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Surface-Water and Ground-Water Monitoring and Evaluation Rocky Mountain Arsenal


Surface-Water and Ground-Water Monitoring and Evaluation Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Study Area: Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Commerce City, CO
Period of Project: Ongoing (began in 1991)
Project Number: CO252
Project Chief: Earl Cassidy
Cooperator: Department of the Army


The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) is a former chemical weapons and pesticide manufacturing facility that is currently being transformed into a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. Army established RMA in 1942. From 1943 until 1984, the Army conducted chemical and incendiary weapons manufacturing and disposal operations at RMA. Also, several leaseholders manufactured chemicals and pesticides at the site from 1947 to 1982. These activities resulted in significant contamination of the RMA and surrounding areas. In May 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began providing scientific and technical expertise to the Program Manager, Rocky Mountain Arsenal (PMRMA) to enhance hydrologic knowledge of surface water, lakes, wetlands, and ground water, in both quality and quantity, as it relates to the RMA environment.

Currently, the USGS provides scientific information to assist the PMRMA and the USFWS in the management of the ground-water and surface-water elements of the approved cleanup remedy, the Long-Term Monitoring Program LTMP.

In addition, the USGS is involved in supplemental data collection and evaluations on the affects on water resources from offsite activities and ongoing Arsenal remediation activities as it becomes one of the largest urban National Wildlife Refuges in the Nation.


  1. 1. To provide technical information for the development, implementation, and review of onsite remedial actions that effect ground-water flow, ground-water quality contaminant migration, and the relation between ground- and surface-water.
  2. To assist with the implementation and refinement of the LTMP to meet the needs of the RMA contamination cleanup and Water Management Programs.
  3. To provide assistance to PMRMA staff as needed, to confer with contractors and regulators; review reports, technical plans, and proposals; to prepare statement of work; and to attend briefings and meetings where the water resources expertise of the USGS can benefit the PMRMA and the USFWS.
  4. To operate gaging stations as needed to meet the objectives of the LTMP and future needs of the NWR.

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