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Former Universal Propulsion Company | Hazardous Waste Site


Universal Propulsion Company (UPCO)
25401 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ  85085

Discovery Date:

December 2003

Contaminants of Concern (COCs):

  • Perchlorate
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • TCE, 1,4-dioxane
  • Heavy metals (lead, arsenic)

Affected Media:

  • Soil
  • Groundwater

What are My Health Risks: 

For Soil | There is little to no health risk unless there is contact with skin or ingestion of contaminated soil.

For Groundwater | If you are connected to a public water system (PWS) there is little to no risk of impact from exceedances because the water is filtered through the PWS for residential and business use. | View Drinking Water Notices > 

New groundwater wells are prohibited at the Site, without prior ADEQ approval, per the December 7, 2018 Institutional Declaration of Environmental Use Restriction (DEUR).

If you have a private well in the vicinity of the exceedance, we encourage you to test the well water.
Not sure what to test for? | Learn More > 

Nearby residents may also contact the UPCO Contractor to request that their well be tested. 

Site Summary: 

The facility designed and manufactured components for military aircraft. It consisted of several operational areas for manufacturing, assembling, testing and storing of energetic materials, and for the treatment of discarded wastes.  Groundwater sampling results show the presence of perchlorate and 1,1-dichloroethene (DCE). Contaminated soil was excavated and covers were installed at four locations to prevent future contaminant migration.

A network of onsite wells has been installed downgradient of the facility as part of a groundwater treatment system. These onsite wells and about fifteen private domestic wells in the vicinity, are sampled semiannually for perchlorate. Construction of the groundwater treatment system was completed in June 2019, and is scheduled to operate at full scale in September 2019.

Two restrictive covenants (deed restrictions) have been prepared for the site.  The first restrictive covenant, a DEUR for institutional controls was filed with Maricopa County in December 2018. It restricts the construction of additional private groundwater wells at the site, so as to maximize the efficiency of the groundwater treatment system.  A second DEUR has been submitted to ADEQ for engineering controls at the site.  This DEUR addresses inspections and maintenance of four engineered covers remaining onsite. This DEUR limits the development of a portion of the site for non-residential uses.

Corrective Action Timeline: 

  • EPA Site Assessment – December 1993
  • Site Investigation – June 2011
  • Corrective Action Permit – June 2011
  • Corrective Measures Evaluation for Soils and Groundwater – October 2011
  • Corrective Measures Implementation (Soils) – July 2018
  • Corrective Measures Implementation (Groundwater) – June 2019

Hazardous Waste Permit :

On Dec. 15, 2021, ADEQ issued a post-closure care and corrective action permit for the former-UPCO facility. The permit requires the operator, Rockwell Collins, Inc (RCI) to perform post closure care for five Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) at the site. The SWMUs are sites where perchlorate salts were released to the soil when the facility was in operation. RCI installed impermeable caps and rip-rap (rocky cover material) to prevent migration of the perchlorate salts, and to prevent intrusion into the soil in the future.  The period for post closure care is 30 years, and will be renewed and extended each time the permit is renewed. In addition, the permit requires RCI to continue to operate its Groundwater Treatment Facility (GWTF) to remove perchlorate from contaminated groundwater under the site. The GWTF will continue to operate until groundwater is remediated to meet aquifer water quality standards as specified in the draft permit. The permit was issued on Dec. 15. 2021, and expires Dec. 15, 2031. A copy of the public notice, fact sheet and final permit is available in the Site Repository | View Repository >

More Information:

For more information on this site, contact an UPCO or ADEQ site manager:

  • UPCO Remedial Programs | 704-423-7071 | Email >
  • UPCO Contractor | 480-535-7427 | Email >
  • ADEQ Hazardous Waste Permits | 602-771-4123 | Email >

Contact ADEQ Hazardous Waste Permits to add your address to the mailing list for this site.