el toro air base added to epa's toxic-dump list - drum storage
The U. S.
The Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday that it had put the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station on the list of super-fund toxic waste sites due to pollution in abandoned storage barrels, landfill sites and groundwater dumped by the army for 40 years.
Federal officials say the base has several landfill sites and fireman training pits where hazardous waste such as jet fuel and paint thinners may have been dumped in the past.
They say there are also abandoned low storage drums
Other dispersed deposits of radioactive waste, explosives and battery acids and fuels.
Officials also reported that a large amount of contaminated groundwater would be handled under the Superfund project, officials said.
EPA officials say the abandoned sites do not pose a direct threat to health, but "there is a potential danger in the long run ".
"Terminology issues," said Virginia donojo, a spokeswoman for the agency's San Francisco regional office. Master Sgt.
Steve Meryl, spokesman for Public Affairs at El Toro base, said the Marine Station was pleased to be on the Superfund list.
"They have a lot of experience in environmental investigation," he said . ".
"They will provide a logical and scientific way to clean up.
"Since the military base is a federal facility, the designation of the Superfund will not release additional funds for the clean-up work.
The EPA guidelines prohibit the use of the fund to pay for the clean-up of federal-owned websites.
On the contrary, the cleanup will be paid by the United States. S.
Ministry of Defense.
However, officials say the designation of the Superfund will increase the focus of the Defense Department.
The El Toro base will benefit from this addition because "it takes you above other priorities," donojo said ".
"Solve these problems first.
"Officials say they don't know how much it will cost to clean up.
First, they said, an investigation will be conducted to determine the scope of the work required.
Donojo says she doesn't know how long the investigation will take, but it may take a few years.
EPA identified 14 sep arate hazardous waste sites at Marine bases that will be included in the designation of the federal environmental officer to inspect, clean up and monitor Superfunds.
El Toro base has started some research on these sites through the defense environment recovery account-
Merrill Lynch said the Defense Department's special environmental clean-up fund.
One of the problems to be investigated is the contaminated groundwater found under the base and in parts of Irwin.
Officials say they have found that the groundwater contains vinyl chloride (cancer), a cancer.
Cause the skim.
Until the end of 1970, TCE was used by the military to clean jet fighters and helicopter engines.
James van Hahn, spokesman for Orange County Water District, said pollution has not reached public wells so far and has not immediately posed a threat.
The water authority reported that there was a large plume of contaminated groundwater in nearly three miles.
A mile wide, extending from base El Toro to a point in the middle of Jeffrey Road and Culver Avenue, in the Woodbridge area of Irving.
Van Hahn said the Marines claimed in their own research that the area was getting smaller and more scattered.
Nor did the military take full responsibility for all the groundwater pollution found.
Local officials said on Thursday they hoped the investigation after the Superfund was designated would be responsible for the clean-up.
A treatment system has been installed at the Marine base to remove TCE from groundwater.
The water area and the City of Irvine began to clear some contaminated water last year.
Van Hahn said the process could take more than five years and has already cost $1 million.
In Thursday's announcement, the EPA added 71 other sites to its Superfund list, including seven more in California.