Environmental

Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant McGregor

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Background

The former Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant (NWIRP) McGregor facility was a Government-Owned Contractor-Operated (GOCO) facility, last managed by Alliant Tech Systems in 1995. The facility is located at 1701 Bluebonnet Parkway, primarily in McLennan County, with a small portion in Coryell County, Texas, as shown on Figure 3-1. The former installation consists of isolated industrial centers known as Areas separated by large agricultural tracks of land used for farming and cattle grazing (EnSafe, 2010). In 1942, the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps acquired approximately 18,000 acres of land at McGregor, Texas and established the Bluebonnet Ordnance Plant (BOP), now former NWIRP McGregor, which operated as an aircraft bomb-loading plant. The BOP was transferred from the War Department to the War Assets Administration in April 1946. Shortly after, the land was sold or conveyed to Texas A&M University (EnSafe, 2006). From 1948 to 1953, Texas A&M University conducted research and experimental farming on all acreage except in the industrial areas. In 1952, the Air Force reacquired approximately 11,450 acres, the major portion of the original BOP, renaming it Air Force Plant No. 66 (AF66). The Air Force reactivated the plant with Phillips Petroleum Company as the operator. A considerable amount of rehabilitations and new construction was conducted during this period. Phillips operated the base for the Air Force until 1958, when North American Grumman Aviation joined Phillips in a partnership to form Astrodyne, Inc. After a series of mergers in the early 1960s, Rocketdyne became the operator of the plant. In November 1964, the Navy accepted the plant from the Air Force since the plant was primarily producing naval weapons. In May 1966, AF66 was officially transferred to the Department of the Navy, and eventually was designated a Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant under the Naval Air System Command. Rocketdyne continued as the operator until January 1978 when Hercules, Inc. assumed operating responsibilities.

In March 1995, Aliant purchased Hercules. Alliant completed production in late 1995 and vacated former NWIRP McGregor in early 1996 (EnSafe, 2006). In August 1994, former NWIRP McGregor was determined to be “excess” to the mission of the DoD; as a result, the facility underwent closure. At the time of its initial closure, former NWIRP McGregor consisted of 9,700 acres of land. Through a series of transfers that began in 1999 and concluded in 2006, all of the facility was turned over to the City of McGregor for economic redevelopment (EnSafe, 2010). The former NWIRP McGregor is now known as the McGregor Industrial Park. As used in this report, “former NWIRP McGregor” refers to the 9,700 acres encompassed by the facility at the time of its closure. “On-site” refers to property within these 9,700 acres and “off-site” refers to property outside these 9,700 acres (EnSafe, 2010). Drinking water used at the former NWIRP McGregor is supplied by the NWIRP McGregor Public Water System (TX1550100). The NWIRP McGregor Public Water System supplies water collected from two on-site groundwater supply wells screened in the Twin Mountain formation at depths of approximately 1,000 feet below ground surface (bgs). Most of former NWIRP McGregor is in the western portion of McLennan County in the Washita Prairie, the easternmost part of the Grand Prairie of Texas. The Washita Prairie is commonly subdivided into four type areas. Former NWIRP McGregor and surrounding properties are within a Georgetown Prairie type area, characterized by gently rolling limestone hills and terrain, covered by a shallow soil overlain with open land vegetation. Creeks and rivers incise this surface, and cliffs and bluffs develop along these waterways (EnSafe, 2004). The land surface across former NWIRP McGregor consists of sloping, gently rolling hills and plains underlain by the Georgetown Limestone. Portions of it slope towards three principal drainage tributaries; the South Bosque River, Harris Creek, and Station Creek (EnSafe, 2004). Other small drainage ditches and unnamed tributaries contributing to these larger streams cut across the property. Steep bluffs rise above some of the creeks and streams, particularly along tributaries of Harris Creek and the South Bosque River. Elevations at the base range from 840 feet above mean sea level (msl) in the northwest corner to 630 feet above msl in the southeast corner. Most of the property slopes southeast, except for the southwest corner, which slopes southwest towards Station Creek (EnSafe, 2004).

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