Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund
Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations
Alameda Naval Air Station
EPA #: CA2170023236
County: Alameda County
City: City of Alameda
Congressional District: 09
Other Names: Alameda Point
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Description and History
NPL Listing History
NPL Status: Final
Proposed Date: 05/10/07
Final Date: 07/22/99
Alameda Naval Air Station is a closed Navy installation located on Alameda Island, adjacent to the City of Alameda in Alameda County, California. Alameda Island lies along the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay, adjacent to the City of Oakland. The boundaries of the former installation are roughly rectangular in shape (approximately two miles in length and one mile in width) and occupy 2,634 acres. Of the total acreage, approximately 1,636 acres consist of dry land and 998 acres are submerged. Alameda is bordered to the north by the Oakland Inner Harbor, and is surrounded by the San Francisco bay on the west and south sides. To the east is a mixture of residential, commercial, industrial, and public land including single-family homes, restaurants, retail stores, schools, shipyards and a state beach.
Prior to 1936, the area was occupied by a borax processing plant, an oil refinery, and an airport for the City of Alameda. Since 1936, when the Navy acquired title to Alameda, the air station’s primary mission was to provide facilities and support for fleet aviation activities. Alameda was designated for closure in September 1993, and the installation ceased all naval operations in April 1997.
The installation was placed on the National Priorities List in July 1999. A Federal Facility Agreement was signed in July 2001. Most of the base is planned for transfer to the City of Alameda.
Wastes generated at the Site included industrial solvents, acids, paint strippers, degreasers, caustic cleaners, pesticides, chromium and cyanide wastes, waste oils containing PCBs, radium associated with dial painting and stripping, medical debris, and inert and unexploded ordnance. Solid wastes generated at the Site were disposed into two on-base landfills. All liquid industrial wastewaters generated at the Site prior to 1974 were discharged untreated into Seaplane Lagoon and the Oakland Inner Harbor.
Wastes discharged to the Seaplane Lagoon and the two on-base landfills pose a threat to the surrounding San Francisco Bay aquatic life and a potential threat to terrestrial ecological receptors. Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL) plumes at two former major industrial buildings pose a potential long term human health threat from inhalation of volatile vapors and possible ingestion of groundwater.
The Navy, with EPA oversight, has conducted investigations to support development of cleanup decisions for the 35 IR sites. 2 sites are still going through the Remedial Investigation phase of the cleanup, 4 are in the Feasibility Study phase awaiting cleanup decisions, 3 are in the Proposed Plan phase, 5 sites are in Record of Decision stage, 1 site is undergoing a Record of Decision Amendment, and 21 sites have signed Records of Decision, with 5 of those sites having no further remedial action required and the remaining 16 currently undergoing remediation.
Contaminants and Risks
- Surface Water
- Soil and Sludges
- Environmentally Sensitive Area
Wastes generated at the Site included industrial solvents, acids, paint strippers, degreasers, caustic cleaners, pesticides, chromium and cyanide wastes, waste oils containing PCBs, radium associated with dial painting and stripping, medical debris, and inert and unexploded ordnance. Solid wastes generated at the Site were disposed into two on-base landfills. Both landfills are adjacent to the San Francisco Bay and the Site 2 landfill surrounds both fresh and salt-water wetlands which provide nesting and foraging habit for a wide range of migratory and native birds. Alameda Naval Air Station is also a nesting ground for the largest colony of endangered species of Least Tern in Northern California.
All liquid industrial wastewaters generated at the Site prior to 1974 were discharged untreated into Seaplane Lagoon and the Oakland Inner Harbor. These wastes pose a threat to the surrounding San Francisco Bay aquatic life and a potential threat to terrestrial ecological receptors.
Past activities at the base have resulted in a three acre plume of mostly dense non aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) contamination at Site 5, with another larger and deeper DNAPL plume at Site 4. These plumes pose a potential long term human health threat from inhalation of volatile vapors and possible ingestion of groundwater. Remediating these plumes is challenging. The 110 acre Seaplane Lagoon which received all liquid industrial installation wastes from 1936 to 1974 resulted in contaminated sediment requiring remediation.
Who is Involved
The Navy is the lead agency responsible for clean up of the site. EPA is the lead regulatory agency charged with oversight of the Navy, with assistance from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Investigation and Cleanup Activities
For complete information on the closure of Alameda Naval Air Station, now known as Alameda Point, please go to the Navy's website where all current information is entered. The website address is located here.
Operable Unit 1 includes Site 6 (Building 41 - Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Facility), Site 7 (Building 459 - Navy Exchange Service Station), Site 8 (Building 114 - Pesticide Storage Shed), Site 14 (Former Fire Training Area), Site 15 (Buildings 301 and 389 - Former Transformer Storage Area), and Site 16 (C-2 CANS Area - Shipping Container Storage). The Record of Decision (ROD) recommending no further action for Site 15 was approved in May 2006. The ROD for Site 14 was approved in January 2007 and selected no further action for soil and active treatment using in-situ chemical oxidation to remediate volatile organic compounds in groundwater. Remediation of the groundwater using in-situ chemical oxidation is complete and contamination levels in the groundwater are decreasing and the remedy is undergoing MNA and is expected to be completed in 2016.
