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Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane is a naval facility located in southwestern Indiana, approximately 25 miles southwest of Bloomington, Indiana, and 75 miles south of Indianapolis, Indiana. The NSA Crane location is shown on Figure 1. The installation covers approximately 62,463 acres and is predominantly in Martin County; however, portions of it extend into neighboring Greene and Lawrence Counties. NSA Crane is in a rural, sparsely populated area. The acreage surrounding the facility is primarily woods or farm land. The majority of NSA Crane is covered by forest. The surface topography is defined by rugged terrain cut by well-defined stream valleys. Surface elevations on the facility range from 470 feet above mean sea level (msl) in the valleys to 800 feet above msl on the ridges.
NSA Crane was originally established in 1941 under the Bureau of Ordnance as the Naval Ammunition Depot for the production, testing and storage of military weaponry. In the late 1940s, the Bureau added an ammunition quality evaluation unit to expand its quality control system. As the complexity and sophistication of weapons increased through the 1950s and 1960s, Crane’s activities, capabilities and expertise expanded in scope under the newly formed Bureau of Weapons to include small arms, sonobuoy surveillance, microwave tubes, POLARIS missiles and other scientific and engineering support to the Bureau.
In the 1960s, Crane came under the command of the newly established Naval Ordnance Systems Command and began providing technical support for weapons systems including logistics, in-service engineering, repair, overhaul, and design. In the years that followed, Crane’s support included batteries, rotating components, electronic components, failure analysis, and standard hardware and new technologies related to night vision systems.
In 1974, Crane came under the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) that was established from the merger of the Naval Ordnance Systems Command and Naval Ship Systems Command. Shortly after in 1975, Crane’s name was changed to the Naval Weapons Support Center (NWSC), which more accurately reflected the true function of the installation.
In 1977 Congress mandated that the Army would be the single-service manager of conventional ordnance, as such, the tenant command, Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) was established. CAAA subsequently oversaw the loading, assembly and storage of ammunition at the installation.
Crane’s name was changed again in 1992 to Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), whose mission is to provide acquisition and in-service engineering and technical support for sensors, electronics, electronic warfare and special warfare weapons.
In 2004, Naval Support Activity Crane officially stood up as the installation command, charged with ensuring quality support allowing NSWC Crane, CAAA, and other tenant commands to remain focused on their engineering, ammunition, and logistics missions. Today grown from its ordnance roots, Crane is recognized worldwide as a modern leader in diverse and technical products aimed at meeting the needs of today’s warfighter in the defense of the nation.
Environmental Assessment History
In April 1981, the Navy Assessment and Control of Installation Pollutants (NACIP) program was implemented and subsequently became known as the Installation Restoration Program. Under the authority of this program, an Initial Assessment Study (IAS) was conducted in April and May 1981 by a team from the Naval Energy and Environmental Support Activity (NEESA), the Ordnance Environmental Support Office, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This study was published by NEESA in 1983. The purpose of the IAS was to collect and evaluate evidence indicating the existence of pollutants which may have contaminated the facility, and which may pose a health hazard to people on or off the facility. The result of this study, based on historical records, aerial photography, field inspections, and personal interviews, was the identification of 17 potentially contaminated sites. None of the sites were determined to pose an immediate threat to human health or environment, while 14 of the sites warranted further investigation under the NACIP program to assess potential long-term impacts. A Confirmation Study involving actual sampling and monitoring of the 14 sites was recommended to confirm or deny the existence and extent of potential contamination.
The Confirmation Study included the installation and sampling of groundwater monitoring wells at several sites to determine if groundwater contamination was present. A total of 80 monitoring wells were installed at 6 of the 14 sites by the end of 1981. In addition to groundwater samples, surface water streams exiting NSA Crane were monitored on a monthly frequency for cyanide, explosive compounds, and heavy metals. At the time of the NEESA report, monitoring had not indicated contamination problems. Even though there were specific pollutants suspected at some of the various sites due to their operations, a minimum screening procedure was recommended to include groundwater contamination indicators listed in 40 Code of Federal Regulations 265.
