Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund
Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations
Motorola, Inc. (52nd Street Plant)
EPA #: AZD009004177
Congressional District: 01
Other Names: Motorola 52nd Street; Motorola, Inc. Discrete Semiconductor
Join EPA, ADEQ, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the Arizona Cancer Registry for the next Motorola 52nd St. CIG meeting
Thursday April 3rd
5:45 - 8:45pm
Balsz School District Board Room
4825 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ
On this page
Description and History
NPL Listing History
NPL Status: Final
Proposed Date: 10/15/84
Final Date: 10/04/89
The Motorola, Inc. (52nd Street Plant) Superfund Site (Motorola 52nd Street Site) was added to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989. The former Motorola 52nd Street Plant (now operated by ON Semiconductor) is a 90-acre semiconductor manufacturing plant located on McDowell Road, in a residential and commercial area. In 1982, Motorola discovered that a 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) underground storage tank was leaking at their facility. Further investigations determined that the soil and groundwater is contaminated with a variety of chlorinated solvents which are volatile organic compounds (VOC) that were used in Motorola's semiconductor manufacturing operations. Motorola is conducting investigations and cleanup activities of this contamination as described below in the INVESTIGATION AND CLEANUP ACTIVITIES section below.
The Motorola 52nd Street Superfund Site study boundaries now encompass an area of groundwater contaminated with VOCs, such as TCE, PCE, 1,1,1-TCA and their degradation by-products (See Site map). Historical spills and other releases of commercial and industrial solvents at the Motorola 52nd Street Plant, and other facilities in the area, such as at the Honeywell 34th Street facility (formerly AlliedSignal), reached the groundwater, causing the groundwater to become contaminated. The groundwater contamination has spread westerly for several miles. The portion of the VOC plume that extends west of 7th Avenue is being addressed by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF).
The groundwater in this area, which ranges from 30-90 feet below ground surface, is not being used for drinking water purposes. The City of Phoenix supplies drinking water from primarily surface water sources to the areas within the Site. The drinking water is tested to ensure compliance with regulatory standards. Salt River Project irrigation wells in the area have been shut down, but may be operated intermittently during drought conditions.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manage and oversee the cleanup of this Site. The Site is divided into 3 groundwater study areas, Operable Unit One (OU1), Operable Unit Two (OU2), and Operable Unit Three (OU3). See INVESTIGATION AND CLEANUP ACTIVITIES below for more information.
Contaminants and Risks
- Soil and Sludges
Soil and groundwater underlying the site contain various chlorinated hydrocarbons from solvent use. People who accidentally ingest or come into direct contact with contaminated groundwater or soil may be at risk. EPA is also studying the possibility for soil vapor from contaminated groundwater to migrate into buildings and impact indoor air.
Who is Involved
This site is being addressed through Federal, State, and potentially responsible parties' actions.
Investigation and Cleanup Activities
The site is divided into three Operable Units. Interim cleanup actions are being conducted at the first two OUs, and investigations are underway for the third groundwater OU, at the Honeywell 34th Street Facility, and several additional facilities in the OU2 and OU3 area. The first interim cleanup action (OU1) was selected in order to address the sources of soil and groundwater contamination at the Motorola 52nd Street facility, and also contain groundwater off-site at 44th Street. The second interim cleanup action (OU2) was selected to contain groundwater contamination at 20th Street. The Honeywell 34th Street facility is under investigation to determine the extent of contamination from their facility (located in OU2). Groundwater contamination from 20th Street to 7th Avenue (OU3) is being studied by an OU3 PRP Working Group under EPA and ADEQ oversight.
ADEQ is the lead agency for activities in OU1 and OU2 with the exception of the vapor intrusion to indoor air investigation. EPA has the lead for OU3.
EPA and ADEQ are working towards final remedies for each OU.
Motorola has taken several initial actions to monitor and develop treatment remedies for contaminated groundwater and soil in OU1. In 1983 and 1984, Motorola installed 22 on-site and six off-site monitoring wells. In the period from 1986 through 1992, numerous additional monitoring wells were installed. In 1986, the company initiated an on-site groundwater treatment program that included treatability testing, design, and installation of a pilot treatment plant; treatment of groundwater; and use of the effluent in the plant's air fume scrubbers. Full-scale treatment was implemented in 1992.
