Military Ordnance: Cleanup Activities at the Former Raritan Arsenal
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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The Raritan Arsenal was a 3,200-acre Army facility in operation from 1917 to 1963. Its operations included receiving, storing, shipping, transferring, and packing ammunition, including projectiles, fuzes, pyrotechnics, grenades, boosters, and trinitrotoluene TNT. From 1919 through World War II, accidental explosions reportedly scattered ordnance fragments over large areas and into the ground. In addition, Raritan personnel used various chemicals for fumigation purposes and disposed of these and other chemicals, such as mustard agent, by burying them in the ground. In 1962, the government declared Raritan excess to the Armys needs, and, as a result, Raritan began to phase out its military activities. In 1963, personnel from the Letterkenny Army Depot evaluated the site for contamination. In its report on the evaluation, the Depot designated 17 areas that were potentially contaminated with ordnance or hazardous waste. After Raritan completed phasing out its military activities in 1964, DOD transferred the land to the General Services Administration, which then sold or transferred some of the land to private parties and government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency EPA. Since that time, the land has been developed considerably. The site now contains a community college, a public park, an industrial park, two hotels, and a day-care center.
- Ammunition and Explosives