Fort Ord BLM Area B Cleanup: Progress and Information in the Northern Portion of the Fort Ord National Monument
Until the cleanup remedy is selected, existing public access to the Fort Ord National Monument lands will not be affected.
The Fort Ord Public Lands have been managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) since the lands were transferred from the Army in 1996. The property, which includes 86 miles of trails, is extensively used for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding by local residents and tourists. On April 20, 2012 the President designated the Fort Ord Public Lands as the Fort Ord National Monument. During the long history of Fort Ord as an Army training facility, many areas were used for training involving military munitions and explosives. The training often resulted in munitions and explosives of concern or MEC remaining on those areas. The Army has conducted investigation, sampling, and removal of MEC within the transferred BLM lands.
Although visitors who comply with posted restrictions and remain on designated trails on the Fort Ord National Monument are safe from munition risk, the Army is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of BLM Area B in terms of explosives safety. BLM Area B is located entirely on the Fort Ord National Monument. The Monument includes both BLM and Army-owned lands. This evaluation also includes the final review of MRS-16, where MEC removals were conducted following a prescribed burn in 2006. Click here for a fact sheet.
Munitions Investigation Work
While the Army has conducted investigation, sampling, and removal of MEC in portions of BLM Area B, a potential for MEC to remain at the site must still be considered. At Fort Ord, this evaluation is conducted in a process consistent with Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Under this process, an RI/FS was prepared for BLM Area B and MRS-16. The RI/FS:
-Reviewed previous investigations which included sampling and removal actions.
-Assessed risks associated with MEC that may be present.
-Evaluated cleanup alternatives to manage risks and support future designated use of the property as a habitat reserve with public access as a National Monument managed by BLM.
The RI/FS identified the following preferred alternatives:
-Alternative 2, Land Use Controls, for sub-areas B-1, B-2, B-3A, B-4, B-5, B-6 and MRS-16.
-Alternative 3, Technology-aided Surface MEC Remediation, with Subsurface MEC Remediation in Selected Areas, and Land Use Controls, for sub-areas B-2A and B-3.
The goal of the RI/FS is to support the designated use of the property as a habitat reserve with public access as a part of the Fort Ord National Monument. Click here for the RI/FS report.
The final recommendations were summarized in a Proposed Plan. The Army received comments from the community during the 30-day public comment period for the Proposed Plan. The Army is in the process of considering the comments and consulting with the regulatory agencies. Public comments will be considered before any cleanup decision is made. Remedy selection will be announced in a local newspaper.