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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

First Privatized Cleanup of a Superfund Site - McClellan Air Force Base

Why Privatize?

Privatizing military base Superfund cleanups helps maximize cleanup and redevelopment dollars. By privatizing the environmental work, military-provided cleanup funding can be used to help offset certain redevelopment expense by working the cleanup remedies into the development plan. Fusing the redevelopment needs of closed military installations with environmental cleanup efforts allows for the best possible reuse projects in the most efficient time frame possible.

Privatizing military base cleanups will help move these properties back into productive reuse more quickly in communities across the nation. The privatization framework developed by the Region 9 Superfund team will serve as a model for greater use of this collaborative approach at McClellan and other Superfund sites across the Country.

In September 2011, EPA, along with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the U.S. Air Force, Sacramento County and McClellan Business Park, announced the completion of the first privatized cleanup at a military Superfund site.

“This project is a great example of government and the private sector working together to protect the public and return land to productive reuse,” said Jane Diamond, Superfund Director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “In this era of decreasing public resources and increasing need for redevelopment, we need more of these creative efforts to cleanup and reuse property in partnership with the private sector.”

Completion of the Parcel C-6 project is just the first of several cleanups EPA will be overseeing in consultation with the state of California. The success of the Parcel C-6 process has laid the groundwork for successfully combining future environmental cleanups with redevelopment.

Using funds from the Air Force, developer McClellan Business Park conducted the soil cleanup at a 62-acre parcel on the McClellan Air Force Base Superfund Site. Through an early transfer process, McClellan Business Park assumed title to the property along with the responsibility for its cleanup, with oversight from EPA. The investigation and cleanup of the property was a large collective effort on the part of all involved as newly defined roles were assumed by each of the agencies for this cleanup.

In May 2009, EPA selected remedies to address contaminated soil at Parcel C-6. The contaminants include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, furans, heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Under the oversight of EPA and the State, approximately 26,000 cubic yards of soil were excavated by McClellan Business Park between May and October 2010. The cleanup included treatment of more than 11,000 cubic yards of soil at an on-site thermal system, between February and May 2011. The combination of treated soil and soil that already met the established cleanup goals totaled almost 19,000 cubic yards of soil that was diverted from landfills and returned to the site.

Monitoring and institutional controls that limit land use will ensure that the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment while allowing for the safe reuse of the property. McClellan Business Park will soon transfer ownership of nearly 2/3 of the parcel for further development, encouraging jobs and advancing the regional economy.

EPA is currently working on cleanups at two other sites and finalizing the cleanup decisions for another 49 sites in a Record of Decision planned for December 2011.

The former McClellan Air Force Base was closed under the Base Realignment and Closure Act in 1995 and operations stopped in 2001. The former Air Force base was placed on the EPA’s Superfund list in 1987. Over 300 identified sites within the former base are contaminated with solvents, metals and other hazardous wastes as the result of aircraft maintenance and other industrial activities at the base.

Maps of McClellan Redevelopment Project »
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