2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 6 Jun 2003 15:56:09 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Navy base's cleanup tab not cheap
Navy base's cleanup tab not cheap
Military is paying $96 million to rid chemicals from Seal Beach station.

June 6, 2003

SEAL BEACH  Decades of dumping chemicals onto the ground, spraying
waste oils on dirt roads for dust control and storing solvents in leaky
tanks is costing about $96 million to clean up at the Seal Beach Naval
Weapons Station.

Cleanup work has been completed at five of the 20 contaminated sites on
the 5,000-acre base, and officials expect to finish most of the
remaining cleanup in the next few years.

But at one site, where solvents used in the manufacture of the Saturn
launch vehicle for NASA's Apollo program leaked out of pipes and storage
tanks, the high-tech cleanup plan could take about 46 years, according
to the base's environmental expert.

For years before environmental regulations were enacted, base personnel
didn't think twice about sanding the lead-based paint off a water tower
and letting the paint dust settle into the grass, or splashing cleaning
chemicals onto the dirt.

Cleaning up the contaminated areas is crucial, base officials say,
because the pollutants could creep toward wells and the 911-acre
wildlife refuge on the base. Trash and dirt from an old Navy landfill
are already slipping directly into the refuge, said Pei-Fen Tamashiro,
who directs cleanup projects on the base.

And the more time passes, the more expensive cleanup gets because
contaminated groundwater spreads farther and deeper.

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