FINAL Site Inspection Report - Hammond Bombing and Gunnery Range

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Executive Summary

FINAL Site Inspection Report Hammond Bombing and Gunnery Range

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ES1 The objective of this site inspection (SI) was to determine whether the former Hammond Bombing and Gunnery Range in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana warrants further evaluation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) beyond the SI stage. There are five munitions response sites (MRS) located within the Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) property at Hammond Bombing and Gunnery Range, as follows:

  • Bomb Target #1 (MRS01);
  • Multiple Use Target (MRS02);
  • Bomb Target #2 (MRS03);
  • Rifle Range (MRS04); and
  • Gunnery Range (MRS05).

In addition, a potential area of interest (AOI), an area with possible cratering, was identified during the technical project planning (TPP) meeting, as described below.

ES2 The recommendations for the MRSs could include no further Department of Defense (DoD) action indicated (NDAI), further evaluation as part of a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS), or a time critical removal action (TCRA).

ES3 The investigation of Hammond Bombing and Gunnery Range, which operated as a bombing and gunnery range from August 1942 to September 1945, was performed to confirm known target locations and to evaluate evidence for the presence of munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) and munitions constituents (MC) at the site. To accomplish this objective, qualitative reconnaissance (QR) and MC sampling were performed. Munitions reportedly used at the site include AN-M30 100-lb. general purpose bombs, MK I 100-lb. general purpose bombs, M38A2 100-lb. practice bombs, M85 100-lb. concrete practice bombs, M5 2.25-inch practice rockets, M1A1/M3/M5 spotting charges, 0.50-caliber machine gun ammunition, AN-MK4 3-lb. practice bombs, AN-MK5 3-lb. practice bombs, AN-MK23 3-lb. practice bombs, AN-MK43 4.5-lb. practice bombs, and general small arms ammunition.

ES4 The SI technical approach was agreed to at the February 14, 2008 TPP meeting by the TPP Team. Based on historical information, it was agreed at the TPP meeting that MRS01, MRS02, and MRS03 would likely proceed to RI/FS and MRS04 and MRS05 would likely proceed to NDAI. It was proposed during the TPP process and documented in the Site-Specific Work Plan (SS-WP) that collection of eight multi-incremental surface soil samples (with one triplicate) and conducting approximately 19.1 miles of QR would be sufficient to meet the SI project objectives. No sediment, groundwater, or surface water samples were planned at the TPP meeting. However, well data were obtained after the TPP meeting that showed numerous wells are present in the vicinity of the site, including several within the site area. Therefore, three groundwater samples were added to the planned sampling activities, dependent on the availability of access to onsite wells.

ES5 During the TPP meeting, Deputy Sheriff Tom Davidson of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Department indicated that he is familiar with the history of Hammond Bombing and Gunnery Range because he helped research a book titled Hammond Army Air Field and Early Aviation in the Hammond Area (Ford 1996). At the TPP meeting, Sheriff Davidson pointed out locations on the map and referred to them as a "demolition area" within the Gunnery Range MRS; a "rifle range berm area" within the Rifle Range MRS; "strafing targets" within the Gunnery Range MRS; and an "area of potential cratering" north of the Bomb Target #2 MRS. The area of potential cratering Deputy Sheriff Tom Davidson referred to is identified as a potential area of interest (AOI) because it is located outside of the MRS boundaries. Additionally, Mr. Davidson suggested that the location of the Multiple Use Target, as presented in the Archives Search Report (ASR) Supplement (USACE 2004b), is approximately 4,500 feet too far to the north and the firing point does not lie outside the FUDS boundary. An adjusted boundary for the Multiple Use Target is presented on the report figures, consistent with Mr. Davidson's description.

ES6 The SI evaluation included performing approximately 22.4 miles of QR (3.3 additional miles to that agreed to in the TPP meeting). The QR did not locate any MEC at any of the MRSs, but MD was observed within the overlapping portions of the Rifle Range and Gunnery Range MRSs, and just to the north of the Gunnery Range MRS, in the potential area of interest (AOI) reference by Mr. Davidson and as identified in the SS-WP (adjusted Multiple Use Target). A total of 66 observations (Figure ES-1) were noted by the SI field team to include soil type, topography, vegetation and evidence of past DoD use (Appendix E) and no indications of past DoD use were observed besides the two 0.50-caliber MD items. No military-related structures or craters were observed. Some large depressions that initially appeared to be craters were observed, but could not be confirmed to be craters based on lack of metallic material within or surrounding the depressions.

ES7 During the SI, eight multi-incremental surface soil samples (including one triplicate) and three groundwater samples (including one duplicate) were collected at the site. Six of the surface soil samples were biased samples located within Hammond Bombing and Gunnery Range MRSs, one was located in the area of potential cratering AOI, and the remaining sample, an ambient background sample, was located south of the site MRSs. One of the groundwater samples was collected within a site MRS (Bomb Target #1), while the other two groundwater samples were collected along the western and southern edges of the site, outside of the MRSs. The biased samples were collected in areas considered to have the highest likelihood for residual MEC and MC contamination, if present (see Figure ES.1).

ES8 APPL, Inc. in Fresno, California analyzed the surface soil samples for explosives and select metals (aluminum, antimony, chromium, copper, lead, and zinc). Groundwater samples were analyzed for explosives, perchlorate, and select metals (aluminum, antimony, chromium, copper, lead, and zinc). No metals were detected above background in surface soil or groundwater samples collected at the site. No perchlorate was detected in groundwater samples collected at the site. No explosive compounds were detected in the groundwater samples. One explosive compound, "nitroglycerin", was detected in one surface soil DU sample. The sample with the nitroglycerin detection was not collected within an MRS, but was collected within the AOI identified by the Tangipahoa Sheriff during the TPP meeting as an "area of potential cratering." Therefore, based on the sampling and analysis conducted, no MC contamination was identified at the site MRSs. Since no receptor pathways were complete for any MRSs (based on lack of MC contamination), no human health screening level risk assessments nor screening level ecological risk assessments were required. MC contamination was identified at the AOI. Being the AOI is not an MRS it was not evaluated for risk. This detection is indicative of a potential MC release or an effect of tree stump blasting, as described in Subchapter 5.8.1.

ES9 Based on the qualitative MEC risk evaluation, there is the possibility that human receptors might come into contact with explosively hazardous MEC at Bomb Target #1, the Multiple Use Target, and Bomb Target #2. Therefore, there is the potential for an explosive safety risk at these MRSs. However, no explosive hazards remain at the Rifle Range or Gunnery Range and, therefore, no explosive safety risk is considered to be present at these MRSs. Based on results of the MC and MEC risk evaluations, it is recommended that MRS01, MRS02, and MRS03 proceed to RI/FS and MRS04 and MRS05 proceed to NDAI. It is also recommended that the area of potential cratering AOI be investigated further and the location of the Multiple Use Target be evaluated to see if it is placed correctly on historical maps.

3Rs of Explosives Safety Education

      Recognize - when you may have encountered a munition and that
     munitions are dangerous.
     Retreat – do not approach, touch, move or disturb it, but carefully leave
     the area
     Report – call 911 and advise the police of what you saw and where you saw
For more information and educational materials, please visit this link.                    
Munitions may be encountered anywhere past or present military training occurred. Current range boundaries do not necessarily reflect where munitions may be found.