Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website

The Department of Navy is requesting permission to sample private drinking water wells within a designated area near the Marine Corps Outlying Landing Field (MCOLF) Camp Davis area of MCB Camp Lejeune for certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS.

Click here to request sampling
 

We invite you to visit a Virtual Open House beginning August 30, 2021 at www.campdavispfas.com to see updated results and the path forward.

If you are unable to access this Virtual Open House, or if you would prefer to have an information packet mailed or emailed to you, please call 866-MCDAVIS (866-623-2847) and leave a detailed message, or send an email to CampDavisPFAS@usmc.mil.

 

Property owners with a private drinking water well within the designated sampling area whose drinking water has not been tested may request sampling by calling 866-MCDAVIS (866-623-2847) or by clicking on the link below:

http://campdavispfas.com/sampling

Properties with drinking water provided by the Onslow County Water and Sewer Authority (ONWASA) do not need to be sampled.

 

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

MCB Camp Lejeune covers more than 156,000 acres located along the Atlantic Ocean within the coastal plain of southeastern North Carolina, within Onslow County, adjacent to the City of Jacksonville (Figure 1). MCB Camp Lejeune was commissioned in 1941 with a mission to maintain combat-ready warfighters for expeditionary deployment. In 1992, MCB Camp Lejeune purchased 41,100 acres west of the Base, between Verona and Holly Ridge, and west of U.S. Route 17, and developed the Greater Sandy Run Area (GSRA) range complex. Training operations and capabilities include 80 live-fire ranges, 34 gun positions, 50 tactical landing zones, 3 military operations in urban terrain complexes, and 11 miles of beach capable of supporting amphibious operations. MCB Camp Lejeune and the surrounding community are home to the largest concentration of Marines and Sailors in the world, with an active duty, dependent, retiree, and civilian employee population of more than 170,000 people. The Base enjoys a close relationship with neighboring civilian communities. The Base and Onslow County work together to ensure quality living for both military and civilians throughout the area.

Figure 1: MCB Camp Lejeune

Areas for PFAS Drinking Water Well Sampling

We are requesting permission to sample private drinking water wells within a designated area near MCOLF Camp Davis South, which is located in the southwest portion of MCB Camp Lejeune’s GSRA, for certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS. PFAS are a family of thousands of different chemicals which have been widely used in industrial and consumer products since the 1950s. The Navy developed a policy to address past releases of PFAS at installations nationwide, as several PFAS are now of emerging public health concern to the Navy and Marine Corps, United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), state regulatory agencies, and the general public. The USEPA has issued a drinking water lifetime health advisory for two commonly used and studied PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

The most common activity on base that could have resulted in the historical release of PFOS, PFOA, and other PFAS to the environment is the use of firefighting foam (specifically certain types of aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF) for testing, training, firefighting, and other lifesaving emergency responses. Because of this historical use, PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS are present in the soil and/or groundwater on-base, and they may also be present in nearby off-base drinking water wells located in the direction that the groundwater flows away from the Base. Due to limited information on groundwater flow direction in this area, the designated sampling area includes all private properties within 1 mile of MCOLF Camp Davis as shown in Figure 2.

Records indicate the majority of properties in the sampling area purchase their drinking water from the Onslow County Water and Sewer Authority (ONWASA), however properties may be using a private well for their drinking water. We are not requesting to sample water from properties in the designated off-base sampling areas who receive their drinking water from ONWASA. Property owners should contact ONWASA with any questions regarding treatment and testing of your drinking water.

Figure 2: Designated Sampling Area near MCOLF Camp Davis South

Actions Based on Drinking Water Sampling Results

The USEPA’s health advisories provide information on substances that can cause human health effects and are known or anticipated to occur in drinking water. USEPA's health advisories are non-enforceable and non-regulatory and provide technical information to states agencies and other public health officials on health effects, analytical methodologies, and treatment technologies associated with PFAS in drinking water. The USEPA lifetime health advisory level is 70 parts per trillion (ppt) in drinking water for the combined value of PFOS and PFOA.

If PFOS and/or PFOA are found at or below the USEPA lifetime health advisory level of 70 ppt in a drinking water sample, then no additional action will be taken at that time. The Navy/Marine Corps team, with our regulatory partners, will evaluate all results and additional sampling may be requested. If PFOS and/or PFOA are found in a private drinking water well sample above the USEPA lifetime health advisory level of 70 ppt, we will provide alternate water (bottled water) for drinking and cooking until a long-term solution can be put in place.

