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Record of Decision System (RODS)

ALABAMA ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT

Abstract

Site Name:  ALABAMA ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT
Address:  STATE HWY 235 
City & State:  CHILDERSBURG  AL  35044
County:  TALLADEGA
 
EPA ID:  AL6210020008
EPA Region:  04
 
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/541/R-97/020
ROD Date:  03/27/1997
Operable Unit(s):  06
 
Media:  Soil,Sediment(s)
 
Contaminant:  Tetryl, propellant, lead, metals, 1,3-Dinitrobenzene, 2,4-Dinitrotoluene, 2,6-Dinitrotoluene, 1,3,5-Trinitrobenzene, 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene, TNT, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, mercury, silver, selenium, nitrocellulose, single-based smokeless powder, nitroaromatic, 2,4,6-trinitrophenylmethylnitramine, asbestos, explosive compounds
 
Abstract:  Alabama Army Ammunition Plant (ALAAP) is located in Talladega County in east-central Alabama, 40 miles southeast of Birmingham and 70 miles north of Montgomery. The nearest town is Childersburg, which is four miles south of ALAAP. This interim remedial action is limited to explosives- and metals- contaminated soils and sediments in Study Areas 2, 10,16,17,19 and 22. ALAAP was established on 13,233 acres of land near the junction of Talladega Creek and the Coosa River. The plant was built in 1941 and operated during World War II (WWII) as a government-owned/contractor-operated (GOCO) facility. ALAAP produced nitrocellulose (NC), single-based smokeless powder, and nitroaromatic explosives (i.e., trinitrotolune (TNT); dinitrotoluene (DNT); and 2,4,6-trinitrophenylmethylnitramine (tetryl). Activities at ALAAP included: the manufacture of explosives; DNT; and chemicals including sulfuric acid, aniline, N,N-dimethylaniline, and diphenylamine. Spent acids were recycled, and wastes resulting from these operations were disposed. In August 1945, operations were terminated at ALAAP, and the plant was converted to stand-by status.The plant was maintained in various stages of standby status until the early 1970s. In 1973, the Army declared ALAAP excess to its needs. Since that time, several parcels of the original property were sold or returned to their previous owners. In 1977, a 1,354-acre parcel was sold to Kimberly-Clark, Inc. for construction of a paper products plant. Area A, encompassing 2,714 acres, was auctioned in May 1990. Future land uses for these properties are expected to consist of hunting grounds and wooded areas for occasional logging. In 1978, the U.S. Army Environmental Center (USAEC) (formerly U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency (USATHAMA)), managing the Army's Installation Restoration Program (IRP), conducted a records search that concluded specific areas of the facility were potentially contaminated by explosives and lead compounds. Additional studies at ALAAP confirmed that soils were contaminated with explosives compounds, asbestos, and lead. Several investigations were conducted between 1981 and 1983 to further define contamination. In 1984, ALAAP was proposed for inclusion on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).
 
Remedy:  The Area B Soils Operable Unit (OU) 4 addresses the principal threats from soils and sediments in Study Areas 2, 10, 16, 17, 19, and 22. Each of the study areas is identified as follows:
Study Area 2: Smokeless Powder Facility
Study Area 10: Tetryl Manufacturing Area
Study Area 16: Flashing Ground
Study Area 17: Propellant Shipping Area
Study Area 19: Lead Remelt Facility
Study Area 22: Demolition

LandfillThe scope of this interim remedy is limited to these study areas. Based on the current property use surrounding Area B (hunting, logging and industrial activities) and future potential land use for Area B, the U.S. Army has selected an Industrial Scenario for remediation of Area B. Remedial investigations and remedial action efforts, property transfers, sales or leases will be restricted to this Industrial Scenario.The selected remedy for the Area B Soils OU 4 consists of the following: clear, survey, and grid area; perform soil and sediment sampling and chemical analysis to delineate explosives and metals contamination; and use Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) or test pits to locate suspected burning trenches in Study Area 16 and 19. For contaminated areas (except Study Area 22): excavate soils until excavation criteria are satisfied; transport materials to the TIS-20 site in Area B; treat materials by incineration and/or stabilization until treatment and disposal criteria are satisfied; and dispose treated material in the on-site backfill area. Study Area 22 will be addressed using an engineered landfill. In addition, if necessary, expand the existing on-site disposal area for final placement of treated materials; decontaminate oversize materials by crushing or shredding and treatment in the TIS-20 or by high-pressure water washing; dispose in the backfill area; treat contaminated process, sampling, and decontamination wastewater in the TIS-20 aqueous waste treatment system; reuse water for site dust control and process makeup; conduct confirmatory soil and sediment sampling and chemical analysis to ensure that excavation criteria have been satisfied; backfill excavated areas in with uncontaminated borrow soils and rough grade to pre-excavated contours; close the on-site disposal area in accordance with the existing approved permit applications for treated soils; and test portions of decontaminated concrete slabs or structures to ensure adequate decontamination.
 
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