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Ordnance Products

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Cecil County
Town of North East

EPA ID# MDD982364341

1st Congressional District

Last Update: February 2014

Other Names


Current Site Status

The Record of Decision (ROD) for the site was signed on September 30, 2006. Offsite components of the Remedial Design began in October 2007, however, due to legal issues, EPA did not obtain access to the site until March 2009 and onsite tasks did not commence until April 2009. The Soil Remedial Design was completed in July 2010, and the Soil Remedial Action was conducted from December 2010 through June 2011. The Soil Remedial Action consisted primarily of clearance and offsite disposal of Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) from eight historic onsite disposal areas, offsite disposal or amendment of soil from select disposal areas, and backfilling and grading of excavations.

EPA conducted a Pre-Design Investigation (PDI) for groundwater from 2008 through early 2013 consisting of a groundwater evaluation, vapor intrusion investigation, and bioremediation treatability study. Based on the findings of the PDI, EPA issued a Proposed Remedial Action Plan (Proposed Plan) on July 17, 2013 to modify the Selected Remedy in the 2006 ROD. A public comment period on the Proposed Plan was held from July 17 through August 16, 2013. Following the consideration of comments, EPA issued a Record of Decision Amendment (ROD Amendment) on September 25, 2013 to document the Remedy Modification. The Remedy Modification generally consists of the long-term operation and maintenance of vapor intrusion mitigation systems, eliminating the requirement to build a public water supply line, and using an alternative treatment technology for a portion of contaminated groundwater at the Site, known as Plume 2. Remedial Design of the Remedy Modification was completed on September 30, 2013

Site Description

The Ordnance Products Inc. site occupies approximately 95 acres in North East, Maryland. The site was historically occupied by a ordnance component manufacturing facility from 1960 to 1972. The plant produced, stored, and packaged grenade fuses, detonators and related devices for the U.S. military. Waste from the manufacturing process was either buried onsite in open pits or discharged to five unlined surface impoundments. After manufacturing work ended in 1972, waste material remained in the surface impoundments or was buried in pits and trenches throughout the site. These wastes included drums of solvents and acids, detonators, and grenade fuses.

On-site groundwater and soil are contaminated with chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and perchlorate, a chemical used in explosives manufacturing. Residential water supply wells located near the site are also impacted by site-related compounds. EPA maintains treatment systems on impacted wells to provide safe drinking water to residents and samples impacted wells on a quarterly basis.

Site Responsibility
Cleanup of this site is the responsibility of the federal government.
NPL Listing History
Our country's most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites can be cleaned using federal money. To be eligible for federal cleanup money, a site must be put on the National Priorities List (NPL). This site was proposed on May 10, 1993, and was formally added to the NPL on September 25, 1997.

Threats and Contaminants

Abandoned bulk chemicals and surface impoundments used for collecting electroplating wastewater contained contaminated sediments and sludges. These sediments and sludges contained elevated concentrations of metals including cadmium, chromium and zinc and were addressed during earlier removal actions.

Onsite groundwater and soil are contaminated with chlorinated VOCs and perchlorate, a compound associated with munitions manufacturing. Several residential wells located near the Site are also contaminated with VOCs. EPA maintains treatment systems on impacted well to provide residents with safe drinking water. As a component of this maintenance, the impacted wells are sampled on a quarterly basis. Residences known to be impacted by contaminated groundwater are currently being evaluated for potential vapor intrusion concerns. No wells located on the Ordnance Products, Inc. property are utilized for drinking water purposes and a perimeter fence controls access to the Site and limits exposure to contaminated soil.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

Cleanup Progress

From 1988 to 1997, multiple Removal Actions were conducted by EPA and the former Site owners to remove hazardous materials such as MEC and drums, install treatment systems on residential wells, remove surface water and sludge from onsite impoundments, and install a groundwater extraction and treatment system.

Following the listing of the Site on the NPL in 1997, EPA conducted a Remedial Investi­gation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) from 1999 to 2005 to determine the source and extent of contamination and to evaluate potential cleanup options. Based on the findings of the RI/FS, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in September 2006 to select the remedy for the Site. Remedial Design, including a Pre-Design Investigation was conducted from 2008 to 2013 to determine how the Selected Remedy in the 2006 ROD would be implemented. From December 2010 through June 2011, EPA completed the Soil Remedial Action to address contaminated soil and MEC onsite in eight historic disposal areas. Additionally, EPA installed vapor intrusion mitigation systems at two residences near the Site in August and September 2012.

Following the completion of the Soil Remedial Action, EPA conducted a treatability study to evaluate the use of in situ bioremediation in one of the groundwater contaminant plumes at the site, identified as Plume 2. Based on the findings of the treatability study, EPA issued a Record of Decision Amendment (ROD Amendment) in September 2013 to modify the Selected Remedy from the 2006 ROD to more effectively address contaminated groundwater at the Site. EPA completed the Remedial Design for the Groundwater Restoration Remedial Action in September 2013.


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