The Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) has numerous programs
and systems in place to address environmental concerns at the
facility. This fact sheet answers some of the most frequently asked
questions about RFAAP’s Installation Restoration Program (IRP)
which was established to identify, investigate, and clean up
contamination resulting from past actions at the plant.
Q: What is the Radford Army Ammunition Plant?
A: The Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) is a
government-owned, contractor-operated facility that has been in
operation since 1941. Currently, propellants and explosives are
manufactured at the plant for use in weapon systems employed by the
Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. RFAAP is located in the
mountains of Southwest Virginia in Pulaski and Montgomery Counties,
and consists of two noncontiguous units: the Main
Manufacturing Area and the
New River Unit. The Main Manufacturing Area, which is divided in two
by the New River, is located approximately 5 miles northeast of the
city of Radford. The New River Unit is located about 6 miles west of
the Main Area, near the town of Dublin.
Q: What is being done about groundwater and soil
contamination resulting from past production activities and the
disposal of manufacturing waste at RFAAP?
A: Through the Installation Restoration Program, RFAAP is
investigating impacts to water and soil resulting from past actions
at the plant. Ongoing efforts at the plant focus on gaining a
clearer understanding of the issues—source areas, the natural
setting (soil, geology, and groundwater characteristics), and other
information that might affect cleanup decisions. Check out the Investigative
Activities fact sheet.
Q: Where can I find answers to other questions about cleanup
A: The Installation Action Plan
is the best public source of information about RFAAP’s Installation
Restoration Program (IRP). It is a comprehensive plan
to identify, investigate, and clean up contamination at the plant
and is the key document in the management and execution of the IRP.
The IAP outlines the total multiyear integrated, coordinated
approach to achieving an installation's restoration goals. For each
IRP site, the IAP documents IRP requirements, the rationale for the
technical approach and corresponding financial requirements. The IAP
also contains information about contaminants of concern, response
actions taken and past milestones, as well as possible future
Q: May I safely fish, swim, or boat in the New River?
A: It is our understanding that the Virginia
Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) and Virginia
Department of Health (VDH) work together to provide health-related
information for the New River. For more information contact Dr.
Khizar Wasti at VDH, 804-786-1763. We further understand the
VDEQ is coordinating investigative efforts to identify sources
of PCBs (chemicals that were once widely used as coolants and lubricants
in electrical equipment) along portions of the New River. For information
on the progress of the source investigation contact Jay
Roberts at VDEQ, 540-562-6700.
Q: How may I become more
involved in RFAAP IRP issues?
A: People who want to become involved in IRP issues can join the
Advisory Board (RAB), a forum for exchange of information with
the community. Members include local citizens and representatives
from RFAAP and regulatory agencies. RFAAP provides information to
and solicits input from the RAB regarding IRP actions and goals. RAB
meetings occur bi-monthly with six meetings per year. Anyone in the
community interested in becoming an RAB member should contact Mr.
Jim McKenna, the RFAAP Restoration Program Manager.
Those interested in keeping up to date on IRP activities can also
visit the IRP Web
site. The site was designed
to provide information to the public and enhance dialogue between
stakeholders and RFAAP.