On Sept. 9, LM Director Carmelo Melendez and staff, escorted by executive officer Maj. Nicholas Copeland and others from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), St. Louis District, visited the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) site at Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) in Middletown, Iowa.
IAAP’s Deputy Commander Gifford Haddock provided Melendez and DOE LM’s CERCLA/RCRA and FUSRAP Team Lead Gwen Hooten with information about current activities and IAAAP’s mission.
IAAAP is located in Des Moines County in southeastern Iowa, near Middletown, approximately 10 miles west of the Mississippi River and the larger city of Burlington, Iowa. During its use as an Army facility, portions of IAAAP were occupied by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Originally, IAAAP was known as the Iowa Ordnance Plant (IOP) where munitions were produced from 1941 until August 1945 for World War II and again from 1949 to present day.
In 1947, IOP was selected as the first production facility for the manufacturing of explosives components for weapons under the AEC, and, from 1947 to 1975, portions of the IAAAP facility were under AEC control for research, development, and production of materials and components as part of America’s early atomic program. The AEC-operated portions of the plant were commonly known collectively as the Burlington Atomic Energy Commission Plant (BAECP).
Currently, the Army and USACE are performing cleanup simultaneously on IAAAP. The Army is remediating contaminants resulting from munitions production under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) while USACE is remediating contaminants resulting from the nation’s early atomic energy program under FUSRAP.
USACE’s FUSRAP work at the site focuses on cleaning up soils and structures that were contaminated as a result of World War II munitions production and AEC operations. During LM’s recent visit to the site, IAAAP Project Manager Mike Kessler had the opportunity to discuss the site history and ongoing remedial actions, and to explain USACE’s soil-sorting process at the site under FUSRAP.
“It was great seeing the Middletown site at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant firsthand,” Melendez said. “There’s no substitute for getting out into the field to understand a site. Seeing the complexity of ongoing remediation efforts there has only increased my appreciation of USACE as a valued partner in protecting human health and the environment.”
Ongoing collaboration between LM and USACE at IAAAP will continue until long-term stewardship responsibilities transfer to LM upon the completion of USACE’s remediation of AEC legacy waste at the site. Although the Army will likely maintain ownership and operation of the property, LM will take on long-term stewardship responsibilities, such as conducting five-year reviews and annual inspections, as well as maintaining records after transfer from USACE, expected in 2026.