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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: United States Army Engineer Proving Ground in Springfield, Virginia

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In September 2005, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order under Section 3013 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to Fort Belvoir to investigate contamination at the North Area (NA) of the Army Facility. A total of 44 solid waste management units (SWMUs) and 21 areas of concern (AOC) were identified. Almost all of the identified units have been addressed, either by completing remediation of contamination, or requiring no further action, or are beginning the remedial phase.

Cleanup Status

In 2012, the Fairfax County Parkway was completed, built on 170 acres of Fort Belvoir’s North Area (NA) (previously known as the Engineer Proving Ground (EPG)). The solid waste management units (SWMUs) 26 and 27 and the Former Aboveground Test Tank Site (FATTS) were located in the Parkway Right of Way (ROW). Fort Belvoir completed the environmental investigations and remediation of these Units prior to Parkway construction. In 2004, ordnance and explosives were cleared from the ROW and included mine fuses, mortars and scrap metal. The primary contaminants of concern were petroleum hydrocarbons from product releases. Institutional controls and groundwater monitoring are part of the ROW long term remedy.

Ft. Belvoir has completed environmental investigations for most of the SWMUs and Areas of Concern (AOC) identified under RCRA Corrective Action as directed under EPA's RCRA Section 3013 Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) issued in 2005. The UAO Corrective Action investigations were completed in 2016 and the Order was closed out by EPA in 2017. The few remaining Units requiring remedy clean-up actions are moving forward under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) process with Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) oversight.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of the U.S. Army Engineer Proving Ground, Fort Belvoir, VA

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The Engineer Proving Ground (EPG), now known as the North Area (NA) is part of the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Belvoir, located in Fairfax County, Virginia, 14 miles south of Washington, DC. The NA is a 804-acre tract located 1.5 miles from the Installation's Main Post. The NA is bounded on the east by Interstate 95. Commercial and residential properties surround the NA to the north, west and south. The U.S. Army acquired the EPG in the early 1940’s for use as a testing and engineer training site. The testing and training included land mine deployment, detection and neutralization training.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Contaminants identified in soil and groundwater include petroleum hydrocarbons, Royal Demolition Explosive (RDX), RDX break-down chemicals, metals and tetrachloroethylene.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

The Installation's Master Plan contains the Land Use Controls used to notify, manage and protect areas where remnants of contamination remain.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The facility is under continued use.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted under the direction of the EPA Region 3 with assistance from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ).

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