Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website

Site Descriptions

The current Installation Restoration Program (IRP), Munitions Response Program (MRP), Underground Storage Tank (UST), and Area of Concern (AOC) sites at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake are managed by the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program (ERP). The overarching goal of the Navy’s ERP is to protect human health and the environment from past hazardous waste practices and releases at Navy and Marine Corps sites. The interactive map below shows which sites are being addressed under the Navy’s ERP. The ERP at NAWS China Lake is managed by Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest in San Diego, California. A link to an overview of past and current environmental investigations and cleanups at each of the IRP sites can be found by clicking the site name on the maps.

  • CLICK HERE for acronym definitions and a glossary of the Navy’s ERP terms.

  • CLICK HERE for additional site-specific documents for each IRP site in the Navy’s Administrative Record for NAWS China Lake.

IRP sites at the base are either organized into one of the five Operable Units (OUs) or are treated as individual sites. Multiple preliminary assessments and site inspections were performed between 1984 and 1997, identifying 79 IRP sites. As of 2019, eight additional IRP sites have been added to the IRP. In total, there are now 87 IRP sites. Forty-five are organized into OUs, 41 are individual sites, and one was designated as no further action before the Navy took ownership of NAWS China Lake (IRP Site 85). The OUs were developed to assist in characterization, cleanup, and closure of sites in a more coordinated and efficient way. The five OUs are the Armitage Field OU inclusive of seven IRP sites, the Area R OU inclusive of six IRP sites, the Propulsion Laboratory OU inclusive of four IRP sites and one AOC, the Michelson Laboratory/Public Works OU inclusive of nine IRP sites and one AOC, and the Landfill OU inclusive of 19 IRP sites and 20 AOCs.


Figure 1 - IRP Sites Map

Four of the five MRP sites at NAWS China Lake are currently in the remedial investigation and feasibility study phase, and one MRP site is in the site inspection phase. Preliminary assessment work in 2003 and 2004 identified the MRP sites from closed ranges. Three are related to small arms or static aircraft firing ranges and two are old bombing ranges.


Figure 2 - MR Sites Map

Ten UST sites have been managed under the IRP at NAWS China Lake, and five have been closed with no further action required. Three USTs are undergoing long-term monitoring or corrective action, and the remaining two UST sites have been transferred to other environmental programs.


Figure 3 - UST Sites Map

A preliminary assessment was conducted from 1998 to 2001 to identify further areas where releases of hazardous substances may have occurred. As a result, 62 AOCs were designated for further action. These AOCs are designated IRP Site 80 as a placeholder to facilitate further evaluation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. An additional preliminary assessment-level investigation was conducted in 1999 at each of the AOCs to assign a ranking of low, medium, or high priority for further study. It also identified several AOCs where no further action was recommended. A supplemental investigation was conducted between 2008 and 2010 to fill data gaps and refine priority rankings for all AOCs. Many of the individual AOCs are in the preliminary assessment and site inspection phase.


Figure 4 - AOC Sites Map

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