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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Permitting > Land Permits > Land and Waste Disposal Issues > Site Summaries > Naval Air Warfare Center - Indianapolis, IN Naval Air Warfare Center - Indianapolis, IN

1) Location:
NAWC is located at 6000 East 21st Street, Indianapolis, Marion County. The nearest surface drainage is Pleasant Run Creek, an intermittent stream approximately 1,000 feet southeast.
2) Size:
163 acres (62 buildings)
3) Population:
3,000 on-site personnel prior to BRAC listing. Facility is located in a residential setting.
4) History
In 1939, the Bureau of Ordnance determined five shore facilities should be built for the manufacture of naval ordnance equipment. Previously undeveloped farmland in Indianapolis was acquired in 1940; in 1942, the Lukas-Harold Corporation was contracted to construct and manage the plant. NAWC was commissioned as a government-owned, contractor-operated facility, with an original mission of assembling the Norden Bombsight. After World War II, the plant began to focus on development, repair, and overhaul of fire control instruments, with less emphasis on machining.
  • NAWC was placed under the Naval Air Systems Command in 1966. NAWC is a large quantity hazardous waste generator (IN 4170023499). An Installation Restoration Program was never initiated because as Solid Waste Management Units were never identified. A wastewater treatment plant was built at the facility in 1990, and holds a permit from the City of Indianapolis (# 366201). The facility had approximately 22 underground storage tanks in its history, and 20 spills have been reported (most to the sanitary sewer system) to IDEM. The facility was placed on the fourth Base Realignment and Closure List; a BRAC Cleanup Team was created in December of 1995. Current plans are to privatize the mission in 1996, leasing to the City of Indianapolis Reuse Planning Authority (NAWC-IRPA) and subleasing to Hughes Electronics (Final Reuse Plan expected June 1996; Environmental Impact Statement expected December of 1996). The Navy will continue its role in directing operations for a five year transition period, and will hold an indefinite delivery contract with the facility during that time. Transfer by deed, with complete elimination of Navy involvement, is expected in 2001.
5) Mission
NAWC conducts research, engineering, and limited manufacture of airborne electronics for weapons (missile, spaceborne, undersea, and surface), guidance systems, and related avionics equipment.

B. Environmental Issues

Installation Restoration Program Site:
IRP Site 1- Waste Oil and Coolant Pit
  • Waste machine coolant and animal fat (from cafeteria) was placed in a concrete pit over the years. During removal of the tank in September of 1995, high concentrations of volatiles and semivolatiles were found. PCBs were also detected.
Areas of Concern:
  • AOC 1: Old Plating Area in Building 1000
    • Industrial wastewater was discharged to sanitary sewers throughout the facility's history. Evidence of sewer line degradation was found during previous construction activity, and is likely due to the corrosive chemicals used in plating operations. A 1991 video survey of pipes (larger than 6 inches) revealed cracks and leaky joints. Constituents of concern include metals, cyanide, and degreasing solvents.
  • AOC 2: New Plating Area in Building 1200
    • During construction activity, corroded floor drains were found. Contaminants expected are metals, cyanide, degreasing solvents, and paint solvents.
  • AOC 3: Building 1200 (except plating area)
    • A filtration system historically malfunctioned. Constituents expected include metals, cyanide, degreasers and paint solvents.
  • AOC 4: East & West Dock and Contiguous Outdoor Storage Areas
    • Due to numerous spills during loading and interview information regarding previous drum storage, areas near the docks, Building 1200, and along the south wall of Building 1000 will be investigated. Potential contaminants have not yet been established.
  • AOC 5: Main North-South Sanitary Sewer (plus Building 1200 branches)
    • As sanitary sewers downgradient of plating areas carried corrosive chemicals and plating wastewater, surrounding soils are to be evaluated for metals and solvents.
  • AOC 6: Building 2000 Photo Lab
    • Maintenance activity has shown high levels of silver downstream of drains.
  • AOC 7: East-West Storm Sewer
    • A Public Works paint booth was tied to the storm sewer between Building 9400 and Building 9500. Organic compounds are of concern.
  • AOC 8: Building 4000 Former Garage Area
    • Petroleum based compounds, associated with vehicle maintenance, are expected.
  • AOC 9: Soil site at northwest corner of Building 3000
    • A dark band of soil was discovered during previous construction activity. Hydraulic fluid associated with trash compacting equipment may be present.
  • AOC 10: Building 1000 Heat Treat Area
    • Cyanide and metals may be present in drains and beneath the building slab.
  • AOC 11: Miscellaneous Storage Areas
    • South and east of Gate 19, aerial photographs revealed storage of industrial materials. Near the Pesticide Building, some pesticides and herbicides may remain, suspicion arises due to uncertain disposal and cleaning operations.
  • AOC 12: Contractor Storage Area
    • Petroleum and hydraulic leaks from stored equipment are possible.
  • AOC 13: Outdoor Storage Area around Public Works Paint Shop
    • Drum storage is suspected in the vicinity of the Public Works Building.
  • AOC 14: Former Document Burn Area
    • Documents were burned in the southeast corner of the facility. Accelerants were reportedly used. Other solid wastes may be present.
  • AOC 15: Building 1100
    • A PCB capacitor exploded in 1990; cleanup took place, but is not documented. Staining is still present. Utility trenches are also suspect, due to potential spills of hydraulic fluid and degreasers.
  • Underground storage tanks (eleven known), lead based paint and asbestos issues will be handled under the NAWC compliance program.

C. Site Status

A Basewide Environmental Baseline Survey was completed (Brown and Root Environmental) in October and November of 1995, categorizing 151 acres available for transfer. A final EBS was submitted in March of 1996, IDEM staff concurred with categorization in April. A Draft BRAC Closure Plan is expected by September 1996 (Draft BCP Abstract has been created). A Restoration Advisory Board was created in April 1996; the Draft Community Involvement Plan was received August 1996.

US Geological Survey is currently performing field work to create a hydrogeological framework for the facility. Portions of preliminary data are received as made available by USGS. A complete report is expected by September 1996.

A meeting to scope UST removals and investigations was conducted 8 March 1996. Work Plans for UST work were submitted June 1996 and are being revised. Field work is expected to begin in August 1996.

A pre-draft Remedial Investigation Sampling Plan was submitted April 1996, verbal comments were given by regulators. Draft Comprehensive RI Work Plans were submitted June 1996, and regulator comments submitted in July. Revision of the plans is underway.

Additional Areas of Concern being evaluated include the perimeter sentry road (possible use of dust suppressants), the North East Activity Area (aerial photographs indicate surface soil scarring), and Building 5000 (experimental plating shop).

Project Targets:
  • Hydrogeologic Report 9/96
  • UST Removal Work Plan 7/96
  • Draft EIS 9/96
  • Draft EBSL 7/96
  • Draft FOSL 7/96
  • Comprehensive Planning Documents 8/96
  • UST Field Work 8-10/96
  • RI Field Sampling 9/96
  • Draft Base Closure Plan 9/96
  • UST Closure Report 11/96
  • Draft RI Report 12/96
  • Final RI Report 2/97
  • Final EIS 2/97
  • Draft FS Report 3/97
  • Final FS Report 6/97
  • FOST Clean Parcels 9/97
  • Decision Document 10/97
  • BCP Update 11/97
  • Remedial Design/Remedial Action 12/0