[PLEASE NOTE: The information presented below is offered for educational purposes only.]
Tucson International Airport Area
This site is not a Federal Facility.
Updated: May 3, 2005
TUCSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AZEA
EPA ID# AZD980737530
EPA Region 9
This site is being addressed through actions by Federal, state and local agencies and the potentially responsible parties.
The following is a summary of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) which EPA has identified at the TIAA. PRPs for the Airport Property and TAZP (also known as Area A) include the City of Tucson, Raytheon (TAZP only), the U.S. Air Force, McDonnel Douglas Corporation, Tucson Airport Authority, and General Dynamics Corporation. Burr-Brown has been identified as a PRP for the eastern-most part of Area B contamination. EPA named these PRPs due to their roles as owners or operators of facilities that disposed hazardous substances (such as TCE) to the environment. EPA has enforceable legal settlements (such as consent decrees) requiring the cleanup of each of those three project areas. Contamination from the former West Cap Property is being addressed by EPA as there are no viable PRPs at that facility.
The AFP44 and Air National Guard Base are site project areas that are federally owned facilities with AFP44 being operated by Raytheon Missile Systems. Under the Superfund law (CERCLA), the federal agencies in charge of these facilities, the U.S. Air Force and the National Guard Bureau respectively, are authorized to take the lead for the investigation and cleanup of their properties. EPA and the State of Arizona provide oversight of the federal agencies’ cleanup.
In March 1990, a Consent Decree was signed between the EPA and Burr-Brown Corporation requiring Burr-Brown to clean up the eastern-most part of "Area B". In June 1991, a Consent Decree was approved for the cleanup of the TAZP plume by the PRPs. EPA and the National Guard Bureau signed a Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) in 1993. In February 2000, a Consent Decree was signed between EPA and the PRPS for the cleanup of the Airport Property. EPA and the Air Force are currently negotiating an FFA for Plant 44.
NPL LISTING HISTORY
Contaminants of Concern (COC): The primary COC found at the TIAA site is Trichloroethylene (TCE). Other contaminants of lower concentrations include tetrachloroethene (PCE), dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE), chloroform, benzene and chromium.
Health Risks: In response to community requests for a more comprehensive analysis of potential health effects caused by past exposure to TCE, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) carried out a series of significant projects in 1994-96. ATSDR assigned a full-time researcher to the TIAA Superfund site for over one year to collect data and work with a community advisory board. ATSDR issued two detailed reports, The Final Health Survey and the Draft Public Health Assessment, in 1996. Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) under an EPA contract, produced a Baseline Human Health Risk Assessment for the TIAA site in 1996. ATSDR issued a final Public Health Assessment for the TIAA site in 2001. In addition, ATSDR conducted community and physician education seminars on TCE-related health effects.
Trichloroethylene (TCE), is a volatile organic compound that has been widely used as an industrial solvent. TCE is a colorless, odorless, liquid. TCE may produce liver injury. Exposures to this compound through inhalation may result in central nervous system depression, including anaesthesia. In the past, TCE has been used as an anesthetic (National Research Council [NRC], 1977). Other effects may include irritation of the mucous membranes of the nose and throat and irritation to the eyes (NRC, 1980). TCE has been classified by the EPA Carcinogen Assessment Group (CAG) as a probable human carcinogen (Group B2) via ingestion (US EPA, 1989). Trichloroethylene is classified as a probable human carcinogen by CAG via inhalation (US EPA, 1989). The Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for TCE is 5 parts per billion.
Dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE) is a volatile organic chemical used as a cleaning agent in chemical
manufacturing. It is sometimes found in groundwater as the result of decomposition of trichloroethane (TCA).
1,1-Dichloroethylene exhibits toxic effects to humans similar to TCE through inhalation and ingestion
exposures. This compound has anesthetic properties, and exposures to high concentrations may cause
nausea and vomiting (US EPA, 1985a). The CAG has classified 1,1-DCE as a possible human
carcinogen (Group C) for both inhalation and ingestion exposure routes (US EPA, 1989). The MCL is
7 parts per billion.
