Groups Complete Work on Airport Site Treatment

Federal, state, and city officials on Jan. 24 celebrated the completion of the $1 million Phoenix-Goodyear Airport North groundwater treatment facility, which benefits approximately 140,000 residents in Goodyear, Avondale, and Litchfield Park, in the southwest valley of Phoenix, Ariz.

The new facility was constructed as part of the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport Superfund site cleanup. The facility was built and is operated by Crane Co., the responsible party for the site, pursuant to a 2006 Consent Decree between Crane Co. and the United States.

Joining the event are Keith Takata, U.S. EPA; Steve Owens, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ); Goodyear Mayor James Cavanaugh; Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers; Litchfield Park Mayor Thomas Schoaf, and Crane Co. representative Curt Cramer.

"With this expansion in cleanup capabilities, the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport North groundwater treatment facility demonstrates our ongoing commitment to reducing risks to human health and the environment in this growing community," said Takata, director of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region’s Superfund program. "We recognize the important contributions of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Goodyear, in particular, in expediting construction and startup of the new system."

ADEQ Director Owens said, “This plant represents an important next step in cleaning up and protecting the precious groundwater resources in this area. We still have a long way to go but this plant will help provide useable water for irrigation and other purposes.”

Highlights of the new Phoenix-Goodyear Airport North EA-06 system include:

• 500 million gallons of groundwater will be treated annually, removing approximately 140 pounds of trichloroethene (TCE);
• The installation of one new groundwater extraction well;
• Two granular activated carbon vessels to remove TCE;
• Expected flow of groundwater treatment at 1,000 gallons per minute (gpm);
• No air emissions;
• Piping of treated water to a local canal, where it will be blended with other waters and used for irrigation.

In 1983, EPA listed the Litchfield Airport Area as a Superfund site. After subsequent sampling showed two separate contamination sources and different responsible parties, the site was divided into the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport North and South sites.

From 1963 to 1994, Unidynamics-Phoenix, Inc. manufactured defense and aerospace component systems at its Goodyear facility. These activities resulted in releases of hazardous substances, including TCE and perchlorate. Following investigation throughout the late 1980s, in 1989 EPA selected the site remedy to clean up soil and groundwater contamination. As the current owner of the Unidynamics-Phoenix, Inc. facility, Crane Co. is conducting the remedy and supplemental investigation of the site.

Since 1994, Crane Co. has been treating contaminated groundwater at the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport North using the Main Treatment System and the Well 33A System, treating more than 5 billion gallons of groundwater, removing nearly 40,000 pounds of TCE.

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