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Site Description

The former Litton Systems Inc. site is located at 4811 West Kearney Street in Springfield on approximately 70 acres of land just east of the Springfield-Branson National Airport. Litton Systems Inc. began manufacturing printed circuit boards in the 1960s and closed in 2007. The facility was demolished in 2008, and the site is now a vacant lot with only the concrete building slab remaining. The site is owned by Northrop Grumman Corporation Guidance and Electronics Company Inc., a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation that acquired the site from Litton Systems Inc. in 2001. Northrop Grumman is investigating and remediating the site. The department is overseeing this cleanup through its Superfund Cooperative Program, an alternative for contaminated sites that otherwise would be referred to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Description of Contamination

During the course of operation, the facility generated wastes containing metals, predominantly copper, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), predominantly trichloroethylene (TCE). Until the early 1980s, the facility managed wastes in a series of on-site waste management units consisting of shallow lagoons, and waste piles and pits. The historic waste management units did not fully contain the materials; investigations of surrounding soils, shallow groundwater, deep groundwater and vapor intrusion have been conducted to determine the extent of potential on-site and off-site contamination.

The area in and around Springfield has an extensive network of voids, caverns and sinkholes in the shallow bedrock, and springs that surface at various points. This “karst” geology provides selective pathways for contamination to potentially travel farther than in soil or saturated groundwater zones. In karst geology, groundwater contaminant plumes are difficult to delineate because they often do not follow a predictable pattern. The department conducted a number of dye trace studies that showed materials traveled distances from 0.4 to 6.3 miles, and additional investigations are ongoing.

Learn more about the investigation and cleanup activities in the Litton Systems Inc. fact sheet below.