US Army Corps of Engineers
New England District Website

Public Information

The Army holds quarterly Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meetings to update the public on the status of the cleanup at Former Fort Devens. The next RAB meetings are scheduled for November 18, 2021 and February 10, 2022.

The Army invites the local community to take part in the review process by joining the Former Fort Devens RAB and attending the RAB meetings. If you have interest in joining the RAB, we ask that you complete and submit an interest form. We ask that all forms be returned by November 1, 2021 for the 2022-2024 term on the RAB. There are multiple ways to access the RAB Interest Form, including clicking here to download a PDF:

Online: You can access, complete, and submit the interest form online at: Former Fort Devens Army Installation RAB Interest Form

PDF: You can download a PDF of the interest form at the link here or email us at: FormerFortDevensRAB@arcadis.com to request a PDF of the form. After you complete the form, you can email it back to us or send through the mail to: Former Fort Devens RAB, c/o Arcadis, One Executive Drive, Suite 303, Chelmsford, MA 01824.

Hard copy: You can pick up a copy at the local public libraries and town halls in Ayer, Harvard, Lancaster, and Shirley, or email us at: FormerFortDevensRAB@arcadis.com to request a copy of the form.

Call: You can also call our Arcadis/RAB Coordinator -- Julee Jaeger at (501) 269-0517 -- to request a form and she will get one to you.

 

Contact

Please contact the Army BRAC Environmental Coordinator, Bob Simeone, at robert.j.simeone.civ@mail.mil or 978.615.6090 if you would like to view or request a document or have any additional questions on the environmental cleanup.

Former Fort Devens Environmental Cleanup

Pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, otherwise known as CERCLA or Superfund, the former Fort Devens (Devens) was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) on December 21, 1989, because of environmental contamination at several locations. CERCLA provides a consistent, science-based approach across the Nation for cleanup and includes environmental regulators and public participation. DoD follows the CERCLA process to fully investigate a release and determine the appropriate cleanup actions based on risk.

The contamination at Devens is associated with historic underground storage tanks/fuel depots and contaminated soils containing petroleum products and chemicals. Since its placement on the NPL, the Army BRAC Environmental Restoration Program has cleaned up numerous contaminated sites and transferred 4,000 acres of Former Fort Devens for property reuse and redevelopment.

The remaining cleanup sites include ongoing groundwater remediation at the former Moore Army Airfield and the former Shepley's Hill Landfill in addition to the long-term groundwater monitoring at four historic petroleum contaminated sites.

In 2016, the Army initiated the CERCLA process to evaluate the emerging contaminants known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, which were detected in groundwater and in the municipal water supply wells for Devens and the Town of Ayer. The remedial investigation and cleanup of Army releases of PFAS under CERCLA at Former Fort Devens is the focus of information available on this web site. Following CERCLA's consistent, science-based approach, Army uses toxicity information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when assessing risk to human health under CERCLA. Under the EPA's longstanding risk assessment and hierarchy of toxicity value policies, the EPA Health Advisory (HA) toxicity information is used to determine a site-specific risk-based cleanup level. The Army uses clarifying technical guidance to ensure a consistent approach to investigating PFAS and using EPA's toxicity values for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS) within the DoD cleanup program.

History

Camp Devens was established in 1917 as a temporary training area for soldiers during World War I. In 1932, the site was named Fort Devens and made a permanent installation with the primary mission of commanding, training, and providing logistical support for non-divisional troop units. Fort Devens was used for a variety of training missions between 1917 and 1990. Pursuant to the CERCLA, Fort Devens was placed on the National Priorities List on November 21, 1989, due to environmental contamination at several sites.

Fort Devens was identified for cessation of operations and closure under Public Law 101-510, the Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act of 1990, and officially closed in March 1996.

As part of the Devens BRAC program, portions of the property formerly occupied by Devens were retained by the U.S. Army (Army) for reserve forces training and renamed the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area (DRFTA). Areas not retained as part of the DRFTA were transferred to new owners, the Massachusetts Development and Finance Agency (MassDevelopment), U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for reuse and redevelopment. In 2009, the DRFTA was renamed the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens.

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