Incineration at the Former Nebraska Ordnance Plant Site, Mead, Nebraska

Site Name:

Former Nebraska Ordnance Works


Mead, Nebraska

Period of

- Mini and Trial Burn Operation – September 1997
- Full-Scale Operation – October to December 1997


Remedial Action

On-Site Incineration

- Soil stream was fed through a grizzly screen to remove large debris
- Incineration system consisting of a co-current, rotary kiln and one secondary combustion chamber (SCC)
- Kiln operated at an exit gas temperature of 1150 to 1800°F; SCC operated 1800°F
- Hot flue gases exiting the kiln were quenched using water spay nozzles
- Solids exiting the kiln were stockpiled for compliance sampling

Cleanup Authority:
CERCLA and State
- ROD date: August 29, 1995

SIC Code:
9711B (Ordnance Production
and Storage) and
9711C (Ordnance Testing
and Maintenance)

Project Management:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Formerly Used Defense Sites Program
Edwin Louis Kansas City District
700 Federal Building
Kansas City, Missouri 68144-3869
(816) 983-3563
Point of Contact:
Craig Bernstein
726 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
(913) 551-7688

Troy Bendenkamp
Suite 400, The Atrium
1200 N. Lincoln Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-8922
(402) 471-2214

Explosives and Propellants

- TNT, RDX, TNB, DNT, DNB, HMX, Tetryl, o-NT and m-NT
- Maximum concentrations in mg/kg – TNT (133,000), RDX (23,270), TNB (430) and DNT (119.3)

Waste Source:
Discharge of contaminated rinse water and burning of explosives

Type/Quantity of Media Treated:
Soil and Debris
- 16,449 tons (13,009 cubic yards) of soil and debris
- Average Moisture Content: 16.82 %
- Average BTU value per pound: 1220
- Average Soil Density - 93.7 pounds per cubic foot

Purpose/Significance of Application:
Project completed in extremely short time period, including all permitting requirements

Regulatory Requirements/Cleanup Goals:
Destruction and Removal Efficiency (DRE) of 99.99% for POHC The following limits were set for treated soil after incineration in mg/kg:

- TNT – 17.2
- RDX – 5.8
- TNB – 1.7
- DNT – 0.9
- TNB – 1.7
- HMX – 1,715.2
- Tetryl – 343
- NT – 343

- Emission and trial burn data indicated that all DRE and emissions standards were met
- Treated soil sampling indicated that all soil cleanup goals were met

Cost Factors:
The total cost for this project was $10,700,001. The technology cost was $6,479,245 ($394 per ton of contaminated material)

During several intervals between 1942 and 1959, the Nebraska Ordnance Plant (NOP) site was used for loading, assembly and testing of bombs, boosters and shells. During site cleaning activities, explosives-containing wash water was discharged into surface water drainage ditches at the site. In addition, contamination was observed in soil at the Burning/Proving Grounds at the site. A Record of Decision (ROD) was signed in August 1995, specifying on-site incineration as the remedial technology for addressing shallow contaminated soil at the site. Shallow contaminated soil at the former NOP (soil between 0 and 4 feet below the ground surface) was identified as Operable Unit (OU) 1. Site soil cleanup goals were specified in the ROD.

Because the former NOP site was designated as part of the Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) program, the USACE was responsible for managing remedial actions at this site.

Site work for construction of the incinerator was commenced in February 1997. Incinerator start up and shake down were performed in August and September 1997. Mini burn and trial burn tests were conducted in September 1997. After receiving approval from EPA and NDEQ of the proposed operating limits, the incinerator was put into full production in October 1997. Treatment was completed in December 1997. The incineration system consisted of a co-current, rotary kiln followed by a secondary combustion chamber (SCC). After confirming that treated soil met the cleanup criteria, the soil was returned to an excavation at the site. Demobilization of the incinerator from the site was completed in May 1998.