In 1988, the EPA and ADEQ selected an interim remedy for the site, called OU1, to clean up a portion of the Motorola facility through soil gas extraction (SVE) and groundwater pump and treatment methods. The remedy was selected to prevent further contamination to groundwater by recovering the contaminated on-site soil gas and groundwater and also capturing off-site groundwater at 44th Street.
Motorola, under ADEQ oversight, completed construction of a full-scale groundwater extraction and treatment facility, and it has been operating since 1992. On-site and off-site (at 44th Street) contaminated groundwater is being pumped and treated at an on-site treatment facility by air stripping, and the air emissions are treated with granular activated carbon. The treated groundwater is then used in the manufacturing processes, replacing water that was previously supplied by the City of Phoenix. Motorola also completed soil vapor extraction (SVE) pilot studies on the Courtyard and Southwest Parking Lot areas of the facility in 1993. Design and construction of a full scale pilot Air Sparging/SVE system in the Southwest Parking Lot area (SWPL) was completed in 1996 and operated in 1997.
STATUS: Motorola is currently evaluating the long-term effectiveness of the groundwater treatment system, and submitted an addendum to the Feasibility Study for OU1 in December 2005. Freescale is currently conducting a Bedrock Extraction Pilot Study to determine how to extract contamination from bedrock structures. This Pilot Study will occur until 2013. The 4th Five Year Review for the OU1 treatment system was conducted in September 2011. The purpose of the Five Year Review was to determine whether the OU1 system continues to meet the remedial action objectives and is protective of human health and the environment. Several follow-up actions and recommendations were identified in the Five Year Review that need to be resolved before a final determination on the system's protectiveness can be made. Freescale has worked with EPA and ADEQ to address many of these followup actions and recommendations. The remaining issues will be addressed as part of the Final Feasibility Study and Final Remedy Selection Process.
Over the past several years, ON-Semiconductor used the treated groundwater at OU1 for on-site manufacturing purposes. ON-Semiconductor closed its plant manufacturing operations in November 2011. This means the company will no longer be able to use the treated groundwater. At this time, Freescale is sending the treated water to the sewer as a temporary measure but are collecting data to evaluate the various options for the long-term beneficial future use of the treated groundwater. Freescale will continue to operate the treatment plant to ensure continued containment of the plume. EPA and ADEQ will provide more information to the community on this issue once we receive the long term benefical use proposal from Freescale.
EPA has the lead for the vapor intrusion to indoor air pathway investigation in OU1. Vapor intrusion is the migration of volatile organic compounds from contaminated groundwater and/or soil into overlying buildings. In August 2010, EPA and Freescale Semiconductor signed an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent (AOC) to perform soil gas sampling and a vapor intrusion to indoor air investigation in the residential neighborhood west of the former Motorola 52nd Street facility. Soil gas sampling results were compared to health-based screening levels for the chemicals of concern, mainly TCE and PCE. Because concentrations of TCE exceeded the soil screening level in some locations, the first round of indoor air sampling was conducted in July 2011. Indoor air samples were collected in locations near high soil gas sampling results and where the owner and tenant granted access for sampling. Samples were collected of indoor air, soil gas beneath the slab foundations (sub-slab samples) and outdoor air near in the study area. Samples have been collected in cool and hot seasons to determine if temperature impacts the data. The indoor air data in some homes was above EPA's indoor air screening level for TCE and some homes had high levels of TCE beneath the slab foundation indicating the potential for vapor intrusion to occur in the future. Therefore, where access has been granted, Freescale has installed a sub-slab depressurization system to prevent vapors from entering the homes. These systems are commonly used in areas where radon gas intrudes into homes and are extremely effective. EPA anticipates that in 2013 the residential vapor intrusion investigation will be complete and the vapor intrusion investigation on the former Motorola facility will be initiated.
Motorola, under ADEQ oversight, conducted an investigation of the groundwater contamination in the area downgradient of OU1. The contamination was discovered to extend to at least 20th Street, several miles west of the Motorola facility. Contamination from the Honeywell (formerly AlliedSignal) facility at 34th Street, and possibly other facilities, is suspected to be contributing to the groundwater contamination in the area. In 1994, ADEQ and EPA selected an interim groundwater pump and treatment remedy to contain the plume near 16th Street and treat the water to drinking water standards. This remedy was selected to prevent further spreading of contamination and to begin cleaning the groundwater in the area. The remedy is described in the 1994 Interim Record of Decision for OU2.
