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Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website

This website provides background information on the U.S. Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) sites at Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Barstow, Barstow, California. 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 Installation Restoration Program (IRP) sites. The Navy’s ERP at MCLB Barstow is managed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest in San Diego, California. To organize the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) site characterization and cleanup process, MCLB Barstow was divided into seven operable units (OUs). Within each OU are IR sites, identified at MCLB Barstow as CERCLA Areas of Concern (CAOCs). There are currently 54 identified CAOCs at MCLB Barstow, of which 33 CAOCs are under investigation or in the process of remedial action and 21 CAOCs have received no further action status.

CERCLA, also known as Superfund, was established in 1980 to provide a mechanism for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous waste and prevent contamination of future sites by assigning liability to responsible parties. The MCLB Barstow IRP sites identified for the Navy’s ERP have been or are currently being addressed under CERCLA.

In 1986, the CERCLA legislation was amended through the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA). Among other changes, SARA established the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) which is managed by the Office of the Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense, Installations and Environment. The DERP cleans up hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, and military munitions remaining from past activities at military installations and formerly used defense sites.

The Marine Corps is the current landowner at MCLB Barstow and the lead federal agency working with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and Regional Water Quality Control Board – Lahontan Region in accordance with CERCLA process to collect and evaluate environmental data addressing issues related to past releases at each CAOC.

MCLB Barstow History

MCLB Barstow is in San Bernardino County, approximately 135 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. The base consists of the Nebo Main Base, the Rifle Range, and the Yermo Annex. Nebo functions as base headquarters and is the main facility for administration, storage, recreational activities, shopping, and housing functions. The Rifle Range is an active small arms range. The Yermo Annex is primarily a storage and industrial complex.

The base has served as a storage and maintenance depot since World War II, before becoming a major component of the MCLBs in the 1990s. Established as the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies on December 28, 1942, the Navy turned it over to the U.S. Marine Corps as a storage site for supplies and equipment for Fleet Marine Forces in the Pacific theater during World War II. The U.S. Army annexed 2,000 acres of land approximately 7 miles east of the base in October 1946 because Nebo Main Base had outgrown its facilities, resulting in establishment of the Yermo Annex. In March 1961, Depot Maintenance Activity was established at the base. In November 1978, the base was renamed to emphasize its broad logistics support mission of staging, storage, and maintenance of supplies and equipment used by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Environmental Restoration Program Background

The identification process for CAOCs was based on locating sites with indications of historical waste disposal operations and hazardous material spills that require additional investigation. The purpose of the Navy’s IRP is to reduce the risk to human health and the environment from environmental problems by moving IRP sites from identification and investigation to cleanup and closure using the CERCLA process.

MCLB Barstow was placed on the National Priorities List by the USEPA on November 15, 1989. The Marine Corps entered into a federal facilities agreement on October 24, 1990, with the USEPA, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Department of Toxic Substances Control to establish a framework and schedule for implementing environmental investigations and appropriate cleanup actions. Extensive investigations conducted beginning in the early 1990s showed soil and groundwater at the Yermo Annex and Nebo Main Base to be impacted with volatile organic compounds, as well as other contaminants to a lesser extent. The contaminated areas at MCLB Barstow have been divided into the seven OUs designated 1 through 7.

OUs 1 and 2 comprise groundwater contamination beneath Yermo Annex and Nebo Main Base, respectively. Groundwater contamination is primarily due to dissolved volatile organic compounds.

OUs 3 and 5 include soil contamination sites at the Yermo Annex, and OUs 4 and 6 include soil contamination sites at Nebo Main Base. Soil contamination is primarily due to volatile organic compounds, metals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

OU 7 encompasses soil, soil vapor, and groundwater contamination sites at Nebo Main Base and soil contamination sites at the Yermo Annex. Groundwater and soil vapor contamination is primarily due to volatile organic compounds, and soil contamination is primarily due to volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, metals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. CAOC 33 is located at the Rifle Range.

Records of decision have been signed for all seven OUs at MCLB Barstow. Remedial actions are underway at both Yermo Annex and Nebo Main Base. Land use and institutional controls have also been implemented at all seven OUs.

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