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Naval Air Station, Oceana

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Virginia Beach, VA 23460
Virginia Beach City

EPA ID# VA2170024606

1st Congressional District

Last Update: February 2014

Other Names


Current Site Status

The Navy has completed all human health and ecological risk assessments at the facility. Decisions on the last five of the 17 Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) identified in the RCRA consent order were signed late in 2012. Long-term monitoring continues at three of the SWMUs (See discussion of cleanup progress below for information about the RCRA consent order.) Following is the site status:

SWMU 1 - West Woods Oil Disposal Pit This SWMU was originally an open pit where an estimated 110,000 gallons of waste oil and fuels were disposed between the mid-1950's and early 1960's. In 1997 as part of the RCRA investigation, solar powered skimmers were installed in adjacent wells to recover free phase petroleum product. Based on additional studies and sampling, it is anticipated that this site will be turned over to the Virginia Underground Storage Tank/Petroleum Oil Lubricant (UST/POL) program. A No Action proposed plan was presented to the public in October 2007. The Decision Document was signed on September 24, 2008. Regulation of this SWMU was transferred to the Virginia UST/POL program in late fall 2009.

SWMU 24 – Bowser Building 840 In the past, waste solvents and oils generated at Building 840 were poured into a bowser (waste oil tank) for disposal. During the RCRA Facility Assessment in 1988, heavy staining of the ground was observed. In accordance with a corrective measures plan, a soil removal action was conducted in 1994. Confirmatory sampling in 1997 determined that site soils posed no unacceptable risk. Also in 1997 an in-well aeration pilot study was conducted to reduce organic constituents in groundwater. Based on additional groundwater sampling, Arsenic levels in the groundwater associated with the past petroleum product release have been reduced to near MCL levels. A statistical analysis of arsenic in groundwater was prepared in August 2005 that demonstrates that arsenic concentrations downgradient of SWMU 24 are unrelated to the release and may be naturally occurring. A No Action proposed plan was presented to the public in October 2007. The Decision Document was signed on September 24, 2008.

SWMUs 2B, 2C, 2E A treatability study was completed in September 2004 that included monitoring well installation and the comparison of three remedial technologies at these three sites. Three compounds, oxygen release compound (ORC), hydrogen release compound (HRC), and Newman Zone emulsified oil were injected into shallow groundwater injection wells. In February 2005, the Navy submitted a Feasibility Study (FS) addendum to update the potential remedial alternatives for these 3 SWMUs. Continued monitoring with land use controls has been recommended. In October 2005 a technical memorandum was prepared to analyze arsenic in groundwater at SWMU 2B. In February 2006 a Treatability Study Report for SWMUs 2B, 2C, and 2E was submitted summarizing four rounds of sampling after groundwater well injection. A proposed plan was presented to the public in October 2007. The perferred alternative is continued enhanced bioremediation, long-term monitoring, and land-use controls (LUCs). The Decision Document was signed on September 24, 2008. Four additional wells were installed in the fall of 2008 and long-term monitoring continues.

Site Description

Naval Air Station Oceana (NASO) has been in existence since 1940 when it was established as a a small auxiliary airfield. Since 1940, NASO has grown to more than 16 times its original size and is now a 6,000-acre master jet base supporting a community of more than 9,100 Navy personnel and 11,000 dependents. The primary mission of NASO is to provide the personnel, operations, maintenance, and training facilities to ensure that fighter and attack squadrons on aircraft carriers of the U.S. Atlantic fleet are ready for deployment.

In 1981, NASO initiated a comprehensive hazardous waste collection and recycling program to prevent release of hazardous wastes to the environment. The program involved constructing waste controls such as oil and water separators near aircraft cleaning and maintenance areas, and working closely with various shops to ensure that wastes were properly contained, segregated, labeled, and collected. NASO also monitors discharges within drainages on and off the station as part of its NPDES monitoring to prevent the discharge of contamination beyond the limits of the station.

Site Responsibility
This site is being addressed through federal actions.
NPL Listing History
This site has not been proposed for the NPL.

Threats and Contaminants

Hazardous substances and other contaminants of concern detected at NASO include hydraulic fluid, chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons, jet fuel, solvents, asbestos, waste oil, PCBs, pesticides, VOCs, agitine, and free phase product diesel fuel.

Contaminant descriptions and associated risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substance Disease Registry (ATSDR), an arm of the CDC.

Cleanup Progress

Previous solid waste management unit (SWMU) investigations at NASO have been conducted under provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Program. The first stage of the DOD Installation Restoration (IR) program at NASO was completion of an Initial Assessment Study (IAS) in 1984. Application of RCRA corrective action began in June 1988 when EPA contractors conducted a RCRA Facility Assessment (RFA) of the base. A RCRA 3008 (h) consent order was issued by EPA in May 1991. In July 1998, EPA, the Navy and VADEQ agreed that future cleanup activities would be conducted under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

A total of 60 Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) were initially recommended for study in the draft RCRA consent order issued by EPA. After reviewing the results of the previous investigations, NASO and the EPA determined that only 17 SWMUs required investigation under the 1991 RCRA consent order. Decisions on all of the SWMUs identified in the RCRA consent order have been completed. Proposed Plans for the last five sites were presented in October 2007 and Decision Documents were signed in September 2008.

Long-term monitoring at SWMUs 2B, 2C, and 2E is underway. NAS Oceana is a DOD facility with a RCRA 3008(h) order in place, the Order will continue until the selected remedy is demonstrated to be working and all controls are put in place.


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