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).