EPA Hails Completion of First Privatized Cleanup at Military Superfund Site

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Air Force and Sacramento County on Friday celebrated the remediation of a 62-acre parcel at the former McClellan Air Force Base, the first time a private party has completed a cleanup at a military Superfund site, the agency said.

The Air Force conveyed the northern California property in 2007 to the county’s master developer, McClellan Business Park, through an early transfer. That gave the developer the responsibility to remediate the parcel’s contaminated soil, along with a negotiated sum of money to cover the cost. Contaminants included PCBs, dioxins, furans, heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.

Under the oversight of EPA and California regulators, McClellan Business Park excavated 26,000 cubic yards of soil in 2010. The cleanup included treatment of more than 11,000 cubic yards of soil at an on-site thermal system in 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.

Nearly two-thirds of the parcel will be used for further development.

As a result of the pilot project’s success, the Air Force used the early transfer process to convey 560 acres to McClellan Business Park in 2010. The service paid the county $23.5 million under that deal to remove contaminants from the soil. Officials currently are negotiating an early transfer for an additional 515 acres at the site, the Air Force said.

The installation was closed under BRAC 1995 and operations stopped in 2001. The base was placed on 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.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen

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