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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Permitting > Land Permits > Land and Waste Disposal Issues > Site Summaries > Jefferson Proving Ground - Madison, IN Jefferson Proving Ground - Madison, IN

A. Background Information

1) Location
Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG) occupies 55,265 acres of land along U.S. Highway 421, north of the City of Madison, Indiana. Portions of JPG are located in Ripley, Jennings, and Jefferson Counties. The installation is approximately eighteen (18) miles long (north-south and five (5) miles wide (east-west). Most of JPG is wooded, with clear areas surrounding the building complexes and airport. The non-- wooded areas north of the firing line are located at high impact target areas. The topography of JPG is flat to rolling, with most relief due to stream incision. Surface water drainage is generally from the northeast to the southwest, and consists of seven streams and their tributaries.
2) Size:
The installation is approximately eighteen (18) miles long (north-south) and five (5) miles wide (east-west).
3) Population:
4) History:
JPG is located on 55,264 acres in Jefferson, Jennings, and Ripley Counties, Indiana, approximately five miles north of the city of Madison and 45 miles northeast of Louisville, Kentucky.
  • The facility is divided into a northern impact area and a southern containment area, separated by a firing line consisting of 268 gun positions for the testing of ordnance. This line runs east-west across the width of the facility. The northern area consists of 51,000 acres of undeveloped and heavily wooded land. Numerous, discrete areas in this part of the facility have been cleared and are targeted during certain munition tests. The southern containment area houses the support facilities used for administration, ammunition assembly and testing, vehicles and weapons maintenance, and residential housing. Most of these buildings are situated along a 1-mile-wide strip just south of the Firing Line Road (also known as Main Front Road). An abandoned airport with five runways and a hangar building are located in the southwest corner of the facility. Jefferson Proving Ground contains 379 buildings, 182 miles of roads, and 48 miles of boundary fence line.
  • The majority of the land adjacent to JPG is agricultural and rural residential. JPG was constructed in 1940-41, just prior to U.S. involvement in World War II. In 1940 the Chief of Ordnance, U.S. Army Services Forces, determined the need for a large proving ground to simultaneously conduct research while performing development and production acceptance tests. JPG was constructed because existing U.S. Army proving grounds were determined to be inadequate to support the perceived World War II effort.
  • Test operations at the installation conducted during the World War II period consisted of production acceptance tests of ammunition and weapon systems, and their components. Test munitions included high-explosive projectiles, propellants, cartridges, primers, fuses, boosters, bombs, and grenades. Over 7 million rounds have been fired from the initial test in 1941 through September 1945.
  • After World War II, testing activities were sharply reduced and in March 1946, U.S. Army officials discounted JPG's status as an independent command and included it as a sub-post under the control of the Indiana Arsenal, placing most of JPG on standby status. Special production engineering tests as well as research and development (R&D) tests were conducted during the 1951 to 1955 time period. In July 1958, JPG was again placed on a standby status, but with ammunition test capabilities held at a high level of readiness. JPG remained on such status until 1961.
  • Effective August 1961, JPG was placed under the command of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM), headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and the installation was reactivated to resume its proof test mission in September of that same year. At that time, JPG added white phosphorous munitions and in 1984 added depleted uranium penetrators to its list of test munitions responsibilities.
  • In 1989, JPG was one of the many installations identified for installation closure. The mission will be realigned with Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. Under the guidelines for the installation closure plan, the testing activities are scheduled to stop by 1994, and land disposition will be accomplished by 1995.
5) Mission:
JPG is a test center of the U.S. Army Test Evaluation Command (TECOM). The mission of JPG is to plan and conduct production acceptance tests, reconditioning tests, surveillance tests, and other studies of ammunition and weapons systems (including system components). The buildings, roadways, and fixtures have been built to meet the requirements of the primary mission of JPG. There are 268 gun positions, 50 impact fields, 13 permanent test complexes and seven ammunition assembly plants.

B. Environmental Issues

JPG will officially be closed on 30 September 1995. The closure of JPG means the discontinuation of operations in preparation for realignment to Yuma Proving Ground (Yuma) in Arizona. The closure activity is taking placed in a phased manner from 1991 to 1995. The disposal of JPG involves three interrelated activities: the NU.S. EPA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process; development of a disposal plan; and development of a community reuse plan. The first two items are the responsibility of the U.S. Army. The third is the responsibility of the JPG Regional Development Board (JPGRDB), an agency created by the State of Indiana for the purpose of developing a plan for reuse and redevelopment of the installation. The Preliminary Draft EIS on Reuse and Disposal of JPG was completed on November 3, 1993. The availability of the draft EIS for public review is currently scheduled for June 1994 and a Record of Decision (ROD) for EIS is scheduled for December 1994. The JPGRDB has contracted for the development of JPG's Community Reuse Plan with a projected issue date of July 1994. To date, property disposal has not occurred at JPG. Future property disposals as JPG may potentially include federal transfer, competitive public sale, and no-cost public benefit conveyance to the local community.

