Environmental

Site Descriptions

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Site Descriptions

The current Installation Restoration (IR) sites at Naval Base Point Loma (NBPL), Old Town (OT) are managed by the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program (ERP). 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 IR sites. The interactive map below shows which sites are being addressed under the Navy’s ERP. At NBPL OT, the ERP is managed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest in San Diego, California. A link to an overview of past and current environmental investigations and cleanup activities completed at each of the IR sites can be found by clicking the site name on the map.

NBPL OTC IR Site Map


* Note: Boundaries have not been established for IR Sites 12 and 13 as they are in initial phases of investigation.

CLICK HERE for acronym definitions and a glossary of the Navy’s ERP terms.

CLICK HERE for detailed information on each phase of the CERCLA process.

CLICK HERE for additional site-specific documents for each IR site in the Navy’s Administrative Record for NBPL, including OT.

IR Site 1 – Railroad Spur – RESPONSE COMPLETE – RESTRICTED TO INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL

IR Site 1 is an approximately 2.2-acre area located along the entire eastern edge of NBPL OT. When the NBPL OT facility was operating as an aircraft manufacturing facility, the railroad spur was used for shipping and receiving a variety of raw material and finished products. IR Site 1 was first documented in a 1994 environmental assessment report for inclusion in the Navy’s ERP. The report speculated that waste products and cleaning wastes from past operations were discharged into the area along the railroad tracks because the site is at a low elevation, is not covered by asphalt, and is located next to the manufacturing buildings. The railroad spur was designated as IR Site 1.

A 2000 field investigation first characterized site contamination at IR Site 1. In 2009, a comprehensive work plan for IR Sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 presented all the data collected at each IR site. Further investigation at IR Site 1 was recommended to provide data necessary to complete a human health risk assessment. A 2010 remedial investigation confirmed the presence of Aroclor-1260, a polychlorinated biphenyl compound, in shallow soil at IR Site 1. The impacted area was estimated to be approximately 0.06 acres. A 2010 focused feasibility study evaluated remedial alternatives that would mitigate risks to human health at the site. Rail lines on the spur and ties within the nearby Atchison Topeka, and Santa Fe right-of-way at the IR Site 1 spur were removed in June 2011. The 2014 record of decision identified soil excavation and off-site disposal as the preferred remedial action at IR Site 1.

In 2016, excavation and off-site disposal of approximately 2,000 square feet of polychlorinated biphenyls-impacted railroad spur soil, or 0.05 acres, were completed. The soil removal depths varied from one to eight feet, with most of the areas requiring removal at deeper depths located along the western-half of the excavation. Confirmation soil samples were collected following the excavation to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedial action. In areas where the confirmation samples showed results greater than those established by remediation goals, an additional 1-foot of soil was excavated, and a new confirmation sample was collected. Based on the results of post-remedial action groundwater sampling, there was no impact to groundwater at the site. In 2019, the Navy received letters from state regulators concurring on completion of the remedial action, with the condition that land use at the site be restricted to industrial and commercial purposes.

In March 2021, the Navy issued a post-Record of Decision revision to the remedy for IR Site 1 in a memorandum to the Administrative Record file. The memorandum documented land use controls as the remedy, which includes restrictions on residential use and requirements for soil management at IR Site 1. The land use control remedy will also require annual inspections and remedy evaluations and reviews at five-year intervals because concentrations of chemicals in soil will remain above levels acceptable for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure at the IR Site 1. The Navy is preparing a draft land use control remedial design document for IR Site 1 that will provide the details of all land use controls and requirements.

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IR Site 2 – Piping Outside Building 8 – RESPONSE COMPLETE – RESTRICTED TO INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL

IR Site 2 is an exposed 10-inch diameter pipe located east of Building 8, near the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad right-of-way. Building 8, constructed in 1940, was a fabrication facility consisting of sheet metal works including mills, presses, routers, and lathes used in WWII aircraft manufacturing. IR Site 2 was first documented in a 1994 environmental assessment report for inclusion in the Navy’s ERP because the exposed pipe was suspected to be part of a broken pipeline. Pipe tracing was subsequently performed, resulting in a determination that the exposed pipe was debris and apparently not connected to any potential source of contamination at the NBPL OT facility.

