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NPL Site Narrative for Joliet Army Ammunition Plant (Load-Assembly-Packing Area)

Joliet, Illinois

Federal Register Notice:  March 13, 1989

Conditions at proposal (April 10, 1985): The Joliet Army Ammunition Plant (JAAP) is an inactive Army munitions installation located in northeastern Illinois near Chicago. JAAP is divided into two major functional areas: the Manufacturing Area, which was proposed for the NPL in October 1984, and the Load-Assembly-Packing Area (LAP Area).

This NPL site consists of the LAP Area, which covers about 22 square miles of JAAP east of Illinois State Highway 53. During its operating life (the early 1940s to 1977), high explosive artillery projectiles, aerial bombs, and a variety of ammunition component items were loaded, assembled, and packaged. Other activities included testing of ammunition, washout and renovation of projectiles, and burning and demolition of explosives. Since 1977, JAAP has been maintained in nonoperating standby condition by the contractor/operator (Uniroyal, Inc.).

JAAP is participating in the Installation Restoration Program (IRP), the specially funded program established in 1978. Under this program, the Department of Defense seeks to identify, investigate, and clean up contamination from hazardous materials. As part of IRP, the Army has documented releases into ground water and surface water of munitions-related contaminants--including trinitrotoluene (TNT), dinitrotoluene, and heavy metals--attributable to production activities in the LAP Area. The main source of waste water from this area was "pink water" resulting from washout of rejected bombs and from washing of equipment and floors. Munitions-related contaminants have been found in monitoring wells located near a former leaching pond in the washout facility. About 260 people depend on wells within 3 miles of the site as a source of drinking water. Munitions-related contaminants have also been found downstream in Prairie Creek sediments and in Doyle Lake sediments.

Status (March 13, 1989): EPA, the State, and the Army are finalizing an Interagency Agreement for further cleanup activities at both the LAP and Manufacturing Area.

This site was reproposed on July 22, 1987 to be consistent with EPA's recently proposed policy for placing on the NPL sites located on Federally owned or operated facilities subject to the corrective action authorities of Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA solicited comments on the Hazard Ranking System score for the site, which includes areas subject to RCRA Subtitle C corrective action authorities. EPA has finalized the NPL/RCRA policy for Federal facility sites and is placing this site on the NPL under the policy.

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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