A half century after the government closed a downtown Augusta munitions complex, contractors are seeking residents who might have new information about the site.
The 30.1-acre storage yard near Sunset Avenue and 15th Street was leased by the U.S. War Department from 1918 to 1955 and used as a shipping and storage yard for the Augusta Arsenal about three miles away.
Known as the Augusta Ordnance Depot, the site’s military legacy placed it on a list of Formerly Used Defense Sites that sometimes warrant scrutiny for contamination issues.
“We have an inventory of properties in the region that were once owned by the Department of Defense but were later turned over to other owners before October 1986,” said Tracy Robillard, a spokeswoman for the Army Corps Engineers, which manages the “FUDS” programs.
“Every year we go through our list and address potential FUDS sites to investigate or gather information,” she said. “We are currently undergoing this process with the former Augusta Ordnance Depot.”
The corps’ contractor, TerranearPMC, is beginning its investigation with a search for anyone with information about the site, which was known by other names including Augusta General Supply Depot, Hungerpillar Area and Harrisonville Yards Depot Annex. The company wants to interview anyone knowledgeable about the area about possible soil contamination and the presence of lead, metals or solvents. Anyone with information can contact the group by calling (855) 248-7855.
The property reverted to private ownership and was subdivided and sold after its closure in 1955, according to a fact sheet on the site provided by the Corps of Engineers. The current owners include Sonoco Paper Stock Dealers, with 2.558 acres, and Castleberry Foods, with 13.412 acres. The remaining 14.16 acres was purchased by Graniteville Mills in 1963 and transferred to Avondale Mills in 1996 before being sold in 2000 to James Klemic, the report says.