For the past 200 years, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has used property in the United States to train service men and women and test new weapons to ready our nation for military defense. As testing and training needs changed throughout the years, so did DOD’s property needs. At times, DOD obtained new property for military use, or returned property to private or public use. Today, sites formerly used by DOD located in Missouri are privately owned.
The DOD is cleaning up properties formerly owned, leased or otherwise possessed by the United States, and under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense, prior to October 1986. The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, as well as other military components, are conducting cleanups at these former DOD sites under several cleanup programs. DOD established two programs under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP): the Installation Restoration Program (IRP) and the Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP).
DOD’s environmental restoration efforts began in 1975 with the IRP, which addresses contamination from hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants at active installations, Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) properties and Base Realignment and Closure Program (BRAC) locations in the United States. DOD established the MMRP in 2001, to address former defense sites (i.e., closed military ranges) known or suspected to contain unexploded ordnance, discarded military munitions or munitions constituents. These sites are referred to as munitions response sites.
Through these programs, DOD complies with the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund, and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). DOD’s goals are to protect the environment to ensure that DOD has the land, water and airspace needed for military readiness; to protect the health of the military and civilian personnel and their families who live and work on DOD bases; to ensure DOD operations do not adversely affect the health or environment of surrounding communities; and to preserve resources for future generations.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Role
The department's Federal Facilities section works with DOD, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and agencies representing them, to clean up sites currently or formerly owned by DOD. Department staff provide project oversight in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Nike Battery - Kansas City 30
This site is a sub-installation of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The 23.82-acre site, which was acquired in August 1958 and December 1963, is located 35 miles southeast of Kansas City and 2.5 miles south of Lone Jack in Cass County, Missouri. The site was used as a control and administration area for Nike missiles from 1958 until 1968, when the Nike-Hercules mission was discontinued. The site was then inactivated and declared excess by the U.S. Army on Jan. 31, 1968. From January 1969 to February 1988 the site was under license to the Missouri National Guard. The site has been inactive since February 1988 and was chosen for base realignment and closure in 1989.
The site is now abandoned and equipment and materials have been removed. Only the original buildings and foundation for the radar installations, wastewater treatment system and water pumping station remain. The contaminated areas consist of disposal areas, underground storage tanks and wastewater treatment system. The main contaminants of concern are petroleum products/ waste, chlorinated solvents, metals, pesticides and mercury. For more information, visit EPA's Nike Battery 30 - C - Kansas City webpage.
Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Base
Jefferson Barracks is located 12 miles south of downtown St. Louis, on the western bank of the Mississippi River. Although military activity has existed at the site since 1826, present hazardous waste concerns relate mainly to unexploded ordnance from World Wars I and II. Known hazardous wastes were cleaned up at the base itself. The focus has turned to the adjacent riverbank where dozens of grenades and mortar rounds have been discovered and destroyed since February 1996. Please go to the FUDs tab above for more information. For more information, go to the FUDs tab above or visit Air National Guard's Jefferson Barracks Air Guard Station webpage.
This site is entering the final stages towards closure. Additional information about the site is available in the Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Base Decision Document, November 2016.
Lambert-St. Louis Air National Guard Base
The Missouri Air National Guard Base, Lambert Field, is located in St. Louis. The Lambert-St. Louis International Airport borders the base to the north and east. At one time, the site contained an oil/ water separator, an above ground tank containing waste oil, an above ground tank containing a solvent and an underground storage tank used to store detergent. The structures have since been removed, but they are still of concern. For more information, visit EPA's Lambert-St. Louis Municipal Airport Air National Guard webpage.
Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base
The Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base consisted of about 1,600 acres of land located between Belton and Kansas City, Missouri. In 1976, the federal government deactivated Richards-Gebaur as an active military facility. In 1980, about 80 percent of the base was declared surplus property. The Air Force retained ownership of 428 acres containing dozens of buildings. Title to the surplus land was turned over to the city of Kansas City, which operated it as a city-owned general aviation airport. The installation uses interim leases to lease parcels to the Kansas City Aviation Department. Runway and aviation support facilities transferred to the Kansas City Aviation Department before the installation closed in September 1994. The U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Reserve were provided land for immediate reuse.
