SAN FRANCISCO — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the former Fort Ord Army Base with a “National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse” award. These awards recognize innovative thinking and cooperation among federal agencies, states, tribes, local partners and developers that has led to noteworthy restoration and reuse of federal facility Superfund sites.
“For the past three years, we’ve shown how federal facility Superfund sites can be transformed into community assets,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “I’m proud of the work to address and redevelop these sites.”
“We are pleased to recognize the dynamic cooperation among the U.S. Army and local partners to clean up this federal facility and return it to productive use,” said EPA Regional Administrator John Busterud. “This is a unique Superfund cleanup in that the Army early-on in the process transferred approximately 3,340 acres of the former base to the Fort Ord Reuse Authority to complete the cleanup on behalf of the Army. With a significant federal grant, the Reuse Authority was able to accelerate the pace of cleanup, allowing this part of the site to be made available for public reuse sooner than would have been otherwise possible.”
“This national recognition is thanks to many professionals who have worked tirelessly to ensure the cleanup protects human health and the environment and supports the reuse identified by the local communities,” said Bill Collins, Fort Ord BRAC Environmental Coordinator, U.S. Army. “The Army appreciates the continued collaboration and cooperation among the EPA, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Fort Ord Reuse Authority which have made the successful redevelopment and reuse of the former Fort Ord possible.”
“The progress at Fort Ord has allowed new institutions and community benefitting assets to take shape and set the stage for a bright future on the Monterey Bay,” said Fort Ord Reuse Authority Executive Officer Josh Metz. “We are honored by this recognition, and hope lessons learned here can benefit other environmental cleanup and base reuse efforts.”
The Fort Ord cleanup is receiving the Site Reuse Award in the National Priorities List (NPL) Base Realignment and Closure category. The base, which is managed by the U.S. Army and had been a training facility since World War I, closed in 1994. The closure created an opportunity to repurpose the 28,000-acre base. Its many new uses include:
• California State University Monterey Bay campus
• Fort Ord National Monument and Dunes State Park
• California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery
• Retail center, residential developments and VA outpatient clinic
The diverse utilization of the large site has spurred new jobs, housing opportunities, and an overall regional economic recovery that has benefited more than 17,000 residents and 6,000 employees in the Monterey Bay region. From start to finish, the redevelopment at Fort Ord has been a model that will benefit other large redevelopment projects in the future.
EPA has ongoing cleanup and property transfer responsibilities at 174 federal facility NPL sites across the country, which are some of the largest and most complex sites within the Superfund program. The Trump Administration has made the Superfund program a top priority to advance the agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. EPA’s Superfund Task Force is working to promote redevelopment and reuse of sites by encouraging investment in reuse outcomes. The federal facility sites receiving reuse awards serve as examples of the types of site investment that can occur at sites once owned by federal agencies.
For more information about the award, please visit https://www.epa.gov/fedfac/2020-national-federal-facility-excellence-site-reuse-awards .
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