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NPL Site Narrative for Weldon Spring Former Army Ordnance Works

St. Charles County, Missouri

Federal Register Notice:  February 21, 1990

Conditions at proposal (July 14, 1989): The Weldon Spring Army Ordnance Works occupied over 17,000 acres in St. Charles County, 25 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri, during November 1941-January 1944, when it produced trinitrotoluene (TNT) and dinitrotoluene (DNT) for the Armed Services. A series of land transfers left the Army with 1,655 acres, which it has operated since 1959 as the Weldon Spring Training Area for the Army Reserve.

The land transfers included 220 acres to the Atomic Energy Commission. Some of the transferred land, now owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), is radioactively contaminated and is on the NPL as Weldon Spring Quarry/Plant/Pits (USDOE/Army).

Other major portions of the original Ordnance Works which were transferred included 7,000 acres to the State of Missouri to establish the August A. Busch Memorial Wildlife Area, and 8,000 acres to the University of Missouri for an agricultural research area, a majority of which was later transferred to the State and is now the Weldon Spring Wildlife Area. Smaller portions of the former Ordnance Works are now occupied by the Francis Howell School District, the Village of Weldon Spring Heights, and the University of Missouri Research Park.

The Weldon Spring Former Army Ordnance Works 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. IRP investigations have identified a number of potentially contaminated areas, including 7 unlined lagoons where TNT waste water was stored, 18 TNT production lines, 2 DNT production lines, a drainage ditch below TNT line 14, and 9 areas where explosive wastes were buried. Most of the known contamination occurs in the 1,655-acre Training Area, although contaminated areas are known to occur within the wildlife areas.

In 1987, a contractor to USDOE found TNT and DNT in monitoring wells near the lagoons. An estimated 70,000 people obtain drinking water from St. Charles County wells within 3 miles of hazardous substances at the site. Surface water in the area flows either to the Mississippi River watershed to the north or the Missouri River watershed to the south.

Status (February 21, 1990): In August 1989, EPA investigated the site and discovered no disposal areas, contaminated soil, or contaminated surface water in areas now occupied by the Francis Howell School District, the Village of Weldon Spring Heights, and the University of Missouri Research Park. Therefore, these areas are not now considered part of the NPL site, which is defined by a release (or, as here, multiple aggregated releases) of hazardous substances.

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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