The site included a fire training area, vehicle maintenance areas, hazardous waste drum storage areas, fuel storage areas and underground storage tanks. The main contaminants of concern are petroleum products/ waste, chlorinated solvents, unexploded ordnance, low-level radioactive waste, metals, pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls. For more information, visit GlobalSecurity.org's Richards-Gebaur Air Reserve Station webpage.
Rosecrans Air National Guard Base
The Rosecrans Air National Guard Base consists of approximately 302 acres of land located between Kansas and Missouri, on an oxbow island just west of the Missouri River and St. Joseph, Missouri. Four Air Force Base sites in this area have soil or groundwater contamination requiring further characterization and possible cleanup actions. The main contaminants of concern are aircraft fuels, chlorinated solvents, strippers, waste oils, toluene, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, various organic chemicals, arsenic and cadmium. The underground storage tank site has one or more tanks known to have leaked fuel. For more information, visit Air National Guard's Rosecrans Air National Guard Base webpage.
Air Force 819 Special Depot
In 1942, the United States leased this property for storage space for the Air Service Command. Two underground storage tanks containing petroleum are located under a warehouse and appear to have been out of use since the Department of Defense leased the site.
Belton Island Outer Marker Annex
In 1957, the United States purchased 0.94 acres, which the Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base used. The Department of the Air Force reported the facility as surplus property in the late 1970's. On Aug. 21, 1985, the facility was conveyed to the city of Kansas City for public airport purposes. Petroleum appears to be the contaminant of concern at this facility.
Fordland Air Force Station (P-68)
Fordland Air Force Station (P-68) is located three miles east of Fordland, in Webster County. The site consists of 85.44 acres that the Air Force used as a radar and communication site. On April 26, 1962, the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare deeded the property to the state of Missouri for exclusive use by the Department of Corrections, Division of Inmate Education. The site is now named Ozark Correctional Center, which the state of Missouri uses as a medium security prison.
In the fall of 1996, the USACE conducted a site investigation and determined the soils, sediments and groundwater at the site do not appear to have been adversely impacted by suspected DOD landfill disposal activities. In January 1999, the USACE obtained state concurrence for a "no further action" decision. The determination was based on site-specific investigations that included geophysical and radiological surveys, soil, leachate and groundwater sampling.
The former Fort Crowder Military Installation is located in southwest Missouri, approximately three miles southeast of Neosho in Newton County. In 1941, DOD used Fort Crowder, now referred to as the Camp Crowder Training Facility, as a Signal Corps Training Center. By 1943, DOD acquired 42,786.41 acres in Newton and McDonald Counties. For information about Camp Crowder's construction, review the Jefferson City News Tribune article, Built in WWII, Camp Crowder, Missouri was once a booming U.S. Army post.
Past operations at the site include rocket engine testing and manufacturing, aircraft maintenance, industrial waste treatment facility operations, landfilling, underground fuel storage, burn pits and lagoons. Waste material generated at the site include aviation and vehicular fuels, oils, greases, metals, paints and solvents. Missouri State Archives has 274 photographs and newspaper clippings detailing events within the camp in its Camp Crowder Photograph Collection.
The USACE provided the Missouri National Guard with a license to use 4,358.09 acres as a training area. The remainder of the land was given to various public and private interests. Groundwater and soil contamination has been identified in various areas of the base's original property boundaries. Trichloroethylene (TCE), also referred to as trichloroethene, contamination in soils and groundwater has been documented at the site and may include off-site contamination in a number of private wells.
Gasconade Boat Yard
The Gasconade Boat Yard Facility is located approximately one mile northeast of Gasconade. The site is situated at the confluence of the Missouri and Gasconade rivers. In November 1892, the site was established as a boat yard and served as a major crossing for marine and rail shipping for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. During World War II, the facility provided boat manufacture and repair services for the USACE. At one time, the site consisted of four two-story housing units, an engine and boiler room, a steam plant, a planning operation, maintenance shops, above ground storage tanks, fuel transfer pump house, assembly buildings and several storage/ support buildings. A rail spur was also constructed.
By 1972, site operations were reduced from boat yard operation to serving as a winter harbor. The main contaminants of concern are fuels, volatile organics, asbestos and metals. For more information, visit EPA's Gasconade Boat Yard webpage.
