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Record of Decision System (RODS)

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND (EDGEWOOD AREA)

Abstract

Site Name:  ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND (EDGEWOOD AREA)
Address:  OFF RTE 40 
City & State:  EDGEWOOD  MD  21010
County:  HARFORD
 
EPA ID:  MD2210020036
EPA Region:  03
 
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/541/R-00/009
ROD Date:  07/17/2000
Operable Unit(s):  15
 
Abstract:  From 1976 through 1979, the US. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency (USATHAMA) conducted a surface and ground water investigation at APG-EA, including the Canal Creek Area. An initial assessment of the Building 503 burn sites was performed in 1976 as part of this investigation. In August 1985, APG contracted with the USGS to conduct a hydro geologic assessment and an investigation of groundwater contamination in the Canal Creek Area. This investigation showed that groundwater beneath the Building 503 site is contaminated in the surfical aquifer and in the Canal Creek Aquifer. In 1989, the RCRA Facility Assessment (RFA) was performed by the US Army Environmental Hygiene Agency (AEHA) to document historical activities at APG-EA related to solid-waste management, to identify potential sources of contaminant release in the Canal Creek Area, and to evaluate environmental quality at APG-EA with regard to past storage, treatment, and disposal of toxic and hazardous materials. The RFA recommended that the Building 503 burn sites be treated as an interim action, Additional soil sampling and analyses were performed by Roy F. Weston in February and March 1991 as part of a treatabliity study, and by Battelle in May 1993. Metals and semi volatile organic compounds were found in the soil during all these sampling events.

APG-EA has been listed by the EAP as a Federal facility meeting the criteria for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL) established pursuant to CERCLA. APG-EA entered the CERCLA process the Site Notification in January 1980. A Preliminary Assessment was completed in November 1980, and the Site Investigation was completed in December 1984. To facilitate the CERCLA process, APG-EA was broken down into several study areas. The Canal Creek Area is one of theses study areas. It is currently in the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Stud (RI/FS) stage. To facilitate this ongoing Canal Creek RI/FS, the Canal Creek Study Area was further subdivided into 50 Installation Restoration
Program (IRP) sites, and solid waste management units (SWMUs) or operable units were identified at each IRP site. In September 1986, EPA issued a RCRA permit to APG, which required an assessment of SWMUs at APG. In February 1990, APG-EA was placed on the NPL. The US Army and EPA signed a Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) in March 1990 which provides for the oversight and a enforcement of environmental investigations and remedial actions at selected APG-EA study areas. The Building 103 dump is on for the Edgewood Area study areas specified in the FFA. Regulatory oversight of the investigation is through the FFA.

OU A - Carroll Island Disposal Pits/Areas Edgewood Area

Carroll Island was acquired by the U.S. Army in 1918 as part of the original Edgewood Arsenal. Documentation on the use of Carroll Island before the 1940s is limited, but there is no evidence of U.S. Army activity during this period. In 1944, the U. S. Army reportedly used Carroll Point and the area north of Lower Island Point to test white phosphorus (a smoke munition) and high explosive ordnance. Also, a large field on the northeastern part of Carroll Island was cleared during the latter part of that decade and, along with other parts of the island, used as a CWM test area. Nerve and blister agents were released at the test area through 1969; riot control exercises and smoke-producing and simulant materials testing were conducted through 1971. Waste from testing activities was discarded via dumping or burial on the island. In 1975, the CWM testing facilities at Carroll Island were decommissioned [US Army Environmental Hygiene Agency (USAEHA) 1989].

From 1984 to 1985, APG was evaluated as a potential National Priorities List (NPL) site, and was listed on the NPL in 1990. In 1986, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action permit (MD3-21-002-1355) was issued by USEPA Region III to address solid waste management units (SWMUs) in the Edgewood and Aberdeen Areas of APG. As part of the RCRA permit, USAEHA performed a RCRA Facility Assessment (RFA) study for the Edgewood Area. Fifteen sites were identified as either SWMUs or areas with potential prior releases (USAEHA 1989). In 1986, the US Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the US Army, conducted a hydro geologic assessment of Carroll Island. A remedial investigation (RI) for Carroll Island was initiated in 1991 to determine the nature and extent of
contamination of the sites, and the RI did not detect contaminants migrating from OU A to the surrounding environment. However, the potential of contaminant migration from OU A disposal pits/areas to groundwater, soil, surface water, and sediment exists as long as the wastes remain buried on Carroll Island. The Focused Feasibility Study (FFS) for OU A identified and evaluated alternatives to remediate the disposal pits/areas presented in this ROD (EPA/ROD/R03-96/229). In 1993, an interim remedial action was performed at the Lower Island Disposal Area. This action included the removal of the contents of an open pit. The Proposed Plan for OU A was presented during a public meeting held on August 21, 1996.

