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Three Mid-Atlantic Hazardous Waste Sites Added to Superfund National Priorities List

Release Date: 5/7/1999
Contact Information: Donna Heron (215) 814-5113

PHILADELPHIA  - The U.S.Environmental Protection Agency will add three mid-Atlantic hazardous waste sites on Monday to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).  Nationwide, EPA is adding ten sites to the NPL.

The newly added NPL sites in the mid-Atlantic region are Andrews Air Force Base (Camp Springs, Prince George’s County, Md.), Brandywine DRMO (Brandywine, Prince George’s County, Md.), and Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek (Virginia Beach, Va.).

EPA proposed to add these three sites to the NPL on July 28, 1998.  Comments were received on the proposals during a 60-day public comment period.  EPA is responding to the public comments in writing concurrently with this decision to add the sites to the NPL.

Sites placed on the NPL are eligible for long-term cleanup support by the EPA.  With the three new sites, EPA Region III (mid-Atlantic region) has now added a total of 186 sites to the NPL since its inception in 1982.  Of these 186 sites, 21 have been deleted following successful cleanup.  Another eight mid-Atlantic sites are currently proposed to the NPL and awaiting a final listing decision.

Andrews Air Force Base (AFB) is an active U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) facility, serving as the headquarters of the 89th Air Wing and supporting worldwide airlift support operations for the President and other high-ranking domestic and foreign dignitaries.  Waste sources at the base include three landfills, two fire training areas, and a sludge disposal area.  Hazardous substances such as lead and semi-volatile organic compounds have been released into Piscata-way Creek, which contains fisheries and wetlands.

Brandywine DRMO (Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office) is an inactive DOD facility which was used as a storage yard for hazardous wastes and other materials.  Hazardous substances have been released to groundwater and to surface water, including a wetland area located adjacent to the site.  Contaminants of concern include volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, and poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

EPA and the Maryland Department of the Environment have been working with the U.S. Air Force to investigate and clean up both the Andrews AFB and Brandywine DRMO sites.  The Brandywine DRMO facility is currently managed by Andrews AFB.

Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Little Creek is an active DOD facility which provides on-base logistic facilities and support services to local commands, organizations, other United States and allied units, homeported ships, and commands of the operating forces to meet the amphibious training requirements of the armed forces of the United States.  Waste sources at the facility include three landfills and contaminated soil.

Hazardous substances such as metals and volatile organic compounds have been released to on-site surface water bodies.  This contamination could potentially impact sensitive environments in the Chesapeake Bay.  EPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality have been working with the U.S. Navy to investigate and clean up the NAB Little Creek site.

The Superfund trust fund was established in 1980 to finance hazardous waste cleanups with taxes generated from chemical and waste producing industries.  Congress has not yet reauthorized the Superfund law, and the fund currently relies on its strong enforcement arm to seek reimbursement from the parties responsible for contamination at Superfund sites.  At federally owned sites such as the three mid-Atlantic sites being added to the NPL Monday, the necessary investigations and cleanup are funded by the federal agency that owns or operates the site.