Program Areas - Restoration Program

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility (WFF)

EPA Facility Identification Number: VA8800010763, VA7800020888, and VAR000509240 (Formerly Used Defense Sites) 

Facility Location: Route 803, Wallops Island, Virginia 23337 and Route 798, Wallops Island, Virginia 23337

Facility Contact: Mr. David Liu, 757-824-2141

EPA Contact: Ms. Lorie Baker, 215-814-3355

Other (Former) Names of Site: Wallops Flight Facility was also operated as the Chincoteague Naval Auxiliary Air Station (CNAAS), Naval Aviation Ordnance Test Station (NAOTS), and NASA's predecessor agency, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

Site Facts: Wallops Flight Facility is a national resource for providing low-cost integration, launch, and operation of sub-orbital and small orbital payloads that support space-based research focused on Earth and its environments, established in 1945 under the NACA. Effective December 8, 2004, NASA and the EPA entered into an Administrative Agreement on Consent (AAOC). The AAOC was issued under the authority under Section 7003 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as amended by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA), 42 U.S.C. Section 6973, and by agreement integrates the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. The AAOC applies to past releases of hazardous substances, waste and/or constituents at WFF and identifies CERCLA response requirements, policies, and guidance as the primary process for planning for and performing the work necessary to complete remedial and corrective actions appropriate to address contamination from those releases. The EPA has divided the FUDS and NASA sites into Operable Units (OU) to further address future investigations and remediation. For additional information on the EPA's oversight, please visit their webpage:

Contamination: Historic waste handling operations and activities have led to surface soil, subsurface soil, and groundwater contamination at the Facility which may present a potential endangerment to health and the environment.

What is Being Done: NASA is currently engaged in site characterization and remedial activities at five sites, in accordance with the requirements of CERCLA and under the authority of RCRA Section 7003. NASA has closed 21 sites under CERCLA and has two sites in long term monitoring. NASA has also closed 21 storage tank sites under the Virginia Storage Tank Program and has one site in long term monitoring. In addition to the areas NASA is addressing, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Baltimore District is addressing the former CNAAS and NAOTS sites that have historical contamination from past Department of Defense (DOD) activities. These sites are being addressed by the USACE Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) program under 13 active projects. In February 2015, NASA and Department of the Army signed a Memorandum of Agreement authorizing NASA to manage the FUDS program at WFF on behalf of USACE. In 2021, NASA and EPA entered into a second consent agreement to address the FUDS. This allows NASA to address all site cleanup under the Federal Facility Superfund Alternative Approach, eliminating the need to be added to the National Priorities List. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has also been an active partner in providing oversight to NASA.

Current Site Status: NASA will continue site investigations and propose to EPA remedial alternative(s), as appropriate, to address soil, sediment, surface water, and/or groundwater contaminants where an unacceptable risk has been determined. Additional details can be found in the Fiscal Years 2021 - 2022 Site Management Plan.

During cleanup, complex sites may be divided into several distinct areas to make the response more efficient. These areas, called operable units (OUs), may address geographic areas, specific problems, or medium (e.g., groundwater, soil) where a specific action is required. The remedies are displayed for the OU numbers indicated in the original decision document. OU numbers may change over time.

In addition to the OUs, since 2016, NASA has been conducting ongoing activities related to the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at WFF. Up-to-date information can be found at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility website.

Site Repository: Copies of supporting technical documents and correspondence are available for public review at the following locations:

Eastern Shore Public Library Chincoteague Island Library
23610 Front Street 4077 Main Street
Accomack, Virginia 23301 Chincoteague, Virginia 23336
(757) 787-3400 (757) 336-3460

The 2004 Administrative Agreement on Consent defines NASA and the U.S. EPA's responsibilities for management and restoration of impacted areas on WFF from historic NASA activities.

The 2021 Administrative Agreement and Order on Consent defines NASA and the U.S. EPA's responsibilities for management and restoration of impacted areas on WFF from FUDS.