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Naval Research Laboratory, Chesapeake Bay Detachment

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website


Naval Research Laboratory – Chesapeake Bay Detachment (NRL-CBD) is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., in Calvert County, Maryland, south of the town of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. NRL-CBD occupies approximately 160 acres along the western shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay. The facility is bounded by the Chesapeake Bay to the east and residential housing areas to the north, south, and west. The facility is separated by Bayside Road (State Route 261) into an eastern and western portion.

NRL-CBD’s mission is to provide and maintain facilities for use by the research divisions of the Naval Research Laboratory, located in Washington, D.C., for the testing, development, and evaluation of radar, radio, optical, and fire control equipment, along with other research projects requiring a maritime environment or open skies, but with land-based support facilities.

The original acquisition of land for NRL-CBD took place in 1941, and construction progressed rapidly during World War II. Major expansion occurred in 1953 and 1954 with construction of a large laboratory building, shop facilities, and complete utility systems.

NRL-CBD Location Map

Environmental Restoration History

The Department of the Navy (Navy) Environmental Restoration (ER) program consists of two environmental investigation programs:

Installation Restoration Program (IRP): The IRP was designed to identify and clean up past contamination from chemical and radiological contaminants, hazardous substances, and pollutants to protect human health and safety, and the environment.

Munitions Response Program (MRP): The MRP addresses explosives safety hazards associated with munitions and explosives of concern, as well as human health and environmental risks associated with munitions constituents.

The Navy’s ER activities at NRL-CBD began in 1984 with the Initial Assessment Study (IAS). The purpose of the IAS was to identify and assess sites posing a potential threat to human health or the environment due to contamination from past hazardous materials operations.

NRL-CBD is not listed on the National Priorities List (NPL), commonly known as Superfund. Regulatory oversight is provided by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Since the early 2010s, the Navy and MDE have been coordinating ER activities at NRL-CBD. Currently, there are six (6) active IRP sites and three (3) active MRP sites at NRL-CBD.

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