Navy, regulators give rundown on base cleanup
The broad brush: Forty percent of the base is cleaned up and has already been transferred or is ready for transfer and 35 percent is being cleaned up now. Another 25 percent is being checked out in order to determine what, if any, cleanup needs to be done.
Some $466 million has been committed toward cleaning up the base to date, and it’s anticipated another $122 million could be spent (though the amounts could change). The money comes from the sale of other former military sites and from Congressional appropriations.
Final cleanup efforts are expected to happen in 2015, said Anna-Marie Cook, remedial project manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Cook said the base was one of the last sites to be added to the Superfund list, and as such, it’s benefited from cleanup experiences and new cleanup technologies employed at other closed military bases that have helped shorten the time frame for base cleanup projects to about one to five years per project. She said about half the roughly 2,700 acres that comprise the former base (including 1,100 acres that are underwater) needed to be cleaned up.
Robinson said 310 acres of former Naval Air Station property has been transferred to date, including the land used to build the Bayport housing project, Coast Guard housing and land that is expected to be home to a future sports complex.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is also negotiating with the Navy for a 549-acre portion of the base in order to build medical clinics and an above-ground cemetery.