Corrective action programs established as part of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) required NSA Crane to address past releases of hazardous constituents or hazardous waste at sites labeled Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs). Accordingly, NSA Crane submitted a Hazardous Waste Management Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in January 1985. The report listed the sites identified during the IAS as SWMUs. Following the Hazardous Waste Management Report, a RCRA Facility Assessment (A.T. Kearney, Inc. 1987) was conducted to characterize the potential for releases of hazardous constituents or waste from 100 SWMUs and 3 Areas of Concern.
An additional environmental study included the Army's Installation Assessment Relook Program, which sought aerial analysis support from the U.S. EPA, Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center. The Relook program was initiated under the Army Installation Restoration Program in which installations, assessed prior to U.S. EPA/Army interagency agreement and availability of the Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center's historical reports, were reassessed for possible Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act problems.
The 1988 U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency report concluded many areas of concern in the 1978 Installation Assessment report (Department of the Army) had been addressed under the Navy's NACIP program, with the completion of the Navy IAS (NEESA 1983) and initiation of confirmation studies at many potential areas of contamination. The CAAA was recommended to work with Crane to minimize environmental impact from Army operations.
Under the authority of RCRA as amended by HSWA, a hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility must be permitted by the U.S. EPA. On December 23, 1989, NWSC Crane was granted a Final RCRA/HSWA storage permit. The permit's corrective action requirements were negotiated between the Navy and U.S. EPA Region 5. This permit established the HSWA Corrective Action Requirements and Compliance Schedules obligating the U.S. Navy to perform a RCRA Facility Investigation at SWMUs, to conduct Corrective Measures Studies, and implement corrective measures if needed. To date, 38 SWMU sites, 9 Unexploded Ordnance sites, and 6 Area of Concern sites have been identified or investigated at NSA Crane.
The following is a summary of major NSA Crane environmental investigations and studies:
|Initial Assessment Study of Naval Weapons Support Center, Crane, Indiana||NEESA, May 1983|
|Preliminary Review/Visual Site Inspection Report of Naval Weapons Support Center, Crane, Indiana||A.T. Kearney, Inc., March 1987|
|Basewide Background Soil Investigation Report||Tetra Tech NUS, Inc., January 2001|
|Basewide Pennsylvanian Bedrock Background Groundwater Evaluation Report||Tetra Tech, September 2013|
|Class 1 Permit Modification with Prior Approval, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, IN5170023498||Indiana Department of Environmental Management, August 2015|
|Historical Radiological Assessment Report, History of the Use of General Radioactive Material From 1940 To 2016||Resolution Consultants, March 2018|
|Monitoring Well Inventory Technical Memorandum||Tetra Tech, August 2018|
Much of NSA Crane is covered by forest. NSA Crane lies in the Crawford Upland physiographic province. The Crawford Upland is a rugged plateau dissected by well-defined stream valleys. The surface elevations range from 470 feet above msl in the valleys to 800 feet above msl on the ridges.
The geology of most of NSA Crane consists of up to 10 feet of soil overburden underlain by Pennsylvanian age sedimentary rocks of the Raccoon Creek Group, Mansfield Formation (predominantly interbedded sandstones, shales, siltstones, and coal seams). Mississippian strata of the Chester Series are exposed in the deeply incised valleys and the far eastern portions of NSA Crane. The Mississippian strata consists of alternating sequences of limestones, shales, and sandstones. Limestones of the Mississippian are noted for forming significant solution (karst) features. A generalized stratigraphic column of the NSA Crane area is presented as Figure 2.
Studies have indicated groundwater at NSA Crane is predominantly found in bedrock. Though some surficial soil aquifers exist, most of the groundwater flow is in the rock fractures. Static water level of the uppermost bedrock aquifer averages approximately 30 feet below ground surface.