Motorola began the design for the OU2 remedy in late 1996 and completed the design in 1999, under ADEQ oversight. During the design process, EPA and ADEQ made two significant changes to the 1994 Record of Decision: 1) the planned end use of the treated water was changed from reinjection into the aquifer to discharge to the Salt River Project (SRP) Grand Canal for agricultural irrigation purposes, and 2) the treatment technology was modified from air stripping to granular activated carbon and ultraviolet oxidation. These changes are documented in a September 1999 Explanation of Significant Differences.
The final design was approved by ADEQ and EPA in December 1999. The system was designed to achieve capture of the plume at 20th Street in its first year of operation. Under an EPA Unilateral Administrative Order, Honeywell and Motorola completed construction of the treatment system in August 2001 and have been operating the system since September 2001. The current system consists of 3 extraction wells, conveyance piping from the wells to the treatment plant at 20th Street and Washington, treatment (VOC removal) using granular activated carbon, piping of the treated water to the SRP Grand Canal discharge point at 35th Street east of Roosevelt, and a monitoring well network to evaluate system effectiveness. A UV/Ox system has also been installed at the treatment plan to address treatment of vinyl chloride should it be necessary in the future.
Over 3 million gallons of water is treated and discharged per day. The system is shut down for 1 month annually to allow for the SRP canal maintenance period. The length of time the groundwater treatment system will need to be operated has not yet been established, and will be established after final cleanup goals and a final cleanup strategy for OU2 have been selected by EPA and ADEQ.
STATUS: The first Effectiveness Report evaluating OU2 operations was submitted to EPA in April 2003, and has been submitted to EPA annually thereafter. The treatment plant has been effective in removing contamination from the groundwater. Since the system has been operating, groundwater levels have been declining, and extraction rates at the system have reduced over time, particularly in the south well. The system appears to have achieved capture of the majority of the plume at 20th Street but more data is needed to evaluate capture all of OU2.
Honeywell 34th Street
Facility Investigation: The Honeywell 34th Street facility is an 118-acre aerospace manufacturing plant located at 34th Street and Air Lane, in the OU2 area. Honeywell used chlorinated solvents in its operations, including TCE and 1,1,1-TCA. Investigations to date have determined that on-site soil and groundwater, as well as off-site groundwater west of the facility, have been contaminated.
Honeywell has been conducting investigations at their site since 1992 to characterize soil and groundwater contamination on portions of the facility. They have installed approximately 33 on- and 25 off-site groundwater monitoring wells and have conducted several shallow soil gas investigations. They have also have designed, constructed and operated a pilot soil vapor extraction (SVE) system in an area of the site since 1997. Under a 1999 Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with ADEQ, they are completing characterization of the potential soil sources at their entire facility, and installing about 31 additional groundwater monitor wells to characterize the extent of the off-site groundwater contamination. This site characterization work will support a cleanup strategy for the sources at the Honeywell facility.
STATUS: Honeywell is in the process of preparing its Final Focused Remedial Investigation and Risk Assessment for the Honeywell 34th Street site for submittal to EPA and ADEQ for review and approval. Honeywell is also working with ADEQ's Underground Storage Tank (UST) program to address jet fuel releases at the facility, discovered in 1999. In 2006, Honeywell applied for a revision to their existing Title V Permit to permit the air emissions from a new Biologically Enhanced Soil Vapor Extraction (BSVE) system. The BSVE System is currently operating.
Operable Unit 3 extends from 20th Street on the east to 7th Avenue on the west, and is between McDowell Road on the north and Buckeye Road on the south. EPA has the lead for oversight of PRP work to investigate and cleanup contaminants in OU3. EPA installed groundwater monitoring wells in late 2001 and in February - May 2003 in order to determine the extent of groundwater contamination from the Motorola 52nd Street Superfund site. A total of 28 new monitoring wells at 13 locations were installed. The results of this investigation are contained in a Groundwater Investigation Report dated January 2005. EPA sampled the new wells quarterly for the first year and then semi-annually (March and September). Groundwater Monitoring Reports are prepared after each sampling event.
