Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Remediation Control Room
Raytheon Missile Systems Company’s (RMSC’s) Tucson facility has been manufacturing electronics since the 1950s. Like most manufacturers at that time, the company used TCE to remove oils from its circuit boards, and employed on-site land disposal practices. As a result, the soil and groundwater underneath AFP44 became contaminated. In 1981, the Air Force and Hughes (now Raytheon) began researching ways to clean these areas, and initiated a small pilot program in 1985 to test their proposed solution. The project’s success led to the construction of a sophisticated, large-scale treatment plant in 1987. Today, RMSC features many remediation methods and technologies to purify contaminated soil and groundwater at AFP44. The company also recharges aquifers with cleaned water, releases cleaned air into the atmosphere, and destroys VOCs at an off-site facility.
The Air Force funded the construction of AFP44, and designated community outreach as an important aspect of the facility. AFP44’s Remediation Control Room provides visitors with a multitude of displays, including a storyboard on the remediation process; background information and benefits of the process; and monitors extraction/recharge rates for pumps in operation at the wells. The Remediation Control Room is regularly visited by middle and high school classes, and is part of the environmental science curricula at two universities and one community college. RMSC tailored the Room to be instructive and educational to all visitors, regardless of their level of expertise. The facility’s architectural design, using open spaces and glass viewing windows, provides visitors with easy accessibility to the displays and encourages them to interact with remediation technologies and applications. As a result, the community can see firsthand the company’s success at AFP44.
Adjacent to the Remediation Control Room is the Environmental Laboratory, which provides analytical support for operating RMSC’s groundwater remediation project. Built in 1986, this 2,400-square foot facility features a glass wall so visitors can observe the Laboratory’s activities. The Environmental Laboratory contains a wide array of organic/inorganic analysis instrumentation including gas chromatographs, mass spectrophotometers, atomic absorption spectrophotometers, and inductively-coupled plasma spectrophotometers. An Information Management system allows the Laboratory to gather and process data from these instruments as well as log, track, and generate reports.
In addition, RMSC established quality control guidelines to ensure that all work performed at AFP44 is analytically correct and acceptable to regulatory agencies. Typical activities with quality control limits include analysis of blanks, duplicates, spikes, surrogates, and certified reference samples at a frequency of 10% of all samples run. Data quality is also confirmed by splitting and sending 10% of the collected samples to an independent certified laboratory, and by the company’s participation in state and EPA Performance Evaluation programs. The Environmental Laboratory successfully obtained licenses for drinking water analysis from the Arizona Department of Health Services in 1987, and for wastewater and hazardous waste in 1992.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.