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Title: Riparian and Upland Restoration at the U.S. Department of Energy Rocky Flats, Colorado, Site - 12360

Abstract

Remedial investigation and cleanup at the Rocky Flats, Colorado, Site was completed in 2005. Uplands, riparian, and wetland habitat were disturbed during cleanup and closure activities and required extensive revegetation. Unavoidable disturbances to habitat of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse (a federally listed species) and wetlands required consultation with regulatory agencies and mitigation. Mitigation wetlands were constructed in two drainages, and a third developed naturally where a soil borrow area intercepted the groundwater table. During the 50-plus years of site operations, 12 ponds were constructed in three drainages to manage and retain runoff and sewage treatment plant discharges prior to release off site. A batch-release protocol has been used for the past several decades at the terminal ponds, which has affected the riparian communities downstream. To return the hydrologic regime to a more natural flow-through system similar to the pre-industrial-use conditions, seven interior dams (of 12) have been breached, and the remaining five dams are scheduled for breaching between 2011 and 2020. At the breached dams, the former open water areas have transformed to emergent wetlands, and the stream reaches have returned to a flow-through system. Riparian and wetland vegetation has established very well. The valves of the terminal pondsmore » were opened in fall 2011 to begin flow-through operations and provide water to the downstream plant communities while allowing reestablishment of vegetation in the former pond bottoms prior to breaching. A number of challenges and issues were addressed during the revegetation effort. These included reaching an agreement on revegetation goals, addressing poor substrate quality and soil compaction problems, using soil amendments and topsoil, selecting seeds, determining the timing and location of revegetation projects relative to continuing closure activities, weed control, erosion control, revegetation project field oversight, and contractual limitations. A variety of ecological restoration techniques were conducted at the site to meet these challenges. These efforts have resulted in vegetation becoming well established in most locations. (author)« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. S.M. Stoller Corporation, Contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management, Westminster, Colorado 80021 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9-332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22293612
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-14-WM-12360
TRN: US14V1268115136
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2012: Waste Management 2012 conference on improving the future in waste management, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 26 Feb - 1 Mar 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 1 refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; EROSION CONTROL; GROUND WATER; HABITAT; LIQUID WASTES; REVEGETATION; WASTE PROCESSING; WETLANDS

Citation Formats

Nelson, Jody K. Riparian and Upland Restoration at the U.S. Department of Energy Rocky Flats, Colorado, Site - 12360. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Nelson, Jody K. Riparian and Upland Restoration at the U.S. Department of Energy Rocky Flats, Colorado, Site - 12360. United States.
Nelson, Jody K. Sun . "Riparian and Upland Restoration at the U.S. Department of Energy Rocky Flats, Colorado, Site - 12360". United States.
@article{osti_22293612,
title = {Riparian and Upland Restoration at the U.S. Department of Energy Rocky Flats, Colorado, Site - 12360},
author = {Nelson, Jody K.},
abstractNote = {Remedial investigation and cleanup at the Rocky Flats, Colorado, Site was completed in 2005. Uplands, riparian, and wetland habitat were disturbed during cleanup and closure activities and required extensive revegetation. Unavoidable disturbances to habitat of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse (a federally listed species) and wetlands required consultation with regulatory agencies and mitigation. Mitigation wetlands were constructed in two drainages, and a third developed naturally where a soil borrow area intercepted the groundwater table. During the 50-plus years of site operations, 12 ponds were constructed in three drainages to manage and retain runoff and sewage treatment plant discharges prior to release off site. A batch-release protocol has been used for the past several decades at the terminal ponds, which has affected the riparian communities downstream. To return the hydrologic regime to a more natural flow-through system similar to the pre-industrial-use conditions, seven interior dams (of 12) have been breached, and the remaining five dams are scheduled for breaching between 2011 and 2020. At the breached dams, the former open water areas have transformed to emergent wetlands, and the stream reaches have returned to a flow-through system. Riparian and wetland vegetation has established very well. The valves of the terminal ponds were opened in fall 2011 to begin flow-through operations and provide water to the downstream plant communities while allowing reestablishment of vegetation in the former pond bottoms prior to breaching. A number of challenges and issues were addressed during the revegetation effort. These included reaching an agreement on revegetation goals, addressing poor substrate quality and soil compaction problems, using soil amendments and topsoil, selecting seeds, determining the timing and location of revegetation projects relative to continuing closure activities, weed control, erosion control, revegetation project field oversight, and contractual limitations. A variety of ecological restoration techniques were conducted at the site to meet these challenges. These efforts have resulted in vegetation becoming well established in most locations. (author)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {7}
}

Conference:
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