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Crane Plume
Crane Plume

The PGA Superfund Site covers approximately 35 square miles in the City of Goodyear.  It is divided into a southern and northern portion.  The northern portion, or PGA North, is the site of the former Unidynamics Phoenix, Inc. manufacturing plant.  Operations at the former Unidynamics plant began in approximately 1963 and consisted of developing and testing defense and aerospace equipment, systems and munitions.  Chemicals, oil and powders containing trichloroethylene (TCE*), toluene, acetone, methanol, cobalt nitrate, ammonium carbonate, perchloric acid and fuel were used on the site and then disposed of in 11 dry wells and 2 unlined oxidation ponds.  TCE is the principal contaminant at the site and was used as a cleaning solvent at the former Unidynamics plant.  Lesser amounts of perchlorate, an oxidizer, contamination also exists at the Site. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) have been investigating the contamination to the soils at and groundwater below the PGA South Superfund Site and attempting to remediate it since 1981.  In 1983, EPA added both the PGA South and the PGA North sites to its National Priorities List, which is a list of sites across the nation that pose a risk to human health, welfare, or the environment that need to be cleaned up to eliminate or reduce such risks. Soil and groundwater cleanup efforts began at PGA North in 1994.  Groundwater occurs in unconsolidated alluvial sediments at the Site generally consisting of silts and sands with some gravels and clays.  Groundwater at the PGA North site is deep below the ground surface, ranging from approximately 60 feet below ground surface (bgs) in the south to 120 feet bgs in the northern portion of the site.  Although there is currently no exposure to TCE impacted water, historically several City of Goodyear municipal supply wells and Suncor irrigation wells have been abandoned due to TCE contamination.

* EPA classifies TCE as a probable cancer-causing agent and at elevated concentrations TCE may cause damage to the liver and central nervous system.  Potassium perchlorate interrupts the thyroid’s ability to properly utilize iodine to produce thyroid hormones.

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