Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

The 975-acre Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot Superfund site is located in Suffolk, Virginia. The Department of Defense obtained the property in 1917 and used it for munitions storage, shipment, classification, reconditioning, loading and destruction. The facility handled up to 1,300 tons of ammunition daily. At the end of World War II, the Department of Defense used the Depot for demobilization, including the destruction of unserviceable explosives, ammunition and chemicals. In the early 1960s, the Nansemond Ordnance Depot closed, and several entities, including the Frederick Campus of Tidewater Community College (TCC), Dominion Power Company, General Electric Company (GE), Hampton Roads Sanitation District, and former County of Nansemond received portions of the former military facility.  A site inspection identified hazardous substances on site. EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1999. EPA identified extensive contamination in disposal pits, fill and demolition areas, holding tanks, trenches, and off-shore dumping areas. The site’s cleanup included the removal of munitions, explosives, contaminated debris and various military items, as well as the removal of contaminated soil. Due to groundwater contamination, the City of Suffolk extended municipal water lines to the TCC campus. Of the 207 acres deeded to Dominion Power, 135 acres now include the Bridgeway Commerce Park, an office, technology, and research and development space. The City of Suffolk plans to acquire another portion of the site to develop the Hampton Roads Technology Park. This 158-acre commercial park will feature office, research and development space; a high-technology workforce development center; hotels and corporate/conference centers; a restaurant; and a day-care facility. The remaining property was previously owned by the Virginia Department of Community Colleges for use as the Frederick Campus of Tidewater Community College. The Tidewater Community College at the Nansemond property has since closed, and the former college property is being evaluated for sale.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2017, EPA had data on 24 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 537 people and generated an estimated $246,501,120 in annual sales revenue. View additional information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup. For more background, see Institutional Controls.

Chemicals of concern identified in the RI/FS included heavy metals and 2-amino-4,6-dinitro-toluene ("2-A-4,6-DNT") in surface soils, and heavy metals, TNT, 2,4-dinitrotolu-ene ("DNT"), trinitroben-zene ("TNB"), dinitrobenzene ("DNB"), 2-A-4,6-DNT, N-methyl-N,2,4,6-tetranitro-anili-ne ("tetryl"), and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine ("RDX") in ground water. Between April and June 1992, 316 tons of contaminated soil and miscellaneous ordnance items, including 2 3" British shells were removed from the Removal Area. Confirmatory soil samples indicated the presence of residual soil contamination. Known hazardous substances associated with the known waste sources located at the FNOD include various metals, VOCs, SVOCs, nitroaromatics, and PCBs. Lead and several nitroaromatics have been released to the ground water. Metals, SVOCs, and TNT have been released to surface water. Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

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