In 1952 a 7.25-mile long jet propulsion fuel (JP-5) supply pipeline was built within a 30-foot wide easement from the fuel farm at Defense Fuel Support Point, Casco Bay to Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine. This subterranean pipeline, which spanned 115 private properties in Harpswell, Maine, was in operation until 1991 when it was decommissioned and abandoned in place. During construction, the pipeline was wrapped with an asbestos covering and, to eliminate any potential threat to humans from exposure to this covering, a decision was made to remove the pipeline. The pipeline remained in place until the Maine Congressional delegation acquired funding in 2007 for the removal. Pipeline removal began on February 8, 2010 and was completed by May 18, 2010.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected in soil during routine monitoring associated with pipeline removal. Whereas the source of PAHs was originally thought to have been JP-5 fuel oil releases, the project team determined that this was not the case and searched for another source of PAHs. This paper describes the planning and conduct of an environmental investigation that was necessary to evaluate the nature and extent of pipeline-related PAH contamination and potential human health risks from exposure to PAHs in easement soil. Collaboration between Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) and the Navy was a key component in minimizing investigative costs while ensuring that the health of local residents was protected. A statistically based sampling design and statistical data analyses supported the project.