A 2000 removal site evaluation characterized site contamination at IR Site 2. A 2003 and 2004 extended site investigation at NBPL OT included sampling for the heavy metals arsenic and lead in soils, the potential contaminants of concern at IR Site 2. A 2009 comprehensive work plan for IR Sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 presented the data collected at each IR site. Site closure with no further action was recommended for IR Site 2 based on the conclusions of previous investigations. In 2009, the Navy received concurrence letters from state regulators agreeing no further investigation was required under the condition that land use at the site be restricted to industrial and commercial purposes.

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IR Site 3 – Building 8 Hydraulic Press Vaults – RESPONSE COMPLETE – RESTRICTED TO INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL

IR Site 3, located within Building 8, included one large and two small underground press vaults approximately 12 feet below ground surface. Constructed in 1940, Building 8 was a sheet metal works used for WWII aircraft manufacturing. IR Site 3 was first documented in a 1994 environmental assessment report for inclusion in the Navy’s ERP. IR Site 3 was identified because hydraulic presses housed in the vaults were used in a variety of metal stretching and molding operations.

A 2000 removal site evaluation characterized site contamination at IR Site 3. The presses were subsequently removed, and the vaults were cleaned, backfilled, and covered with concrete. A 2003 and 2004 extended site investigation at NBPL OT included sampling for the heavy metals arsenic and lead in soil, the potential contaminants of concern at IR Site 3. A 2009 comprehensive work plan for IR Sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 presented the data collected at each IR site, and site closure with no further action was recommended for IR Site 3 based on the conclusions of previous investigations. In 2009, the Navy received concurrence letters from state regulators agreeing no further investigation was required under the condition that land use at the site be restricted to industrial and commercial purposes.

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IR Site 4 – Building 1 Hydraulic Press Vaults – RESPONSE COMPLETE – RESTRICTED TO INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL

IR Site 4, located within in Building 1, consists of a hydraulic press pit, two pipeline corridors, and an eight-foot deep hydraulic fluid tank pit in an underground press vault approximately 15 feet below ground surface. Constructed in 1940, Building 1 was a production facility for WWII aircraft manufacturing. It was later used by moving and storage companies for warehousing purposes. IR Site 4 was first documented in a 1994 environmental assessment report for inclusion in the Navy’s ERP because the hydraulic press was used for metal-stretching and molding operations.

A preliminary assessment and site investigation were conducted at IR Site 4 in 1996. The press was removed, and the vault was cleaned, backfilled, and covered with concrete in 2005. Sampling soil and groundwater for the heavy metals arsenic and lead, the potential contaminants of concern at IR Site 4, was conducted during a 2003 and 2004 extended site investigation and a 2009 remedial investigation. A 2009 comprehensive work plan for IR Sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 presented the data collected at each IR site. Site closure with no further action was recommended for IR Site 4 based on the conclusions of previous investigations. In 2009, the Navy received concurrence letters from state regulators agreeing no further investigation was required under the condition that land use at the site be restricted to industrial and commercial purposes.

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IR Site 5 – Air Compressor Pipes and Catch Basins – RESPONSE COMPLETE – RESTRICTED TO INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL

IR Site 5 consisted of three metal pipes that penetrate the eastern wall of Building 1 and feed into a six-inch diameter drain on the ground surface outside the building. One pipe was traced inside the building to an unused boiler tank. Another was determined to be a pressure relief valve for hot water from the boiler tank. The third appears to be a pressure relief discharge pipe for the boiler. The exterior drain appears to be a catch basin for water and steam that exited the pipe when the boiler was in use. Constructed in 1940, Building 1 was a production facility for WWII aircraft manufacturing. It was later used by moving and storage companies for warehousing purposes.

