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West Vieques

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Description of West Vieques Sites

The former Naval Ammunition Support Detachment (NASD) covers 8,200 acres on the west side of the island and was used to store munitions and other support facilities for Atlantic Fleet training. On April 30, 2001, the 8,114-acre former Naval Ammunition Support Detachment (NASD) on the west side of Vieques was apportioned and transferred to the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Municipality of Vieques (MOV), and the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust (PRCT) in accordance with Public Laws 106-398 and 107-107. The property owned by DOI (approximately 3,158 acres) is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as part of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge.

There is a total of 17 sites on west Vieques, which includes one munitions response site (SWMU 4) and 16 environmental sites; a portion of the offshore munitions site (UXO 16) also occurs within west Vieques, but is affiliated with east Vieques (Figure 1). To date, fifteen of the sites are complete with no further action required. AOC E is in remedial action, and SWMU 4 is under investigation. All public documents related to each site can be found in the Administrative Record. A description of these sites is provided below, along with their respective CERCLA site closure document, if applicable.

Portions of UXO 16 are adjacent underwater areas to the VNTR and the NASD. Within the NASD, the offshore, underwater area adjacent to SWMU 4 may have been impacted by munitions ”kick out” from the open burn/open detonation (OB/OD) activities. Additionally, it is possible munitions fell into the water during transfer from ships at offshore mooring points and at Mosquito Pier. In 2013, the underwater topography information within these areas, referred to as “bathymetry,” was compiled, which will be used to develop a plan to assess the presence and locations of munitions underwater.

West Vieques Environmental and Munitions Response Sites
Figure 1. West Vieques Environmental and Munitions Response Sites


Click here to view a larger PDF version of the map above.

 

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Munitions Response

Site

Name

Description

Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) 4

Inactive Open Burn/Waste Explosive Detonation Range

SWMU 4 is a former open burn/open detonation (OB/OD) area used for the thermal destruction of retrograde and surplus munitions, fuels, and propellants from 1969 through 1979, and may have periodically been used as far back as the late 1940s.  The OB/OD operations were conducted in 16 man-made earthen bermed pits of various shapes.  A Record of Decision (ROD) is planned in 2019 to address munitions and explosives of concern and groundwater contamination.  

UXO 16

Underwater Areas

The underwater areas adjacent to East and West Vieques have a size of approximately 11,500 acres and consist of portions that are known or suspected to have been impacted by munitions and explosives of concern.  Although UXO 16 is affiliated with East Vieques, a portion of the site occurs in West Vieques, which includes three anchorage areas, adjacent to Mosquito Pier and offshore of SWMU 4.  The anchorage area and Mosquito Pier are areas where ordnance from Navy ships may have been dropped during loading and unloading operations.  The offshore area adjacent to SWMU 4 is an area where munitions have “kicked-out” from the OB/OD activities.  These areas are currently in the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study phase.

 

Environmental

Site

Name

Description

Area of Concern (AOC) E

Former Underground Storage Tank Site at Building 2016

AOC E is located within the public works area and includes a former 550-gallon underground storage tank (UST) used from 1970 to 1996 to store waste oil from vehicle maintenance activities. This site is currently in the remedial action phase to address groundwater contamination.

 

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Environmental

Site

Name

Description

Relevant Documents

Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) 7

Former Quebrada Disposal Site

SWMU 7 was an ephemeral stream channel used between approximately 1965 and 1980 for disposal of trash including lubricants, oils, solvents, paint, old tires, sheet metal, empty containers such as drums, cans, and bottles, old batteries, and construction rubble. Based on the Remedial Investigation Report for this site, which was finalized in 2008, an interim removal action was conducted in 2009 to remove the debris and contaminated soil. Evaluation of post-removal confirmatory samples determined there were no unacceptable human health or ecological risks; therefore, a No Further Action Proposed Plan was issued for public comment and a No Further Action Record of Decision was signed in 2011. The site closure document can be found at this link. Evaluation of data collected during these investigations indicated there had not been a contaminant release at SWMU 2 or, if a release occurred, it has not resulted in soil or groundwater contamination that posed unacceptable risks to human health or the environment. Therefore, the site was included in a No Action/No Further Action Decision Document issued in 2010.

Site Closure Document

Area of Concern (AOC) H

Abandoned Power Plant

AOC H was a power plant that operated between 1941 and 1943. The site was also used for fire fighter training from the 1960s to through the 1980s. The Remedial Investigation Report, which was finalized in 2007, found no unacceptable human health or ecological risks. Therefore, a No Further Action Proposed Plan was issued for public comment and a No Further Action Record of Decision was signed in 2008.

Site Closure Document

Area of Concern (AOC) J

Former Operations/Staging Area Disposal Site

AOC J was a solid waste disposal site for construction-related materials in use from 1965 to 1973. Based on the Remedial Investigation Report, which was finalized in 2007, an interim removal action was conducted in 2009 to remove the debris and contaminated soil. Evaluation of post-removal confirmatory samples determined there were no unacceptable human health or ecological risks; therefore, a No Further Action Proposed Plan was issued for public comment and a No Further Action Record of Decision was signed in 2011.