MCB Camp Lejeune Off-Base Drinking Water Sampling Results Summary

In Spring 2021, we initiated the sampling of drinking water from wells within a designated area near MCOLF Camp Davis South. Table 1 summarizes the drinking water sampling results to date. All results were below the USEPA lifetime health advisory level for PFOS and/or PFOA, with PFOS and PFOA detected in one of eleven samples at a combined concentration of 1.264 ppt. We called each property owner upon receipt of their preliminary results to let them know their water did not contain PFOS and/or PFOA above the lifetime health advisory level. Final laboratory results were mailed to each property owner after all data was verified. Out of respect for the privacy of the property owner, we have only provided individual results to each property owner.
 

Table 1. MCB Camp Lejeune – Drinking Water Results as of July 30, 2021
Number of drinking water wells identified for testing based on voluntary owner requests Number of drinking water wells tested Number of drinking water wells above the lifetime health advisory Number of drinking water wells below the lifetime health advisory

11

11

0

11

 

MCB Camp Lejeune On-Base Drinking Water Sampling Results Summary

The drinking water provided at MCB Camp Lejeune is provided by drinking water supply wells that were initially tested between 2013 and 2016 as part of the USEPA’s efforts to gather information on the prevalence of PFAS in drinking water systems across the country, as part of UCMR3. The results were compared to the USEPA lifetime health advisory level for PFOA and PFOS to determine if actions are needed to reduce exposure. All results were below the USEPA health advisory level for PFOA and PFOS.

In 2019, MCB Camp Lejeune initiated voluntary drinking water sampling and expanded sampling to include collecting samples from individual drinking water supply wells (untreated water) for PFAS analysis. PFOA and PFOS have not been detected above the USEPA lifetime health advisory in any drinking water well samples. As part of the voluntary drinking water sampling in 2019, finished (treated) drinking water was also collected from distribution systems. PFOA and PFOS were not detected in any of the finished drinking water samples collected on-Base above the USEPA lifetime health advisory. In one sample collected, one other PFAS, perfluorohexanoic acid, was detected at 1.76 ppt in a sample from the Hadnot Point distribution system. This chemical does not have a health advisory level or other cleanup standard. This detection of prefluorohexanoic acid is the only PFAS that has been detected in finished drinking water.

MCB Camp Lejeune drinking water comes from very deep wells and is regularly tested and continues to meet all government safe drinking water standards. Every year, the base publishes a drinking water quality report that provides details about where its drinking water comes from and how it compares to safe drinking water standards. You can find these reports here: https://www.lejeune.marines.mil/Offices-Staff/Environmental-Mgmt/Annual-Reports/.

Background

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

PFAS are chemicals used in many consumer products to prevent stains, and repel water, oil and grease. Commercial and consumer products containing or degrading to these compounds were first introduced in the 1950s. They were used in a variety of products such as for the treatment of upholstered furniture fabric and carpets, in nonstick cookware, floor wax, the lining of food containers/packaging and firefighting foam. PFAS are now present virtually everywhere in the world because of the large amounts that have been manufactured and used by international consumers and industry. Once these compounds are released to the environment, they break down very slowly.

PFAS are chemicals of emerging concern, which have no Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory standards or routine water quality testing requirements. The USEPA is currently studying PFAS to determine if national regulation is needed. Studies by the USEPA, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and others indicate that exposure to PFAS may cause elevated serum cholesterol levels and developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy (e.g., low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal variations) or to breastfed infants. Individual states are also conducting their own evaluations and may establish their own drinking water standards or environmental cleanup requirements.

Navy and Marine Corps use of PFAS

While PFAS have been used in a variety of products and substances worldwide, the most common historical on-base use has been in firefighting foam (specifically aqueous film forming foam or AFFF) used for testing, training, firefighting, and other life-saving emergency responses. The Navy is working to identify a new formulation for firefighting foam that does not contain PFOS and PFOA but will still meet critical fire suppression, and ultimately lifesaving, properties. Until this formulation is approved, and products are available, we have taken steps to prevent or minimize additional release of fire-fighting foam to the environment. These specific actions are explained in the Navy Policy section.

