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Navy, U.S EPA and state sign cleanup decision for seaplane lagoon

Release Date: 11/04/2006
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano 415-947-4307

Site is one of 35 cleanup areas identified at the former NAS Alameda

ALAMEDA, CA –This week the U.S. Navy, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board signed a Record of Decision defining the cleanup method for the seaplane lagoon at the former Naval Air Station Alameda, now called Alameda Point.

The cleanup decision for this site selected by the participating agencies and the community calls for dredging in selected contaminated “hot spot” areas and disposing the contaminated sediments at a permitted hazardous waste disposal site.

"The seaplane lagoon is an important site for the community, and the Navy is proud to achieve this milestone", said Thomas Macchiarella, the BRAC Environmental Coordinator for the base. "The ROD signifies the end of the investigation & evaluation phases and marks the beginning of the cleanup phase.”

Contaminants found in the sediments during the site investigation phase included polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides and cadmium. These chemicals accumulated in parts of the lagoon sediments near the storm sewer outfalls during decades of Navy operations at the former air station.

“The best cleanup remedies come when all interested parties have a seat at the table and make decisions on the best approach to a site,” said Mark Ripperda, EPA Superfund project manager for the Pacific Southwest region. “The EPA is satisfied that the cleanup alternative for the seaplane lagoon will be protective of the bay and other aquatic resources.”

The community and the base restoration advisory board had the opportunity to review the dredging remedial alternative earlier in March. The city of Alameda’s reuse plan for the lagoon calls for the development of a commercial marina. This cleanup will allow for the city’s marina plan to be developed.

"We're pleased with the Navy's decision to clean up the seaplane lagoon to a level that is both protective of wildlife and consistent with the planned marina use," said City Councilman Frank Matarrese, the council's liaison to the restoration advisory board.

After preparation of design and work plan documents, the Navy plans to begin dredging work in 2008. The cleanup of the seaplane lagoon is expected to be completed by 2009.

The seaplane lagoon was constructed by the Navy in the late 1930’s to be used for Navy seaplanes. Planes historically would land in the Bay and then taxi up the ramps from the lagoon to the hangers for repair and maintenance. NAS Alameda was one of 4 home ports of the Navy’s PBY-5A squadron, planes that could take-off and land on water. The PBY squadron was disestablished at NAS Alameda in 1945.

The public can review investigation and cleanup documents for the 35 identified cleanup sites at the former Naval Air Station at the Information Repository open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. located at the former base at 950 W. Mall Square, Bldg. 1, Room 240, Alameda, CA.

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