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Naval Air Station Cecil Field

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Air sparge/vapor extraction system on the Cecil Field Naval Air Station site.
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Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: FL5170022474
Location: Jacksonville, Duval County, FL
Lat/Long: 30.238610, -081.902770
Congressional District: 06
NPL Status: Proposed: 07/14/89; Final: 11/21/89
Affected Media: Debris, Ground water, Sediment, Soil, Surface soil, Surface water
Cleanup Status: Physical cleanup activities have started
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Properties will be used for an airport, parks, and recreational purposes
Site Manager: Doyle Brittain (brittain.doyle@epa.gov)


Site Background

The Naval Air Station (NAS) Cecil Field site is located in northeastern Florida, primarily in Duval County, with the southernmost part in Clay County. The former base occupies approximately 17,200 acres.

The adjacent land use west and north of NAS Cecil Field is characterized as rural and is predominantly forested. Small communities and scattered dwellings are located in the vicinity, with a small residential area abutting NAS Cecil Field property to the west. The rural surroundings east of NAS Cecil Field grade into a suburban fringe bordering major east-west roadways located to the east. This suburban fringe consists of low-intensity commercial use, an airport, a golf course, and low-density residential areas. The greatest population density is approximately 14 miles to the northeast, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Since the closure of NAS Cecil Field in September 1999, most of the facility – comprised of 17 parcels – has been transferred to the Jacksonville Port Authority (now Jacksonville Aviation Authority) (5,791 acres), Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (8,244 acres), and Clay County and Jacksonville Parks and Recreation (2,670 acres). Properties will be used for an airport, industrial, and parks and recreational purposes.

A few acres in one area where cleanup efforts are still underway remains to be transferred.

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Threats and Contaminants

The official mission of NAS Cecil Field was to provide facilities, services, and material support for the operation and maintenance of naval weapons, aircrafts, and other units of the operating forces. Some of the tasks required to accomplish this mission included operation of fuel storage facilities, provision of facilities and performance of aircraft maintenance, and maintenance and operation of an engine repair facility and test cells for designated turbojet engines.

Hazardous materials and petroleum products were used and temporarily stored at operation areas throughout NAS Cecil Field, primarily within maintenance complexes and along the flightline. Hazardous materials commonly used included solvents, corrosives, compressed gases, pesticides, paints, and thinners. Releases of hazardous materials and petroleum products to the environment were generally a result of spills and poor housekeeping practices.

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Site Cleanup Plan

As part of the site cleanup strategy 12 OUs were identified. These OUs typically refer to various portions of the site. OU-1, for example, refers to the Old Landfill and a nearby area referred as the Recent Landfill. Records of Decision (RODs) describing the cleanup approaches selected for the various portions of the site have been issued for all 12 OUs. The final ROD – issued for an area used as a former skeet range and included a burn chamber for the disposal of live munitions area (OU 5, Site 15) – was issued in June 2008. Major components of the cleanup approach included:

Details for other OUs are available in RODs and Five-Year Reviews (FYRs) online.

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Cleanup Progress

Cleanup efforts are under way at OU-5, site 15. Soil in that area contains high concentrations of lead. A lot of scrap metal and some live Unexploded Ordnance/Munitions Explosion Constituents (UXO/MEC) have been buried in that area. UXO/MEC removal is occurring very slowly because of the safety need to screen all soil similar to an archaeological excavation. This screening must be completed before soil containing hazardous waste can be excavated.  Excavation is occurring at the rate of approximately 0.25 acres per week.

According to the 2005 FYR for the site, the cleanup efforts at NAS Cecil Field are expected to be protective of human health and the environment. Cleanup actions for immediate threats of exposure due to contaminated soil have been completed. Ground water cleanup actions and treatment of contaminated vapors in some areas of the site were still being implemented.

The Department of the Navy is leading site cleanup activities with oversight by EPA.

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Enforcement Activities

A Federal Facilities Agreement for NAS Cecil Field was signed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, EPA, and the Department of the Air Force in 1990. The purpose of the agreement was to ensure that the environmental impacts associated with past and present activities at the site are thoroughly investigated and appropriate cleanup and corrective actions are developed and implemented as necessary to protect the public health, welfare and the environment.

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Community Involvement

EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the NAS Cecil Field to solicit community input and to ensure that the public remains informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup process. Outreach activities have included public notices and information meetings on cleanup progress and activities.

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Future Work

Ground water cleanup actions and treatment of contaminated vapors in some areas of the site were still being implemented as of the 2005 FYR.

The next FYR will be required by 2010.

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Site Administrative Documents

Site Repository

For more information or to view any site-related documents, please visit the site information repository at the following location. As new documents are generated, they will be placed in the information repository for public information.

City Clerk’s Office
75 King Street
St. Augustine, Florida 32085

For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

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