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Patuxent River Naval Air Station

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

St. Mary's County
Cedar Point

EPA ID# MD7170024536

5th Congressional District

Last Update: January 13, 2015

Other Names


Current Site Status

Several investigations and cleanups continue. The remedial investigation (RI) and feasibility study (FS) for Site 4 (Hermanville Disposal Area) continues. Soil removal from the four trenches at Site 4 was completed in December 2004. Approximately 24,000 tons of soil was sent to Calvert County Landfill. The soil was used for daily cover. This benefitted the Navy and the Calvert County. The county did not have to purchase soil as a result. A Record of decision (RODs) for Site 46 and Site 6A ROD Amendment were completed last year. The remedy selected No Action. Thus, this will allow the Navy to pursue reuse of the sites to construct hanger and office space. In addition, the wetland mitigation for Site 1 and 12 Operable Unit 1 (OU 1) was completed late fall.

Several remedial investigations and feasibility studies continue or begin. The investigation at Site 34 Drum Disposal Area will continue as well as Site 3 Goose Creek Landfill. Investigations begin at Site 28 Transformer Storage, Site 9 Pond of Many Colors, as well as 23 DRMO Yard. Removals at Site 5 Pushout Area was completed in 2012 and removal at Site 4A Pushout should be completed in 2014.

Site Description

The Naval Air Station Patuxent River is located in St. Mary's County, Maryland is a 6,400-acre facility located at the confluence of the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay on a peninsula known as Cedar Point. The Navy facility is located next to the city of Lexington Park which has a population of about 13,000. There are approximately 17,500 military, civilian, contractors and nonappropriated fund personnel that work at the Naval Air Station on a normal day. That number has grown with the influx of workers from the base realignment and closure (BRAC) activities from other Navy installations in 1998.

Surface water on the facility is contaminated as a result of the operations of the Fishing Point, the Former Sanitary, and the Current Sanitary Landfills—and from a portion of the site known as the Pesticide Control Rinse Area. From 1960 to 1974, the Fishing Point Landfill (a filled wetland area) received solid and hazardous wastes such as sewage treatment plant sludge, cesspool wastes, spent oil absorbents, paints, antifreeze, solvents, thinners, pesticides, and photo lab wastes. In 1974, the Navy began depositing these wastes in the Former Sanitary Landfill and, in 1980, began using the Current Sanitary Landfill, which remained open until September 1994. The Former and Current Sanitary Landfills cover a total of 16½ acres. The Pesticide Control Shop Rinse Area generated 300 to 400 gallons of rinsate per day from 1962 until the late 1970s. Two fishing areas on the site, Pond 3 and Pine Hill Run, are located in the surface water run-off pathway of the Pesticide Shop. Pine Hill Run flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The State of Maryland issued a fish advisory for the ponds on the base. The town of Lexington Park directly borders the base.

Site Responsibility
The site is being addressed through federal actions.
NPL Listing History
Proposed Date: 01/18/94
Final Date: 05/31/94

Threats and Contaminants

The soil and surface water are contaminated with sludge, cesspool wastes, oil absorbents, paints, antifreeze, solvents, thinners, photo lab wastes, hospital wastes, and asbestos. In addition, the soil and sediments are contaminated with pesticides, including DDT and chlordane. The wetlands located along the southern and northern borders of Fishing Point were used for shell fishing and fishing. The Chesapeake Bay supports recreational and fishing activities. Sampling of the Patuxent River at part of the remedial investigation at Fishing Point Landfill determined that there is no risk in surface water or sediment in the river. Recreational consumption of fish from the on base ponds is still restricted.

Cleanup Progress

Actual Construction Underway

Several investigations and cleanups are complete. At Site 4 (Hermanville Disposal Site) 84,558 tons of soil was removed from four disposal four trenches. 568 munition and explosives of concern (MEC) scrap metal were removed and disposed because they were determined to be inert. 38 MEC items could not be determined as inert and were sent off base to be disposed of as well. The second Five-Year Review for the entire base is was completed in December 2008.

Cost saving and several innovate activities continue to be implemented at NAS Patuxent River. Recently, 24,000 tons of soil excavated from the disposal trenches at Site 4 (Hermanville Disposal site) was sent to Calvert County Landfill in Maryland. The soil was used as daily soil cover. This save the county from purchasing soil. Thus both the Navy and Calvert County benefited. Previously, at Site 1 and 12, $2.45 million dollars were saved while an additional $ 67,000 was saved by using composed biosolids instead of purchasing top soil at Sites 1 & 12. Site 6 Drum Storage Area was re-developed into a fuel tanker parking lot for the base in 2002. Site 46 and Site 6A OU 1 Soil. The No Action remedy will allow the Navy to construct a hanger and taxiway in the possible future. The Navy, EPA and MDE continue to look at cost-saving activities and to redevelop and reuse sites. In addition, the Navy, EPA, and MDE continue to evaluate long-term monitoring costs to save money where possible. All 16 sites desktop evaluation (DE) sites were closed out following the procedures in the federal facility agreement (FFA) in February 2006.

