Former Five Points Outlying Field

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Frequently Asked Questions

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 Q1. What does the acronym FUDS mean?
A1. FUDS stands for Formerly Used Defense Site. Click to view an extensive list of common acronyms are provided.
 Q2. When did the military use the site and what occurred there?

A2. The military used Five Points Outlying Field (OLF) in the 1940s and 1950s. The government purchased the 162-acre site in 1940 and sold it in 1956.

Personnel from Dallas Naval Air Station originally used the site to practice aircraft landings and take-offs. They later used the site as a practice bombing range.

 Q3. What ordnance was used at the site?
A3. The ordnance known or believed to have been used at Five Points OLF was MK 23-MOD-1 miniature Navy practice bombs, M38A2 practice bombs and 100-lb repurposed practice bombs.
 Q4. Why is the Corps involved?

A4. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Program.

In 1986, Congress established the FUDS Program to clean up properties that were owned, leased, possessed or used by the Army, Navy, Air Force or other Defense agencies prior to October 1986.

 Q5. What will the Corps do?
A5. The Corps' Fort Worth District manages the Former Five Points OLF FUDS project. The district has worked with other Corps offices to research the military history of the site, the current site conditions, and to perform a subsurface removal of MEC for most of the impacted area. Next, the district will evaluate the potential remedies for any residual MEC that may be present, and determine which response action is needed. The remedy decision document is expected to be available for public comment by 31 August 2014.
 Q6. When will the cleanup occur?

A6. Cleanup, in the form of subsurface removal of munitions, has been completed for the majority of the Five Points OLF. However, before a final remedy for residual munitions presence may be implemented, the Corps must review the findings of the RI/FS document and prepare the proper documentation for a remedy selection. The RI/FS document is currently available for public comment at the public information repository.

Any response actions recommended by the investigation are dependent upon funding from Congress.

 Q7. What should I know about ordnance to keep my family safe?

A7. Ordnance, regardless of condition and age, can be very dangerous. People who find something that might be an ordnance item should mark the location and call local law enforcement. (In Arlington, call 911.) People should never touch, move or disturb the item in any way.

The Corps encourages parents to educate their children about ordnance safety.

 Q8. Will ordnance in the ground contaminate my drinking water?

A8. The Twin Parks Estates and Southridge (South Ridge Hills) neighborhoods are supplied with piped city water, so contaminated groundwater should not be a concern.

The chemical substances possibly used in ordnance at Five Points OLF included black powder, white phosphorous and powdered rust. None of these materials would contribute hazardous waste to groundwater.

 Q9. What government agencies are involved with this site? How can I contact them?
A9. The Corps is working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (Mr. Allen Posnick, 512-239-2332) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Mr. Richard Mayer, 214-665- 6444).
 Q10. I've heard the Corps can't clean up ordnance from under my home. What danger exists from it remaining in the ground below my house?

A10. Unexploded ordnance (UXO) is only dangerous if disturbed. Any UXO items under rigid structures such as concrete slabs, sidewalks, asphalt roadways, etc., are generally safe from disturbance and will remain stable. UXO is generally safe until some type of direct contact is initiated with it.

To initiate any of the ordnance items that were used at Five Points OLF would require a direct blow to the firing pin.

 Q11. How will ordnance remaining in the ground affect lead levels?

A11. None of the filler materials in the ordnance used at Five Points OLF contained lead.
The body of one version of the MK 23 miniature practice bomb was made of lead, but such a large piece of lead is unable to leach significant quantities of metal into the ground.

The leaching ability of a metal is directly proportional to its surface area (i.e., the larger the surface area, the more leaching.) Because surface area is indirectly proportional to particle size (i.e., the smaller the particle size for a given weight of metal, the more surface area), a large "particle" of lead, such as a practice bomb body, has virtually no leaching ability. (In contrast, a similar amount of lead in powdered form has a much larger leaching capacity because the particle size is smaller and the surface area is larger.)

Additionally, the soil samples that have been collected from the neighborhood have not contained lead, or other any other munitions-related chemical, in concentrations that would pose any health hazard. The Remedial Investigation that has been performed for the site has determined that there is no quantifiable health hazard from interaction with soils at the Five Points site.

 Q12. What will happen to the buried ordnance if there is an earthquake?

A12. For the ordnance used at Five Points OLF, it will take either a direct blow to the firing pin or extreme heat (like a fire) to make the ordnance function. Ground movement (like what occurs during an earthquake) should not cause the ordnance items at Five Points OLF to function.

In addition, earthquakes are not likely to occur in the Five Points OLF area. According to the Natural Resource Conservation Services, Arlington is an inactive seismic area with no expected ground motion.

 Q13. I got a flyer on my door saying the EPA recommended I evacuate my Southridge home. Where do I go?
A13. The referenced flyer was not distributed by the EPA and contains erroneous information. No government agency has recommended an evacuation for the Former Five Points OLF site. If you have questions about EPA's guidance for this site, contact Mr. Richard Mayer at 214-665-6444.
 Q14. How do I find out if property I want to purchase was once owned by the military?
A14. Previous military ownership is usually identified in a title search. Other sources of information include the local library, government archives and older residents who live in an area.
 Q15. I'm mostly concerned with the chemical bombs mentioned in that 1954 document. What happens if a person comes in contact with one of these chemical bombs? How dangerous are the chemicals? What will the chemicals do to a person?

A15. After researching the military history of the site and conducting field investigations, and MEC removals in the neighborhood, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined that the "M47 chemical bombs" described in the 1954 clearance document were actually 100-lb repurposed practice bombs (RPBs), and that no chemical agent bomb was ever used at the property.

