EPA 5-Year Review of the Aerojet Superfund Site

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began its first Five-Year Review (FYR) of the cleanup actions within the Aerojet Superfund Site (Site) in Rancho Cordova, California. The purpose of a FYR is to evaluate whether the cleanup actions for the Site are protective of human health and the environment.

Superfund law requires EPA to evaluate the protectiveness of remedial systems every five years until the Site has been cleaned up sufficiently to allow unrestricted access to the property. Upon completion of the review, which is due by September 30, 2016, a copy of the final report will be placed in the information repositories listed below and online at EPA’s web page. The Site will continue to be cleaned up and monitored during the review, and the next FYR will be in 2021.

The Site covers 5,900 acres near Rancho Cordova. Since 1953, Aerojet and its subsidiaries have manufactured liquid and solid propellant rocket engines for military and commercial applications, and, have in the process, formulated a number of chemicals. In addition, the Cordova Chemical Company operated chemical manufacturing facilities on the Aerojet complex from 1974 to 1979. Both companies disposed of unknown quantities of hazardous waste, including trichloroethene (TCE) and other chemicals associated with rocket propellants and various chemical processing wastes. Wastes were disposed of in man-made ponds, landfills, injected into very deep wells, rainfall and other sources mixed with waste in soil and move down to groundwater, and by open burning. In 1979, volatile organic compounds were found off-site in private wells, and, in 1983 the American River. In January 1997, perchlorate was found in drinking water wells off-site. The most prevalent contaminants in groundwater are TCE, perchlorate, and N-Nitrosodimethylamine. The Site was divided into eight sections, or operable units, to assist prioritizing the cleanup plan schedule for this Site. The Western Ground Water Operable Unit (OU-3), Perimeter Goundwater OU (OU-5) and Boundary OU (OU-6) have Record of Decisions in place. The remaining OUs where cleanup decisions will be made are OU-1, OU-4, OU-7, OU-8, and OU-9. This review will primarily cover any interim and present cleanup actions on the Site for Western Ground Water OU (OU-3) and Perimeter Goundwater OU (OU-5), which are the only two OUs with remedies in place.

If you would like to participate in the FYR process, please contact Jackie Lane, Community Involvement Coordinator at 1(415) 972-3236 or by email at lane[dot]jackie[at]epa[dot]gov no later than July 15, 2016.

For more Site information, please visit EPA’s website at web site above. For specific questions about the Site cleanup, please contact Lynn Keller, Remedial Project Manager at 1(415) 947-4162, email: keller[dot]lynn[at]epa[dot]gov.

Information repositories that house the Administrative Record are located at: Sacramento Central Library, 828 I St., Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 264-2700; California State University, Sacramento, University Library, 2000 State University Drive, Sacramento, CA 95819, (916) 278-5679 and Superfund Records Center, 75 Hawthorne St. 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 947-8717.

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