AIR FORCE PLANT PJKS
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The Air Force Plant Peter J. Kiewit and Sons (PJKS) site is owned and operated by Lockheed Martin Astronautics Operation. The plant is located 25 miles southwest of Denver, near Waterton Canyon, Colorado. PJKS consists of 464 acres, and is surrounded by another 4,700 acres of Lockheed Martin land. Company operations at PJKS include testing Titan rockets, as well as designing, developing, testing and manufacturing advanced technical systems for space and defense. Historical operations contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. Following cleanup, operation and maintenance activities are ongoing.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
The site is being addressed through federal and state actions. The Air Force is responsible for the cleanup. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is the lead regulator of the cleanup, with EPA providing oversight.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The site’s long-term remedy, selected in August 2013, included bioremediation of groundwater, a restrictive notice for groundwater, and engineering and land use controls. The primary contaminants of concern in groundwater are trichloroethylene (TCE) and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). TCE will be treated with bioremediation. EPA and the state granted the Air Force a Technical Impracticability Waiver for cleanup of NDMA because past studies did not successfully identify a technology that could degrade NDMA in groundwater.
EPA and the state did not require further remedial construction action at 53 soil sites because prior short-term cleanups, or removal actions, adequately addressed soil contamination. Between 1986 and 2009, the Air Force removed two half-full drums of scrap metal alloy containing low levels of radioactive waste, abandoned utilities and wells, and excavated contaminated soil from the D-1 landfill. In October 2001, the Air Force removed about 6,000 tons of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated soil from two sites, the Upper and Lower Volcanoes. In October 2005, the Air Force removed contaminated soil at 16 additional locations. One of these locations required an environmental covenant to restrict site use because some PCBs remain capped in place.
Operation and maintenance activities and monitoring are ongoing.
EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in November 1989.