Identification of PFAS at MCB Camp Lejeune

The Navy/Marine Corps team first evaluated the need for an off-base drinking water investigation at MCB Camp Lejeune in summer 2016 in response to a new Navy policy (DASN (E), 20 June 2016). This policy required a review of existing environmental restoration database information to identify sites with drinking water sources within one mile in the direction of the groundwater flow away from known or potential releases of PFAS. No known sites at MCB Camp Lejeune met the policy criteria in initial review. However, we did not stop with these initial sites. Across the country, the Navy and Marine Corps have been conducting basewide evaluations to identify potential PFAS releases. These evaluations are being conducted under the federal cleanup program which meets the requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Following CERCLA, these basewide evaluations are called preliminary assessments (PAs)/site inspections (SIs), and their purpose is to verify, validate, and update the inventory of PFAS release sites for further investigation and cleanup. Our priority with PFAS investigations is to identify and eliminate drinking water exposures with PFOA and/or PFOS above the USEPA’s lifetime health advisory level.

The recent preliminary assessment conducted at MCB Camp Lejeune identified the following 52 on-base areas, shown on Figure 3, where PFAS-related releases potentially occurred.

  • MCOLF Camp Davis North

  • MCOLF Camp Davis South

  • Building SR43 Sandy Run Fire Station (Station #9)

  • Building RR6 Former Rifle Range Battalion Warehouse Fire Station

  • Building RR155 Stone Bay MARSOC Fire Station (Station #10)

  • Site 69 – Former Rifle Range Chemical Dump

  • Excavator Fire adjacent to the Hathcock Range

  • MV-22B Osprey Fire #7

  • Building AS4100 MAG Aircraft Maintenance Hangar

  • Former Charlie Island

  • Echo Island

  • MCAS New River Crash Crew Staging Area #4

  • Building AS4109 New Maintenance Hangar

  • MWSS-272 Motor Transport Area

  • Crash Crew Fire Rescue Area

  • Building AS849 Crash Crew Materiel Storage Area

  • Building AS890 Maintenance Hangar Area

  • CH-53E Super Stallion Fire #1

  • MCAS New River Crash Crew Staging Area #1

  • MCAS New River Crash Crew Staging Area #2

  • MCAS New River Crash Crew Staging Area #3

  • MCAS New River Crash Crew Staging Area #5

  • Current Crash Crew Fire Training Area

  • Former Camp Geiger WWTP Sludge Drying Beds

  • Building TC701 Camp Geiger Fire Station (Station #6)

  • Site 43 – Former Agan Street Dump

  • Former Agan Street WWTP and Sludge Drying Beds

  • Agan Street Foam Deployment

  • Site 89 – Former DRMO at Camp Geiger

  • Aircraft Wreckage Storage Area

  • Crash Crew P-19 Refueling Route

  • Building AS118 Motor Transport Maintenance Facility

  • Site 41 – Camp Geiger Dump Near Former Trailer Park

  • Building M303 Montford Point Barracks Fire Station (Station #8)

  • Former Building TT38 Tarawa Terrace Fire Station

  • Building STP467 Contaminated Soil/OWS Sludge Drying Bed

  • Former Hadnot Point WWTP and Sludge Drying Beds

  • Building LCH4022 Midway Park Fire Station (Station #2)

  • Building 2600 Paradise Point Fire Station (Station #4)

  • Building 18 Hadnot Point Fire Station (Station #3)

  • Building 1400 Dogwood Street Fire Station

  • Building FC294 French Creek Fire Station (Station #5)

  • Site 6 and 82 – Former DRMO Lots 201 and 203

  • Site 24 – Former Industrial Area Fly Ash Dump

  • Lyman Road FARP Activities

  • AV-8B Harrier Crash off Lyman Road

  • Toyota Tacoma Fire

  • Building A66 HMMWV Fire

  • Building BB8 Courthouse Bay Fire Station (Station #7)

  • Former Courthouse Bay WWTP and Sludge Drying Beds

  • Site 65 – Former Engineer Area Dump

Figure 3: Basewide PFAS SI Investigation Areas

In the fall of 2020, sample collection and analysis of groundwater and soil was completed at these areas in support of the SI. Based on the SI results received to date, one area at MCB Camp Lejeune – MCOLF Camp Davis South – was identified for PFAS to potentially migrate off-base and impact drinking water wells in the direction of groundwater flow. At MCOLF Camp Davis South, PFOA and PFOS were detected in shallow groundwater. MCOLF Camp Davis South is located in the southwest portion of MCB Camp Lejeune and off-Base residential areas are present within 1 mile downgradient of the surficial aquifer monitoring wells with PFOA and/or PFOS detections.

