Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Virginia
EPA ID# VA5170022482
2nd Congressional District
Last Update: March 2012
Current Site Status
EPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) continue to work with the U.S. Navy to investigate and clean up the site.
Wastes that have been generated and disposed at the Little Creek facility include: pesticides, paints, solvents, inorganics, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, mixed municipal wastes, nickel plating baths, chromic acid, silver cyanide, copper cyanide, lacquer, lacquer stripper, perchloroethylene sludge, soap, dyes, and degreasers.
The Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) negotiated between the Navy, EPA, and VDEQ, was signed in October 2003. In accordance with the FFA, all past and future work at Installation Restoration (IR) sites and Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) will be reviewed, and a course of action for future work requirements at each site will be developed. The FFA also includes specific requirements for the preparation and contents of the Site Management Plan (SMP).
The SMP also includes Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) Sites. The DoD has established the 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 the 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 (NCP) as authorized by CERCLA.
The Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek (NABLC) facility is located in the Tidewater region of Virginia, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. NABLC is located within the city limits of Virginia Beach and consists of 2,215 acres. It is surrounded by residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational developments. On the western portion of the naval base are Little Creek Cove and Desert Cove, which empty into Little Creek Channel, and Little Creek Channel, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay. There are several lakes on or adjacent to NABLC, including Lake Bradford, Lake Chubb, Varian Lake, Little Creek Reservoir, Lake Smith Reservoir, and Lake Whitehurst. Overland drainage from the sources at the Little Creek facility flows into Little Creek Cove, Desert Cove, and the Chesapeake Bay.
NABLC grew out of four bases constructed during World War II - the Amphibious Training Base, Naval Frontier Base, and Camps Bradford and Shelton. It consisted of three annexes named for the former owners of the property; Shelton on the east, Bradford in the center, and Whitehurst to the west. A Secretary of the Navy letter in July 1945 disestablished the separate bases and established the Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek with a commissioning date of August 10, 1945. In 1946 Little Creek was designated a permanent base. NABLC provide support services to more than 14,400 personnel of the 132 resident commands and 18 home ported ships located on the base. The combination of operational support and training facilities are geared predominantly to expeditionary warfare operations.
The population of the base increases during the summer when a significant number of midshipmen and Navy and Marine Corps reservists train in amphibious/expeditionary warfare. Some 3,650 military personnel and their families live in base housing. In addition, approximately 3,000 civilians are employed at Little Creek Facility.
Operations that have occurred at the Little Creek facility include: 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 generation of steam for heat.
Site ResponsibilityCleanup of this site is the responsibility of the federal government.
NPL Listing HistoryThis site was proposed to the National Priorities List (NPL) on July 28, 1998. The site was formally added to the list May 10, 1999.
Threats and ContaminantsThe seven sites that were evaluated for NPL listing are the Naval Amphibious Base Landfill (Site 7), Driving Range Landfill (Site 9), Sewage Treatment Plant Landfill (Site 10), School of Music Plating Shop Contaminated Soil (Site 11A), School of Music Plating Shop Tank (Site 11B), Exchange Laundry Waste Disposal Area (Site 12), and the PCP Dip Tank and Wash Rack Area (Site 13). Wastes that have been generated and disposed at the Little Creek facility include: pesticides, paints, solvents, inorganics, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, mixed municipal wastes, nickel plating baths, chromic acid, silver cyanide, copper cyanide, lacquer, lacquer stripper, perchloroethylene sludge, soap, dyes, and degreasers. Contaminants migrating from the facility have impacted or might impact fisheries and sensitive environments located downgradient of the facility.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
The FFA negotiated between the Navy, EPA, and VDEQ, was signed in October 2003. In accordance with the FFA, all past and future work at Installation Restoration (IR) sites and Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) will be reviewed, and a course of action for future work requirements at each site will be developed. The Navy completed the development of a background study of soils and groundwater at the facility. The FFA also includes specific requirements for the preparation and contents of the SMP (which is updated and revised annually). The purpose of the SMP is to provide a management tool for the Navy (including consultants), EPA, and VDEQ for use in planning, scheduling and setting priorities for environmental remedial response activities to be conducted at NABLC. The SMP is primarily broken up into four main categories: RI/FS Sites, ROD Sites Requiring Action, Remedy-In-Place and Response Complete Sites. There are currently a total of twelve sites being addressed under the CERCLA process, ten of which were originally identified in the FFA as requiring a RI/FS. The splitting of SWMU 7 combined with adding Site 11a represents the current twelve sites being currently addressed under CERCLA. In addition, the SMP also includes seven MMRP Sites which have been investigated and closed out in accordance with the FFA. The following summary is provided.
