McGuire Air Force Base
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Pat Seppi (212) 637-3679
EPA added the McGuire Air Force Base (MAFB) site in Wrightstown, New Jersey to the National Priorities List on October 22, 1999 because several hazardous chemicals were found in local soils, surface water and ground water. The 3,500-acre Superfund site, located in a rural area of Burlington County, contained a facility that supplemented the U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Dix military installment. The facility functioned under the control of the U.S. Army for 11 years and the U.S. Air Force gained control in 1948. Past activities at MAFB created a number of waste sources of potential environmental concern. The site, which borders Fort Dix and the community of Wrightstown, is located within the boundaries of Pinelands National Reserve, an area of federal land designated for ecosystem protection.
Release of nickel and mercury into onsite water bodies has been documented and sediment samples collected from wetlands immediately downstream from one of the waste sources indicates nickel and mercury contamination. Numerous other contaminants were found in the soils, surface water and ground water, including PCBs, inorganic hazardous substances and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are potentially harmful contaminants that can evaporate easily into the air. Four waste sources were identified in 1984, but those four sources comprise only a portion of the area of concern. Any Superfund-eligible areas of concern, identified or unidentified, and any releases associated with those areas, comprise the site.
The site is participating in the Installation Restoration Program, a specially funded program established by the Department of Defense to identify, investigate and control the flow of hazardous contaminants at military and other Department of Defense facilities. In 2002, EPA drafted an outline that detailed the roles and responsibilities the Air Force and EPA will have in cleaning the site. EPA is working with the Air Force on conducting studies of the nature and extent of the contamination at the site.