The Final ROD for Sites 6, 7, 8 and 16 was signed in September 2007. The selected alternative for soil remediation at all four sites is excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil. There is no CERCLA action necessary for groundwater at Sites 7 and 8, and the selected alternative for groundwater remediation at Sites 6 and 16 is in-situ chemical oxidation to treat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater. Groundwater remediation is currently underway and all sites will be cleaned to unrestricted use.
Operable Unit 2A includes Site 9 (Building 410 - Paint Stripping Facility), Site 13 (Former Oil Refinery), Site 19 (Yard D-13 - Hazardous Waste Storage), Site 22 (Building 547 - Former Service Station), and Site 23 (Building 530 - Missile Rework Operations). A final feasibility study (FS) was completed in June 2011.
Operable Unit 2B includes Site 3 (Abandoned Fuel Storage Area), Site 4( Building 360-Aircraft Engine Facility), Site 11 (Building 14 - Engine Test Cell), and Site 21 (Building 162 - Ship Fitting and Engine Repair). A draft feasibility study (FS) was submitted for regulator review in October 2005 and, based on comments and requests from the regulators, the Navy has performed additional sampling and the final FS was completed in December 2011. Data gap sampling performed in 2008 showed additional areas with high concentrations of VOCs in groundwater. A six-phase heating removal action installed in 2006 was designed to remediate one of the DNAPL plumes beneath Site 4 and removed a significant quantity of the VOC contamination in the groundwater at this location. This technology will be one of those evaluated in the FS.
Operable Unit 2C consists of Site 5 (Building 5 - Aircraft Rework Facility), Site 10 (Building 400 - Missile Rework Operations), and Site 12 (Building 10 - Power Plant). A multi-stage six-phase heating groundwater removal action to remediate a large DNAPL plume beneath Site 5 has been in operation for the past three years and was completed in December 2008. The groundwater has been treated to levels that approach drinking water standards. A Time-Critical Removal Action (TCRA) to remove remaining radiologically-impacted storm drains and sewer lines is completed as of September 2010. A final Feasibility Study was submitted in May 2011.
Operable Unit 3 consists of Site 1, which includes the 1943-1956 Disposal Area, surrounding paved and unpaved areas, surrounding shoreline, a former firing range berm, and former burn area. The preferred alternative for soil remediation consists of combinations of excavation, off-site disposal, soil cover, wetlands mitigation and institutional controls for soil and in-situ chemical oxidation, monitored natural attenuation and institutional controls for groundwater. A TCRA was completed in 2007 to removal the former pistol range berm and associated lead contamination in soil. Another TCRA to remove areas of radium-impacted soil as well as fieldwork to conduct investigative trenching in the landfill cells to confirm volume calculations and confirm the absence of intact buried drums was performed in 2007 and completed in 2008. A Record of Decision documenting the selected remedy of partial excavation, landfill cover and in-situ treatment of groundwater contamination was signed in 2009. A wetlands restoration project will be incorporated into the excavated area and the landfill cover design.
Operable Unit 4B consists of Site 17 (Seaplane Lagoon) and Site 24 (Piers 1 and 2 Sediments). The Final ROD for Site 17 was signed in November 2006 and selected dredging, dewatering and disposal at a permitted off-site waste disposal facility for remediation of contaminated sediments. Site 17 is currently undergoing Remedial Action and is expected to be completed for unrestricted use in 2013. The final ROD for Site 24 was signed in April 2010. Site 24 will be dredged and cleaned to unrestricted use.
Operable Unit 5 consists of the groundwater beneath portions of Sites 25, 30 and 31 and adjacent FISCA areas. The ROD was signed in August 2007 and selected biosparging with soil vapor extraction, nutrient/microorganism enhancement and monitored natural attenuation as the remedy for treating benzene and naphthalene contaminated groundwater. The remediation system began operation in October 2008 and is expected to run for approximately eight years. The groundwater will be cleaned to drinking water standards.
Site 25 is the former North Village Housing and Estuary Park. The ROD selected a soil remedy and was signed in September 2007. An extensive excavation to removal PAH contaminated soil was conducted in 2001 and the selected remedy in the ROD is institutional controls, with residential use of the property allowed. The ICs have been implemented.
