Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: GA7170023694
Location: Albany, Dougherty County, GA
Lat/Long: 31.557210, -084.055000
Congressional District: 02
NPL Status: Proposed: 07/14/89; Final: 11/21/89
Affected Media: Ground water, Sediment, Soil
Cleanup Status: Cleanup activities are underway
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Ground water Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Active Federal Facility
Site Manager: Martha Berry(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Current Site Status
Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany is an active U.S. Marine Corps installation. The Marine Corps is a branch of the U.S. Navy. The installation provides facilities, infrastructure and tailored support services to help commands at the installation accomplish their assigned missions. EPA placed MCLB Albany on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989. The Navy, EPA and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (Georgia EPD) have investigated conditions and taken steps to clean up the installation in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. Contamination at the installation is not a threat to local residents and businesses. The Navy is conducting an optimization study to improve current cleanup efforts. By conducting ongoing studies and monitoring and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, the Navy, EPA and Georgia EPD continue to protect people and the environment from contamination.
Site Location and Background
MCLB Albany covers 3,579 acres and is located along Fleming Road in Dougherty County, Georgia.
MCLB Albany currently serves as a military logistics center, controlling the acquisition, storage, maintenance and distribution of combat and support material for the Marine Corps. The installation supports a range of land uses, including residential, commercial and industrial uses. Orchards, forestland and wetlands are also located on the installation. Surrounding land uses include residential and commercial uses, agricultural areas and recreational open space.
The federal government commissioned the installation in 1952 as the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies. In 1976, the federal government re-designated the depot as the Marine Corps Logistics Support Base Atlantic and later renamed it MCLB Albany.
Today, MCLB Albany is one of seven commands under Marine Corps Installations East (headquartered in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina) and is the base for the Marine Corps Logistics Command and Maintenance Center Albany.
Contamination identified at MCLB Albany is the result of landfill operations from the 1950s through the mid-1980s, spills and leaks from industrial operations and piping, and leaking polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) transformers. Landfills, spills and leaks from industrial operations and piping have contaminated ground water underneath the installation.
In 1989, EPA placed the installation on the NPL.
Threats and Contaminants
Site investigations found contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contaminants of concern in soil include chromium, cadmium, lead, PCBs and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Contaminants of concern in ground water include tetrachloroethylene (also known as PCE or PERC), trichloroethylene, dichloroethylene and carbon tetrachloride.
The Navy has provided residences located next to the installation and downhill from a contaminated ground water plume with alternative water supplies.
Contamination at the installation is not a threat to local residents and businesses (i.e., human exposure is under control).
Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight
The Navy leads the investigation and cleanup of the site, with oversight provided by EPA and Georgia EPD.
Site Cleanup Plan
Investigations and cleanup activities have focused on six areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs.
- OU-1 (East Disposal Area, Rubble Disposal Area, Long-Term Landfill).
- OU-2 (Area Behind Small Bore & Pistol Range).
- OU-3 (Building 1700 PCB Area, Depot Maintenance Activity (DMA) Chrome Area).
- OU-4 (Industrial Discharge Drainage Area, Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant).
- OU-5 (Grit Disposal Area, Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant).
- OU-6 (Base-wide Ground Water).
These OUs include 26 Potential Sources of Contamination, or PSCs.
The Navy and EPA have issued a series of cleanup plans (Records of Decision, or RODs) for different parts of the installation.
Cleanup activities selected in the 1997 ROD for OU-1 included:
- “No action” for the East Disposal Area (PSC 1) or the Rubble Disposal Area (PSC 2).
- Removing soil and taking interim steps to contain ground water for the Long-Term Landfill (PSC 3).
- Using land use controls for PSC 3 and the Containment Berm Area (PSC 26).
Cleanup activities selected in the 1996 ROD for OU-2 included “no action” for the Area Behind Small Bore & Pistol Range (PSC 11).
Cleanup activities selected in the 1997 ROD for OU-3 included:
- Enforcing land use restrictions for Building 1700 PCB Area (PSC 16).
- “No further action” for the DMA Chrome Area (PSC 17).
See photographs of PSC 16.
Cleanup activities selected in the 1999 ROD for OU-4 included “no action” in the Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant Area (PSC 12), the Treatment Plant Pipeline (PSC 13) and the DMA Storage Area (PSC 22). The plan also called for land use controls in the Industrial Discharge Drainage Area (PSC 6).
Cleanup activities selected in the 1997 ROD for OU-5 included:
- Removing contaminated soil from the Grit Disposal Area (PSC 8).
