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Alabama Army Ammunition Plant (ALAAP)

The Alabama Army Ammunition Plant (ALAAP) is situated in Talladega County, Alabama, about 4 miles north of Childersburg, Alabama. Although the facility originally consisted of 13,233 acres, after several land transactions, 2,187 acres remain the responsibility of the U.S. government. The ALAAP site is bounded to the north and northeast by Little Blue Creek and an undeveloped wooded area, to the south and southeast by the Talladega Creek and a mixture of agricultural and residential areas, and to the west and northwest by the Coosa River. Currently, the site consists of paved roads, logging roads, railroad tracks, and bridges. Most of the buildings have been destroyed and the land is overgrown with dense vegetation.

ALAAP was established in 1941 to produce nitrocellulose (NC), single-base smokeless powder, and nitroaromatic explosives (e.g., 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene [TNT], 2,4-dinitrotoluene [2,4-DNT], 2,6-dinitrotoluene [2,6-DNT], and tetryl). The E.I. DuPont Company operated the facility as a government-owned, contractor-operated facility during World War II. Peak monthly production consisted of 15.6 million pounds of NC, 21.8 million pounds of TNT, and 2.4 million pounds of tetryl. The plant also produced chemical intermediates, including sulfuric and nitric acids, aniline, diphenylamine (DPA), oleum, and sellite. In 1945, the government placed the facility on standby status.

Between 1947 and the 1970s, site property was periodically sold or leased to private holders. The Tennessee Copper Corporation leased the acid plant between 1947 and 1966 for manufacturing acids and organic compounds, and the Beaunit Corporation leased a property north of the site for manufacturing rayon. During this time, the Army also initiated programs to improve conditions in selected manufacturing areas. In the mid-1950s, the government and the Liberty Powder Defense Corporation launched a site rehabilitation program. Approximately 75% of the rehabilitation had been addressed when limited funds prevented completion of the program. In 1973, the Army conducted a controlled burning program to destroy chemical and explosive manufacturing buildings and explosive residues. In the same year, the Army released all but 1,620 contaminated acres of the site to the General Services Administration (GSA) for coordination of sale activities.

In 1977, the Army sold an uncontaminated 1,354-acre parcel containing the NC manufacturing area, the smokeless powder manufacturing area, and 247 associated buildings to Kimberly-Clark, Inc, but they leased back 272 acres to remove equipment from the premises and decontaminate the property. By 1985, the Army had divided the remaining property into Area A, consisting of the eastern portion of the site used primarily for storing and shipping finished explosives and a parcel of woodland outside the site security fence, and Area B, consisting of the former manufacturing area

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:42:00 ZULU