Operable Unit 6 consists of Site 26 (Western Hanger Zone), Site 27 (Dock Zone), and Site 28 (Todd Shipyards). The final ROD for Site 26 was signed in August 2006 and selected in-situ chemical oxidation for treating a VOC plume. There is no remedy necessary for soil. The sites will be suitable for unrestricted use once the groundwater remedy is completed. Remediation of the groundwater using in-situ chemical oxidation is complete and was transitioned to In-Situ Bioremediation in October 2010.
The ROD for Site 27 was signed in January 2008. The selected remedy is in-situ chemical oxidation to treat VOCs in groundwater. No action is necessary for soil. Completion of the groundwater remedy allows unrestricted use of the site. The remedial action started in 2009 and the Site 27 cleanup is undergoing.
The ROD for Site 28 was signed in September 2007. The selected remedy uses a combination of soil removal, metals reducing compound and institutional controls to remediate both soil and groundwater at the site. The site will be available for recreational use after the remedy is complete. The remedy is expected to be completed in 2012.
IR Site 35 (Areas of Concern in Transfer Parcel EDC-5) had a signed Record of Decision in 2010 and remedial action to cleanup small soil areas of contamination is underway. The site will be available for unrestricted use once the soil remedies are completed, which is to be by September 2012.
Operable Unit 4A, consists of Site 2 (West Beach Landfill and Wetlands), Sites 20 (Oakland Inner Harbor) and the offshore portion of Site 28, Site 32(Northwest Ordnance Storage Area), Site 33 (South Tarmac and Runway Wetlands) and Site 34 (Former Northwest Shop Area) and Site 29 (Skeet Range). The Site 2 Record of Decision was signed in October 2010. Site 20 and the offshore portion of Site 28 have selected no further action and the sites are closed out. Sites 32 and 33 are still under investigation, Site 34 ROD was signed in April 2011 and Site 29 has a signed Record of Decision selecting no further action.
A short summary of the status of each site is described below. When multiple sites are grouped together, it indicates that those sites have been combined into one RI/FS study and one Record of Decision. At this point, 2 sites are still going through the Remedial Investigation phase of the cleanup, 4 are in the Feasibility Study phase awaiting cleanup decisions, 3 are in the Proposed Plan phase, 5 sites are in Record of Decision stage. 1 site is undergoing a Record of Decision Amendment, and 21 sites have signed Records of Decision, with 5 of those sites having no further remedial action required and the remaining 16 currently undergoing remediation.
Site 1 - undergoing Record of Decision Amendment
Site 2 - at Remedial Design / Remedial Action Stage
Sites 3, 4, 11 and 21 - at the Feasibility Study Stage
Sites 5, 10 and 12 - at Proposed Plan Stage
Sites 6, 7, 8 and 16 - Sites 6 and 16 soil cleanup almost complete, groundwater cleanup ongoing, Site 7 cleanup complete, Site 8 cleanup complete
Sites 9, 13, 19, 22 and 23 - at ROD Stage
Site 14 - undergoing Monitored Natural Attenuation
Site 15 - no further action - transferred
Site 17 - at Remedial Action Stage
Site 20 - no further action - ready for transfer
Site 24 - at Remedial Action Stage
Site 25 - cleanup complete - ready for transfer
Site 26 - undergoing Monitored Natural Attenuation
Site 27 - at Remedial Action Stage
Site 28 - at Remedial Action Stage
Site 29 - no further action - ready for transfer
Site 30 - no further action - ready for transfer
Site 31 - no further action - ready for transfer
Site 32 - in Remedial Investigation Stage
Site 33 - in Site Investigation Stage
Site 34 - at Remedial Design / Remedial Action Stage
Site 35 - at Remedial Action Stage
OU 5 - groundwater cleanup ongoing
Potentially Responsible Parties
Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) refers to companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site.
Congress established the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Program under which Department of Defense installations undergo closure, environmental cleanup, and property transfer to other federal agencies or communities for reuse. Alameda Naval Air Station is a former Navy base and therefore the Department of the Navy is responsible for cleanup and restoration of the base with oversight from federal and State regulators.
Public Meetings: In 1993 the Alameda Point Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was established. The RAB currently consists of members of the Department of the Navy and the community, and representatives from the regulatory agencies and the City of Alameda. The RAB meetings are held monthly and are open to the public. Meetings are held in the evenings, usually starting at 6:30 pm, the first Thursday of every month at Building 1, Room 140, at 950 West Mall Square at Alameda Point.
Newsletters, fact sheets and Proposed Plans are mailed to between 400 and 1,400 households, businesses, public officials, and agencies in order to reach community members.
To be added to the mailing list, please contact Mr. Derek Robinson at the Navy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Information Repositories
The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:
950 West Mall Square Bldg 1 Room 240
Alameda, CA 94501
Alameda Public Library
1550 Oak Street
Alameda, CA 94501
Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest
2965 Mole Road
San Diego, CA 92132
Attn: Diane Silva
EPA Site Manager
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
700 Heinz Avenue, Suite 200
After Hours (Emergency Response)