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Burlington International Airport Aircraft Deicing Fluid On-site Disposal Permitting and Monitoring
South Burlington, VT

Between 2006 and 2012, VHB assisted the Burlington International Airport (BTV) with the development of on-site systems for disposing of glycol-based Aircraft Deicing Fluid (ADF) via environmental studies, site characterization, permitting, and groundwater monitoring. Working as a subcontractor to Stantec, the project Engineer, VHB performed subsurface characterization of the BTV site and evaluated the environmental fate and transport of the ADF in support of the design and permitting of four separate systems to collect and dispose of the ADF.

On-site disposal via subsurface infiltration beds is being used to allow natural biodegradation of the ADF. VHB analyzed the infiltrative capacity of site soils, permeability, groundwater locations, flow direction, and induced mounding to provide the basis of design for the disposal systems. VHB evaluated groundwater discharge locations, residence time, biodegradation and attenuation rates, pollutant mass balance, and groundwater uses in order to determine that the project would be in compliance with Vermont permitting requirements. Our work included development of an analytical model that accurately predicted the environmental fate and transport of the ADF, including its saturated and unsaturated-zone biodegradation rates and associated oxygen demand, dilution, and flow velocity.

The four systems were permitted under the Vermont Underground Injection Control (UIC) regulations 2006, 2008, and 2012. VHB continues to provide monitoring of groundwater hydrology and water quality in the vicinity of the permitted systems for permit compliance. Monitoring results have confirmed the accuracy of our predictive model of ADF environmental fate and transport, and have affirmed compliance with the permits and with the Vermont Groundwater Protection rule and Strategy.

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Project Highlights
Completed underground injection control permitting
Developed a new analytical model for ADF fate and transport in groundwater
Ongoing water quality and hydrology monitoring have confirmed predictive model results
“This is the nicest permit application from a consultant that I’ve seen,” – Cynthia Parks, Vermont DEC, UIC Program Manager
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