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Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Detachment Norco

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website

The Navy is requesting permission to sample drinking water obtained from drinking water wells within a sampling area near Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Detachment Norco to test for certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS.

 

OFF-BASE DRINKING WATER WELL SAMPLING
NEAR
NAVAL WEAPONS STATION SEAL BEACH DETACHMENT NORCO

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

The Navy will host an Open House public meeting with our partnering agencies* to present information about this drinking water well sampling and to interact with the community to address questions and concerns. The open house will have informational displays relating to Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Detachment Norco (Det. Norco), and representatives will be available to discuss the drinking water well sampling near Det. Norco. For additional information about the Open House, or if you have questions about the drinking water well sampling, please email norco.pfas@jacobs.com or call and leave a detailed message at 1-855-NORCO CA (1-855-667-2622). A Navy representative will return your call. *Our partnering agency is the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA).

Date: April 23, 2024
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Address: Fairfield Inn, 3441 Hamner Ave, Norco, CA

 
Property Owners who drink water from a well on a property located within the sampling area may request sampling by calling
1-855-NORCO CA (1-855-667-2622) to schedule a sampling appointment. Appointments are currently being scheduled between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. from April 24 to April 27, 2024.

If your drinking water is provided by the City of Norco, we do not need to sample your drinking water.
 
 

Introduction

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of thousands of different chemicals which have been widely used in industrial and consumer products since the 1950s. PFAS are man-made and have been used in many household and industrial products because of their stain- and water-repellent properties. PFAS are now present virtually everywhere in the world. The Navy and Department of Defense (DoD) have developed proactive policies to address past releases of PFAS, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), at installations nationwide.

The most common activity that could have resulted in the historical release of PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS to the environment at Navy installations is the use of firefighting foam (specifically, aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF) for testing, training, firefighting, and other life-saving emergency responses. Because of this historical use, there is potential for PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS to be in the groundwater on base and may be present in groundwater, which may be used for drinking water, located in the direction that the groundwater flows away from the base.

Once PFAS are released, many of them tend to stay in the environment for a very long time. Although the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started the process to establish regulatory levels for several PFAS in drinking water, there are currently no Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory standards. To date, the EPA has developed drinking water health advisories for a small number of PFAS; these advisories are non-enforceable and non-regulatory. The advisories provide technical information to states and other public health officials on health effects, analytical methodologies, and treatment technologies. For now, the Navy is continuing to follow its June 2016 policy to conduct investigations at installations where there has been a known or suspected release of PFAS to the environment. The first priority with these investigations is to identify and address drinking water wells with PFOA and PFOS above 70 parts per trillion (ppt)*, individually or combined, as a result of Navy operations.

The state of California has also established PFAS notification and response levels for PFAS.

DoD, including the Navy, is moving toward complete removal of AFFF at its installations and is transitioning to PFAS-free alternatives to AFFF. Until that transition is complete, the Navy will continue to use formulations that contain lower concentrations of PFOA and PFOS than historical AFFF formulations, and will continue to take steps to prevent or minimize additional releases of firefighting foam to the environment.

*70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS is the 2016 EPA lifetime drinking water health advisory level for PFOA and PFOS, individually or combined.

Off-Base Drinking Water Sampling at Det. Norco (Figure 1)

PFOA and PFOS have been detected in groundwater at Det. Norco above 70 ppt. When a known or suspected release of PFAS is identified on a Navy installation and groundwater may be used as drinking water, a sampling area is established 1 mile in the direction that groundwater flows away from a release area. At this time, the Navy is asking to sample drinking water wells located in the sampling area (Figure 2). Records indicate that most properties within the sampling area (Figure 2) are provided drinking water by the City of Norco. If your drinking water is provided by the City of Norco, the Navy does not need to sample your drinking water. Property owners and tenants should contact the City of Norco with any questions regarding treatment and testing of publicly-provided drinking water.

Figure 1: Location Map of Detachment Norco

Figure 2: Sampling Area

 

Actions Based on Off-Base Drinking Water Sampling Results

The preliminary results from the off-base drinking water well sampling near Det. Norco are expected approximately 30 days after collecting the samples. The Navy provides notification to the property owners and tenants of their drinking water results and any follow-up actions, if needed. The Navy will provide bottled water for drinking and cooking to any property in the sampling area with a drinking water well that contains PFOA and/or PFOS above 70 ppt that does not have an alternate drinking water source available. The Navy will continue to provide bottled water to these properties receiving bottled water from the Navy until a permanent solution is implemented.

Identification of PFAS Releases at Det. Norco

A Preliminary Assessment (PA) for PFAS at Det. Norco was completed in August 2022 and identified one on-base area, the former fire station, shown on Figure 2, where releases of PFAS may have occurred. The final PA can be found here.

In January 2023, sample collection and analysis of groundwater and soil was completed at the former fire station area in support of the Site Inspection at Det. Norco. A Site Inspection identifies whether suspected chemicals are present at the area being investigated. PFOA and PFOS were detected in shallow groundwater above 70 ppt. The Navy will continue the on-base PFAS investigation to evaluate whether additional actions are needed.

Det. Norco Drinking Water Sampling Documents

Additional Documents

Links

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