Tetrachloroethene (PCE) is similar to 1,1-DCE and may produce liver injury. PCE has been classified by the CAG as a possible human carcinogen (Group B2) via ingestion (US EPA, 1989).
Chloroform is a colorless, volatile liquid used as a solvent, and in the manufacturing of fluorocarbon refrigerants and plastics. Chloroform may have more serious effects on the liver than TCE and PCE (Doull et al., 1980). Chloroform has been classified by the EPA Carcinogen Assessment Group (CAG) as a probable human carcinogen (Group B2) via ingestion (US EPA, 1989). The MCL is 100 parts per billion.
Chromium occurs naturally with deposits of other metal ores. Chromium is used in alloys and electroplating. Various chromium compounds have widely varying human health effects. Chromium compounds in the trivalent (+3) state are of a low order of toxicity. In the hexavalent (+6) state, chromium compounds are irritants and corrosive and can enter the body by ingestion, inhalation, and through the skin (Sittig, 1981). Hexavalent chromium may cause liver and kidney damage, internal bleeding, and respiratory disorders (US EPA, 1985b). Hexavalent chromium has been designated by the CAG as a human carcinogen (Group A) via inhalation (US EPA, 1989). The MCL is 100 parts per billion.
Immediate Actions: In 1981, the City of Tucson began closing all municipal wells that exceeded the State health levels and notified private well users of potential risks. EPA’s work to monitor water quality in private wells is ongoing. In 1991, contaminated sludges from a concrete sump were removed from the airport. In 1997, PCB-contaminated soils were removed from a residential area near the airport.
1: Air Force Plant #44/Raytheon
Groundwater: The regional aquifer cleanup consisting of a 2,500 gallon per minute (gpm) pump and treat system started up in 1987. This system has removed approximately 23,000 lbs of VOCs to date from the main contamination plume south of Los Reales Road. The air emissions from the treatment process are first filtered using granular activated carbon. A dual phase extraction system is currently being used to remediate an overlying shallow groundwater zone. EPA expects the groundwater cleanup to continue at least until the year 2025.
Soils: Ongoing soil cleanup has achieved the removal of an estimated 100,000 tons of metal contaminated soils and sludges. It should be noted that 80,000 of the 100,000 tons originated from the removal of lined RCRA ponds. Ongoing soil vapor extraction (SVE) has removed over 100,000 lbs of VOCs (primarily TCE) from soils. Metal soils cleanup was completed in 2001 and the SVE cleanup work is projected to be completed by 2005.
2: Tucson Airport Remediation Project (TAZP), also known as Area A
Groundwater: In 1988, EPA selected a remedy to treat the groundwater in Area A (the main groundwater contamination plume north of Los Reales Road) by pumping and air stripping the contaminated groundwater, followed by discharging the treated water to the municipal water distribution system. The air emissions from the treatment process are first filtered using granular activated carbon. The regional aquifer cleanup, consisting of a 4,000 to 6,000 gpm pump and treat system, started in 1994 and has removed over 2,000 lbs of VOCs to date. This groundwater treatment plant provides clean drinking water to about 50,000 people, approximately 9% of Tucson’s water users. The system is expected to remain in operation until at least the year 2025.
Soils: There is no soil contamination associated with this project area.
3: Burr-Brown Corporation
Groundwater: The cleanup system consists of a 50 gpm pump and treat system which began in 1991. It has removed approximately nine (9) lbs of VOCs to date.
Soils: EPA has determined that no soil cleanup is needed at this facility.
4: Arizona Air National Guard Base
Groundwater: The regional aquifer cleanup, consisting of a 150 gpm pump and treay system, started in May 1997 and has removed about 18 lbs of VOCs to date. This system is expected to complete its groundwater cleanup by the year 2025.
Soils: A SVE soil cleanup began in April 1997 and has removed fifty (50) lbs of VOCs to date. The SVE cleanup at this project area was completed in 1998.
