Cleanup Background

National Priorities List: Why Fort Ord is a Superfund Site.

On February 21, 1990, Fort Ord was added to the National Priorities List because of groundwater contamination. A Federal Facility Agreement, as required under Section 120 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, was signed by the Army with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and became effective on November 19, 1990.

Fort Ord Federal Facility Agreement: The Army is responsible for the cleanup.

Under the Federal Facility Agreement, the Army was designated as the lead agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Toxic Substances Control, and California Regional Water Quality Control Board were designated as the regulatory agencies for the Superfund process at Fort Ord. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the lead regulatory agency.  Fort Ord was approved for closure by Congress as part of the 1991 Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission’s recommendations and was officially closed in September 1994.

Cleanup Status

Fort Ord’s environmental cleanup program is complex and wide-ranging. The major issues are groundwater contamination, a landfill, soil contamination, and military munitions and the associated prescribed burns conducted to prepare areas for munitions cleanup. Since 1990, the Army has completed many investigations and cleanup actions and transferred much of the property to the identified reusers. Redevelopment projects have been constructed or are underway in several locations across the former Fort Ord. The parties to the Federal Facility Agreement have completed Decision Documents addressing groundwater contamination, the landfill, soil contamination, and military munitions as well as identifying many areas for no further action. The Army’s current fieldwork includes munitions cleanup, as well as operating groundwater treatment systems and maintaining the landfill cover system. Considerable progress has been made toward completing the cleanup; however, additional work remains to be done. One groundwater treatment areas has been cleaned and the regulatory agencies had noted no further action is required — at Operable Unit 1. The remaining three groundwater treatment systems are in the operation and maintenance stage.  The landfill is in a maintenance stage.  Munitions cleanup of historic Impact Area is expected to be complete in the next 5-8 years (as of 2018). Currently, all identified soil cleanup related to historic range areas is complete; however, additional soil cleanup may be indicated after munitions cleanup is complete and areas are safe for identification of any potential soil cleanup. The Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement Remediation Program described below has also made much progress. The excavation of contaminated soils in the historical Impact Area is complete for now, but additional soil remediation may be necessary following completion of munitions cleanup within the historical Impact Area.

With the closure of Fort Ord, responsibility for the remaining Army activities were transferred to the Office of Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (ACSIM), Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Division, The cleanup of the former Fort Ord is managed under contracts through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.