Jefferson Barracks Post Dumping Grounds
Jefferson Barracks is located 12 miles south of downtown St. Louis, and runs two miles along the western bank of the Mississippi River. Jefferson Barracks was once the largest military reservation in the United States and has been a significant U.S. military site since 1826. Used by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, other federal agencies and the Red Cross, it has been used for induction, recruitment, training, mobilization and separation of troops. It was the first basic training camp of the U.S. Army and also home of the first U.S. Cavalry. It was a major munitions depot for both the Army and the Navy, is still the largest U.S. military hospital and contains a national cemetery.
The USACE accepted FUDs responsibility for buried fuel tanks that appear on old site maps and possible unexploded ordnance along the riverfront. Since 1996, hundreds of ordnance items have been found along the riverbank and destroyed. Discoveries included live fragmentation and white phosphorous grenades, Stoke's mortar rounds and hundreds of cartridges and fuses. For more information, visit Air National Guard's Jefferson Barracks Air Guard Station webpage.
Kirksville Air Force Station (P-64)
The Kirksville Air Force Station (P-64) is located seven miles north of Kirksville, in Adair County. The DOD acquired the 78.51-acre site to use as a radar station. The facility provided search and height data for aircraft. A small family housing development consisting of seven houses also exists on the site. For a historical map of the site, visit iTouchMap.com's Kirksville Air Force Station webpage.
In 1968, the station was conveyed to Northeast Missouri State University and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The site is currently used as storage for the college and as a radar tracking station for the FAA. There is evidence that petroleum related products, along with cis-1, 2,-dichloroethylene, trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride have been released into the environment at the site.
Malden Air Force Base
The Malden Air Force Base was acquired between 1942 and 1945 and a complete Army airfield was constructed, including three small ordnance storage buildings. The types of ordnance stored were chemical, small arms and pyrotechnics. The base was reported as surplus property in 1946 and officially closed in 1960. The property was conveyed to the city of Malden and is now Malden Industrial Park and Regional Airport. For more information, visit Malden Army Airfield Preservation's Malden Army Airfield webpage.
Military Personnel Record Center - St. Louis
The Military Personnel Record Center property is located at 9700 Page Ave. in St. Louis. The site is used for storage, printing and distributing forms and publications. Three underground storage tanks have been located at the site. Currently, a portion of the site is an unnamed park owned by the city of Overland. The remaining property is owned by the General Services Administration and is named the Federal Records Center. For more information, review The American Archivist article, The National Personnel Records Center Fire: A Study in Disaster.
Nike Battery KCDA 10 - Lawson
Formerly the Kansas City Defense Area, the Nike Battery 10 facility was located in Lawson. The site was established by the Army and used as a surface-to-air guided missile installation for defending the Kansas City metropolitan area. This site consists of two areas, the former control area and launcher area. The former control area consisted of buildings necessary for maintaining personnel that fired the missiles. The launcher area was comprised of three missile launch and storage facilities.
The former control area is now owned by the Lawson School District R-XII. The launcher area was purchased by the private sector. Possible contaminants include asbestos, petroleum and solvents. For more information, visit EPA's KCDA (EX) Nike Battery 10 webpage.
Nike Hercules SL 60 - Pacific
The Nike Hercules SL 60 property is 162.56 acres of land located in Pacific. The federal government acquired the property for the U. S. Army Air Defense Command between June 1959 and April 1965. This property was purchased to create a missile site for the defense against high flying enemy aircraft.
The Meramec Valley R-III School District took over 85.15 acres on Jan. 21, 1970. A private individual purchased another 14.07 acres. The General Services Administration controls the remaining 63.34 acres. Possible contaminants include asbestos, petroleum and solvents.
Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base
The Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base is located 18 miles south of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The facility was named after two military aviators, John Francisco Richards II and Arthur William Gebaur Jr. For more information about these aviators, review the Air Force Magazine article, Richards-Gebaur: Tale of the Kansas City Heroes. Originally built as an auxiliary airport by Kansas City in 1941, the base has served a variety of functions. The Aerospace Defense Command (ADC) leased the airport in 1952. The following year the city of Kansas City transferred the property to the U.S. government. Since that time, the base has successively been under the command of the ADC, the Air Force Communications Command, the Military Airlift Command and the Air Force Reserve.
