ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND (EDGEWOOD AREA)
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The 13,000-acre Aberdeen Proving Ground (Edgewood Area Site) site is located in Edgewood, Maryland and includes Gunpowder Neck, Pooles Island, Carroll Island and Graces Quarters. Development and testing of chemical agent munitions took place at this federal facility site. From 1917 to the present, site activities have included conducting chemical research programs, manufacturing chemical agents, and testing, storage and disposal of toxic materials. Site activities contaminated soil, sediment, ground water and surface water with hazardous chemicals. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990. After the final NPL listing, the U.S. Army entered into a Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) with EPA and led further site investigations. Cleanup is ongoing.
EPA and the Maryland Department of the Environment oversee, review and approve all work done by the U.S. Army at the site, according to the Federal Facilities Agreement.
What Is the Current Site Status?
There are currently 54 operable units (OUs) to address about 100 contaminated areas at the site. Over 30 decision documents have been completed; at least 20 more will need to be issued to complete all site cleanups. The U.S. Army, as the lead agency, is conducting the investigation and cleanup of the facility under EPA oversight. The Army has completed cleanups at over 27 OUs. Cleanup is ongoing at the remaining OU areas. Some of the site’s long-term remedies included: capping of contaminated areas, extracting and treating contaminated ground water, implementing land use restrictions, excavating contaminated soil, and constructing erosion control measures. Remedy construction began in 1990, and is ongoing for numerous OUs. Some site areas are in the remedial investigation phase.
Cleanup has also included over 25 removal actions, or short-term cleanups, to address immediate threats to human health and the environment. Removal actions between 1990 and 2009 disposed of underground storage tanks, surface wastes, contaminated soil and chemical munitions.
EPA has conducted several five-year reviews of the site’s remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by site decision documents. The most recent review, completed in December 2013, concluded that response actions at the site are in accordance with the remedy selected by EPA and that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment in the short term. The next five-year review is scheduled for December 2018. Continued protectiveness of the remedy requires additional actions be taken at several OUs. As of January 2018, the aforementioned actions are still ongoing.