Part of site tests clean

Published 10:24 pm Friday, March 4, 2016

One of six major source areas on a North Suffolk Superfund site has tested free of munitions, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

No more investigation is needed at the main burning ground site of the former Nansemond Ordnance Depot, said Sher Zaman, overseeing the cleanup for the Corps of Engineers. He spoke at Thursday’s restoration advisory board meeting at the Suffolk Chesapeake Courtyard Marriott.

The military stored ammunition on the 975 acres of waterfront property at the end of College Drive during World Wars I and II. The property later became Tidewater Community College.

Email newsletter signup

The main burning ground portion of the site can now advance to the feasibility study, which is the next step in the EPA’s process for restoring Superfund sites, he said. The EPA is finalizing the revised remedial investigation.

The Corps collected 57 samples and ran analyses for arsenics, pesticides, metals and other chemicals in the soil and groundwater, Zaman said,

The corps also conducted tests to detect munitions metal in the ground, he said.

Zaman stressed the main burning ground is one of six source areas on the property. During World Wars I and II, that site was used for burning and cleaning ordnance.

In 2016, the corps will add five temporary groundwater-monitoring wells on the property’s TNT source area, located on about three acres on the north side of College Drive. Between 1917 and 1950, the government used the land as a disposal area for bulk explosives, small arms ammunition and scrap metal.

The trace amount of TNT in the groundwater has moved slightly over time; the wells on the property will allow the Corps to track continual movement in the years ahead, Zaman said.

Although details have not been shared, Tidewater Community College and the city have plans to develop a large portion of the site.