The Navy/Marine Corps team priority with PFAS investigations is to identify and eliminate drinking water exposures above the USEPA’s lifetime health advisory level. To protect our neighbors, we conduct off-base private drinking water well investigations where a potential PFAS release may have occurred and off-base private drinking water wells have been identified within 1 mile in the direction of groundwater flow. Off-base private drinking water wells may be present within 1 mile of the MCOLF Camp Davis South. Because the groundwater flow in the area near the MCOLF Camp Davis is not yet well understood, we are taking a proactive approach and is requesting to sample all drinking water wells within the designated sampling area, shown on Figure 2.

PFAS Regulatory History

PFOA Stewardship Program

In 2006, USEPA initiated the 2010/2015 PFOA Stewardship Program in which eight major companies in the United States committed to reduce facility emissions and product contents of PFOA and related chemicals on a global basis by 95 percent no later than 2010, and to work toward eliminating emissions and product content of these chemicals by 2015. All U.S. companies have met the program goals. To meet the program goals, most companies stopped the manufacture and import of long-chained PFAS, and then transitioned to alternative chemicals. On January 21, 2015, USEPA proposed a Significant New Use Rule under the Toxics Substances Control Act to require manufacturers (including importers) of PFOA- and PFOA-related chemicals to notify USEPA at least 90 days before starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals in any process.

Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR)

The USEPA issued the Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3)* in May 2012. The UCMR3 required all large public water systems (PWSs) serving more than 10,000 people and 800 representative PWSs serving 10,000 or fewer people to sample for 30 chemicals between 2013 and 2015. Six PFAS were included in the UCMR3 contaminant list. Of the six PFAS, USEPA issued health advisory levels for only two, PFOA and PFOS. The UCMR3 results found these two chemicals were present in less than 1 percent of the nearly 5,000 public water systems sampled per UCMR3.

In December 2016, the USEPA issued the Fourth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR4). UCMR4 requires all large PWSs serving more than 10,000 people and 800 representative PWSs serving 10,000 or fewer people to sample for 30 chemicals between 2018 and 2020. There were no PFAS included on the UCMR4 list of contaminants.

USEPA is currently proposing development of a Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR5); the final rule is expected to be released in 2021. It is currently unknown whether PFAS will be included as part of UCMR5; however, several PFAS have been proposed for inclusion.

* The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) amendments require that once every five years US EPA issue a new list of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by PWSs.

USEPA Lifetime Health Advisories

In May 2016, the USEPA Office of Water issued a drinking water lifetime health advisory for PFOA and PFOS. Health advisories are not enforceable, regulatory levels; rather, they are levels that provide the public, including sensitive populations, with a margin of protection from a lifetime of exposure to PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. The health advisory is 70 ppt for PFOA and 70 ppt for PFOS. When both PFOA and PFOS are found in drinking water, the combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS are compared with the 70 ppt health advisory level.

Navy Policy

Department of the Navy, Office of the Assistant Secretary (Environment) [DASN (E)] Policy Memo, 21 Oct 2014

The Navy issued a policy requiring on-base drinking water sampling for PFOA and PFOS for bases where groundwater was used as drinking water and PFAS could have been released nearby in the past. Navy and Marine Corps installations that were not required to sample finished drinking water under UCMR3, that produce drinking water from on-installation sources and have an identified or suspected PFAS release within approximately 1-mile upgradient to the drinking water source were also required to sample their finished drinking water by December 2015.

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Policy Memo, 14 Sept 2015

Similar to the October 2014 DASN (E) policy memo, this memo related to testing on-base drinking water. However, this memo also specified that if levels of PFOS and/or PFOA in drinking water exceeded the current at the time USEPA health advisory (that is the 2009 provisional short-term health advisories), then alternative drinking water must be supplied until the PFOA and/or PFOS levels were reduced to below the USEPA health advisory.

