Valley Forge, PA


The Lockheed Martin campus in Valley Forge, PA, has been an industrial property since the early 1960s. Prior to that, the area was farmland. In December 2006, a 200,000-gallon water tank that had served as a backup for fire emergencies was demolished and removed from the property. Lockheed Martin discovered oily sand in the ground directly beneath the tank.

Environmental testing of the sand and soil found the presence of tetrachloroethene (PCE), a manmade liquid solvent used for jobs such as removing grease from metal surfaces or dry cleaning. Testing indicated that the contamination does not pose health risks to people at the site. The drinking water is safe because it is — and always has been — from the public water supply. All contaminated sand and soils were removed and hauled to a permitted landfill.

Because PCE concentrations in bedrock exceeded Pennsylvania regulatory standards, a groundwater investigation was initiated. Lockheed Martin is conducting the voluntary remedial investigation in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act, commonly called PA Act 2.

A total of six groundwater monitoring wells were installed between March 2008 and Spring 2009, and sample results showed that levels of PCE were above Pennsylvania regulatory standards in three well locations at or near the former water tank area. One of these wells also showed concentrations of the solvent trichloroethene (TCE) above state regulatory standards.

Lockheed Martin has developed a remedial investigation plan that will evaluate the nature and extent of the groundwater contamination. The Corporation plans to deepen two of the six existing monitoring wells and drill three additional wells to better assess the size and depth of the plume. It will use the sampling results to develop both a computer model that simulates the site environment and a feasibility study that evaluates the merits of different cleanup methods to find the optimal remedy.

The Corporation also plans to:

  • Survey non-Lockheed Martin properties near the former water tank area to determine if there are public or private drinking water wells on those properties.
  • Conduct vapor intrusion testing to determine air quality below and inside the buildings adjacent to the monitoring wells where exceedences were found.
  • Perform groundwater pumping tests to further learn about groundwater flow.

In addition to the environmental investigation in the former water tank area, Lockheed Martin is embarking on an environmental assessment of the main Valley Forge campus in 2010. The assessment will include a review of the site’s environmental records, testing for soil vapors, and sampling of soil and groundwater to test for contaminants across the site.