Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Maryland
Town of North East
EPA ID# MDD982364341
1st Congressional District
Last Update: September 2013
Current Site Status
The Record of Decision (ROD) for the site was signed on September 30, 2006 and design of the remedy is currently under way. Offsite components of the Pre-Design Investigation 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. Remedial Design for the soil portion of the remedy 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. The proposed 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. A public comment period on the Proposed Plan was held from July 17 through August 16, 2013. Following the consideration of comments, EPA issued the Record of Decision Amendment (ROD Amendment) to document the Remedy Modification on September 25, 2013. Remedial Design of the Remedy Modification is currently underway.
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 ResponsibilityCleanup of this site is the responsibility of the federal government.
NPL Listing HistoryOur 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. EPA installed vapor intrusion mitigation systems at two residences in 2012 to address vapor intrusion from contaminated groundwater. Operation and maintenance of the systems will be performed by EPA on a routine basis. 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.
In response to a legal agreement with the State of Maryland, signed in 1987, the property owners Kraus Design Inc. (KDI) and Mechanics Valley Trade Center (MVTC) installed and maintained water treatment systems on four residential water supply wells. Additionally, KDI's contractors designed and built a groundwater pump-and-treat system, however, this system was never operated.
In 1988, EPA issued a legal order to the responsible parties, requiring them to conduct site cleanup activities consisting of the collection, solidification, and storage of onsite grenade fuses and detonation devices. Some of these materials along with contaminated soil were removed from the site for disposal.
In 1997 KDI notified EPA that it would no longer direct or finance ongoing and future cleanup work due to their unstable financial condition. The site was then addressed under Federal removal authorities. EPA actions were focused on excavating surface impoundments as well as treating and monitoring residential water supplies. EPA then assumed primary responsibility for the investigation and future cleanup work.
In September 1997, EPA assumed primary responsibility for maintaining and monitoring residential water supply treatment systems. Also at that time, EPA initiated the next phase of removal work consisting of the excavation of impounded solids for off-site disposal and treatment and discharge of pond water. Following the excavation, the pond area was backfilled, graded, and seeded. This work was completed in December 1997.
EPA completed the remedial investigation for the Site in February 2005 and finished the feasibility study in December 2005. These efforts identified the locations, volumes and types of pollution onsite and identified and evaluated cleanup alternatives. The ROD documenting EPA's selected remedy was issued on September 30, 2006. Design of the soil portion of the remedy was completed in late 2010 and construction was completed in June 2011. Based on the results of a PDI conducted at the Site from 2008 through early 2013, EPA issued a Proposed Plan on July 17, 2013 to modify the Selected Remedy in the 2006 ROD. The final Remedy Modification was selected in the September 25, 2013 ROD Amendment. Remedial Design is currently underway.”