Former Frankford Arsenal Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) Five – Year Review

USACE, Baltimore District has completed the first Five-Year Review (FYR) of the Former Frankford Arsenal, Area II soils located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The purpose of the FYR is to evaluate the implementation and performance of the remedy in order to determine if the remedy is and will continue to be protective of human health and the environment. This FYR is prepared pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Section 121, consistent with the National Contingency Plan (40 CFR Section 300.430(f)(4)(ii)), and considering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, and Formerly Used Defense Sites policies.

Since the former Frankford Arsenal was decommissioned in 1976, several environmental studies and cleanups have been conducted. Based on the historical use and analytical results from environmental investigations conducted at the Site, the contaminants in Area II soils include lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (Aroclor 1260), and benzo(a)pyrene. The selected remedy detailed in the 2016 Decision Document (DD) for Area II soils is a combination of removal and disposal of soils in some areas and capping of soils with land use controls (LUCs) in other areas.

This FYR conducted by the USACE, Baltimore District, concludes that a protectiveness determination for the remedy cannot be made at this time until more information is obtained regarding the construction work performed within the capped area of AOC 21. Further information will be obtained by reaching out to the Property Owner to identify if this work was performed in accordance with the expectations of the DD and draft LUCIP and evaluating, based on the received response, if a revised risk characterization is necessary. It is expected that these activities will take approximately one year to complete, at which time a protectiveness determination will be made in the form of an addendum to this FYR.

For more information about the project or to provide feedback regarding the remedial actions that have been implemented for consideration as part of the Five-Year Review, please email Todd Beckwith, USACE Project Manager, or call 410-962-6782.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has conducted its first Five-Year Review for Area 1 at the former Frankford Arsenal Formerly Used Defense Site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Five-Year Review identified that the No Further Action remedy at the former Frankford Arsenal, Area I, remains protective of human health and the environment. 


The Frankford Arsenal started operating as an arsenal in 1816. A wide variety of ordnance-related activities took place over the years including the development of artillery and infantry equipment, proving and testing of musket and rifle powder, development and manufacturing of small arms and ammunition, and many other research and development initiatives.

In 1976, Frankford Arsenal was declared excess and was closed on Sept. 30, 1977. A decontamination and clean-up program was completed in 1980. The work included remediation of radiological contamination, explosive residues, and heavy metal residues.  Since 1996, the Corps of Engineers has performed investigations for munitions and residual chemicals. The site has been divided into four active projects to improve efficiency (Area 1, Area 2, Area 3, and Groundwater).