Superfund Site | Phoenix-Goodyear Airport

EPA #: AZD980695902

Superfund National Priority List (NPL) Placement: 1983


The Phoenix-Goodyear Airport (PGA) Superfund site is located primarily in Goodyear, Maricopa County, approximately 17 miles west of Phoenix, in the western part of the Salt River Valley in central Arizona.  EPA determined two distinct sources that have impacted area soil and groundwater, and has designated the PGA Superfund site as two work areas:

  • PGA-North (PGAN) with a source area near a former Unidynamics Phoenix Incorporated (UPI) facility and a mostly northward trending groundwater plume.
  • PGA-South (PGAS) with a source area near a former Goodyear Aerospace/Loral facility and multi-aquifer groundwater plumes impacting areas south by southwest and also northwesterly. 

The impacted groundwater plumes are elongated and irregular, but to assist in visualizing the impacted area the site can be roughly framed by Indian School Road on the north, Dysart Road to the east, Broadway Road on the south, and Bullard Avenue to the west.  Even though about 11 square miles are framed, the plumes’ irregular footprint area extent is estimated at less than 5 square miles. 

The PGA site lies almost entirely within Goodyear, Arizona. Municipal exceptions include the airport proper, which is owned by the city of Phoenix, and an area near Litchfield Road which is within the city of Avondale.  Land use on and near the site includes agriculture, residential, commercial and industrial development.

Contaminants of Concern

Groundwater is impacted by organic compounds and metals.  PGA-North groundwater is impacted by trichloroethene (TCE), perchlorate, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and acetone.  PGA-South groundwater is impacted by TCE, tetrachloroethene (PCE), 1,1,1 trichloroethane (TCA), 1,1-Dichloroethylene (1,1 DCE), carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, chromium, and arsenic. 

Some source area soil is impacted by organic compounds and metals.  Organic compounds reported in select source area samples include TCE, PCE, MEK and acetone.  Metals have been detected in some soil samples.  Within select source areas, concentrations of chromium, cadmium, aluminum, and copper exceed Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) health-based clean up levels in some soil samples.

Public Health Impact

There is no current site health risk due to groundwater exposure.  Contaminated groundwater is not used as drinking water. Captured groundwater is treated and reinjected or used for a non-drinking water use.  There is no current health risk from exposure to soil or soil vapor since source surface soil exposure has been minimized and near surface contaminant levels are low. 

Some of the inorganic compounds detected at the site, such as chromium, are more toxic than others. Chromium has been identified in some water samples taken from the site in both the trivalent and hexavalent states. Chromium compounds in the trivalent (+3) state are of a low order of toxicity. At PGA-South, chromium in the groundwater is approximately 80 percent hexavalent and 20 percent trivalent.

Environmental Considerations

Within the PGA site there are no unique habitats nor any threatened or endangered species. Native vegetation is sparse. However, located south of the site, the lower Gila River represents an important riparian habitat. Species that inhabit or migrate through the Gila River area include four federally listed or endangered species. These are: the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), the Yuma Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris yumanensis), the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The PGA area, particularly near the Gila River, supports mourning dove, Gambel’s quail, and various waterfowl.  Burrowing owls have been documented within the framed site region.