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NPL Site Narrative for Fort Devens-Sudbury Training Annex

Sudbury, Massachusetts

Federal Register Notice:  February 21, 1990

Conditions at proposal (July 14, 1989): The Sudbury Training Annex to Fort Devens occupies approximately 4 square miles within Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The annex includes portions of the towns of Sudbury, Maynard, Hudson, and Stow. The area around the base is mainly agricultural interspersed with residential areas.

Established in the early 1940s as the Maynard Ammunition Depot, the installation became known as the Maynard Ordnance Test Station after World War II. In the mid-1950s, the facility became known as the U.S. Army Natick Research and Development Command and was used for troop training and disposal of certain wastes from Natick Laboratory. Between 1980 and 1983, the area was transferred to Fort Devens 12 miles to the northeast. The primary mission of both installations is to train active duty personnel to support various Army units. Fort Devens is also being proposed for the NPL at this time.

Sudbury Annex is participating in the Installation Restoration Program (IRP), established in 1978. Under this program, the Department of Defense seeks to identify, investigate, and clean up contamination from hazardous materials. The Army has identified a number of potentially contaminated areas, including 11 containing explosive residues, chemical laboratory wastes, oil lubricants, and other toxic materials. According to a 1986 IRP report, two monitoring wells downgradient of two of the areas are contaminated with 1,1,1-trichloroethane, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, and benzene. The two areas, which are separated by an unnamed tributary to the Assabet River, are Waste Area A7 (a 20-acre gravel pit used from the 1940s to 1980s as a laboratory dump, general dump, and burning ground) and Waste Area A9 (a 7-acre area used since the 1950s for fire training by the State). An estimated 35,700 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells within 3 miles of the waste areas. A private well is 1,600 feet from the waste areas.

White Pond, which provides water to 12,000 residents of Maynard, is within 3 miles downstream of Waste Area A5, a 70-square-foot pit where laboratory solvents were buried during 1973-79. A fresh water wetland is within 600 feet of the pond.

In June 1985, 100-200 gallons of PCB-containing oil spilled from an out-of-service transformer in a remote abandoned area of Sudbury Training Annex. The Army removed 300 gallons of Aroclor 1260 and about 70 tons of PCB-contaminated soil to a facility regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

In July 1985, four electrical transformer units were found in a remote section of the annex. Bullet holes and dents were obvious in one unit, which permitted PCB-containing fluids to escape. The Army removed the transformers and some contaminated soil to a facility regulated under TSCA.

Status (February 21, 1990): EPA is reviewing information on the site in preparation for negotiations in 1990 with the Army for an Interagency Agreement under CERCLA Section 120 covering further studies and remedial activities.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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