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Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant Bedford

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website


Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant (NWIRP) Bedford covers 46 acres in eastern Massachusetts in the Town of Bedford, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It is bounded by the Lawrence G. Hanscom Field and Hanscom Air Force Base to the south; Instrumentation Laboratory and Edge Sports Center, wetlands, and residences to the west; by woods and wetlands to the north; and by woods, residences, and wetlands to the east. NWIRP Bedford is divided into northern and southern sections that are separated by Hartwell Road.

NWIRP Bedford was established in 1952 and its mission was to design, fabricate, and test prototype equipment for missile guidance and control systems. NWIRP Bedford was an active research facility from the mid-1950s until December 2000 when its mission ended and the facility was closed. The Navy owns this property which was historically operated by Raytheon Manufacturing Company. Since closing, the facility has remained vacant. Activities at NWIRP Bedford were historically conducted in two main structures: the Components Laboratory north of Hartwell Road, and the Southern Flight Test Area Facility to the south. The southern section was sold in Spring 2019.

Environmental History

An Initial Assessment Study (IAS) was conducted in 1986 which identified potentially contaminated sites at NWIRP Bedford. Initially four sites were identified for investigation under the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program (NERP). The results of the IAS led to the placement of NWIRP Bedford on the National Priorities List (NPL) on May 31, 1994. The Navy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) signed a Federal Facilities Agreement on February 2, 2000 related to conducting investigations at NWIRP Bedford.

Two sites (Sites 1 and 2) received no further action decisions in September 2000. For more than two decades, Sites 3 and 4 were investigated. An interim remedial action (IRA) for Site 3 was initiated in 1997; this IRA (i.e., removal action) consisted of constructing and continually operating a groundwater extraction system to contain the Site 3 contaminant plume and treat the contaminated groundwater. Additional IRAs were conducted for both Sites 3 and 4 in early 2000s. A decision was reached for Site 4 in 2009 and for Site 3 in 2010. In 2014, a fifth site (Southern Flight Test Area [SFTA]) was added. The three sites (Site 3, Site 4 and SFTA) are in the post-decision phase. While contamination remains, the Navy will conduct Five-Year Reviews at these three sites. The following is a summary of major investigations and studies for NWIRP Bedford to date:

Event Date
Initial Assessment Study (Preliminary Assessment) 1986
Remedial Investigations 1990-2010
Interim Remedial Actions (Removal Actions) 1993-2012
Placed on the NPL 1994
Federal Facilities Agreement 2000
Feasibility Studies 2010
Record of Decision, Site 1 - No Further Action 2000
Record of Decision, Site 2 - No Further Action 2000
Record of Decision, Site 4 2009
Record of Decision, Site 3 2010
Construction Completion Report for the Remedial Actions at Site 3 and Site 4 2014
Explanation of Significant Difference to the Site 3 ROD (Inclusion of Southern Flight Test Area) 2014
(First) Five-Year Review for Site 3, Southern Flight Test Area, and Site 4 2014
Interim Remedial Action Completion Report for the Southern Flight Test Area 2015
(Second) Five-Year Review for Site 3, Southern Flight Test Area, and Site 4 2019
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