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Naval Weapons Station - Yorktown

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

York County

EPA ID# VA8170024170

1st Congressional District

Last Update: January, 2015

Other Names


Current Site Status

The Naval Weapons Station Yorktown was finalized on the National Priorities List on October 15, 1992. A Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) between the EPA, the VaDEQ, and the Department of the Navy was signed in August 1994. The FFA originially established 16 sites, 19 site screening areas (SSA's) and 21 areas of concern (AOC's) that required some form of investigation at the facility. The original 16 sites identified at the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown include:
  1. Dudley Road Landfill
  2. Turkey Road Landfill
  3. Group 16 Magazine Landfill
  4. Burning Pad Residue Landfill
  5. Surplus Transformer Storage Area
  6. Explosives Wastewater Impoumdment
  7. Plant 3 Explosives Wastewater Discharge Area
  8. Naval Explosives Development Engineering Department (NEDED) Explosives Wastewater Discharge Area
  9. Plant 1 Explosives Wastewater Discharge Area
  10. Abandoned Explosives Burning Pits
  11. Barracks Road Landfill
  12. West Road Landfill
  13. Holm Road Landfill
  14. Building 476 Discharge Area
  15. Conveyor Belt Soils at Building 10
  16. Battery and Drum Disposal Area

Site Description

The Yorktown Naval Weapons Station (WPNSTA) is a 10,624 acre facility located on the Virginia Peninsula in York and James City Counties and in the City of Newport News. WPNSTA was established in 1918, with the primary mission of providing ordnance, technical support and related ordnance services to sustain the war fighting capabilities of the armed services in support of national military strategies. In 1992, WPNSTA was placed on the National Priority List (NPL) because 19 sites were identified as past disposal or storage areas for materials that contain hazardous substances. These contaminants include acids, asbestos, explosives, cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, paint thinners, solvents, varnishes, waste oil, and polychlorinated biphenyls. A portion of the Navy's nuclear arsenal was also stored and maintained at the facility. WPNSTA is also a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permitted facility.

The proximity of the site to two major tidal tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay demonstrates the potential impact the site could have on the aquatic environment. Contaminant migration to both the York and James River, which are both used for recreation, fishing, and wildlife habitat, is a concern to the community. The on-base population includes 3,200 military personnel and civilians as well as 47 housing units. The WPNSTA also shares its eastern boundary with the Yorktown Colonial National Historic Park.

Site Responsibility
This site is being addressed through federal actions.
NPL Listing History
This site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long-term remedial action on February 7, 1992. This site was formally added to the list on October 15, 1992.

Threats and Contaminants

Hazardous substances and other contaminants of concern detected at the WPNSTA Yorktown include arsenic, cadmium, chlordane, ethylbenzene, explosives, heptachlor, hexavalent chromium, lead, mercury, PAHs, PCBs, phenols, TCE, TCA, 1,2-DCE, thallium, toluene, and zinc. Additional contaminants include 2,4,6 trinitrotoluene (TNT), amino-dinitrotoluenes (amino-DNTs), cyclotrimethylenenitramine (RDX), and cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine (HMX).

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

Cleanup Progress

Records of Decision have been completed for the following sites at the WPNSTA:

  1. Dudley Road Landfill - soils
  2. Group 16 Magazine Landfill - soils
  3. Burning Pad Residue Landfill - soils
  4. Surplus Transformer Storage Area
  5. Explosives-Contaminated Wastewater Impoundment - soils
  6. Plant 3 Explosives-Contaminated Wastewater Discharge Area - soils
  7. Plant 1 Explosives-Contaminated Wastewater Discharge Area - soils
  8. Conveyor Belt Soils at Building 10 - soils
  9. Abandoned Explosives Burning Pits
  10. Holm Road Landfill
  11. Barracks Road Landfill - soils
  12. West Road Landfill - soils
  13. Building 476 Discharge Area
  14. Battery and Drum Disposal Area - soils
  15. Burn Pad - All media
  16. Building 1751 Chemistry Laboratory Neutralization Unit and Drainage Area

In 2011, the Navy completed a facility-wide naturally-occurring constituent background concentration study for soils.


Site Contacts

Administrative Record Locations

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund |EPA Home | EPA Superfund Homepage

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