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SEC Petition Cover Letter - August 2, 2013

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by Jody Bresch

The Iowa Army Ammunitions Plant lies ten miles west of the Mississippi River near Burlington, Iowa. It is comprised of 19,011 acres in Danville Township, Union Township, Flint River Township, and the southern part of Middletown, IA. The property belongs to the United States Army.

The mission of the Iowa Army Ammunitions Plant since it was established in 1940 has been to manufacture and deliver large caliber items for the Department of Defense. The plant's capabilities have included: loading, assembling and packing for a full range of munitions and high explosive components, tank ammunition, high explosive artillery, large caliber mortars, insensitive munitions, smart munitions mines/scatterable mines, missile assembly/missile warheads, rocket assisted projectiles, detonators, development, pressing and casting warheads, and testing.


Production intially began in 1941, and was maintained until 1945, coinciding with the end of WWII. Then in 1947 the Atomic Energy Commission assumed responsibility for the IAAP. In 1949 Ammunitions Production resumed, and due to the Korean War, in 1950 ammunitions production at the plant rapidly escalated. In 1975 the Army took over production at the IAAP again.

IAAP became a designated superfund site in 1990, placed on a priority list by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The facility is comprised of 767 buildings, 282 igloos, 143 miles of roads and 102 miles of railroads.

From 1941 until 1975 IAAP employeed a workforce of over 40,000 civilians. They were recruited from southeastern Iowa, northeastern Missouri, and midwestern Illinois. At the height of weapons production, 1969-1974, daily buses transported workers from these satellite locations to Middletown,IA.

Professor Tod Bereton, historian and Professor of Iowa Wesleyan College, takes umbrage with the information provided by wikipedia that the AEC was running the facility from 1947 until 1975. He points out that the National Archives in no way contain any documents indicating that AEC was in charge of the Army side of IAAP. He maintains it was a plant within a plant operation, although, there is a 1963 AEC/Army contract that might suggest otherwise.


A month ago a document came into my possession that clearly states that the production of nuclear components at the plant was supported plant wide, not only at Line 1. It is a 1963 United States Atomic Energy Commission Contract, Agreement No. AT(29-2)-1510.

On Page 5 under references it reads:

Letter, Major General A.W. Betts, U.S. FEC Headquarters, to Lieutenant General Frank S. Benson, U.S. Army Material Command, dated September 27, 1962, subject: AEC Proposal to Place the Operating Contractors for the AEC Work at Iowa and Pantex Ordinance Plants Directly under AEC.

On Page 5 under OPERATING PRINCIPLES it reads, “It is presently contemplated that AL (Albuquerque) and APSSA will separately contract with Mason & Hangar – Silas Mason Company, Inc. for performance of its respective work at the Burlington AEC Plant and IOP. The parties agree that prior to executing any such contract or any modification thereto, other than modifications for funding or the inclusion of mandatory contractural provisions, each party will coordinate the proposed contractural arrangement with the other party.

On page 6 it reads: HE Contamination

Each of the parties in its respective area of operation generates HE contaminated process water. Each party will take whatever action is deemed appropriate to control the degree of contamination and amount of contaminated process water discharged from its respective operation. Both parties recognize that due to past, present and future operations they may be jointly responsible for any contamination of public streams and private wells outside the Burlington AEC Plant and IOP.

In regard to any liability PSA has full responsibility for resolving any complaints or claims of third parties arising from HE contamination. APSA will be reimbursed by AL for that portion of any claims paid or costs incurred in litigation which are agreed upon; provided, however, that PSA will obtain the prior agreement of AL to any settlement where AL will be called upon by APSA to share in the cost of the settlement. AL will Furnish APSA assistance in the form of information deemed necessary to answer, resolve or quiet claims or complaints received concerning alleged HE contamination, insofar as Al activities are concerned.

On Page 7 under APSA-Al Joint Use Facilities

The following facilities or portions thereof will be considered as being used jointly by both agencies so long as both agencies have production responsibilities at facilities covered by this Agreement.

On Page 8 under Shop Facilities:

(1) Garage Building 500-129

(2) Heavy Duty Equipment Shops Building 400-138

(3) Battery Shop Building 11-51

(4) General Shop Buildings 300-148, 1-01

(5) Paint Shop Building 500-37-6

On Page 10 – Common Contractor Services:

1. Both DA and AEC contract with Mason & Hangar-Silas Mason Company Inc., for performance of their respective work at IOP and Burlington AEC Plant. In the interest of economy and efficiency the contractor will utilize the same work force for much of the performance under both contracts. It is agreed that the performance of work will be in accordance with the terms of the contract under which the work is required, irrespective of what contractor personnel are involved. Each contractor employee will be designated as under one of the other of the contracts for administrative and control purposes such as the following:

a. Reimbursement of payroll and related costs.

b. Salary benefit and other similar contract approval requirements.

c. Determination as to which contract an accident is to be charged.

d. Which agency is to handle claims such as those arising from automobile accidents.

2. Nothing in this Paragraph L will affect the cost allocation provided for in Paragraph M below. Neither does this affect the costs of employees who are not performing work of benefit to the other contract.

M. Funding and Cost Allocation: APSA and AL will provide or reimburse the operating contractor with such funds as are necessary under its respective contract. Cost allocation for join-use facilities and common services will be as agreed to by APSA and AL. Nothing in this provision affects special funding arrangements which are provided for elsewhere in this Agreement.

The mission statement is clearly stated in the Operating Principles: In the interest of economy, and to avoid duplicate contractor and Government staffing to the greatest extent practicable, the parties agree to consolidate such operating functions as will enable AL, and APSA to utilize the same contractor services on a cost basis.

It was more than a plant operating in a plant. It was one of a handful of 'joint facilities' in the United States of America where, in a co-operative effort the AEC and Army co-ordinated the single mission of wide range of weapons production.


Taking On The Government - Introduction

Taking On The Government - Part I

Taking On The Government - Part II

Taking On The Government - Part IV

Taking On The Government - In Conclusion

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