EPA PROPOSES TO DELETE PORTIONS OF THE FORMER FORT ORD FROM SUPERFUND NATIONAL PRIORITIES LIST

On November 20, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice announcing its proposal to delete 11,934 acres of the 27,827 acre Fort Ord Superfund site, located in Monterey County, California, from the National Priorities List (NPL), also known as the “Superfund list.” This proposed deletion is a partial deletion, in that it deletes only specific acres and contamination where cleanup is complete, as determined by EPA. Superfund regulations allow this type of partial deletion.

Click here to go to the Federal Register.

The proposed partial deletion includes the completed cleanup of military munitions and soil contamination on those 11,934 acres. Groundwater and soil gas contamination cleanup is still underway for these 11,934 acres, and that contamination remains on the NPL. The remaining 15,893 acres of the site, and all contamination associated with those acres, including potential per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, remain on the NPL. The cleanup work required will happen with EPA and State oversight.

Type of Contamination Deleted from NPL (proposed) Not Deleted from NPL (proposed)

Type of Contamination Deleted from NPL (proposed) Not Deleted from NPL (proposed)
Military Munitions 11,934 acres 15,893 acres
Soil 11,934 acres 15,893 acres
Soil Gas 0 acres 27,827 acres
Groundwater 0 acres 27,827 acres

The Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan (https://www.fora.org/BRP.html) was completed in 1997 to help determine cleanup goals that support the future reuses identified in the plan. Much of this property has been transferred from the Army to local jurisdictions. In some cases, the property has already been redeveloped to benefit the community as part of the economic recovery from the closure of the Fort Ord Army base in 1994.

HISTORY

The former Fort Ord Army base is adjacent to Monterey Bay in northwestern Monterey County, California, bordering the cities of Seaside, Sand City, Monterey, and Del Rey Oaks to the south and Marina to the north. Fort Ord served primarily as a base for infantry troops (foot soldiers) beginning in 1917 until closure in 1994. When it was in use, Fort Ord operated like a small city. Military training and base facilities (landfill, sewage treatment plant, etc.) conducted at the base resulted in the release of hazardous substances and pollutants into the soil and groundwater. This included sites where munitions and explosives of concern were found or suspected in the soil. The Army has been conducting investigation and cleanup activities at the former Fort Ord under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (also known as CERCLA or Superfund) since 1990, with the oversight of EPA and the State of California.

STATE APPROVAL

The State of California approved the proposed deletion through letters sent by the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board in July 2020. They agree with the EPA’s proposed decision to delete these parcels at the Fort Ord Superfund Site from the NPL, and EPA’s assessment that cleanup is complete on military munitions and soil contamination on 11,934 acres of the site.

 HOW TO SUBMIT COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSAL

A 30-day public comment period for the deletion started on November 20, 2020 and ends December 21, 2020. To view the notice and submit comments online, visit the website http://www.regulations.gov and type EPA-HQ-SFUND-1990-0010 in the Search bar. (For easier access, sort results by “Posted, Newer – Older”.) Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to clancy.maeve@epa.gov.

If, after receiving comments, EPA determines that it is appropriate to delete the portions of the former Fort Ord Superfund Site from EPA’s Superfund list. EPA will publish a Notice of Deletion in the Federal Register, with responses to comments received.

EXTRAS

Click here for a Frequently Asked Questions Fact Sheet.

Below is a map of the National Priority List (Superfund) Partial Deletion areas (in pink) and also shows the jurisdictions. If you’d like a larger map, just click on it.

Below is a map of the Fort Ord Jurisdictions. For a larger map, just click on it.