During the Air Force's tenure at the base, industrial activity consisted of maintaining aircraft and ground support equipment. In the early 1990s, the portion of the base still under Air Force Reserve control was slated for closure under the Base Realignment and Closure Act. Contaminants associated with the site include petroleum, solvents and heavy metals. For more information, visit GlobalSecurity.org's Richards-Gebaur Air Reserve Station webpage.
Rosecrans Field Rifle Range
This Rosecrans Field Rifle Range consists of 59.3 acres located in St. Joseph. The DOD began using the site in 1942. The former rifle range is now divided between private owners, the city of St. Joseph's Parks Department and the State Highway Commission. There is possible heavy metal contamination at this site.
St. Louis Ordnance Plant
The St. Louis Ordnance Plant, also referred to as SLOP, originally consisted of approximately 327 acres of land located on Goodfellow Blvd. in western St. Louis. Ammunition was manufactured at the plant during the 1940's, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The Hanley Area of the St. Louis Ordnance Plant site consisted of 14.68 acres at the intersection of Stratford Ave. and Goodfellow Blvd. The Hanley Area takes its name from Hanley Industries, Inc., which leased the area in 1959 and conducted operations there through 1979. Hanley used the site for research, development, manufacture and testing various explosives. The processes in this area consisted of blending primary explosives, incendiary compounds, and the tracer charging of .30- and .50-caliber projectiles as part of assembly of the final product. For more information about the plant's history, including photographs, review the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, A Look Back: How 35,000 St. Louis workers kept the ammo flowing during World War II.
The St. Louis Ordnance Plant has since been broken up into many parcels. Fort Leonard Wood owns part of the site, while most of the remaining parcels are privately owned. The St. Louis Army Ammunition Plant is an active site, while other parts of the original St. Louis Ordnance Plant are either unused or put to other uses. The closure of the 64-acre Army Aviation and Troop Command facility at 4300 Goodfellow Blvd., ordered in 1997, was completed symbolically on June 26, 1998, when General Wilson presided over the lowering and casing of the unit flag.
Preliminary assessments identified explosive residues as well as heavy metals in a number of buildings. Fort Leonard Wood owns approximately 22 acres of highly contaminated soils and structures in the former mixing house area. Polychlorinated biphenyls are also present as a component of oils used on site.
St. Louis Tank Armor
The St. Louis Tank Armor is a four-acre site located on Manchester Ave. in St. Louis. The DOD owned the property from 1941 to 1950 and used the site to produce cast armor for military tanks. The property has since been sold and the structures on the site have been demolished. Contamination at this site possibly consists of polychlorinated biphenyls, heavy metals and solvents.
Tyson Valley Powder Farm
The Tyson Valley Powder Farm was originally a 2,620-acre facility located approximately four miles east of Eureka, in St. Louis County. Purchased in June 1941 and developed by the Ordnance Department, the DOD used the property from 1945 through 1950, then again in 1951 through 1963. This site was used mainly as an ordnance testing facility and to store powder, priming, pyrotechnics, incendiary chemicals and small arms ammunition produced at the St. Louis Army Ammunition Plant. Numerous bunkers once used to store ordnance are located on-site. Remnants of firing ranges and waste destruction areas also exist at the site.
Likely existing contaminants due to disposal, storage and destruction of ordnance related materials include heavy metals, nitroaromatics, various explosives and solvents. World War II-era documents show that radioactive wastes were once transported to the facility for storage. Later documentation suggests that some radioactive wastes were to be shipped off-site. Washington University School of Medicine radiation experts conducted a survey in 1988 and found no evidence of radioactive waste or contamination at the site.
Of the old facility, 1,966 acres are now owned by the Tyson Research Center at Washington University and 405 acres became the Lone Elk Park in St. Louis County. The remaining acreage is located in West Tyson County Park, and under Interstate 44 and railroad easements. For more information, review the Proposed Plan for Selected Areas of Concern and Areas of Interest, Former Tyson Valley Powder Farm, May 2014.
Vichy Army Air Field
The Vichy Army Air Field is a 1,370-acre site located 12 miles north of Rolla near Vichy, in Maries County. From 1942 to 1946, the DOD used this site, which consisted of three asphalt runways and 55 buildings. There were also above ground and underground storage tanks to support operations at the airfield. The site was transferred to the city of Rolla in 1957 and is currently a national airport. Possible contamination at this site includes heavy metals and petroleum.