In 2018, the National Institute of Health (NIH) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response rented a hangar at Kalaeloa Airport as a site for emergency response coordination for the Pacific region. The hangar was previously used for military aircraft, and previous records showed that a few adjacent buildings may have been used to store munitions or hazardous material. And so, in order to best prepare for use in the case of a disaster or public health emergency, it was vital that the NIH ensure there were no hazardous materials on the property.
The NIH originally conducted a Phase I environmental site assessment (ESA) and concluded that there may be soil and groundwater contamination at the hangar. Oceanit was then contracted to do a Phase II ESA to analyze surface and subsurface soil, sub-slab soil vapor, and groundwater for the presence of chemicals of potential concern.
In the first round of sampling, lead levels above HDOH Tier 1 Environmental Action Levels (EALs) were detected in surface soil samples, prompting a second, more focused sampling effort to identify the lead source, which included HAZMAT surveys and narrowed sampling decision units. Upon further investigation, Oceanit discovered that lead-based paint in poor condition on the exterior of auxiliary buildings was the likely source of the elevated lead levels. Oceanit performed an Environmental Hazard Evaluation for the site and provided environmental recommendations to ensure safe future use of the area.
Oceanit’s environmental professionals followed federal and State of Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) Technical Guidance Manual (TGM) procedures to conduct sub-surface soil, surface soil, groundwater, and soil vapor sampling, as well as hazardous materials (HAZMAT) surveys for asbestos and lead. Oceanit’s environmental team holds HAZWOPER and HAZWOPER Supervisor Certifications and a Hawaii lead and asbestos inspector certification.
NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.