STATUS: EPA, Honeywell International and Arizona Public Service signed a Statement of Work (SOW) and an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) for an OU3 Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study in September 2009. The SOW requires the installation of the final phase of groundwater monitoring wells, installation of soil vapor monitoring wells to evaluate the vapor intrusion to indoor air pathway and an in-situ treatability study. The SOW also contains tasks for determining clean-up options and performing a Baseline Groundwater Risk Assessment. The PRPs have submitted a draft Work Plan for EPA and ADEQ approval. Once the Work Plan is approved, field work to install the groundwater monitoring wells and soil vapor monitoring wells will begin.
Additional Facility Investigations: EPA seeks to identify additional companies that may have contributed to the contamination in the OU2 and OU3 areas. Since July 2000, EPA has sent over a hundred information request letters to various companies that may have information about solvent use at industrial facilities in the area. In September 2003, and again in September 2005, EPA identified additional potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to the site, and is working with the PRPs to investigate the potential contamination at these facilities. EPA initiated negotiations for facility investigations with the PRPs in March 2004 and has negotiated six agreements in OU3 to date. Additional facility investigations are planned.
ADEQ began negotiating with PRPs in the OU2 area in June 2004 and has issued one order to date. ADEQ has recently initiated additional facility investigations in the OU2 area.
Kachina Joray/Semiray Facility Investigation & Clean-up
The Semiray Aerospace Testing and Inspection Services Facility (formerly the Kachina Testing Laboratories Facility) is an aerospace components testing facility located at 3027 East Washington Street, in the OU2 area. From 1980 to 1999, a company called the Joray Corporation operated the Kachina Facility, providing non-destructive testing, chemical and special processes servicing to the aerospace, automotive, electronics, and commercial manufacturing industries. During that time, Joray used a variety of chemicals that contained volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”), heavy metals, and other constituents. Joray ceased operations in 1999 and dissolved in 2000. The property is currently leased by Semiray, which conducts services similar to those previously conducted by Joray at the site.
Previous investigations at the Facility have detected high levels of two types of VOCs - tetrachloroethylene (“perc” or “PCE”) and trichloroethylene (“TCE”) - in the soil gas beneath the Facility, suggesting that site operations may have impacted soil at the Facility. Testing of indoor air at the Facility has also revealed elevated levels of PCE and TCE above EPA’s health-based action levels. Indoor air sampling of nearby residences and businesses did not reveal elevated levels of these contaminants above EPA’s action levels. As a result of the sampling, modifications were subsequently made to the ventilation systems at the Facility to improve the indoor air quality, with the intent of increasing the volume of outside air conveyed into the building through the rooftop air-conditioning units.
Joray has recieved approval to conduct a pilot test of the mitigation system to address the contaminants found at the Facility. Cleanup of these contaminants in the subsurface will be carried out using a process called Soil Vapor Extraction (“SVE”), also known as "soil venting" or "vacuum extraction." Wells will be installed on the property and suction applied to remove gases from the ground. The extracted vapors will be treated in an on-site treatment system, and then treated air will be released to the outdoors. The treated air will meet all clean air state and federal requirements. Similar to equipment used at facilities or homes where radon gas is a concern, the SVE system is designed to prevent gases in the soil from entering the facility (a pathway called “vapor intrusion”), and additional indoor air monitoring will be performed to ensure that the SVE system is indeed successful at lowering the concentrations of PCE and TCE vapors indoors.
Cleanup Results to Date
The interim actions undertaken by Motorola and Honeywell have made the site safer while additional cleanup activities are being planned.
Potentially Responsible Parties
Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) refers to companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site.
Online information about the PRPs for the site is not yet available.
Documents and Reports
Public Meetings: A new Community Information Group was formed in 2010 and meets regularly. The next meeting is scheduled for April 3rd from 5:45-8:45pm (please arrive at 5:45pm if you are new to the Group and would like an introduction to the site). It will be at the Balsz Elementary School District Board Room, at 4825 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85008.
Please contact the Community Involvement Coordinator, Amanda Pease, at (415) 972-3068 if you or a local group would like to get more involved or would like to be added to the mailing list.
Public Information Repositories
The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:
Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality,
Remedial Projects Unit
1110 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2935
Phoenix Public Library,
2802 North 46th Street
Phoenix Public Library,
1221 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
ADEQ's web site for the Motorola 52nd St. site: http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/waste/sps/phxsites.html#mot52a
EPA Site Manager
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
Brian Stonebrink, OU2, OU3 and Sitewide
Wendy Flood, CIC
Brian (602) 771-4197
Wendy: (602) 771-4410
1110 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2935
After Hours (Emergency Response)