Woodbridge Research Facility
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Virginia
Prince William County
EPA ID# VA7210020981
8th Congressional District
Last Update: December 2009
Harry Diamond Lab
Current Site StatusThe former dump area of this site has been excavated, backfilled and permanent covers have been installed. The principle contaminants of concern at this site are PCBs, and to a lesser extent; pesticides, PAHs, and petroleum related substances. At the main ditch area excavation, restoration and revegetation is complete. All on-site construction work was completed as of August 18, 2000, and the site is in the long-term monitoring stage. A five-year review was completed during September of 2003 and it found that the remedies remain protective of human health and the environment. Periodic long term monitoring is being performed, and a second five-year review was recently completed and again found that the remedies remain protective. Also, a SLERA (Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessment) is being planned to evaluate a portion of the AREE 1 wetlands area where PCB concentrations have been found to slightly exceed the 1.0 ppm wetland cleanup criteria.
The WRF is located on approximately 579 acres of land in the easternmost portion of Prince William County, Virginia, within the town of Woodbridge. The Occoquan and Belmont Bays border the WRF on the south and east, respectively. The Marumsco National Wildlife Refuge bounds the facility on the west side. A golf course was recently completed adjacent to the northern boundary of the WRF. The entrance to the WRF is located on Dawson Beach Road, which extends to the southeast from U.S. Route 1 in Woodbridge.
From 1951 until 1971, the site was active as a military radio station. Environmentally significant activities at the site included construction and demolition, PCB transformer and capacitor utilization, POL use and storage, open dumping, battery use and storage, classified document incineration, machine shop operations, buried wire, and buried ethylene glycol hoses.
From 1971 until closure in September, 1994, the primary mission of the WRF was to support the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphia, MD. Scientists, engineers, and technical and administrative personnel were employed at the WRF in a variety of programs involving nuclear weapons effects and Army system survivability. The facility investigated and studied the effects of electromagnetic pulses (EMP) generated by exo-atmospheric nuclear weapons detonation on communications and other military systems. Testing activities involved simulations utilizing on-site electromagnetic pulsers. Environmentally significant activities during this period included construction and demolition, PCB transformer and capacitor utilization and disposal, POL use and storage, open dumping, small arms ranges, battery shop, sewage sludge injection, machine shop operations and electromagnetic pulse generation.
Site ResponsibilityThis site is being addressed through federal actions as a 1991 Base Closure facility. Transfer from the U.S. Army to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service occurred in 1998.
NPL Listing HistoryThis site is not on the National Priorities List.
Threats and ContaminantsThe principle contaminants of concern at this site are PCBs, and to a lesser extent; pesticides, PAHs, and petroleum related substances. Various aroclors of PCBs have been found at multiple locations on-site, generally in soil samples and sediments. These PCBs are a cause for concern because they are bioaccumulative and have the potential to disrupt food chains. This fact is significant because the WRF has been transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for incorporation into the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The other contaminants referred to above have been evaluated during the remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) and found to be at relatively low levels and not a significant threat to human health or the environment. No remedial action is planned for these substances. Only isolated instances of groundwater contamination were detected during the RI/FS and no remedial action for groundwater is necessary.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.