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NPL Site Narrative for South Weymouth Naval Air Station

Weymouth, Massachusetts

Federal Register Notice:  May 31, 1994

South Weymouth Naval Air Station (SWNAS) is located east of Pond Street (Route 18) at the southern end of Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, and extends into the Towns of Abington and Rockland, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. SWNAS is approximately 1,500 acres in size. The surrounding area is suburban, with a mixture of residential, industrial, and commercial land use. The U.S. Navy acquired the property in 1941 and used it as a support facility for aircraft during World War II. The facility is comprised of two active runways and approximately 200 buildings used for the support of flight operations. Activities performed at the facility include aircraft maintenance, refueling, personnel training and housing, and administrative support services.

Reportedly, station-generated wastes, some of which can be classified as hazardous, were disposed of in three onsite landfills. The West Gate landfill operated from 1969 to 1972. The Rubble Disposal area and the Small Landfill operated from 1972 until the mid-1980s. Flammable liquid wastes were reportedly burned in the onsite fire fighting training area. Small amounts of waste battery acid, possibly containing lead, may have been disposed of in a tile leachfield. The U.S. Coast Guard operates a buoy maintenance depot on the property through an agreement with the Navy. The buoy depot reportedly sandblasted lead-based paint from buoys from 1972 until 1986. Other potential source areas onsite include 12 PCB transformers and a sewage treatment plant.

The Navy completed a preliminary assessment of SWNAS in April 1988, and prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement in August 1990. A site investigation of SWNAS was completed by the Navy in February 1992, and included the installation of 21 ground water monitoring wells around six of nine identified source areas on the property. Soil samples were collected during the installation of these wells, and ground water, surface water, sediment, and soil samples were collected from the vicinity of source areas on the property. Soil samples were found contaminated with volatile organic compounds and heavy metals. Ground water samples collected down from the West Gate Landfill, the Rubble Disposal area, fire fighting training area, and the tile leachfield were contaminated primarily with heavy metals.

Eighteen municipal drinking water wells are located within 4 miles of source areas at SWNAS. These wells provide drinking water to approximately 74,000 people. In addition, approximately 85 private drinking water wells located within 4 miles of SWNAS draw from the same aquifer.

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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