Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

MACON NAVAL ORDNANCE PLANT
MACON, GA

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 433-acre Macon Naval Ordnance Plant site is located in Macon, Georgia. Guy Paine Road borders the site to the north, while the Armstrong World Industries facility borders the site to the west. To the south are located the Macon Water Authority’s Water Reclamation Facility, Rocky Creek, and the Remote Landfill, while Mead Road and Norfolk Southern railroad tracks borders the site to the east.To the south are located the Macon Water Authority’s Water Reclamation Facility, Rocky Creek, and the Remote Landfill, while Mead Road and Norfolk Southern railroad tracks borders the site to the east.

  • From 1941 to 1965, the U.S. Navy conducted ordnance manufacturing and metal plating at the site. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the site on Superfund's National Priorities List (NPL) in 2011, because waste disposal operations have impacted groundwater and Rocky Creek. 
  • In 1965, Maxson Electronics Corporation (Maxson) purchased the property and continued ordnance manufacturing. Maxson sold the property to Allied Chemical Corporation in 1973. Allied Chemical Corporation manufactured seat belts at the site from 1973 until 1981. The county purchased much of the site in 1980. Since 1980, the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority (MBCIA) has operated Allied Industrial Park at the site. The MBCIA has sold or currently leases several old Navy buildings for commercial use, while other businesses have built new facilities at the site.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) conducted several investigations in the 1990s. These investigations included groundwater, surface water, soil, and sediment sampling. Further work by the USACE stopped when it became apparent that other parties, in addition to the U.S. Navy, were potentially responsible for the contamination found at the site.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

With support from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GAEPD), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency listed the Macon Naval Ordnance Plant site on its National Priorities List in 2013.

  • The Navy used TCE during its site operations. During the 1990s, the USACE’s investigations found trichloroethylene (TCE) in the ground water beneath the site. It is one of the more common contaminants found at Superfund sites across the country. TCE is a volatile organic compound. It can volatize from contaminated groundwater and seep through foundations to contaminate indoor air in a process called vapor intrusion (VI). EPA finalized a VI guidance in June 2015. More information on VI can be found at http://www.epa.gov/vaporintrusion.
  • In February 2015, EPA conducted VI air sampling at a business located down gradient of the Navy's old waste water treatment plant. EPA found only one location, at this business, that had unacceptable levels of TCE in indoor air. The business took immediate steps to mitigate the TCE levels found, thereby reducing worker exposures. Mitigation steps implemented included increasing air circulation and sealing cracks in the building foundation. In April 2015, EPA resampled this location's indoor air and found lower levels of TCE that represented an acceptable risk to site workers.
  • In August 2015, EPA’s Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA) mobile laboratory conducted extensive air sampling at the site. Using the TAGA, EPA sampled the above location again, along with the indoor air at 22 other buildings at the site.
  • During the August 2015 sampling, a second business was found to have unacceptable levels of TCE in indoor air at one location. This second business also took immediate mitigation steps to reduce worker exposures. The business also installed an air filter to further reduce TCE in indoor air. EPA conducted additional air sampling at this business in December 2015, March 2016, and May 2016. The May 2016 results did not show TCE at unacceptable levels in indoor air at this location.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

  • As part of Superfund’s remedial process a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) is required, with the RI identifying the contamination and risks remaining at the site, while the FS identifies the cleanup options for addressing those risks. EPA is currently negotiating an agreement with the potentially responsible parties for performance of the RI/FS. EPA expects this agreement to be finalized in 2018, with the PRP-led Remedial Investigation also beginning in 2018. 
  • The Macon Naval Ordinance Plant site is in continued use. Commercial and industrial land uses are located on site. Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority has operated Allied Industrial Park on the site property since 1980. It leases or sells on-site buildings for commercial and industrial uses.
  • On September 18, 2018, EPA finalized an agreement with the potentially responsible parties for performance of the RI/FS. The draft RI/FS Workplan was submitted March 18, 2019 and is expected to be completed by August 2019. A public availability session is planned to kick off the RI field sampling activities. 

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Enforcement Information

EPA has identified eleven potentially responsible parties (PRPs) at this site.  In September 2015, EPA sent letters to the eleven PRPs notifying them of their potential liability for site costs. The letters also solicited the PRPs to negotiate an agreement with EPA to begin Superfund’s remedial process. In 2018, EPA expects to finalize this agreement and begin the PRP-led Remediation Investigation.

On September 18, 2018, EPA finalized an agreement with the potentially responsible parties for performance of the RI/FS. The draft RI/FS Workplan was submitted March 18, 2019 and is expected to be completed by August 2019. A public availability session is planned to kick off the RI field sampling activities. 

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