The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Charleston District, is distributing this public notice to inform the community that an Action Memorandum for a Time-Critical Removal Action (TCRA) is available for public review and comment. The Action Memorandum, approved on 25 February 2020, documents the USACE decision to undertake a TCRA for an unexploded ordnance (UXO) survey and removal action at the VA National Cemetery located at 4170 Percival Road, Columbia, SC 29229. The UXO survey and removal action is required to investigate and remove potential UXO that may exist in an area of the cemetery that is currently planned for construction. Construction supports a 2nd phase of gravesite expansion at the National Cemetery. UXO potentially exists in the project area due to range activities that occurred at Fort Jackson prior to transfer of the property to the VA National Cemetery Administration (NCA).
What is a TCRA?
TCRA’s are performed when it is determined that a removal action is necessary to protect human health and the environment from releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants and the removal action is required to be performed within six months of that determination. The TCRA will be conducted by the USACE in accordance with requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP).
Description of the Proposed TCRA
The USACE proposed the following TCRA in the Action Memorandum to mitigate threats posed by the presence of a CERCLA hazardous substance (UXO) in soil and sediment in the Phase 2 gravesite area at the VA National Cemetery:
- Develop and implement a site-specific work plan;
- Survey approximately 30 acres of the VA National Cemetery that encompasses the proposed Phase 2 gravesite expansion area;
- Identify, evaluate and remove potential UXO anomalies identified from the survey;
- Confirm removal of UXO; and
- Prepare a summary report of the survey and removal action.
It is estimated that the survey and removal action will take four (4) months to complete. The selected removal action is protective of human health and the environment and satisfies federal and state requirements that are applicable or relevant and appropriate to this TCRA. The USACE anticipates that, after implementation of the proposed removal action, there will be no further action required to ensure the protection of veterans, family members, and visitors that may access the VA National Cemetery from the CERCLA hazardous substance (UXO) on site.
The TCRA Process
The process for a TCRA cleanup is to:
- Prepare an Action Memorandum to document the removal action decision;
- Inform the community of the TCRA (at minimum, immediately affected citizens, state, and local officials);
- Publish a public notice of availability of the Administrative Record file, established pursuant to the NCP [40 CFR 300.820(b)(1)], in a major newspaper within sixty days of the initiation of the on-site removal activity;
- Provide a public comment period of not less than thirty days from the time the Administrative Record file is available for public inspection pursuant to the NCP [40 CFR 300.820(b)(2)]; and
- Prepare a written response to significant public comments submitted during the public comment period and include these responses in the Administrative Record file.
The Administrative Record file for the Phase 2 Gravesite Expansion at the VA National Cemetery, which includes the Action Memorandum and other project-related documents supporting the proposed TCRA decision, can be viewed by interested community members at the following locations during normal business hours (8:30 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday – Friday):
Fort Jackson National Cemetery Administration
4170 Percival Road
Columbia, SC 29229
The Administrative Record file can also be accessed online at the USACE Charleston District webpage: https://www.sac.usace.army.mil/ under the category “Other Public Notices."
How do I participate?
This notice provides the public with an opportunity to offer comments on the Action Memorandum, which documents the USACE decision to undertake a TCRA of unexploded ordnance at the proposed Phase 2 Gravesite Expansion area in the VA National Cemetery in Columbia, SC. Public comments regarding the proposed action should be submitted within thirty (30) days from the date of this notice to the following:
U.S. Army Engineer District, Huntsville Engineering Center
ATTN: Amy L. Doss, CEHNC-IST
Notice to the postmasters/libraries and other various public entities: It is requested that this notice be conspicuously and continuously posted for 30 days from the date of issuance.