Superfund Site Profile
The Naval Air Development Center site in Warminster Township and Ivyland Borough, Bucks County, PA, covers 840 acres and was renamed Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) in 1993. Commissioned in 1944, NAWC's main function was the research, development and testing of Naval aircraft systems. Wastes were generated during aircraft maintenance and repair, pest control, firefighting training, machine and plating shop operations, spray painting, and various materials research and testing activities in laboratories. These wastes include paints, solvents, sludges from industrial wastewater treatment, and waste oils. Pursuant to BRAC, NAWC ceased operations in September 1996. Most of the property has been transferred to the private sector. NAWC is located in a populated suburban area and is surrounded by homes, commercial and industrial activities and a golf course. NAWC was placed on the CERCLA NPL due to the threat posed by eight disposal areas to groundwater quality. Prior to the discovery of PFC contamination during the 2012 Five Year Review, the primary groundwater contaminants of concern at NAWC have been found to be trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and carbon tetrachloride. The area surrounding NAWC is completely dependent on groundwater for both public and private water supplies.
PFCs, mainly Perfluoroctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), were first tested for as emerging contaminants in preparation for the 2012 Five Year Review. During this time, it was discovered that levels in groundwater on the former Navy property exceeded EPA provisional health advisory levels (HALs) for drinking water. Provisional HALs serve as informal technical guidance designed to assist federal, state and local officials in evaluating threats to local water supplies. Provisional HALs are not federally enforceable standards and are subject to change as new information becomes available.
Outside of the CERCLA Five Year Review, in 2013, the EPA required many public water
systems, including the Warminster Township Municipal Authority (WTMA), the local public water supplies in the area of NAWC, to sample for a group of 28 unregulated contaminants, including PFOS and PFOA. Based on the results, two public drinking water production wells impacted by PFOS and PFOA were taken off-line in June 2014.
TOPICS IN FOCUS
EPA Supporting U.S. Navy Response to Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) in Private Drinking Water Wells
At the request of the U.S. Navy and the Air National Guard (ANG), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to provide sampling and technical support for private drinking water wells in the Horsham, Warminster and Warrington, Pennsylvania areas for PFOS and PFOA found at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) in Horsham and the Naval Air Development Center, (NADC) in Warminster.
In May 2016, the EPA established a lifetime health advisory level (HAL) for PFOS and PFOA at 70 parts per trillion. When both PFOS and PFOA are found in drinking water, the combined concentrations of PFOS and PFOA should be compared with the 70 parts per trillion health advisory level.
The lifetime HAL for PFOS and PFOA is a guide for public drinking water systems; it is not a drinking water standard. As EPA continues to study the health effects of PFOS and PFOA, the lifetime HAL was set to protect the most sensitive populations (pregnant women and nursing infants) and therefore is protective of all populations for a life-time of exposure.
For more information about PFOS and PFOA, please visit us at: https://www.epa.gov/pfas