Superfund Site: IOWA ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT, MIDDLETOWN, IA
Superfund Site Profile
The Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) is a 20,000-acre Load, Assembly, and Pack munitions facility located in southeastern Iowa, 10 miles west of Burlington. The IAAAP is owned by the U.S. Government and operated by a contractor, currently American Ordnance, for the Department of Army. The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC; currently known as the Department of Energy) assembled nuclear weapons at the site from 1948 to 1975, contaminating soils and groundwater with explosives, radioactive materials and lead.
The primary contaminants at the site are explosives, metals, and volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are found in soils, groundwater and surface water at the site. The facility operates pursuant to Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. The NPDES permit allows for discharge of explosives constituents to surface water on-site.
Contamination at IAAAP resulted from historical operating practices involving discharges of explosive-laden sludges and wastewaters. These discharges occurred primarily at various explosive loading facilities located across the IAAAP. Waste explosives and munitions have been burned or detonated in some locations of the IAAAP, leading to additional areas of contamination. Most of the contamination is located within the IAAAP boundaries which are fenced and controlled. Only IAAAP employees and individuals authorized by the Army are granted access to the facility.
The Army implemented a removal action in 1993 to provide alternate water supplies to approximately 190 residents immediately south of the installation whose private groundwater supply wells were potentially impacted by explosives contamination originating on the IAAAP. Cleanup and monitoring are ongoing.