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Radford Army Ammunition Plant Installation Restoration Program

Fact Sheet
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions 
about environmental cleanup 
at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant

The Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) has numerous programs and systems in place to address environmental concerns at the facility. This fact sheet answers some of the most frequently asked questions about RFAAP’s Installation Restoration Program (IRP) which was established to identify, investigate, and clean up contamination resulting from past actions at the plant.

Q: What is the Radford Army Ammunition Plant?

A: The Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility that has been in operation since 1941. Currently, propellants and explosives are manufactured at the plant for use in weapon systems employed by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. RFAAP is located in the mountains of Southwest Virginia in Pulaski and Montgomery Counties, and consists of two noncontiguous units: the Main Manufacturing Area and the New River Unit. The Main Manufacturing Area, which is divided in two by the New River, is located approximately 5 miles northeast of the city of Radford. The New River Unit is located about 6 miles west of the Main Area, near the town of Dublin.

Q: What is being done about groundwater and soil contamination resulting from past production activities and the disposal of manufacturing waste at RFAAP?

A: Through the Installation Restoration Program, RFAAP is investigating impacts to water and soil resulting from past actions at the plant. Ongoing efforts at the plant focus on gaining a clearer understanding of the issues—source areas, the natural setting (soil, geology, and groundwater characteristics), and other information that might affect cleanup decisions. Check out the Investigative Activities fact sheet.

Q: Where can I find answers to other questions about cleanup at RFAAP?

A: The Installation Action Plan (IAP) is the best public source of information about RFAAP’s Installation Restoration Program (IRP). It is a comprehensive plan to identify, investigate, and clean up contamination at the plant and is the key document in the management and execution of the IRP. The IAP outlines the total multiyear integrated, coordinated approach to achieving an installation's restoration goals. For each IRP site, the IAP documents IRP requirements, the rationale for the technical approach and corresponding financial requirements. The IAP also contains information about contaminants of concern, response actions taken and past milestones, as well as possible future response actions.

Information on RFAAP’s cleanup efforts can also be found at the IRP Web site, and at the RFAAP information repository, located in the Christiansburg Library. If you have questions or concerns about cleanup activitiesor about current manufacturing activities and related environmental management issues at RFAAP, you can also contact the RFAAP Public Relations Officer from the Contacts webpage.

Q: May I safely fish, swim, or boat in the New River?

A: It is our understanding that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) work together to provide health-related information for the New River. For more information contact Dr. Khizar Wasti at VDH, 804-786-1763. We further understand the VDEQ is coordinating investigative efforts to identify sources of PCBs (chemicals that were once widely used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment) along portions of the New River. For information on the progress of the source investigation contact Jay Roberts at VDEQ, 540-562-6700.

Q: How may I become more involved in RFAAP IRP issues?

A: People who want to become involved in IRP issues can join the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), a forum for exchange of information with the community. Members include local citizens and representatives from RFAAP and regulatory agencies. RFAAP provides information to and solicits input from the RAB regarding IRP actions and goals. RAB meetings occur bi-monthly with six meetings per year. Anyone in the community interested in becoming an RAB member should contact Mr. Jim McKenna, the RFAAP Restoration Program Manager.

Those interested in keeping up to date on IRP activities can also visit the IRP Web site. The site was designed to provide information to the public and enhance dialogue between stakeholders and RFAAP.

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