Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC
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Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Project Contact
1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 645
Baltimore, MD 21230-1719
Phone: (410) 537-3000
Toll free: 1 (800) 633-6101
- On August 23, 2005, the State of Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) renewed and modified the ATK Controlled Hazardous Substances Storage and Treatment Facility Permit (Permit Number A-052). The RCRA Corrective Action Permit issued to Thiokol Corp. on October 8, 1989 remains in effect. The RCRA CA Permit required ATK to investigate and remediate potential contamination related to historical hazardous waste management practices.
- Initial investigations were conducted over a period of four years at six of the SWMUs. EPA’s final approval of five Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) investigations issued in 1997 and 1998 identified the need to perform a site wide investigation of soil and groundwater. The approved recommended minor corrective measures required by the permit were previously implemented at three SWMUs in 1986 and 1987.
- A TCE source identification groundwater investigation and residential well survey was performed in 1987. The investigation and survey were undertaken as a result of a consent agreement between ATK and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MDHMH) entered on March 30. 1987. Additional TCE groundwater investigations were performed in 1988 and 1995 based on recommendations of each earlier investigation and results from the groundwater monitoring program. The 1995 investigation and the monitoring program results identified the need for further investigation in the southern area of the facility and a potential threat to residential wells not previously connected to public water supply. To address the findings of the TCE groundwater investigations and monitoring results, ATK implemented two interim measures. ATK installed a groundwater pump and treatment system with a stripping tower in the 1980s and on July 1, 1998 installed additional capture wells and a second stripping tower. The results of the monitoring program revealed that the second well containment system did not adequately captured the plume and the stripping towers are not effectively reducing the contaminant plume, thus was taken out of operation. Additional characterization of the groundwater contamination was performed as part of the Supplemental Site-Wide Investigation (SSWI) in 2005.
- During the SSWI, on November 11, 2005, ATK excavated buried drums in the Still Bottoms Area Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) to remove the suspected source of the chlorinated benzene groundwater contamination.
- From January 2005 – March 2006, ATK implemented the Area A Burnfield TCE/Perchlorate in-situ reactive zone pilot test to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology as a remediation measure for groundwater contamination. The findings of the pilot study were summarized in an August 21, 2006 report where it was concluded that the technology did not prove efficient for remediating the contaminant plume.
- EPA provided comments on the Long-term Groundwater Monitoring Plan, the Site-Wide Corrective Measures (CMS), and the Remedial Action Objectives Technical Memorandum. To address data gaps a Revised Supplemental Site Characterization Work Plan (SSC Work Plan) was submitted and approved by EPA March 13, 2014.
- The Site Investigation Report Addendum, submitted February 19, 2005, addressed potential groundwater impacts beyond Little Elk Creek, confirmed the quality of fill material at the Still Bottoms SWMU, delineate potential discharge pathways from the Beryllium SWMU, and vapor intrusion concerns at the YMCA.
- Based on the information contained in the RFI Addendum and the previously submitted Site-Wide Corrective Measures Study Report, EPA agreed with the conclusion of the RFI Addendum that further investigation was unwarranted. Similarly, the Syngenta-Olin group submitted an Updated Technical Memorandum Remedial Action Objectives for the Pesticide Areas, the review of which is pending. EPA approved the RFI and Addendum for the rest of the site on March 30, 2015 and requested the submission of a CMS Addendum to supplement and refine the previously submitted 2007 CMS.
- The ATK facility is located on approximately 500 acres in a mixed rural setting in Elkton, Maryland, Cecil County. The ATK facility is bordered on the north by agricultural area; on the south by predominantly commercial area with some rural residential areas; to the west by agricultural and mostly residential areas and to the east by commercial and industrial areas; including the Triumph Industrial Park (also known as the Cecil Industrial Park National Priority List Site). Routes 40 and 279 are south and east of the ATK facility property, respectively. The Little Elk Creek flows through the center of property. Wetlands are located mostly along the creek and predominantly to the east in an undeveloped area.
- The Syngenta Corp Protection, Inc., (formerly Geigy Chemical Company and later Novartis Crop Protection) occupied the facility from 1947 to 1955 before selling it to Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation (Olin) in 1955. Under Syngenta and Olin’s ownership, the facility was used to formulate pesticides (largely DDT). The facility was next sold to Thiokol Propulsion in 1958. In 2000, the facility changed ownership to Alcoa, Inc. (The name remained unchanged with this changed in ownership of the parent company). In April 2001, Alliant Techsystem purchased Thiokol Propulsion from Alcoa, Inc. On August 1, 2001, the name of the facility changed to ATK Tactical Systems Company, Elkton Operations and currently the facility’s name is Orbital ATK.
- Orbital ATK designs, manufactures and conducts research on solid fuel rocket propellant, gas generators, and rocket propulsion units for use in space and defense. The facility also manufactures safe-and-arm devices, semi-conductor bridge detonators and liquid gun propellants.
- At this multi-component corrective action facility, SWMU and site-wide investigations have identified pesticide, volatile organic, metal contamination in the soil, surface water, and groundwater.
- A shallow and intermediate aquifer groundwater plume migrating from the central portion of the facility towards the southeast is contaminated predominantly with TCE and its degradation products and perchlorate at concentrations above Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and drinking water equivalent level (DWEL), respectively.
- The potential risks posed by the identified contaminants are being evaluated as part of the review of the Corrective Measures Study and the Remedial Action Objective Report.
- To be determined
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [PDF, 15 pages, 72 KB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater [PDF, 14 pages, 76 KB, About PDF]
- Ddocuments and reports regarding this facility also can be reviewed in person at these locations:
U.S. EPA Region III
Land & Chemicals Division - RCRA
1650 Arch Street-11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call for an appointment.
- Submit a FOIA Request
Get instructions on how to submit a FOIA request. Additional fee for requests over 100 pages.
|Alliant Techsystems Operations, LLC - Interactive Map|
- The facility is an active industrial 500-acre facility.
- The EPA is dedicated to providing you with timely and accurate information about our work at this site. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the EPA Project Manager: Mr. Erich Weissbart (410) 305-2779.