IR Site 5 was first documented in a 1994 environmental assessment report for inclusion in the Navy’s ERP. IR Site 5 was identified because of unspecified concern that the pipe and drain may have been used for product or waste disposal. The pipes were subsequently determined to be unconnected to any potential sources of contamination originating from operations or other potential disposal activities at IR Site 5.

A 2000 removal site evaluation characterized site contamination at IR Site 5, identifying metals as a potential contaminant of concern in soil. Sampling was conducted during a 2003 and 2004 extended site investigation at IR Site 5. A 2009 comprehensive work plan for IR Sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 presented the data collected at each IR site. Site closure with no further action was recommended for IR Site 5 based on the conclusions of previous investigations. In 2009, the Navy received concurrence letters from state regulators agreeing no further investigation was required under the condition that land use at the site be restricted to industrial and commercial purposes.

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IR Site 6 - CLOSED

IR Site 6 was eliminated from the Navy’s ERP during the preliminary assessment phase in the mid-1990s.

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IR Site 7 – Eyewash Station Catch Basin – RESPONSE COMPLETE – RESTRICTED TO INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL

IR Site 7 consists of a small diameter pipe exiting the southeastern portion of Building 2 and a catch basin approximately 5 feet southeast of the pipe. Constructed in 1940, Building 2 was used for painting, etching, deoxidizing, machining, steam cleaning, and degreasing during WWII aircraft manufacturing. Information regarding historical use of the outdoor catch basin is unknown.

IR Site 7 was first documented in a 1994 environmental assessment report for inclusion in the Navy’s ERP because the pipe was directly connected to an eyewash station inside the building and, when in use, potable water from the station flowed from the pipe and discharged onto the asphalt pavement. The catch basin that the pipe drained into was a concrete vault approximately 3-feet by 3-feet by 2-feet deep.

A 2000 removal site evaluation characterized site contamination, identifying metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as potential contaminants of concern in soil at IR Site 7. A 2003 and 2004 extended site investigation at NBPL OT included sampling at IR Site 7, although the catch basin was filled-in prior to the investigation. A 2009 comprehensive work plan for IR Sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 presented the data collected at each IR site. Site closure with no further action was recommended for IR Site 7 based on the conclusions of previous investigations. In 2009, the Navy received concurrence letters from state regulators agreeing no further investigation was required under the condition that land use at the site be restricted to industrial and commercial purposes.

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IR Site 8 - CLOSED

IR Site 8 was eliminated from the Navy’s ERP during the preliminary assessment phase in the mid-1990s.

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IR Site 9 – Building 2 Compressed Air Vaults - CLOSED

IR Site 9 runs along the western side of the interior of Building 2. It includes 22 unpaved floor vaults that measure approximately 1.5- by 2.5-feet and are approximately 3-feet deep. The vaults provide access to subsurface deactivated compressed air lines. Two unrelated interior floor drains are also included in IR Site 9. Constructed in 1940, Building 2 was used for painting, etching, deoxidizing, machining, steam cleaning, and degreasing during WWII aircraft manufacturing. The vaults may have collected hazardous materials, including waste oil, paint sludge, spent acids, and plating materials.

IR Site 9 was first documented in a 1994 environmental assessment report for inclusion in the Navy’s ERP. IR Site 9 was identified because the floor vaults could have potentially intercepted liquid wastes that may have been spilled in the building work areas, although it was subsequently determined that any potential spills were not significant enough to have a major impact on the subsurface beneath the site. Since the 1997 removal site evaluation at NBPL OT, the floor vaults have been sealed with steel plates welded flush with the surface.

