Brice performed a remedial investigation and debris removal from 10 areas of concern at a Radio Range Facility on Chirikof Island, Alaska, as part of the decommissioning of FAA facilities. The navigational facility was built in 1940 for the Civil Aeronautics Authority and was active between 1943 and 1946. The project objectives were to identify any contaminated infrastructure with the potential to contaminate the environment with hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, metals, or asbestos-containing materials; any associated safety hazard that may require management under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; and determine the magnitude and extent of soil and water contamination.
Chirikof is a remote island site requiring complex mobilization logistics. The seas around Chirikof Island are treacherous as evidenced by the island’s history of shipwrecks. In the absence of a landing strip, equipment and supplies were mobilized by barge, though reaching the island shore was complicated by tide cycles and shallow waters.
Based on the results of our fieldwork, Brice recommended soil removal actions that would achieve cleanup levels protective of the ecological receptors residing on Chirikof Island, which is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. To develop these recommendations, Brice had also implemented two drones with aerial triangulation and ground-control points to capture high resolution imagery that would show in detail the island’s topographic contours. This detailed imagery allowed the Brice project team to more accurately estimate field quantities and better define the scope of work for the recommended soil removal actions.
For the FAA, the use of drones seemed a promising tool for future environmental projects as noted in a recent FAA news piece Advanced Surveying Technology Aids Chirikof Island Cleanup Investigation. Valerie Holmes, WSA Environmental Cleanup (ECU) program implementation manager, and Bryan Beatson, WSA ECU contract support subject matter expert stated: “The use of drones and advanced GIS survey technology as part of ongoing ECU efforts on Chirikof Island has far-reaching implications for the rest of the FAA.”
To read the full article, click below.FAA ECU article_Chirikof drones