Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

TUCSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AREA
TUCSON, AZ

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 10-square-mile Tucson International Airport Area site is located in and next to Tucson, Arizona. The site includes the Tucson International Airport, portions of the Tohono O'Odham Indian Reservation (San Xavier District), residential areas of Tucson and South Tucson, and the Air Force Plant #44 Raytheon Missile Systems Company (AFP44). Former aircraft and electronics manufacturing activities, fire drill training activities, and unlined landfills contaminated groundwater and soil. Cleanup, operation and maintenance activities, and monitoring are ongoing.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed through federal, state, local and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

EPA has conducted one five-year review 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 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. Continued protectiveness of the remedy requires vapor intrusion assessments.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

Treatment technologies at the site have removed 130,000 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 100,000 tons of metals and 10,000 tons of PCB from soils and groundwater. Groundwater cleanup actions are ongoing.

The site consists of seven separate project areas.

Remedy Selected

Tucson Airport Remediation Project: The long-term remedy includes pumping and air stripping contaminated groundwater, followed by discharging treated water in the municipal water supply.

Texas Instruments: The long-term remedy includes pumping and air stripping groundwater, reuse of treated water and groundwater monitoring. EPA later updated the remedy to add monitored natural attenuation and institutional controls and to replace pumping and treatment with in-place chemical oxidation. Natural attenuation describes a variety of in-place processes that, under favorable conditions, act without human intervention to reduce the mass, toxicity, mobility, volume or concentration of contaminants in groundwater. Remedial design activities are ongoing.

Arizona Air National Guard: The long-term remedy includes pumping and air stripping groundwater, reusing treated water and monitoring groundwater. EPA later updated the remedy to add monitored natural attenuation and institutional controls and to replace pumping and treatment with in-place chemical oxidation.

Former West-Cap of Arizona Property and West Plume B: The long-term remedy includes pumping and air stripping groundwater, reusing treated water and monitoring groundwater. EPA later updated the remedy to add monitored natural attenuation and institutional controls and to replace pumping and treatment with in-place chemical oxidation. Remedial design activities are ongoing.

1,4-DX at Tucson Airport Remediation Project: Remedial investigation activities are ongoing.

Cleanup Progress

APF44: Since 1987, a pumping and treatment system has cleaned groundwater. Soil cleanup activities removed 100,000 tons of metal-contaminated soils and sludges. Metal soils cleanup finished in 2001. Ongoing soils remediation focuses on pilot testing for in-place treatment of subsurface soils that may be contaminating groundwater and improving the efficiency of older extraction wells.

Tucson Airport Remediation Project: Treatment began in 1994 and has removed over 3,200 pounds of VOCs. The system will remain in operation until at least 2025.

Arizona Air National Guard: A pumping and treatment system operated from 1997 to 2012. Remedial design activities for the in-place chemical oxidation system are ongoing. A soil vapor extraction system began operating in 1997 and removed 64 pounds of VOCs. Soils cleanup finished in 1998.

Airport Property: EPA has required the hydraulic containment of highly contaminated groundwater in the aquifer. The rest of the water will be potable after cleanup activities. Construction of a groundwater treatment plant finished in 2007. Removal actions, or short-term cleanups, of soils removed over 10,000 tons of VOC and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated soil. Cleanup finished in 2012. Landfill remedy activities finished in 2013.

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