Site Closure Document

Area of Concern (AOC) R

Former Staging and Operations Area

AOC R was used for construction staging, public works operations and vehicle maintenance from approximately 1965 to 1971. This use resulted in the accumulation of several debris piles and associated contaminated soil at the site. Therefore, during the Remedial Investigation, an interim removal action was conducted in 2009 to remove the debris and contaminated soil. The Remedial Investigation was completed in August 2009, the results of which were used to determine the post-removal site conditions posed no unacceptable human health or ecological risks. Therefore, a No Further Action Proposed Plan was issued to the public and a No Further Action Record of Decision was signed in 2011.

Site Closure Document

Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) 5

Former IRFNA/MAF-4 Disposal Site

SWMU 5 is the site where, in 1975, a one-time disposal of 7,000 pounds of drone fuel (inhibited red fuming nitric acid/mixed amine fuel #4 [IRFNA/MAF-4]) from a leaking target drone into a low spot on ground reportedly occurred. The site was investigated during a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI). Based on the findings of the PA/SI, which indicated the site posed no unacceptable risk, SWMU 5 was included in the No Further Action Report for Nine Sites issued in 2006. In 2007, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board concurred with the No Further Action findings.

Site Closure Document

Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) 6

Former Mangrove Disposal Site

The Former Mangrove Disposal Site is a 0.6-acre site located among Laguna Kiani, Laguna El Pobre, and Laguna Punta Arenas along Highway 200 on the former Naval Ammunition Support Detachment (NASD). The site was used during the 1960s and 1970s as a disposal area for general facility wastes, including bottles, rubble, and empty containers of lubricants, oil, solvents, and paints. A No Further Action determination was made in 2017 and the Record of Decision is currently being signed.

A link to the document will be provided once the ROD is available in the Administrative Record.

Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) 10

Former Waste Paint and Solvents Disposal Ground

SWMU 10 was the site where small quantities of paint, solvents, and thinners were reportedly disposed of on the ground outside Building 4001 within the Public Works Area. The site was investigated during a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI). Based on the findings of the PA/SI, which indicated the site posed no unacceptable risk, SWMU 10 was included in the No Further Action Report for Nine Sites issued in 2006. In 2007, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board concurred with the Nor Further Action findings.

Site Closure Document

Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) 14

Former Wash Rack

SWMU 14 was a former wash rack used for cleaning Navy vehicles near Bldg. 2016 within the Public Works Area. The site was investigated during a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI). Based on the findings of the PA/SI, which indicated the site posed no unacceptable risk, SWMU 14 was included in the No Further Action Report for Nine Sites issued in 2006. In 2007, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board concurred with the No Further Action findings.

Site Closure Document

Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) 15

Former Waste Transportation Vehicle Parking Area

SWMU 15 was a former waste transportation vehicle parking area within the Public Works Area where parked trucks may have contained drums that leaked. The site was investigated during a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI).

Based on the findings of the PA/SI, which indicated the site posed no unacceptable risk, SWMU 15 was included in the No Further Action Report for Nine Sites issued in 2006. In 2007, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board concurred with the No Further Action findings.

Site Closure Document

Area of Concern (AOC) B

Former Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)

AOC B was a former wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and disposal ground located on southwest end of the Public Works Area. The site was investigated during a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI). Based on the findings of the PA/SI, which indicated the site posed no unacceptable risk, AOC B was included in the No Further Action Report for Nine Sites issued in 2006. In 2007, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board concurred with the No Further Action findings.

Site Closure Document

Area of Concern (AOC) C

Drainage Ditch at Former Transportation Shop

AOC C was a drainage ditch near a former transportation shop within the Public Works Area where an oily sheen was observed. The site was investigated during a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI). Based on the findings of the PA/SI, which indicated the site posed no unacceptable risk, AOC C was included in the No Further Action Report for Nine Sites issued in 2006. In 2007, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board concurred with the No Further Action findings.

Site Closure Document

Area of Concern (AOC) F

Former UIC Septic Tank

AOC F was a former septic tank near the former Enlisted Men’s Club at the former Public Works Area. The site was investigated during a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI). Based on the findings of the PA/SI, which indicated the site posed no unacceptable risk, AOC F was included in the No Further Action Report for Nine Sites issued in 2006. In 2007, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board concurred with the No Further Action findings.

Site Closure Document

Area of Concern (AOC) I

Former Asphalt Plant

AOC I is a former asphalt plant that operated from the 1960s until 1988. The Remedial Investigation Report, which was finalized in June 2008, identified relatively low levels of contamination in soil and groundwater, likely associated with minor drips and spills associated with asphalt operations. However, a relatively small area of groundwater contamination, unsuitable for potable use, was identified. A No Further Action determination was made in 2014.

Site Closure Document

Area of Concern (AOC) K

Former Water Well

AOC K was a former potable water well, used from 1941 to 1979, just northeast of the Public Works Area. The well was plugged and abandoned in 1979 but was rehabilitated in 1997 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for its use. The site was investigated during a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI). Based on the findings of the PA/SI, which indicated the site posed no unacceptable risk, AOC K was included in the No Further Action Report for Nine Sites issued in 2006. In 2007, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board concurred with the No Further Action findings.

Site Closure Document

Area of Concern (AOC) L

Abandoned Septic Tank

AOC L was an abandoned septic tank and drainage field located north of the Public Works Area. The site was investigated during a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI). Based on the findings of the PA/SI, which indicated the site posed no unacceptable risk, AOC L was included in the No Further Action Report for Nine Sites issued in 2006. In 2007, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board concurred with the No Further Action findings.

Site Closure Document

 

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