Military


Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant

The site has 2,383 acres and 255 buildings.

Construction on Twin Cities AAP began in August 1941, and production started in February 1942. During the war, the plant produced more than 4 billion rounds of ammunition.

After World War II, it engaged in repacking ammunition and demilitarizing unusable ammunition. The repack program was completed in 1947; the demilitarization program was completed in 1951. The plant began producing ammunition again in 1950.

From 1950 to 1957, 3.5 billion rounds of small arms ammunition, 3.2 million 195-mm artillery shell metal parts, and 715,000 155-mm shell metal parts were produced. The plant was placed on standby status from August 1958 to December 1965, when it was announced that the plant would be reactivated. By September 1966, the plant was again producing ammunition. It produced more than 10 billion rounds of various types of ammunition for the Vietnam War. An enclosed range was built on the site in the late 1960s to proof test cartridges, and other aspects of the facility were modernized in the late 1960s.

Depleted Uranium rods were used to make projectile ammunition.

The plant was placed on layaway status in several stages from 1971 to 1974. It is now inactive. Decontamination of the site began in 2001 and should be completed by spring 2004.

The contractor-operator is the Federal Cartridge Corp. and Donovan Construction Co. Alliant Techsystems produced weapons on the site.

Beginning in FY81, environmental studies determined that contamination from the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plan (TCAAP) migrated into the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan groundwater supply. Environmental studies concentrated on a total of 20 sites within the installation. The sites included former landfills, impoundments, burning and burial grounds, ammunition testing and disposal sites, industrial operations buildings, and sewer system discharge areas contributing to groundwater and soil contamination.

VOCs, TCE in particular, are the primary contaminants in groundwater. In FY86, groundwater pump-and-treat Interim Remedial Actions (IRA) were installed at Sites I and K. In FY88, TCAAP constructed the Boundary Groundwater Recovery System (BGRS) IRA to treat VOC-contaminated groundwater at the TCAAP southwest boundary, followed by a modification in FY89 to the current TCAAP Groundwater Recovery System (TGRS). In FY88, an IRA at Site A was installed to treat VOC-contaminated groundwater at the TCAA north boundary. Another IRA in FY89 provided a temporary groundwater treatment system for New Brighton. The permanent system followed in FY90. In FY91, EPA completed a permanent groundwater treatment system for St. Anthony. In FY93, TCAAP provided a municipal water supply hookup to replace the VOC-contaminated private well at the Lowry Grove Trailer Park.

Ammunition-related heavy metals; copper, lead, and mercury; are the primary soil contaminants on TCAAP, followed by VOCs and PCBs. IRAs at Sites G and D, implemented in FY85 and FY86 respectively, included the installation of soil vapor extraction systems to remove VOCs from soils, effectively reducing VOC migration to the groundwater. In FY89, PCB-contaminated soils at Site D were incinerated. In FY93, TCAAP began the removal of heavy metals from contaminated soils at Site F using an innovative soil washing and soil leaching technology.

In FY93, TCAAP initiated an installation-wide UXO clearance and site characterization to ready the sites for cleanup. The UXO search served the dual purpose to identify and clear dangerous areas prior to cleanup, and to further characterize heavy metals contamination and metallic debris in the upper two feet of soil.

The installation experienced continued success in its cleanup progress due to cooperation and partnering among the Army, EPA, and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The cooperation among the parties led to the expedient resolution of numerous concerns and issues encountered during cleanup activities.

Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) in Minnesota, successfully used a new innovative cleanup technology to remove metal contamination from soil. The lead extraction technology uses soil leaching supplemented by soil washing. This technology costs less than conventional cleanup technologies for metals that either contain or transfer the contamination. In the innovative treatment process, metals are recovered and recycled at a smelter, eliminating the long-term liability associated with existing metals cleanup alternatives such as landfilling, solidification, or stabilization.

The EPA Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) demonstration program evaluated the TCAAP lead extraction process. Soil washing is a physical separation process that removes large metallic particles from soil (based on density); the process ultimately results in a reduction of soil volume. Soil leaching is a chemical process that involves adding an acid to the soil to remove metals by dissolving the remaining smaller metallic particles and ionic metals.

Site F is an isolated 10-acre area that was used to burn scrap ammunition and powder and to bury scrap casings. TCAAP dumped ash and residue generated from burning materials on the surface and buried the casings in trenches. Environmental investigations revealed that sixteen disposal trenches contain heavy metal contamination up to 10 feet deep.

The investigation of Site F was expedited by using an x-ray fluorescence (XRF) field instrument. By using XRF, field personnel could determine how much soil to excavate, which provided an up-front characterization of contamination, and eliminated the need for investigative sampling. Money was saved and time reduced because a full-blown investigation to characterize the nature and extent of contamination was not necessary.

Before this project began at Site F, no established technologies existed to remove heavy metals from soil. TCAAP, EPA, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are successfully remediating the contamination rather than containing it at Site F or transferring it to a landfill. Because of this successful use of technology and the partnering effort, the Army is eliminating potential risks to human health and the environment. Costly long-term monitoring will not be required, and the site will be made available for future use with no restrictions.

As of August 1994, approximately 7,100 tons of contaminated soil from TCAAP's Site F was treated by the lead extraction process. When the project is complete in summer of 1995, an estimated 15,000 tons of soil will have been treated.

The rolling terrain of the 2,370-acre Army ammunition plant provides wildlife habitat and welcome relief from the development in the rest of Ramsey County. The site is one of the largest in a series of habitats strung like gems on a green thread that stretches from the Mississippi River via the Rice Creek corridor to a northerly chain of lakes, almost reaching the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. Preserving large habitats and wildlife travel corridors between them is critical to conserving the biological richness of species.

The Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) is a 2300 acres site located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. Ramsey County has the highest population density of any county in the state, it also has the lowest per capita amount of open space recreational land and wildlife habitat. Just one park in Hennepin County has nearly as much open space as that currently available in all of Ramsey County.

That this inequity is not acceptable to the public has been manifest many times, not the least of which was during the l995-96 interagency/inter-community task force meetings called by the late Congressman Bruce Vento. DNR staff actively participated in this initiative - the TCAAP Reutilization Committee - which called for a minimum of 1,100 contiguous acres of land for a regional park reserve integrally linked with the Rice Creek Trail Corridor.

More recently in l998, in response to metropolitan Minnesotans'desire for recreational open space and wildlife habitat close to home, the Minnesota. Legislature has funded ($8.8 million to date) the Metro Greenways Program (a collaborative effort between the DNR and many NGOs) which has identified the TCAAP property as an important hub in a network of regional significant ecological corridors.

Presently, the Army Material Command is in the process of excessing 776 acres of TCAAP, of which 113 acres along Rice Creek are expected to be transferred to Ramsey County as an important addition to the regional park system. Included within the remaining 663 acres is a critical 49 acre parcel of upland, wetlands and ditches. This parcel was recognized in the l996 Vento TCAAP Reutilization Committee report as an integral link between Rice Creek on the west and a future regional park reserve on the east (currently the AHATS property leased to the Minnesota National Guard).



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