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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Fort Ord Cleanup and Redevelopment

CSUMB Quad Aerial Photo
Aerial view of CSU Monterey Bay

Why Privatize?

Privatizing military base Superfund cleanups helps maximize cleanup and redevelopment dollars. By privatizing the environmental work, military-provided cleanup funding can be used to help offset certain redevelopment expense by working the cleanup remedies into the development plan. Fusing the redevelopment needs of closed military installations with environmental cleanup efforts allows for the best possible reuse projects in the most efficient time frame possible.

Privatizing military base cleanups will help move these properties back into productive reuse more quickly in communities across the nation. The privatization framework developed by the Region 9 Superfund team will serve as a model for greater use of this collaborative approach at other Superfund sites across the Country.

EPA, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the U.S. Army, and the Fort Ord Reuse Authority have forged an agreement providing for the largest privatized clean-up of a Superfund site in the nation. Privatization refers to the government funding of an independent party to conduct the clean-up in conjunction with redevelopment. Fort Ord Reuse Authority will receive approximately $100 million from the U.S. Army to clean up approximately 3,000 acres on the former Fort Ord. The 3,300 acres subject to this agreement are slated for a wide variety of uses including residential, commercial and expansion of the California State University at Monterey Bay. This transfer represents approximately 12% of the acreage of the former Fort Ord. 

Other portions of the base have already been transferred and are in productive re-use.  In 1994, the Army transferred 1,300 acres to the California State University system as the site of the new California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB).  By the fall of 2005, CSUMB was an accredited university with just under 4,000 students. 

Recently, the Army transferred almost 900 acres of beach-front property to the California State Parks system as the future home of the Fort Ord Dunes State Park, with park land, hiking trails and 4 miles of ocean beach.

“By addressing cleanup and redevelopment in tandem, properties can more quickly and more efficiently be returned to productive use,"  said Wayne Nastri, Administrator of EPA’s Pacific Southwest region."This innovative cleanup approach is a great example for revitalization projects at closing bases across the country."

Fort Ord Reuse Authority was formerly established in 1994 as a corporation of the state of California.  Its purpose is to prepare, adopt, finance and implement a redevelopment plan.  It is governed by a 13-member Board, consisting of elected officials from the local jurisdictions.

After the different sites under privatization have been fully characterized and the clean-up options have been evaluated, the U.S. Army will issue proposed plans outlining the preferred cleanup alternatives and will seek public comment on these proposals.

Fort Ord target practice
Fort Ord in earlier times

In 1917, the U.S. Army established the nearly 28,000 acre Fort Ord as a maneuver area and field artillery target range.  In 1991, Fort Ord was selected for decomissioning but the post did not formally close until 1994.  EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List in 1990, primarily because of the presence of unexploded ordnances on the surface and subsurface of the property.

Under the Superfund law, the military service that operated the base is responsible for implementing the cleanup. The work is done with oversight by EPA and state regulatory agencies under a Federal Facilities Agreement. At Fort Ord, the Army will continue to conduct ordnance cleanup in the 8000-acre impact range before it is transferred to the Bureau of Land Management for a habitat reserve which will have limited public access.  Fort Ord Reuse Authority will be responsible for remediating the 3,283-acre privatization parcel under this privatization agreement with EPA and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Photo and Map Gallery

Google map showing general Fort Ord area  Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

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