- “No action” for the Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant Area (PSC 14).
The Navy and EPA issued the cleanup plan (ROD) for OU-6 in 2001. The cleanup primarily addressed three areas of ground water contamination (plumes): Northern Plume Area (PSCs 1, 3 and 26), DMA Area (PSCs 10, 12, 13 and 22), and Warehouse Disposal Area (PSC 4).
- Using enhanced bioremediation for contaminated ground water in the Upper Water Bearing Zone. This process uses living organisms to break down contaminants.
- Using monitored natural attenuation (MNA) in the Lower Water Bearing Zone.
- Installing an evapotranspiration (ET) cover (PDF) (12 pp, 200K, About PDF) for source control. ET cover systems use vegetated soil layers to retain water until the water transpires through vegetation or evaporates from the soil surface.
- Maintaining a concrete cover as a cap.
- Using enhanced natural processes to treat contaminated ground water in the Upper Water Bearing Zone.
- Using MNA for contaminated ground water in the Lower Water Bearing Zone.
- Applying a 12-inch-thick soil cover.
- Using MNA for the Upper and Lower Water Bearing Zones.
- Applying land use controls.
In 2005, the Navy and EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) for OU-6. The ESD:
- Eliminated the ET cover for PSCs 1 and 26.
- Changed the ground water cleanup approach from one using enhanced natural processes to one using abiotic (non-living) treatments.
- Eliminated maintenance of the concrete cap in the DMA area.
In 2012, the Navy and EPA issued another ESD for OU-6. THIS ESD:
- Clarifies the groundwater cleanup levels presented in the Record of Decision(ROD),
- Documents the areas to which the cleanup levels apply
- Updates the land use controls (LUCs) component of the remedy
- Documents the establishment of requirements to inspect and maintain the ROD-required covers at Potential Sources of Contamination (PSCs) 3 and 4
- Replaces the 3-year, 10-year, and 20-year remedial time frames established in the ROD with a more qualitative approach of monitoring progress
The Navy initiated cleanup activities at MCLB Albany between 1995 and 2010. In addition to these Superfund cleanup activities, the Navy has undertaken various actions under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, including removing sludge drying beds at the MCLB Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant. Monitoring activities and the implementation of land use controls are ongoing.
Disposal and Industrial Areas (OUs 1-5)
The Navy has completed cleanup activities required by RODs for OUs 1-5. From 1995 to 2000, the Navy conducted several smaller-scale cleanup actions, or removals, to remove soil and ground water contamination in OU-1 and OU-4. Land use controls selected for OUs 1, 3 and 4 remain in place and prevent unacceptable levels of exposure to contaminants remaining on site.
Base-wide Ground Water Contamination (OU-6)
Cleanup activities required by the OU-6 ROD and ESD are underway. The Navy completed most of the physical cleanup work by 2006. Monitoring is ongoing. The Navy started installing the ET cover for PSC 3 in 2006 and completed the project in 2010. This was the Navy’s final cleanup action for MCLB Albany. Vegetation monitoring is ongoing. Land use controls selected for OU-6 remain in place and prevent unacceptable levels of exposure to contaminants remaining on site.
The installation’s third Five-Year Review, completed in 2011, found that the Navy properly implemented cleanup actions for OUs 1-5 and that the cleanup approach for OU-6 (Base-wide Ground Water Contamination) would, once completed, protect people and the environment from remaining site contamination. The 2011 Five-Year Review did suggest additional investigation be performed to document that preferential pathways for vapor intrusion do not exist.
For many years, EPA has been working with its federal and state partners to clean up the installation. In 1991, the Navy, EPA and the State of Georgia signed a Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) for MCLB Albany. The FFA helps ensure that the parties fully investigate environmental impacts associated with past and present activities at the installation and undertake and complete appropriate cleanup actions.
EPA has worked with the community and its state and federal partners to develop a long-term cleanup plan for MCLB Albany, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at MCLB Albany to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach activities have included public notices, interviews and public meetings.
EPA awarded a Technical Assistance Grant to a group based in the nearby Ramsey Road neighborhood in 2003.
The Navy is performing cleanup activities for OU-6.
The Navy will continue to monitor ground water contamination.
The Navy will continue to make sure land use controls remain effective.
The Navy is performing additional work to satisfy the 2011 Five-Year Review suggestion concerning vapor intrusion.
EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.
Public Affairs Office
Building 3500, Code 130
MCLB Albany, Georgia 31704-1128