5: Airport Property
Groundwater: In 2000, the PRPs began working on the design of a groundwater treatment system to clean up a highly contaminated shallow groundwater zone. Due to the existence of pure liquid TCE in the shallow groundwater zone, in a low permeable clay unit underneath the “Three Hangar Area”, EPA has determined that a two-acre region of groundwater cannot be restored to drinking water quality. EPA has required the hydraulic containment of contamination in this two-acre zone in perpetuity. As with all other portions of the aquifer at the TIAA site, the remaining portions of this groundwater unit is set for full restoration to drinking water quality.
Soils: In 1991 and 1995, the PRPs conducted actions to remove VOC and polychlorinated biphenyl [PCB] contaminated sludges from this property. In 1997, a PCB soil cleanup removed 10,000 tons of contaminated soil mostly from a nearby residential area. Design of soil vapor extraction systems to clean up the remaining soils began in 2001 and will take several years to complete.
6: Former West-Cap of Arizona property and West Plume B
Groundwater: EPA has conducted groundwater investigations at the former West-Cap of Arizona property and has determined that this property is a source of groundwater contamination. EPA conducted a time-critical removal action to capture and contain the groundwater contaminant plume at West Cap which was migrating off-site. Future groundwater actions include remediation of groundwater to drinking water standards. EPA has completed the RI/FS for the groundwater investigation, issued the Proposed Plan and has concluded the public comment period for the West-Cap and West Plume B Project Areas. A Record of Decision Amendment will be signed soon.
Soils: EPA is conducting a soil vapor extraction pilot treatability study at the West-Cap property to evaluate the effectiveness of this technology in treating the contaminated soils at the former West-Cap property.
Contaminated drinking water supplies have been removed from service, and actions have been taken to control further contamination at the site. Significant progress has been made in identifying and cleaning up soil and groundwater contamination. A total of more than 40 billion gallons of groundwater has been treated and more than 130,000 pounds of VOCs removed from soils and groundwater throughout the site. Groundwater cleanup actions continue in all areas with additional cleanup systems scheduled for the future. In addition, 100,000 tons of metals, 10,000 tons of PCB-contaminated soils and 2,000 tons of PCB/VOC contaminated sludges have been removed. In 1994, EPA and Pima County officials completed a study that concluded that no known private well users on the south side of Tucson are currently drinking contaminated groundwater. The general public is not being exposed to the Superfund site contaminants.
The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:
Tucson Public Library
El Pueblo Neighborhood Center
101 W. Irvington
Tucson, AZ 85714
The most complete collection of documents is the official EPA site file, maintained at the following location:
Superfund Records Center
Mail Stop SFD-7C
95 Hawthorne Street, Room 403
San Francisco, CA 94105
Enter main lobby of 75 Hawthorne street, go to 4th floor of South Wing Annex.
EPA SITE MANAGER:
Matthew Jefferson, Andrew Bain
75 Hawthorne St. (SFD-8-2)
San Francisco, CA 94105
Matt: (415) 972-3272; Andy: (415) 972-3167
EPA COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT COORDINATOR:
75 Hawthorne St. (SFD-3)
San Francisco, CA 94105
PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTER:
Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality
400 W. Congress, Suite 433
Tucson, AZ 85701
State Environmental Protection Agency
US Environmental Protection Agency
• Site Description and History
• Environmental Data
• Response Action Status
EPA SITE MANAGER:
EPA COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT COORDINATOR:
PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTER:
Indian Bend Wash Area Environmental Pollution in Arizona- Site: Indian Bend Wash Area
Indian Bend Wash Area Superfund Site Info
Hassayampa Landfill Environmental Pollution in Arizona- Site: Hassayampa Landfill
Hassayampa Landfill Superfund Site Info
AZ Environmental Pollution Lawsuit: Arizona Superfund Sites
Environmental pollution Superfund Sites in Arizona