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Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center Los Angeles

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website

This website provides background information on the Department of the Navy’s (Navy) Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) sites at former Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center (NMCRC) Los Angeles, 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), Munition Response Program (MRP), and Underground Storage Tank (UST) sites. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest in San Diego, California manages the Navy’s ERP at NMCRC Los Angeles.

The Navy’s ERP has identified one IRP site at NMCRC Los Angeles.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 created the legal mechanism for cleaning up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Although CERCLA did not apply to environmental restoration at military installations, its provisions were adopted by the Department of Defense (DoD) as a model for environmental cleanups by the military components. Accordingly, the process established by CERCLA for environmental restoration efforts is followed for any IRP sites identified at the former NMCRC Los Angeles.

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) amended the CERCLA legislation in 1986. Among other changes, SARA established the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP). The Secretary of Defense provides oversight of the DERP and has delegated responsibility the DERP’s implementation and the DoD’s lead agency status to individual military departments. The DERP cleans up hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, and military munitions remaining from past activities at active military installations, installations undergoing base realignment and closure, and formerly used defense sites. Because the DERP has a substantially larger scope than CERCLA, certain petroleum releases may be remediated using DERP funds, sites do not need to be on the National Priorities List (NPL) to be managed using DERP funds, and the DoD serves as the lead agency on ERP projects.

The Navy was the administrator of NMCRC Los Angeles and is the lead federal agency working with the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to collect and evaluate environmental data addressing issues related to past releases at ERP sites. Because the former NMCRC Los Angeles is not on the NPL, the State of California provides oversight of environmental restoration activities. The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board acts as the lead regulatory agency, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control assists with oversight of the Navy’s ERP at the former NMCRC Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board granted case closure for IRP Site 01 in December 2017.

Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center Los Angeles

NMCRC Los Angeles is approximately six acres of land one mile northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The former reserve center is built into a terraced hillside, bordered by Dodger Stadium to the northeast, and Victor Heights and Chinatown neighborhoods to the southeast.

The federal Works Progress Administration initiated construction of NMCRC Los Angeles in 1938, completing it in 1940. Designed by noted California architects Robert Clements and Associates as the largest enclosed structure without columns in the world, this Art Deco building is also the largest and second-oldest Navy Reserve Center in the United States. A service station that included gasoline and waste oil USTs was built in 1943.

NMCRC Los Angeles’ mission was to provide administrative, training, and logistics support to Marine Corps reserve units. The reserve unit support mission was discontinued because of downsizing of the military forces. The site was vacated by the military in 1994 and leased out by the Navy. Tenants included the Los Angeles Police Department, the United States Internal Revenue Service, the Med Fly Control Unit of the United States Department of Agriculture, and City of Los Angeles Fire Department.

The Department of the Navy transferred ownership of the property to the City of Los Angeles in 2015 with a deed restriction and land use covenant. Land use is restricted to industrial/commercial. The Los Angeles Fire Department currently occupies the site. The Navy retains responsibility for five-year reviews and any CERCLA actions.

Environmental Restoration Program Background

The purpose of the Navy’s ERP is to reduce the risk to human health and the environment from environmental problems by moving IRP sites through the CERCLA process, from identification and investigation to cleanup and closure.

A 1995 environmental baseline survey identified IRP Site 01, a former service station and vehicle lube rack area in the fleet vehicle storage and maintenance area, as containing hazardous substances and petroleum products. Environmental investigations and remediation were conducted through 2017 when the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board granted the site a no further action determination for commercial/industrial use.

Additional background and environmental investigation information for the IRP site included in the ERP is provided on the Site Descriptions page of the NMCRC Los Angeles website.

CLICK HERE for information on the Navy’s ERP.

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