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Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund

Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations

Norton Air Force Base

EPA #: CA4570024345

State: California(CA)

County: San Bernardino

City: San Bernardino

Congressional District: 40

Other Names:

Bulletin Board

Use following URL for future direct access to Norton AFB:
http://www.epa.gov/region9/NortonAFB

Links

Description and History

NPL Listing History

NPL Status: Final

Proposed Date: 10/15/84

Final Date: 07/22/87

Deleted Date:

The 2,165-acre Norton Air Force Base site began operations in 1942 and served as a major overhaul center for jet engines and the general repair of aircraft. Past hazardous material management practices included burial of drums and other unspecified materials; disposal of waste oils, solvents, and paint residues into landfills, unlined pits, ponds, and drying beds; storage of contaminants in leaking underground tanks and; spills of gas, oils, solvents, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and acids.

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Contaminants and Risks

Contaminated Media
  • Groundwater
  • Soil and Sludges

Norton's past trichloroethylene (TCE) usage as a common degreasing solvent impacted the soil and upper water bearing zone of a drinking water aquifer. Drinking water is derived mainly from the middle and lower water bearing zones. Soil was also contaminated with dioxin, PCBs and heavy metals including chromium, arsenic and copper. People who accidentally ingest or come into direct contact with contaminated groundwater or soils may be at risk, however controls are in place to prevent this type of exposure. Several City of Riverside drinking wells (Gage Canal Complex) showed TCE levels slightly above the MCL (5 ppb). The Air Force (AF) implemented the Off-Base Water Supply Contingency Plan (WSCP) for well-head treatment at Riverside’s Raub 5 production well that included a monitoring well network.

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Who is Involved

This site is being addressed through Federal actions.

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Investigation and Cleanup Activities

The initial cleanup approach was for quick localized response actions, followed by long-term phases on cleanup of the entire site. After several removal actions were completed, the cleanup management was modified to better support a Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA) process approach. Accordingly, two operable units (OU) were established to manage the cleanup. OU1 addressed the TCE groundwater plume both on and off base and the TCE soil source column over the plume in the central base area. OU2 addressed all other basewide sites.

Cleanup Complete

Norton AFB achieved construction completion in 2006. All remedial actions have been completed for the OU1 and OU2 Record of Decision (ROD). The only ongoing operation and maintenance (O&M) activities are for the groundwater monitoring program and the Site 2 landfill. On base groundwater monitoring continues while monitoring of off base municipal drinking water wells was no longer required as of 2009. O&M activities at the Site 2 landfill include landfill gas monitoring, inspections, and cap maintenance. Institutional controls are implemented via deed restrictions for groundwater, the Site 2 landfill, Sites 5 and 19, and Area of Concern 4 to protect human health and the environment.


Post-excavation sampling and closure documentation are being completed for two sites formerly associated with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) interim status permit that the former Norton AFB had for the Industrial Waste Treatment Plant (IWTP) and Industrial Waste Line (IWL). Closure of the two sites is expected by the end of 2014. Once these sites are closed, the AF and the State will determine requirements, if any, for an IWL RCRA post-closure permit.

The selected remedies for Norton AFB are documented in the OU1 ROD of November 1993, and OU2 ROD of September 2005. Norton AFB achieved construction completion in 2006 and obtained sitewide ready for anticipated use status in 2007.

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Cleanup Results to Date

Cleanup Progress: The third 5-Year Review completed in September 2010 revealed no protectiveness issues. As of 2009, primary contaminants trichloroethene and cis-1,2-dichloroethene no longer exceeded their maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) in groundwater. However, due to the long term decline in regional groundwater levels, some monitoring wells within the central base area went dry while monitoring results indicated levels above MCLs. EPA identified a concern about possible residual vadose zone contamination and the potential for groundwater contamination if groundwater levels return to historical levels. As a result, EPA, the Air Force and the State are working collaboratively to confirm that the performance of the remedy addressed the potential risk associated with this pathway. In this regard, groundwater monitoring in the central base area continues using deeper monitoring wells and trichloroethene is intermittently detected above the MCL in one or two wells. In late 2009 and early 2010, the Site 2 landfill cap was modified from a vegetative cap to an asphalt cap for use as a vehicle parking and storage area.


Post-excavation sampling and closure documentation are being completed for two sites formerly associated with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) interim status permit that the former Norton AFB had for the Industrial Waste Treatment Plant (IWTP) and Industrial Waste Line (IWL). Closure of the two sites is expected by the end of 2014. Once these sites are closed, the AF and the State will determine requirements, if any, for an IWL RCRA post-closure permit.

Restoration/Reuse Progress: Norton obtained Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use status in November 2007, and most of the former base is under active reuse. The Inland Valley Development Agency (IVDA) and San Bernardino International Airport Authority (SBIAA) are joint powers authorities that act as the local reuse agency for redevelopment. Other than the airport facilities, most of the remaining property are occupied by large warehouse distribution centers from corporations such as Stater Brothers, Mattel, PEP Boys, Amazon, etc. Information on reuse can be found at http://www.sbdairport.com. On the sbdairport home page, there is a link to Alliance California that provides more details on reuse.

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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.


The Air Force is the PRP for the site.

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Documents and Reports


Show details for Records of DecisionRecords of Decision

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Community Involvement

Public Meetings:

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Public Information Repositories

The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:

Norman F. Feldhym Central Library,
555 West 6th Street,
San Bernardino, CA 92410

The most complete collection of documents is the official EPA site file, maintained at the following location:

Superfund Records Center

Mail Stop SFD-7C

95 Hawthorne Street, Room 403

San Francisco, CA 94105

(415) 820-4700

Enter main lobby of 75 Hawthorne street, go to 4th floor of South Wing Annex.

Additional Links

See Air Force website for a more complete collection of cleanup and decision documents: http://afcec.publicadmin-Record.us.af.mil.

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Contacts

EPA Site Manager
NadiaHollan Burke
415-972-3187
Burke.NadiaHollan@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
David Yogi
415-972-3350
1-800-231-3075
Yogi.David@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
415-947-8701
r9.info@epa.gov
State Contact
Stephen Niou




Patricia Hannon
714-484-5458




951-782-4998
sniou@dtsc.ca.gov




patricia.hannon@waterboards.ca.gov
Department of Toxic Substances Control
5796 Corporate Avenue
Cypress, CA 90630

RWQCB, Santa Ana Region
3737 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501
PRP Contact
Jerry Bingham/AFCEE
210-395-9420
jerry.bingham@us.af.mil
AFCEC/CIBW
2261 Hughes Ave, Suite 155
Lackland AFB, TX 78236
Community Contact
Other Contacts
Jim Gourley, Consultant, SBIAA
951-314-6290
gourley_jim@yahoo.com
After Hours (Emergency Response)
US EPA
(800) 424-8802

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