the $245,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect-engineer services for hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 25, 2030. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Anchorage, Alaska, is the contracting activity.
Bids were solicited via the internet with 19 received.