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Environmental Health & Safety

37 Dewey Field Road
Suite 6216
Hanover, NH 03755-3529
Phone: (603) 646-1762
Fax: (603) 646-2622
Email: ehs@dartmouth.edu
 

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Complex organizations such as Dartmouth comply with a multitude of policies, laws, and regulations.  Risk and Internal Controls has developed a compliance matrix to guide the Dartmouth community in identifying key compliance areas, the Dartmouth staff responsible for various aspects of compliance oversight, and where to go to learn more about each compliance area.
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The Rennie Farm Project

About Rennie Farm:

From the mid 1960s-1978, Dartmouth used less than a ½ acre portion on the 223-acre Rennie Farm, to dispose of animal remains used in medical research, under State and Federal licenses.  In addition, the remains of donated human cadavers were buried in a 10-foot by 10-foot site adjacent to the animal burial area, after the bodies had been used in medical school classes.
Dartmouth is committed to complete the cleanup of a scientific waste burial site on our Rennie Farm property as expeditiously and effectively as possible.
Groundwater and other conditions on the property have been monitored for years.  In 2011, the state approved excavation and remediation of the animal burial site.  While working there in November 2011, we found hazardous chemical waste at the animal burial site. We notified the state, and the waste was removed.
We continued to monitor the site, and in April 2012 we found that for the first time a chemical compound called 1,4-dioxane was detected in groundwater samples near the site of the 2011 excavation.  1,4-Dioxane is a synthetic substance used primarily as an additive in solvents and is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.
We now have an understanding of the complex site geology and the contaminant's path of travel.  Based on the data that we have collected—and with the state's approval of our work plans—we plan to focus our remedial work on controlling the further movement of groundwater contamination from the site, while monitoring the water quality in the area.
After testing many sites on the farm property and also nearby private water wells used by those living near the farm, we found 1,4-dioxane that exceeded the NH ambient groundwater quality standard in one private well .  Since then we have supplied the well's owners with bottled water, installed a treatment system in their home so that their well water can be safely used, offered to relocate the family, provided them access to an occupational health physician, and we are prepared to provide them with an alternate source of well water.  The presence of 1,4-dioxane was also detected at levels below state water quality standards in a private water supply well along Hanover Center Road to the north. Dartmouth is investigating the source of this contamination to determine whether it is originating from the Rennie Farm site or if it is related to other potential sources of 1,4-dioxane (i.e. consumer products).
In our testing of the wells near the human burial site we have found no formaldehyde (used in embalming human remains) or radiological contamination.
Throughout this work, we have provided several informational letters to Rennie Farm neighbors and met with interested residents.  Below are documents related to the project to provide the community with progress updates.  In addition, documents related to the work can be found on the state Department of Environmental Services (DES) website.
We share the same objectives as those living near Rennie Farm—we want to protect the health of our neighbors and maintain the value of their properties.

Informational Links/Downloads:

Table 1A.1 1,4-Dioxane Concentration Data – Source Area Groundwater Monitoring Locations (August 16, 2017)
Table 1A.2 1,4-Dioxane Concentration Data – On-Site Down Gradient Groundwater Monitoring Locations (August 16, 2017)
Table 1A.3 1,4-Dioxane Concentration Data – Off-Site Groundwater Monitoring Locations (August 16, 2017)
Table 1B 1,4-Dioxane Concentration Data – Groundwater Monitoring Wells-Streams (August 16, 2017)
Pump and Treat System FAQs
Real Estate Valuation Program
Site Information Summary (July 21, 2016)
Site History (July 20, 2016)
Frequently Asked Questions (September 12, 2016)
1,4-Dioxane Health Information Summary (NH Department of Environmental Services)
1,4-Dioxane-ToxFAQs (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)
Monitoring Well Data (November 14, 2106)
Map of Homeowner Well Sampling (November 14, 2016)
Request to have your well sampled

Public Communication:

Letter to Neighbors Rennie Farm Update (September 6, 2017)
Letter to Neighbors (July 2, 2010)
Letter to Neighbors (October 19, 2011)
Letter to Neighbors (September 9, 2015)
Letter to Neighbors (November 3, 2015)
Letter to Neighbors (July 20, 2016)
Invitation to August 18th Site Visit and Invitation to Department of Environmental Services Public Information Meeting on September 13th
Letter to Neighbors (August 27, 2016)
Rennie Farm Email Update to Neighbors with Surface Water Sampling Map (August 31, 2016)
Letter to Neighbors re: Public Information Meeting (September 8, 2016)
Letter to Neighbors re: data from August work (September 19, 2016)
         Radiological testing data from August work (September 19, 2016)
         Chemical testing data from August work (September 19, 2016)
Letter to Neighbors (September 24, 2016)
        Map of site (September 24, 2016)
Letter to Neighbors (October 6, 2016)
Letter to Neighbors (October, 10 2016)
Status update from Steve Moore (October 13, 2016)
Letter to Neighbors (October 28, 2016)
        Map of site (October 28, 2016)
Community Health Meeting Agenda (November 1, 2016)
      Dr. McLellan's presentation (November 1, 2016)
      Jim Wieck's presentation (November 1, 2016)
      Link to CATV Video: Community Health Meeting (November 1,2016)
Letter to Neighbors (November 12, 2016)
      Surface Water Sampling Map (November 12, 2016)
Letter to Neighbors (December 9, 2016)
      Tom Winters CV (December 9, 2016)
      Figure - Property Sampling (December 9, 2016)
      Monitoring Well Table (December 9, 2106)
Letter to Neighbors (January 13, 2017)
     Treatment system photos
     Layout of treatment system
     Preliminary groundwater management zone
Letter to Neighbors (February 17, 2017)
   Treatment system photos (February 17, 2017)
   Updated figure (February 17, 2017)
Letter to Neighbors (May 4, 2017)
 

Site Maps:

Site Plan Map (August 1, 2016)
Locus Plan/Water Resources Plan Map (August 2016, without addresses)
Locus Plan/Water Resources Plan Map (August 2016, with addresses)

Site Work Plans:

Groundwater Management Permit GWP-201111109-H-001 (August 29, 2017)
Work Plan (December 2, 2015) (Figures included)
Work Plan (May 6, 2016)
         Figure E1: Delineation Work Plan Map
         Figure E2: Source Area Work Plan Map
Addendum to May 6, 2016 Work Plan (September 28, 2016)
Work Plan (July 25, 2016) (Figures included)
        Dartmouth College Radioactive Material License Amendment Approval Letter (August 9, 2016)
        DES Work Plan Approval Letter (August 4, 2016)
Project Milestone Dates
The Remedial Action Plan (RAP) (September 1, 2016)
       DES Response to Remedial Action Plan (September 27, 2016)
Work Plan Addendum (September 28, 2016)
       DES Response to Work Plan Addendum (October 4, 2016)
Phase I Radiological Summary Report
Phase II Radiological Decommissioning Report
Final Status Survey Radiological
Remedial Design Plans and Construction Specifications Report (December 2, 2016)
DES review of extraction wells (December 5, 2016)
DES Remedial Discharge Permit (February 10, 2017)
DES letter report on 668 HCR (March 8, 2017)
Phase II Supplemental Hydrogeologic Investigation Groundwater Management Zone Delineation and Application for Groundwater Management Permit (July 2017)

Site Photographs

Photo 1 - Drilling at GZ-16D winter 2015/2016
Photo 2 - Drilling former animal burial area winter 2015/2016
Photo 3 - Drill rig on Rennie Road moving to GZ-17L winter 2016
Photo 4 - Intermittent stream looking east to Rennie Road fall 2015
Photo 5 - Monitoring wells GZ-9U and GZ-9L fall 215 prior to installation of GZ-9D
Photo 6 - Field near entrance to Rennie Farm looking east fall 2015
Photo 7 - Looking north from GZ-1 showing northern end of former animal burial area spring 2016
Photo 8 - Bedrock outcrop showing steeply dipping northeast trending fracture surface spring 2015
August 2016 Excavation Photo 1
August 2016 Excavation Photo 2
August 2016 Excavation Photo 3
Please direct questions or concerns to Dr. Maureen O'Leary, Director of EHS, at (603) 646-1762 or email her at maureen.o'leary@dartmouth.edu.  Questions on real estate concerns should be directed to Ellen Arnold, Director of Real Estate, at (603) 646-2446 or by email at maura.c.clarke@dartmouth.edu.

Last Updated: 9/6/17