The 100-lb RPBs that were used at the property began their life as a thin-walled steel shell that was originally slated for completion as a standard ordnance item, most likely to be used in World War II bombing operations. Before these shells would be filled with chemicals, they would undergo a pressure test with water to ensure that they did not leak. Any of the shells that failed the test would be filled with water, or sand, and repurposed as a practice bomb of the type used at Five Points OLF. This was done primarily because of the shortage of steel during the War.

There is no evidence of actual M47 chemical bombs, filled with anything other than water or sand, at the Five Points OLF site.

 Q16. How do I keep informed about what the Corps is doing?

A16. Public involvement is an important part of the Corps' FUDS Program. The Corps may host public meetings (such as the one held Oct. 30, 2001, in Arlington), distribute news releases, print public notices in the newspaper, host a website, mail fact sheets and other information to interested citizens, and establish a Restoration Advisory Board.

To receive mailings, you can request to be added to the former Five Points OLF project mailing list by calling the Corps' Fort Worth District Public Affairs Office at 817-886-1313 or sending an email to Be sure to include your full name and mailing address. You may also give your daytime and evening phone numbers and email address. (You can be removed from the mailing list at any time by calling 817-886-1313.)

A Restoration Advisory Board, or RAB, is made up of interested community members who reflect the diverse interests of the local community, as well as representatives of state, local and federal agencies. A RAB is designed to serve as a focal point for the exchange of information between the Corps and the community. There is currently no RAB for the Former Five Points OLF, but if you are interested in participating in a RAB for this site, contact the Corps' Fort Worth District Public Affairs Office at 817-886-1313.

In addition, the Corps has documents related to the Former Five Points OLF FUDS project that are available to the public. The information repository for these documents is the Arlington Central Library, 101 E. Abram Street, Arlington, Texas 76010.

 Q17. I understand that when the Corps studies or cleans up the site, they'll need access to my land. Do I have to be home to let the Corps on my property? What if I don't want the Corps on my property?

A17. The Corps and/or its contractors will not enter any individual's property without written consent (called a "right of entry"). If a property owner signs a right of entry agreement, he/she does not have to be home when the Corps and/or its contractors do their work. (Depending on the type of work, sometimes the property owner cannot be home to ensure his/her safety.) If a property owner refuses to sign a right of entry, the Corps will not enter the land.

If you sign a right of entry and later change your mind about allowing the Corps access to your property, simply inform the Corps of your decision to disallow entry. The Corps' employees and/or contractors will leave if they are already present when notified of your change of mind.

 Q18. What about property values?
A18. The Corps is not authorized to study property values associated with FUDS properties.
 Q19. At the Oct. 30, 2001, public meeting in Arlington, the Corps said the 1954 clearance document may have actually referred to another military site in Arlington. Please explain.

A19. The document referenced is the Oct. 7, 1954, Report of Clearance for Five Points OLF. The Corps first learned of the document in September 2001, and as of Oct. 30, was still trying to determine the report's credibility and significance. At the time, based on an error in the report, the Corps thought the report may have referred to Arlington Outlying Field, another outlying field in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Since then, the Corps has not found documentation to support the conclusion the report refers to the Arlington OLF site. Therefore, the ordnance listed on the 1954 report is believed to pertain to the Five Points OLF site.

 Q20. The 1954 Report of Clearance states that all duds found on the Five Points range were recovered. The 1956 Certificate of Clearance states that Five Points was cleared of all dangerous and/or explosive material reasonably possible to detect. Why then are people still finding ordnance at the site?

A20. Based on experience at other Formerly Used Defense Sites properties, the Corps knows that 1940s-era ordnance and explosives (OE) clearances were very different than 21st-century OE clearances. It was standard practice to bury recovered ordnance items; many sites were in remote, undeveloped locations; and advanced technology for detecting subsurface ordnance was not available.

The 1956 Certificate of Clearance refers only to a visual surface clearance operation performed without the use of subsurface instrumentation. This would limit the clearance to surface only. Thus, any subsurface ordnance would not have been discovered during this action. Subsequent ground disturbances may have resulted in unearthing subsurface ordnance.

 Q21. I read that Mr. Brian Condike with the Corps wrote in a Sept. 25, 2001, letter that the Corps has "no reason to believe that there are any hazardous substances on the property formerly known as Five Points Field that are the result of its use as a practice bombing range." Should I be concerned or not?
A21. The Corps now knows that the items previously reported to have been M47 chemical bombs were, in fact, 100-lb repurposed practice bombs (RPBs), and that no ordnance with chemical filler was ever used at the site. Furthermore, soil sampling performed at the site has confirmed that soils at the Former Five Points OLF side do not contain any chemical agent, explosives compounds, or any other munitions-related chemicals in concentrations that would result in any health hazards to the public or to residents.
 Q22. I understand that black powder, phosphorous, and powdered rust were possible used in ordnance at Five Points OLF. I thought the ordnance used at Five Points OLF conventional, not chemical?
A22. "Spotting Charges" were used with practice bombs to provide visual confirmation of the point of ground impact. These charges used a small amount of black powder to expel a small quantity of powdered rust, or red phosphorous, which could be seen from a distance.
 Q23. Why weren't soil samples collected from my yard?
A23. The Corps carefully prepared a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) for collection and testing of Five Points OLF soil samples. The plan is based on both random and design sample locations, with laboratory sample analysis for substances possible associated with the practice bombs.