Environmental

JEB Little Creek

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This website is part of the Department of the Navy's (Navy’s) active efforts to provide accurate, timely, and comprehensive information on the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) at Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

At the start of the its Installation Restoration Program (IRP) in 1984 there were 141 potentially contaminated sites, Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs), and Areas of Concern (AOCs), and Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) areas identified for evaluation at JEB Little Creek based on assessments and investigations. Following desktop audits, Site Investigations, and/or removal actions, out of 141 sites four were closed with no further action (NFA) Record of Decisions (RODs), seven sites were closed through the MMRP with NFA, 16 sites were closed with NFA, and 106 sites were closed with NFA.

Only eight ERP sites (Sites 7, 9, 10, 11, 11a, 12, 13, and SWMU 3) are currently active in the JEB Little Creek ERP. The other sites and areas have been investigated and/or actions taken or require no further action. However, there is the potential for additional sites to be added to the JEB Little Creek ERP based on periodic evaluations of emerging contaminants (e.g., perchlorate, 1,4-dioxane, Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances). The JEB Little Creek partnering team, consisting of members from the Navy, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, review the list of emerging contaminants and determine if historical activities at any JEB Little Creek locations could have resulted in the presence of emerging contaminants in site media (e.g. soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment).JEB Little Creek achieved Construction Complete on May 11, 2015. A facility achieves Construction Complete when the last remedial action has been completed or the remedy has been implemented such that the treatment system is operating as intended (Remedy in Place) and a Preliminary Closeout Report for the facility has been signed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Following Construction Complete, ongoing work will consist primarily of monitoring. A Final Closeout Report for the facility will be prepared and signed by USEPA once the remedial action objectives for all of the sites have been achieved, after which time the facility will be eligible for deletion from the National Priorities List.

Facility and Environmental History

JEB Little Creek History

Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek is primarily an industrial facility located in the northwest corner of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The area surrounding this 2,215-acre base is low lying and relatively flat with several freshwater lakes (Chubb Lake, Lake Bradford, Little Creek Reservoir/Lake Smith, and Lake Whitehurst) located on or adjacent to the Base. JEB Little Creek centers around four saltwater bodies: Little Creek Harbor, Little Creek Cove, Desert Cove, and Little Creek Channel that connects the coves and harbor with the Chesapeake Bay.

In addition to industrial land use, JEB Little Creek is also used for recreational, commercial, and residential purposes. The southeastern corner of the Base has been developed for residential use and land development surrounding the Base is residential, commercial, and industrial. Little Creek Reservoir/Lake Smith, located to the south of the Base, serves as a secondary drinking-water supply for parts of the City of Norfolk.

JEB Little Creek grew out of four bases constructed during World War II: the Amphibious Training Base, the Naval Frontier Base, Camp Bradford, and Camp Shelton. It consisted of three annexes named for the former owners of the property—Shelton to the east, Bradford in the center, and Whitehurst to the west. In July 1945, a Secretary of the Navy letter disestablished the separate bases and established the former Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Little Creek (now referred to as JEB Little Creek) on August 10, 1945. In 1946, the former NAB Little Creek was designated a permanent base, and the Base’s mission was the training of landing craft personnel for operational assignments.

During the last 50 years, JEB Little Creek has expanded in both area and complexity of its mission. JEB Little Creek personnel provide logistic facilities and support services to home ported ships and shore-based resident commands. The combination of operational support and training facilities is geared predominantly to meet the amphibious warfare training requirements of the Armed Forces of the United States. Past and present operations at JEB Little Creek include the following: vehicle and boat maintenance, boat painting and sandblasting, construction and repair of buildings and piers, mixing and application of pesticides, electroplating of musical instruments, laundry and dry cleaning, medical and dental treatment, and the generation of steam for heat.

Click here to access the JEB Little Creek Environmental Restoration Program Site Management Plan.

JEB Little Creek Environmental History

Comprehensive Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) activities at JEB Little Creek began in 1984 under the Navy Assessment and Control of Installation Pollutants (NACIP) and Installation Restoration (IR) (later termed ERP) Programs. The purpose of the NACIP and ER Programs was to identify, assess, characterize, and clean up or control contamination from past waste management activities at the Department of the Navy (Navy) and United States Marine Corps facilities. Given the nature and extent of its operations, the Navy has been involved with toxic and hazardous materials for several decades. The Department of Defense (DoD), as well as general industry, realized that previously-acceptable methods of disposal are no longer sufficient, and actions are being taken, through these programs, to clean up Navy sites that pose a threat to human health or the environment. Current Navy waste management operations are in compliance with all federal, state, and Navy regulations to ensure safe operation and disposal of hazardous substances.

The NACIP program used a three-phased approach to study and to clean up sites. JEB Little Creek initiated its environmental study investigation and restoration efforts under the NACIP program by conducting an Initial Assessment Study (IAS) in 1984. The NACIP program was changed in 1986, to reflect the requirements of Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. This revised program is referred to as the ERP.

On July 28, 1998, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) proposed that the former NAB Little Creek be added to the National Priorities List (NPL). USEPA evaluates industrial sites using the Hazard Ranking System (HRS), and those facilities with HRS scores exceeding 28.5 are proposed for the NPL. The HRS score of 50, assigned by the USEPA to the former NAB Little Creek, was attributed mainly to the surface water component at Site 7 (Amphibious Base Landfill). The proposed listing was followed by a minimum 60-day review and comment period before the inclusion of NAB Little Creek on the NPL. On May 10, 1999, the former NAB Little Creek was placed on the NPL.

The Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA), negotiated between Navy, USEPA, and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, was finalized in November 2003. In accordance with the FFA, all past and future work at ER sites and Solid Waste Management Units will be reviewed, and a course of action for future work requirements at each site will be developed.

In addition, the DoD has established the Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program to address munitions and explosives of concern and munitions constituents at other-than-operational ranges. The DoD and Navy are establishing policy and guidance for munitions and response actions under the MMRP; however, the key program drivers developed to date conclude that munitions response action will be conducted under the process outlined in the National Contingency Plan as authorized by CERCLA.

Click here for a list of Acronyms and Abbreviations related to the Environmental Restoration Program at JEB Little Creek.

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