A 2000 removal site evaluation characterized site contamination at IR Site 9, identifying metals as a potential contaminant of concern in soil. A 2009 comprehensive work plan for IR Sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 presented the data collected at each IR site. Further investigation at IR Site 9 was recommended to satisfy data gaps and complete a human health risk assessment. A 2010 remedial investigation included groundwater monitoring and soil vapor sampling at IR Site 9 and recommended no further action based on the results confirming that no CERCLA release had occurred. The remedial investigation also concluded that any concerns or issues relating to soil gas detected outside of the IR Site 9 boundary should be addressed in planned future investigation activities for IR Site 11, which appears to be the primary source of volatile organic compounds (VOCS) in soil gas. In 2010, state regulators concurred that IR Site 9 does not pose unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, and that no further action under CERCLA was appropriate for IR Site 9. Site closure with no further action was documented in the Navy’s 2014 Record of Decision for IR Site 9.

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IR Site 10 – Former Building 33 – CLOSED

IR Site 10 is the site of former Building 33, a belowground, reinforced concrete bunker that extended 8 feet below grade, with a roofline 2 feet above ground surface. Building 33 was demolished and backfilled in 2003 and the area is currently used as a parking lot. Constructed in 1940 and closed in the 1980s, the bunker was used for the storage of pyrotechnics and munitions. A one-foot by one-foot sump and pump were reportedly present in the southwest corner of the bunker. IR Site 10 was first designated in a 1994 environmental assessment report for inclusion in the Navy’s ERP because at that time sludge appeared to be seeping through cracks in the concrete floor.

Environmental studies beginning in the 1990s identified groundwater and soil vapor impacted with volatile organic compounds, such as tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride at IR Site 10. Investigations conducted through 2009 characterized site contamination at IR Site 10 and the adjacent IR Site 11. Based on close proximity and similar contaminants in groundwater and soil vapor, the remedial actions for IR Sites 10 and 11 were combined.

A two-phase remedial investigation at IR Sites 10 and 11 was conducted in 2010 and 2014. The remedial investigation report recommended a remediation pilot study that would test options for protecting future human health, control the plume contaminant source, provide additional characterization information, and support selection and design of a final remedy.

From 2012 through 2013, the remediation pilot study was conducted and confirmed the effectiveness of soil vapor extraction and in-situ enhanced anaerobic bioremediation processes in successfully reducing contaminant concentrations. As a result, the 2015 Record of Decision for IR sites 10 and 11 selected soil vapor extraction and enhanced anaerobic bioremediation as the remedy for both sites to address the contamination of volatile organic compounds in soil and groundwater. Enhanced anaerobic bioremediation injections were performed in 2015, and the soil vapor extraction system was implemented that same year and continues to operate.

Data from quarterly and semiannual monitoring of remediation progress since 2015 indicated that the remediation goals for groundwater and soil vapor were being achieved in most monitoring locations, with the exception of some elevated volatile organic compound concentrations remaining in the parking lot north of Building 3.

The Navy’s ERP conducted field investigations at IR Site 10 from late 2019 through the spring of 2020, with the objective of either determining if the Navy’s CERCLA response was complete or determining what may be necessary to optimize the current remedy-in-place. The 2019 and 2020 data demonstrated that there was no hazardous substance release from IR Site 10 and that residual volatile organic compound concentrations in groundwater in the vicinity of IR Site 10 were attributable to IR Site 11 and are being addressed by the remedy at IR Site 11.

Because there is no evidence of a hazardous substance or petroleum release to soil or groundwater at IR Site 10, the Navy recommended site closure. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control and San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board concurred with this recommendation and the site was closed.

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IR Site 11 – Former Building 3 – REMEDIATION IN PROGRESS

IR Site 11 was historically identified as the site of a sanitary sewer line break in the northeast portion of Building 3, the main manufacturing and assembly building. Constructed in 1940, Building 3 was a production facility for World War II aircraft manufacturing. It was later used by moving and storage companies for warehousing purposes. Since 1951, the facility has been used to produce aircraft, rockets, and missiles. Processes within Building 3 may have generated metal cleaning solvents, paint sludge, waste oil, spent acids, plating materials, degreasing solvents, and Oakite cleaners. In addition, wastewater from plant processes, including metal plating, photography, and x-rays, may have been discharged to the sanitary sewer prior to and at the time of the sewer line break. IR Site 11 was first designated in a 1994 environmental assessment report for inclusion in the Navy’s ERP because of a sanitary sewer line break that was observed in this area.