DASN (E) Policy Memo, 14 Jun 2016

This policy expanded the sampling PFOA and PFOS at all DON installations where such sampling was not previously completed under USEPA’s UCMR 3 or the DON’s October 2014 policy. This memo also specified that for instances where drinking water from an installation is purchased from a public water system, but wasn't tested under UCMR3, that the installation must sample the finished drinking water to comply with this policy. Additionally, this policy included reporting requirements to the DASN (E) office for all PFOA and/or PFOS in drinking water results.

DASN (E) Policy Memo, 17 June 2016

This policy defines the DON’s intention to remove, dispose, and replace legacy AFFF that contains PFOS and/or PFOA once environmentally suitable substitutes are identified and certified to meet MILSPEC requirements. This policy directs the following actions be taken until suitable replacements are certified:

  • Immediately cease the uncontrolled environmental release of AFFF for shoreside installations, with the exception of emergency responses.

  • Update and implement Navy and Marine Corps firefighting system requirements, as needed, to ensure fire and emergency service vehicles and equipment at DON installations and facilities are tested and certified in a manner that does not allow the release of AFFF to the environment.

  • By the end of Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), remove and dispose of uninstalled PFOS-containing AFFF in drums and cans from local stored supplies for shore installations and ships to prevent future environmental releases.

DASN (E) Policy Memo, 20 Jun 2016

This policy required the Navy and Marine Corps to identify and prioritize sites for investigation if drinking water resources, on- or off-installation, are thought to be vulnerable to PFAS contamination from past Navy and Marine Corps PFAS releases. Sites with drinking water sources within 1-mile downgradient from known or potential releases of PFAS were assigned the highest priority. This policy directed the sampling of off-base drinking water at these high priority (Priority 1) sites within FY17.

The primary mechanism to identify potential PFAS release sites and areas of concern (AOC), was review of Environmental Restoration records. To ensure that all potential PFAS release mechanisms were identified, installations were directed to review installations to identify areas that are not already part of the Environmental Restoration program. We have completed the sampling for all off-base potentially impacted drinking water sources that were identified as a result of this policy and currently known exposures have been addressed.

U.S. Marine Corps Policy

Marine Corps Bulletin 11000, 20 February 2020

This bulletin issues policy and assigns responsibility for a wide range of PFAS-related issues in the USMC, including, but not limited to drinking water sampling, disposal of PFAS contaminated materials, and procurement and management of AFFF stock.

Department of Defense (DoD) Policy

Secretary of Defense Memo, 23 July 2019

This memo established a PFAS task force to ensure a coordinated, aggressive, and holistic approach to DoD-wide efforts to proactively address PFAS. The goals of the task force are mitigating and eliminating the use of the current AFFF, understanding the impacts of PFAS on human health, and fulfilling cleanup responsibility related to PFAS. The task force is coordinating and collaborating with other federal agencies to achieve these goals.

ASD Guidance Memo, 15 October 2019

This guidance memo provided clarification of toxicity values for PFOA and PFOS that can be used to estimate screening levels used in the CERCLA program to determine if further investigation is warranted or if a site can proceed to site closeout.

ASD Memo, 23 October 2019

This memo revised quarterly progress reporting requirements for installations with known or suspected PFAS releases.

ASD Guidance Memo, 22 November 2019

This memo established requirements for installation commanders to conduct community engagement with respect to PFAS issues, report on their progress in so doing, and to provide feedback on community questions and concerns.

ASD Guidance Memo, 22 November 2019

This memo established a consistent methodology for analysis of PFAS in media other than drinking water and requires DoD Components to use analytical methods meeting the DoD/DOE Quality Systems Manual for Environmental Laboratories, Appendix B, Table B-15.

ASD Memo, 13 January 2020

This memo established annual reporting requirements for AFFF usage or spills (not associated with use) at all DoD installations.

ASD Policy Memo, 2 March 2020

This memo identifies requirements for PFAS drinking water sampling on DoD installations where DoD is the drinking water purveyor. The requirements include initial and routine monitoring, actions necessary if results exceed the lifetime health advisory, laboratory analysis and record keeping requirements, and notification of results.
 

MCOLF Camp Davis – Drinking Water Investigation Documents

Additional Documents

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