Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund
Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations
Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base
EPA #: CA8170024261
County: San Bernardino
Congressional District: 40
Other Names: Marine Corps Logistics Base - Nebo Barstow USMC Logistics Base - Nebo
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Description and History
NPL Listing History
NPL Status: Final
Proposed Date: 07/14/89
Final Date: 11/21/89
The Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base site covers 5,687 acres east of Barstow, California. The site consists of three areas: the Nebo area, the Yermo area and the Rifle Range. The base was established at the Nebo location in 1942, when the U.S. Navy transferred command to the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1946, the Yermo area was annexed by the Marines from the U.S. Army. The Rifle Range was acquired in 1955 and was developed as a facility for the Marines to improve their marksmanship. The Barstow base has two major functions: providing equipment maintenance, repair, overhaul and rebuilding, and receiving, storing, maintaining, issuing and shipping materials. Consequently, the majority of wastes historically generated by the base have been vehicle-related and war surplus. Vehicle-related wastes include waste oils, grease, hydraulic fluids, fuels, battery acids, bilge waters, and antifreeze. Industrial wastes are generated by the Repair Division while maintaining, rebuilding or preserving the vehicles. These include painting, degreasing, metal parts cleaning, and preservation wastes. Some hazardous or suspected hazardous wastes were contained in war surplus materials received at the base including ammunition, various sources of low-level radiation (luminescent dials, watches, and scopes) and chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and raw materials. Investigations by the Marine Corps have found 38 areas of contamination on the base. Approximately 29,000 people live in the City of Barstow. About 1,300 people use on-site groundwater as a drinking water source. Groundwater is the only source for domestic, commercial and industrial water supply, as well as crop irrigation. The base is located in the central Mojave Desert.
Contaminants and Risks
- Soil and Sludges
Groundwater contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE). Soil is contaminated with VOCs, pesticides, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heavy metals, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). People who accidentally ingest or come in direct contact with contaminated groundwater or soil may suffer adverse health effects.
Investigation and Cleanup Activities
The site is being addressed in four stages: immediate actions and three long-term remedial phases focusing on cleanup of the groundwater, source control, and the entire site.
Immediate Actions: An alternate drinking water supply has been provided for personnel on the base. Contaminated sludges in old wastewater lagoons were excavated and treated in 1993. There have been two immediate actions taken for persons living on property adjacent to the base whose groundwater wells may have been impacted by VOCs coming from base sources. In one case, a family was connected to the Southern California Water Company so they would not be required to use groundwater from their residence well. In the other case, two families had carbon filtered systems installed on their wells to remove VOCs. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) impacted soil was removed from the Industrial Waste Disposal Area on base in late 1997.
Groundwater Cleanup Actions: OU1 and OU2 address groundwater contamination at the Yermo Annex and Nebo Main Base, respectively. Both OUs were addressed in a single final ROD, dated April 1998. OU1 Yermo groundwater contamination exists as three separate dissolved VOC plumes. Three cleanup actions are in operation at OU1: a groundwater extraction and treatment system, and two air sparging/soil vapor extraction systems. The groundwater extraction and treatment system has recovered approximately 20 gallons of VOCs and the two air sparging/vapor extraction systems have recovered approximately 1,200 gallons of VOCs so far. OU2 Nebo groundwater has two separate dissolved VOC plumes: the Nebo north plume and the Nebo south plume. A groundwater extraction system has been installed at Nebo north and is actively working. At Nebo south, an air sparging/vapor extraction pilot test has been conducted and the system continues to operate.
Source Controls at OU3 and OU4: OU3 and OU4 include shallow soil contamination at eight (8) CERCLA Areas of Concern (CAOCs) at Nebo Main Base and Yermo Annex. Examples of cleanup actions completed in 2000 include CAOC 20 and 23 at Yermo. CAOC 20 contains a former low-level radiation waste disposal area. The cleanup consisted of replacing a concrete cap and other surface features to control water infiltration. CAOC 23 is a former landfill that has been contained under a reinforced concrete cap.
Other Source Controls at OU5 and OU6: OUs 5 and OU6 are represented by twenty four (24) CAOCs. A single ROD for OU5 and OU6 was completed in 1998. Examples of cleanup actions include CAOC 7 (OU6) a former drum storage area and CAOC 35 (OU5) a former domestic (municipal) landfill, where action for both sites consisted of specialized soil/rock covers to minimize the infiltration of rainwater, burrowing of animals, and erosion, along with institutional controls, physical controls (fencing), and groundwater monitoring.
Remaining site investigations at OU7: The Navy completed a remedial investigation at OU7 which was represented by a remaining set of eight CAOCs that were identified as having data gaps during review of RI/FS of the other OUs.
The base is participating in the Installation Restoration Program, a specially funded program established by the Department of Defense (DOD) in 1978 to identify, investigate, and control the migration of hazardous contaminants at military and other DOD facilities.
Cleanup Results to Date
By providing an alternate drinking water supply to base personnel, the potential for exposure to contaminants in the groundwater has been reduced while investigations continue and final cleanup activities are being planned for the Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base site.
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.
Documents and Reports
Public Information Repositories
The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:
San Bernardino County Public Library
304 East Buena Vista
Barstow, CA 92311
EPA Site Manager
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
5796 Corporate Avenue
Cypress, CA 90630
1220 Pacific Highway.
San Diego, CA 92132-5190
After Hours (Emergency Response)