Environmental studies beginning in the 1990s identified groundwater and soil vapor impacted with volatile organic compounds, such as tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride at IR Site 11. Investigations conducted through 2009 characterized site contamination at IR Site 11 and the adjacent IR Site 10. Based on close proximity and similar contaminants in groundwater and soil vapor, the remedial actions for IR Sites 10 and 11 were combined.

A two-phase remedial investigation at IR Sites 10 and 11 was conducted in 2010 and 2014. The volatile organic compound trichloroethylene (TCE) was reported in soil vapor beneath the slab and in indoor air in Building 3 at IR Site 11. The remedial investigation report recommended a remediation pilot study that would test options to protect future human health, control the plume contaminant source, provide additional characterization information, and support selection and design of a final remedy.

From 2012 through 2013 the remediation pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of the soil vapor extraction and in-situ enhanced anaerobic bioremediation processes. Contaminant concentrations were successfully reduced using a combination of both methods during the pilot study. As a result, the 2015 Record of Decision for IR sites 10 and 11selected soil vapor extraction and enhanced anaerobic bioremediation as the remedy for both sites to address the contamination of volatile organic compounds in soil and groundwater.

Enhanced anaerobic bioremediation injections were performed in 2015, and the soil vapor extraction system was implemented that same year and continues to operate. To address the indoor air at Building 3, mitigation included infrastructure repairs to the concrete floor, enhanced air exchange management, and installation and continuous operation of a sub-floor ventilation system.

Data from quarterly and semiannual monitoring of remediation progress since 2015 indicated that the remediation goals for groundwater and soil vapor were being achieved in most monitoring locations, with the exception of some elevated volatile organic compound concentrations remaining in the parking lot north of Building 3. TCE concentrations in indoor air in Building 3 have remained below regulatory action levels.

The Navy’s ERP conducted field investigations at IR Site 11 from late 2019 through the spring of 2020, with the objective of either determining if the Navy’s CERCLA response was complete or determining what may be necessary to optimize the current remedy-in-place.

The 2019 and 2020 data demonstrated that a TCE source remains at IR Site 11, the response for IR Site 11 is not complete, and further investigation will be required. Groundwater and soil vapor remediation is ongoing at the site.

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IR Sites 12 and 13 – INVESTIGATION PHASE 

The Navy confirmed evidence of a past release and contamination beneath the roadway between Buildings 2 and 3 during the late 2019 through spring of 2020 IR Site 11 field investigation program. Preliminary sampling results showed concentrations of TCE above IR Site 11 remedial goals in soil vapor and groundwater, but also showed the contamination did not originate from the source at IR Site 11. The Navy has recently established IR Site 12, a new Navy ERP site at NBPL OT, in order to initiate additional investigations and remediation in this area in accordance with the regulatory process.

During recent environmental field investigations conducted in support of NAVWAR Revitalization, a redevelopment program at NBPL OT that considers NAVWAR’s plans for a new facility to support its cyber security mission, the Navy has discovered evidence of a past release and contamination beneath the parking lot south of Building 7. Preliminary sampling results showed concentrations of VOCs above regulatory screening levels in soil vapor and groundwater. The Navy has recently established IR Site 13, a new Navy ERP site at NBPL OT, in order to initiate additional investigations and remediation in this area in accordance with the regulatory process.

The Navy conducted follow-up indoor air sampling in five NAVWAR buildings in April and May 2020 to verify that the recently detected concentrations of VOCs, specifically TCE, in subsurface areas did not present an indoor vapor intrusion concern. Results for indoor air samples from all five buildings were below the regulatory response action level for the VOCs of concern.

The Navy continues the quarterly indoor air monitoring program associated with the northern portion of Building 3 at IR Site 11 and will continue to periodically verify that VOCs in the subsurface are not presenting a vapor intrusion concern at the two new IR site areas.

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