C. Site Status

Several reports regarding various environmental aspects of JPG have been written over the years. These reports served to provide environmental baseline information and pinpointed areas that require further environmental investigation and/or cleanup.

The Final Draft Remedial Investigation Report for the portion of JPG located south of the firing line was submitted to regulators for review on July 18, 1994. This report was contracted and managed by the Army Environmental Center on behalf of JPG. The report addresses approximately 50 sites which were previously identified as areas requiring environmental evaluation. IDEM forwarded comments on the Final Draft Remedial Investigation on September 16, 1994. IDEM, U.S. EPA, JPG personnel, and the Army Environmental Center (AEC) participated in a meeting October 12-13,1994, in Chicago (U.S. EPA Region V headquarters) to discuss regulators comments and the Army's responses.

IDEM received the Army's Comment Response Package (CRP) which addresses regulatory comments to the Draft Remedial Investigation for the area south of the firing line. IDEM completed their review and provided comments on the Army's CRP December 22, 1994. A meeting to discuss JPG RI data quality was conducted on May 12,1995. The Agenda included:

  • Introduction
  • Data Quality and Usability issues
  • Summary and Recommendations
  • QAPP
  • Development of Action List

As a follow up to this meeting IDEM chemistry staff visited Seattle to oversee the validation of the data at Ecochem. Ecochem is the Army's contractor for data validation.

Two public meeting were conducted the last week of April to discuss the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the Depleted Uranium EIS. IDEM forwarded comments on the Draft EIS on May 23, 1995. A BCT meeting was conducted on July, 18, 1995, to discuss site activities. IDEM has recently received and began review Technical Memorandum for No Further Action for sites 22 and 23, Version II of the BRAC Cleanup Plan, and the plan of Action for Voluntary removal actions.

On October 2, 1995, IDEM staff received and began review of the Phase II RI Draft Field Sampling Plan, Draft Facility-Wide QAPP, and Draft Health and Safety Plan.

On October 3, 1995, IDEM staff provided comments on the Scope of Work for UXO Survey South of the Firing Line.

IDEM staff has coordinated with JPG and various IDEM offices concerning mercury contamination in the Waste Water Treatment System.

On October 6, 1995, IDEM staff received and began review of the Data Quality Assessment Summary. Completed review and provided comments for Tech Memo's for No Further action for Sites 11, 17, 20A, 32, 43, 48, and 50.

On October 27, 1995 received and began review of Final EIS.

On November 1, 1995, received and began review of Version II of the BRAC Cleanup Plan.

On November 11, participated in a Restoration Advisory Board discussing the Final EIS.

On December 11, received and began review on the Finding of Suitability to Transfer (FOST) for Building 108 and 216.

On January 11, completed review and provided comments on RI Phase II QAPP.

Completed review and provided comments on Technical Memorandum's for NFA for Sites 18, 19, 24, 35, 36, 37, 40, 41, and 44.

On January 24, conducted a meeting to resolve outstanding CERFA issues at IDEM's office in Indianapolis.

Participated in a RAB Meeting on 2/22/96.

Participated in a meeting in Chicago to discuss unresolved Phase II comments and the Interim Measures Work Plan on 3/19-20.

Attended UXO FORUM 1996 held in Williamsburg, VA. The objective of the Forum was to draw together a diverse, worldwide audience to exchange information related to UXO issues.

On April 18, completed review and provided comments on the Interim Measures Work Plan and Field Sampling Plan for Sites 3, 4, 7, 8, 14, 15, 26, 28, 29, and 42. In late April participated in numerous conference calls and meetings with U.S. EPA and Army staff concerning removal of UXO on a 100 acre parcel south of the firing line.

On May 7, participated in a RAB meeting held in Madison, IN.

On May 28, completed review and provided comments on mercury removal report at sewage plant treatment system.

On June 6, participated in a RCRA security inspection.

On June 18, participated in a BCT meeting held in Indianapolis.

On June 24, completed review and provided comments on the Final Containment FOSL.