The remedial action (RA) for Sites 1 & 12 OU2 wetland was completed in 2007. The treatability study evaluated the efficacy of using phosphate to stabilize the metals in soil around a rifle range and wetland. The RA began in September 2007 with removal of lead contaminated soil/sediment to 400 ppm. Phosphate will be added to upland soil to stabilize any residual lean in soil. The RA was completed in December 2007. Submittal of the final report and monitoring plan will occur in 2008. Wetland and tree planting began in the Spring or 2008. Several RI/FS studies were completed in 2008. RODs were signed in October 2008 for Site 11 OU2 Former and Current Sanitary Landfills, Site 5 and 5 Hermanville Groundwater, as well as Site 6/6A OU2.

The RA for pesticide sediment removal for Site 17 OU2 Pesticide Shop in Pond 3 is began in Spring 2009 and was completed in the Fall. The remedial design (RD) and remedial action (RA) work plans for Site 39 Waste PCE Dry Cleaner were reviewed and accepted in July/August 2009. The remedial action (RA) began in August 2009 and the in-situ groundwater injections were completed in October 2009. Long-term monitoring will continue and the remedy is expected to be completed in five to six years. The Interim Remedial Action Completion Report (IRACR) for Site 39 Dry Cleaners was signed in November 2010. The ROD for Hermanville Disposal site for Areas 4B, 4C and 4D Soil was signed September 29, 2009. Final Remedial Action Completion Reports were received 2011, and the Interim Remedial Action Completion Report (RACR) for Site 39 were finalized. The Remedial Action Completion Report (RACR) Site 6 and 6 A was completed April 2012.

The removal began in May 2011 at Site 5 Disposal Near Pine Hill Run consisting of excavation and off base disposal. EPA received the signed Action Memorandum in April 2011. The removal activities were delayed due to potential munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) and the Navy has to submit a revised Explosives Safety Submission (ESS) before starting the removal again. The removal action is complete as of August 2012. The Navy, EPA and MDE issued the record of decision (ROD) for no further action in April 2012. The Navy recycled the concrete, metal and soil removed at Site 5. The ROD for Site 28 Former Transformer Storage Area was signed April 25, 2014. The remedy of excavation and off base disposal of poly chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) began in May. The removal was complete as of July 2014. In addition, the engineering evaluation and cost estimate (EE/CA) and removal at Site 4A Pushout Area was completed. A draft proposed plan is being reviewed by EPA. The preferred alternative is no further action. Concrete and metal was recycled and soil was screened and used as the base for re-planting the site with grass and trees.

The removal action at Site 3, Goose Creek Landfill began the Fall of 2012 and should halted because during the excavation, MEC was discovered. An explosive safety submission (ESS) was developed for Goose Creek. The removal restarted in the Spring of 2014 and is complete of July 2014. EPA expects to receive the removal action close out report and the draft proposed plan fall/winter of 2014/2015. The Navy is proactive in its environmental activities and it continues to recycle metal and concrete from Site 3. According to the report, the cost benefit from not importing 156,000 cubic yards of fill was approximately $208,500. Soil was reused on site. Recycling the scrap metal recovered through the screening process resulted in a credit of approximately $2,317. Alternatively disposal at a landfill would have cost approximately $1,075, resulting in a total net benefit of $3,392. Additionally, 8,857 tons of concrete was recycled at a cost of $20 per ton, less than ½ of the landfill disposal cost of $50 per ton, resulting in a savings of approximately $267,925. The total cost benefit of utilizing the green sustainable remediation practices for this project is estimated at $479,819. The site was restored with 13,000 wetland plants, shrubs and trees.

The final Expanded site investigation (SI) report for the Former Pistol Range, and Skeet Range was finalized in 2013. The team would like to plan a removal for lead in soil under and EE/CA. However, it appears that funding might be an issue. It is anticipated that a no further action ROD will be then issued to close out the Former Pistol Range (UXO 0002). The work plan for Site 9 Former Drum Disposal Area Building 665 was finalized and the RI began in late 2011. The remedial investigation continues due to the complex nature of the site and its proximity to the Supply Pond. The RI for Site 34 Former Drum Disposal Area will be complete after the Navy completes its removal activities for construction concrete debris in 2014. It is expected that the additional removal activities will be completed by the Fall of 2014. EPA is reviewing or has reviewed the draft RI report for Site 2. Site 23, and Site 21. A removal action conducted under an EE/CA is likely at Site 21 prior to completing the remedial investigation.

The draft Five-Year Review Report was reviewed by EPA in September 2013. The Five-Year Review was signed by the Commanding Officer March 2014 and EPA concurred based upon its review of September 2013. In its letter, EPA concurred that the remedies are protective and recommend that the Navy sample for the emerging contaminants PFOS and PFOA at several former fire training areas on base as well as for dioxin at several sites since the reference dose was lowered in February 2012. As a result, PFOS and PFOA were identified as potential contaminants of potential concern (COPCs) at several fire training sites on the base. This was identified in the 2014 Site Management Plan Update in July 2014.

The proposed plan public comment period for Site 4A started in December 2014. The preferred alternative is no further action NFA. Concrete, soil and metal debris were all recycled. In addition, a similar action was completed at Site 3 Goose Creek Landfill. In addition to the metal and concrete recycling, 1300 wetland plants and trees were planted the wetland area was restored. The Navy has considered restoration, recycling and reuse at Sites 4A, 5 and 3. Each construction close out report has documented the recycling and energy savings achieved by implement the best environmental practices. Records of decisions for Site 4A, Site 3 and Site 2 are anticipated to be completed in Fiscal Year 2015.


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