Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION TECHNICAL CENTER (USDOT)
ATLANTIC COUNTY, NJ

Health & Environment

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What Are the Risks at the Site?

Extensive investigations of groundwater, surface water, soil, sediment and game fish have been conducted at the FAA Tech Center and have found widespread contamination. Exposure to these media has been found to result in significant risk to human health and the environment. In addition, game fish located in the reservoir have high mercury levels which are a significant risk to human health and the environment. Numerous groundwater plumes are located throughout the facility and are contaminated primarily with VOCs. Exposure to contaminated groundwater includes ingestion, direct contact, showering, etc. Residential receptors, the most sensitive population, most consistently result in significant risk from exposure to groundwater. On the other hand, risk to commercial/Industrial receptors is not as significant due to fewer exposure pathways and shorter exposure duration to groundwater. Surface water at FAA is comprised of streams and a reservoir. Surface water sampling has detected low levels of contamination, primarily mercury, which is associated with the high levels of mercury in the sediment. This mercury contamination has concentrated in fish tissue which is a significant risk to human health and the environment. In addition, other contaminants are also found in surface water due to historical operations. Risk to human health from exposure to contaminated surface water includes direct contact and incidental ingestion. Since expected exposure duration length and frequency are low, resulting risk is found to be insignificant. Exposure to contaminated surface water by environmental receptors results in more significant risk. Soil sampling has indicated widespread soil contamination at FAA. Exposure pathways to contaminated soil include incidental ingestion, direct contact and inhalation of dust. Typically, soil contaminant levels are moderate to the extent that they do not pose a significant risk. However, there are areas at the facility with elevated levels of contaminants that do result in significant risk to human health and the environment. Sediment associated with the on-site water bodies at FAA have been found to be contaminated with mercury presumably due Navy operations in the past. As a result of this contamination, high levels of mercury are found in fish tissue. This represents a significant risk to human health if the fish are eaten and to birds who feed on the fish. FAA prohibits fishing in the reservoir and there is also a fishing advisory in effect. However, exposure to environmental receptors, primarily birds, cannot be controlled.

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Contaminant Information

View a full list of contaminants of concern for this site.

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Performance Measures

EPA uses performance measures to track environmental results at Superfund sites. If you have any questions or concerns about the measures at this site, please contact the site team members listed under Site Contacts.

Read more about Superfund Remedial Performance Measures.

Performance
Measure
Status at this
Superfund Site
What does this mean?
Human Exposure Under Control Yes Yes means assessments indicate that across the entire site:
  1. There are currently no unacceptable human exposure pathways; and
  2. EPA has determined the site is under control for human exposure.

No means an unsafe level of contamination has been detected at the site and a reasonable expectation exists that people could be exposed.

Insufficient data means that, due to uncertainty regarding exposures, one cannot draw conclusions as to whether human exposures are controlled, typically because:
  1. Response to the contamination has not begun; or
  2. The response has begun, but it has not yet generated information sufficiently reliable to evaluate whether there are currently any unacceptable human exposure pathways at the site.
Groundwater Migration Under Control Yes

Yes means EPA reviewed all information on known and reasonably expected groundwater contamination. EPA concluded the migration of contaminated groundwater is stabilized and there is no unacceptable discharge to surface water. EPA will conduct monitoring to confirm that affected groundwater remains in the original area of contamination.

No means EPA has reviewed all information on known and reasonably expected groundwater contamination, and the migration of contaminated groundwater is not stabilized.

Insufficient data means that due to uncertainty regarding contaminated groundwater migration, EPA cannot draw conclusions as to whether the migration of contaminated groundwater is stabilized.

Construction Complete No

Yes means the physical construction of the cleanup is complete for the entire site.

No means either physical construction is not complete or actions are still needed to address contamination.

Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use No Yes means:
  1. All cleanup goals affecting current and reasonably anticipated future land uses of the entire site have been achieved, so there are no unacceptable risks;
  2. All required land-use restrictions or other controls have been put in place; and
  3. The site has achieved Construction Complete status.

No means that one or more of these three criteria have not been met. However, a site listed as no may still have redevelopment occurring on portions of the site and may be eligible for additional redevelopment.

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