In June 1949, a spontaneous ignition occurred in one of the disposal pits at Old O-Field where a large variety of chemical-filled explosives/loaded munitions had been buried. As a result of this explosion, a broad area was contaminated with chemical warfare material, and unexploded ordnance was dispersed around the area. Between September 1949 and the early 1950s, the command of the Technical Exscort Detachment of Edgewood Arsenal performed a surface sweep and clearance of Old-Field. Activities included igniting drum contents, destroying mustard and lewisite one-tone containers, treating the surface of Old O-Field and excavating contaminated soil and burning the Old O-Field pits and contents.

From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, the Army performed surface sweeps of the area, which recovered chemical
warfare material-filled rounds, and disposed of this material in the storage bunker at N-Field.

An Environmental Survey of the Edgewood Area was conducted in 1977 and 1978 by the U.S. Army. Results from ground water samples indicate that Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and chemical agent degradation products are being released by the Old O-Field into the groundwater.

From 1976 through 1979, the U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency (USATHAMA) conducted a surface and ground water investigation at the Aberdeen Proving Ground - Edgewood Area ( APG-EA), including the area covered by the Canal Creek Area.

APG-EA has been listed by the EPA as a Federal Facility meeting the criteria for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL). APG-EA entered the CERCLA process with Site Notification in January 1980. A Preliminary Assessment was completed in November 1980. The Site Investigation was completed in 1984.

To facilitate the CERCLA process, APG-EA was broken down into several study areas. The Canal Creek Area is one of these study areas. It is currently in the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) stage. To facilitate this ongoing Canal Creek RI/FS, the Canal Creek Study Area was further subdivided into 50 Installation Restoration Program (IRP) Sites, and Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) or Operable Units. The Building 103 Dump is an IRP Site. The Canal Creek Aquifer beneath the Canal Creek Study Area is a separate Operable Unit.

In 1984, the U.S. Geological Survey began a study to investigate the source, extent, and possible migration of contaminants from the Old O-Field Area.

In August 1985, APG contracted with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a hydro geologic assessment and an investigation of ground water contamination in the Canal Creek Area. This investigation is ongoing.

In September 1986, EPA issued a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit to APG which required an assessment of SWMUs at APG. The RCRA Facility Assessment (RFA), documented historical activities at APG-EA related to solid-waste management, and identified potential sources of contaminant release in the Canal Creek Area. The Building 103 Dump was investigated by AEHA as part of the RFA.

In 1987, the Army performed an engineering study for Old O-Field that addressed the feasibility of implementing a variety of source control alternatives. The study's results indicate that the total risk posed by the site is lower than the risks posed by any corrective action involving destruction or removal and none of the technologies considered is sufficiently developed to allow immediate selection.

In February 1990, APG-EA was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL). In March of 1990, the U.S. Army and EPA signed a Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) which provides for the oversight and enforcement of environmental investigations and remedial actions at selected APG-EA study areas. The Building 103 Dump site is one of the Edgewood Area study areas specified in the FFA. Apart from ground water monitoring wells installed at the dump by the USGS during the hydro geologic assessment, relatively little characterization work has been performed to date at the dump.

A limited geophysical investigation was performed by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in 1992 to assess the extent of the Building 103 Dump. No soil and/or ground water samples were collected during this study; instead, non-invasive geophysical techniques, including magnetic, resistivity, ground-penetrating radar, and seismic refraction were used to investigate the dump. Results indicated the dump was probably an outcrop of the surficial aquifer, and that head-ward erosion created a surface depression for the collection of sand, and for the later dumping of waste.

A recent removal action under Army authority at the dump included a voluntary action in 1992 for the removal of approximately 50 gallons of bromobenzyl cyanide (BBC) residue from a buried process vessel that had surfaced on its own, and the construction of a chain-link fence around the dump. A topographic survey of the dump was performed in June 1994. Additional geophysics also were performed at this time to more fully assess the extent of the dump. A passive soil gas survey was performed in June 1994 to determine if the dump was generating any gas and/or vapors.

In 1994, a Focused Feasibility Study for the Old O-Field Source Area was developed. This study evaluated the risks posed by Old O-Field and the potentially applicable remedial technologies for mitigating these risks. The Proposed Plan and Record of Decision for the Old O-Field source area are based on the results of the Focused Feasibility Study.
 
Remedy:  NOT AVAILABLE
 
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