NAS Oceana Background
NAS Oceana, located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was established in 1943 as a small auxiliary airfield. Since 1943, NAS Oceana has grown to more than 16 times its original size and is now a 6,000-acre master jet base supporting an installation population of 19,000 people. The primary mission of NAS Oceana is to provide the personnel, operations, maintenance, and training facilities to ensure that fighter and attack squadrons on aircraft carriers of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet are ready for deployment. Site-specific findings and planned environmental restoration activities are summarized in the Project Management Plan.
NALF Fentress Background
Naval Auxiliary Landing Field (NALF) Fentress is located in Chesapeake, Virginia, and is a noncontiguous property under the command of NAS Oceana. The installation encompasses just over 2,500 acres and approximately 8,700 acres in restrictive easements. The facility is used mostly by squadrons stationed at NAS Oceana and Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field for field carrier landing practice operations. Neither storage nor maintenance of aircraft is routinely performed at NALF Fentress. Site-specific findings and planned environmental restoration activities are summarized in the Site Management Plan.
Dam Neck Annex Background
Dam Neck Annex is approximately 5 miles southeast of NAS Oceana, in Virginia Beach, and covers approximately 1,400 acres. Dam Neck Annex was established as an anti-aircraft gunnery range to train fleet personnel in the operation of 20- and 40-millimeter (mm) anti-aircraft guns. The current mission of this installation is to provide force-level engineering solutions, mission-critical and associated testing, and training technologies for the maritime, joint, special warfare, and information operations domains. Site-specific findings and planned environmental restoration activities are summarized in the Site Management Plan.
Environmental Restoration History
NAS Oceana/NALF Fentress
The Naval Energy and Environmental Support Activity (NEESA) initiated environmental investigations at NAS Oceana and NALF Fentress in 1984 during an Initial Assessment Study (IAS) completed to identify and assess sites posing a potential threat to human health or the environment. Field investigations were initiated in the Round One Verification Step. In 1988, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) initiated environmental assessment of NAS Oceana and NALF Fentress under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by completing a RCRA Facility Assessment (RFA), which identified solid waste management units (SWMUs) that had the potential to pose risks to human health and/or the environment. In 1991, following finalization of the RFA, a RCRA Administrative Order on Consent was issued for NAS Oceana. However, when USEPA issued a final RCRA Administrative Order on Consent (the Order) for NAS Oceana in 1991, NALF Fentress was excluded from the Order because the property was non-contiguous to NAS Oceana. SWMUs identified in the Order* were investigated and remediated in accordance with the Order until 1998 when the NAS Oceana Partnering Team, consisting of representatives of the Navy, USEPA, and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ), agreed to conduct investigations in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly referred to as “Superfund.” Under both the RCRA and CERCLA processes, investigations of contaminated sites are conducted through the following general steps:
- Desktop Assessment and Field Visits to Identify Potentially Contaminated Sites
- Release Assessment – Samples are collected to confirm a release of hazardous substances has occurred
- Assessment of Nature and Extent of Contamination, Fate and Transport Mechanisms of Contaminants, and Potential Risks to Human Health and the Environment
- Interim Removal Action (if necessary)
- Assessment of Potential Cleanup Options (as part of a Feasibility Study or Corrective Measures Study)
- Corrective Measure or Remedial Action Selection
- Corrective Measure or Remedial Action Implementation
- Corrective Measure or Remedial Action Operation and Long-term Management/Monitoring (if necessary)
- Response Complete and Site Closeout
*The complete list of sites/SWMUS included in the Order is provided in the Project Management Plan.
Environmental investigations at NALF Fentress are ongoing as part of the Navy’s Installation Restoration Program (IRP). The IRP was established to address releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants at military installations. Furthermore, as part of the Fiscal Year 2002 Defense Authorization Act, Congress mandated that the Department of Defense (DoD) develop a program to address military munitions. As a result, the Munitions Response Program (MRP) was developed. The ERP therefore is divided into the IRP, to address contamination from hazardous substances and pollutants, and the MRP, to address military munitions. To manage the ERP process, NAS Oceana works in partnership with the VDEQ and USEPA and NALF Fentress works in partnership with the VDEQ.
While NAS Oceana and NALF Fentress are not CERCLA/Superfund Sites, the NAS Oceana and NALF Fentress Partnering Team generally has followed the cleanup process used by the CERCLA program to complete the steps outlined above.
Dam Neck Annex
The NEESA initiated environmental investigations at Dam Neck Annex in 1984 during an IAS completed to identify and assess sites posing a potential threat to human health or the environment. Field investigations were initiated in the Round One Verification Step and two sites, the Former Regulus Avenue Landfill (Site 1) and the Former Pesticide Shop (Building 525), were further evaluated during the follow-up Site Inspection Study. While Dam Neck Annex is not a CERCLA/Superfund site, investigations subsequent to the 1991 investigation at Dam Neck Annex have been conducted following the CERCLA process, with oversight from VDEQ. To manage the ERP process, Dam Neck Annex works in partnership with VDEQ.