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Fact Sheet

July 2011

EPA Opens the Public Comment Period and Announces a Public Meeting on the Proposed Plan for Operable Unit 5 of the Former Nebraska Ordnance Plant (NOP) Superfund Site, Mead, Saunders County, Nebraska


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has released the Proposed Plan (PDF) (30 pp, 1.9MB About PDF) which describes the Agency's preferred alternative for addressing the contaminated soil, the final closure of the Agricultural Research and Development Center (ARDC) landfill area, and the contaminated groundwater at the Former Nebraska Ordnance Plant Superfund Site (Site), Operable Unit 5 (OU-5). In addition, this Proposed Plan includes summaries of other alternatives evaluated for use at OU-5.

The Proposed Plan is now available for public review and comment.  The EPA is issuing this Plan as part of its public participation responsibilities under Section 117(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended, (CERCLA), and Section 300.430(f)(2) of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP).  Following the comment period, EPA, in consultation with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ), will select a final remedy for OU-5, after reviewing and considering all information submitted during the 30-day public comment period.


EPA will hold a public meeting to present cleanup options and take public comments at the following time and location:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Agricultural Research &
Development Center (ARDC)
Research & Education Building
Cty. Road 11 and Neb. Highway 63
Mead, Nebraska

EPA will accept comments on this Proposed Plan during the Public Comment Period which is July 1, 2011 through August 1, 2011.


The Site is located in Saunders County, Nebraska, approximately one-half mile south of Mead, 30 miles west of Omaha, and 35 miles northeast of Lincoln.  The University of Nebraska ARDC occupies a portion of the Site.  The Site was situated on approximately 27 square miles.  The ARDC consists of approximately 9,660 acres (over 15 square miles) and is the major research and education facility of the University of Nebraska Institute of Agricultural and Natural Resources.  It serves as the primary site for field-based research involving 90 faculty and 150 graduate students in nine departments.

The Site operated during World War II and the Korean Conflict.  It consisted of four bomb Load Line areas, an Ammonium Nitrate Plant, an Atlas Missile Area and a Bomb Booster Assembly Area.  Other Site areas include a Fuse Testing Area, a Sewage Treatment Plant, Demolition Ground, vehicle maintenance areas and equipment maintenance shops.  All of the structures associated with these areas have been removed or converted into peace-time reuse.

The University of Nebraska acquired this property in several transactions from 1962 to 1971.  The ARDC has been used for crop and energy research, and the University used portions of the Site for disposal of various wastes, including laboratory wastes, paint wastes, and research animal wastes.  The wastes were deposited in trenches primarily located in four disposal areas at Load Line 1, Load Line 2, the ARDC Landfill and the Sewage Treatment Plant.  The majority of the disposal activities conducted by the University occurred during the late 1970s and continued into the 1980s.  The state of Nebraska issued the University a Solid Waste Disposal Area License in 1981.  The ARDC Landfill accepted wastes until 1993.

In recognition of the various contaminants, media affected, and potentially-responsible parties, the Site was divided into five OUs. OU-1, 2, and 3 are being addressed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and OU-5 is being addressed by the University of Nebraska.

The contaminants of concern at this Site are trichloroethene (TCE), Royal Demolition Explosive (RDX) and 1,4-dioxane in groundwater and 1,4-dioxane in soil.

A summary of all remedial alternatives is listed in the Proposed Plan, along with EPA's criteria to compare the alternatives.


Each of these alternatives is described in detail in the Proposed Plan.



EPA's Preferred Alternative for the soil at Load Line 1 is Alternative 1 (No Action/Soil).  EPA's Preferred Alternative for the Landfill Closure is Alternative 9 (Landfill Cap Installation and Groundwater Monitoring).  EPA's Preferred Alternative for the groundwater at Load Line 1 and the ARDC Landfill areas is Alternative 4 (Long-term Monitoring of Groundwater) at both Load Line 1 and the ARDC Landfill and Alternative 5 (In-Situ Biological Oxidation at Load Line 1).  The costs associated with each alternative follow:



EPA encourages public participation and will not make any final decisions on a cleanup alternative until thoroughly reviewing all comments received from the public.  The 30-day public comment period will begin on July 1, 2011 and end on August 1, 2011.  Upon completion of the public comment period, all comments will be reviewed and compiled into a Responsiveness Summary, which will become a part of EPA's Record of Decision for the Site.

Comments may be made at the public meeting or sent to EPA at the address below:

Debbie Kring
Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA - Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
913) 551-7725
Toll-free 1-800-223-0425
Email: kring.debbie@epa.gov


For additional details, EPA's Final Proposed Plan and the supporting documents for the Former Nebraska Ordnance Plant Superfund Site (OU-5) can be found at either of the following repositories:

Mead Public Library
316 South Vine Street
Mead, Nebraska  68041
(402) 624-6605

U.S. EPA – Region 7
Records Center
901 North 5th Street
Kansas City, Kansas  66101


EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.  If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the public meeting, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper at 1-800-223-0425, or by e-mail at: cooper.jonathan@epa.gov at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting.   

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