EPA proposes removal of more than 2,500 acres at Rocky Mountain Arsenal from Superfund list

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Here’s the release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Jennifer Chergo):

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a proposal to delete portions of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) from the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is a list of the nation’s most contaminated sites, known as Superfund sites. EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have determined that all required cleanup activities are complete in the areas proposed for deletion. EPA is accepting public comments on the Notice of Intent to Delete for 30 days, from June 17 to July 19, 2010.

EPA is proposing to delete 2,500 acres of soil, sediment, surface water and structures from the central and eastern surface areas within the RMA boundaries. EPA is also proposing to delete the entire surface area just north of the RMA boundary. Groundwater underlying these areas is not included in this deletion and will remain on the NPL. All areas at RMA deleted from the NPL will continue to be subject to regular EPA review to ensure the protection of human health and the environment.

Deleting property from the NPL facilitates reuse of that property. Should the proposed deletion of the central and eastern surface area be finalized, its 2,500 acres will be transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to become part of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

This is the fifth proposed partial deletion of land at RMA. Between 2003 and 2006, EPA completed four partial deletions consisting of 13,406 acres. Of the property deleted at RMA to date, 917 acres were sold to Commerce City for commercial development, 12 acres were transferred to South Adams County Water and Sanitation District for the Klein Treatment Facility, 126 acres were transferred to local governments for road-widening, and 163 acres were retained by the Army, primarily for water treatment systems. Another 12,188 acres were transferred to the FWS to become part of the National Wildlife Refuge, as prescribed in the 1992 Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Act.

RMA is located in Commerce City, approximately ten miles northeast of Denver, Colo., in Adams County. RMA was established in 1942 by the U.S. Army to manufacture chemical warfare agents and munitions for use in World War II. Beginning in 1946, some facilities were leased to private companies to manufacture industrial and agricultural chemicals. Shell Oil Company, the principal lessee, manufactured pesticides at the site from 1952 to 1982. Industrial and waste disposal practices resulted in contamination of structures, soil, surface water and groundwater. EPA placed RMA on the NPL in 1987. Since that time, the site has been undergoing extensive environmental investigation and cleanup.

For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/co/rkymtnarsenal/

More superfund coverage here.

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