SWMU 3 (Groundwater Plume & Sediment) is currently in the RI/FS process. A final Supplemental RI Report was completed in August of 2009. Because of site complexity, funding and operational constraints, a benthic survey was conducted to further evaluate and refine clean up of the contaminated sediment. It has been determined the groundwater plume does not pose any unacceptable risk. A Removal Action was planned for third quarter of FY 2011, but was not conducted as the entire environmental data set is being re-evaluated. In addition, a MIL-CON project (removal and refurbishment of the floating drydock) is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012.
SWMU 7b (Aquatic portion [Sediment] of site split out from SWMU 7) is currently in the RI/FS process. A final Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) Sampling and Analysis work plan was completed in November of 2009 [developed to gather post construction data after the completion of a Navy Military Construction project (multiple pier demolition, dredging and construction)]. A benthic survey, similar to SWMU3, was completed to further evaluate and refine clean up of the contaminated sediment. An post MIL-CON action evaluation was issued in May of FY 2011 and is currently being finalized. A Feasibility Study is schedule for the 4th quarter of FY 2012.
ROD Sites Requiring Action:
Site 7 (Landfill) Record of Decision (ROD) was signed in September of 2009. The remedy is a containment presumptive remedy the components of which are: maintenance of the existing soil cover, land use controls (LUCs) and groundwater long-tern monitoring (LTM). A LUC RD was finalized in June of 2011. A Long Term Monitoring Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) is currently being finalized and implemented in FY 2012. A Remedial Action Completion Report (RACR) is scheduled to be completed in FY 2012.
Site 11a (Groundwater Plume) was identified post FFA and an action ROD was signed in September of 2011, selecting enhanced reductive dechlorination (ERD), LUCs and groundwater monitoring as the remedy. A 90% Remedial Design was finalized in 2011. Planned activities for 2012 include a Remedial Action workpland and SAP, a 100% Remedial Design and on implementation of the remedy.
Sites 9 and 10 (Landfills) had an action ROD signed in FY 2004 for LUCs and long-term groundwater monitoring. Annual LUC inspections and long-term groundwater monitoring have been conducted for years. Plan activities for 2012 include reviewing all historical groundwater data and exploring the possibility of ceasing of long-term groundwater monitoring.
Sites 11 (Groundwater Plume) has a signed action ROD for ERD with LUCs and post-treatment groundwater monitoring. A final Remedial Action Construction Completion Report for Site 11 was completed in June of 2010 and the LUC RD was finalized in March of 2009. A one year ERD performance monitoring report was finalized in 2011 and a final Interim RACR was approved in February of 2012. LTM of groundwater and LUC inspections will continue to be implemented until all remedial action objectives (MCLs) have been achieved.
Sites 12 (Groundwater Plume) has a signed action ROD for ERD with LUCs and post-treatment groundwater monitoring. The Site 12 Selected Remedy has been implemented, and is reducing the groundwater plume. A final Interim RACR was approved in May of 2010. LTM of groundwater and LUC inspections will continue to be implemented until all remedial action objectives (MCLs) have been achieved.
Sites 13 (Groundwater Plume) has a signed action ROD for ERD with LUCs and post-treatment groundwater monitoring. Site 13 remedial action (on site mobilization and construction) was completed 2011. A Remedial Action Construction Completion Report was completed in 2011. A one year ERD performance monitoring report was also finalized in 2011 and a final Interim RACR is scheduled for the 3rd quarter of 2012. In addition, LTM of groundwater and LUC inspections will commence implementation until all remedial action objectives (MCLs) have been achieved.
Response Complete Sites:
Site 8 (Landfill) had a No Further Action (NFA) ROD signed in FY 2008. As a result of a previous removal action and risk management decisions made by the Navy in consultation with EPA and VDEQ there is no unacceptable risk to human health or the environment allowing for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure at the site.
SWMU 8 (Soil and Groundwater) had a NFA ROD signed in FY 2005. As a result of a previous removal action, the Navy in consultation with EPA and VDEQ agreed there is no unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.
SWMU 7a (Terrestrial portion of site split out from SWMU 7) had a NFA ROD signed in FY 2005. As a result of a previous removal action, the Navy in consultation with EPA and VDEQ agreed there is no unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.