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Major environmental Record of Decision signed

  • Published
  • By Scott Johnston
  • Air Force Civil Engineer Center Public Affairs Office
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center, the Environmental Protection Agency, Sacramento County, the State of California and the McClellan Business Park reached another milestone at the former McClellan Air Force base near Sacramento, Calif. The signing of an environmental Record of Decision for the Finding of Suitability for Early Transfer (FOSET) 2, sets the course for the last remaining remediation activities located in the southeast portion of the former base.

When McClellan was an active military base this area was the distribution hub for the Sacramento Air Logistics Center. Military operations included storing and hauling equipment to and from the sprawling concrete warehouses. 

Today, 17 years after base closure, railcars rumble down tracks. Semi-truck drivers and warehouse workers bustle to and from work. Thousands of people frequent this area daily, either to provide or receive hundreds of services now offered at the former military base.

All of this activity near McClellan’s main Dudley Boulevard intersection is, to many involved in the cleanup and transformation of the closed base, the fruit borne from years of hard work and a great multi-agency partnership, which laid the foundation for the successful redevelopment of the former base. 

“Privatization has been great for McClellan,” said Steve Mayer, McClellan Remediation Program Manager, noting that 1,363 acres at McClellan has been transferred by privatization. “FOSET 2 is a shining example of how privatization has worked here.” 

The signature comes five years after the area – 528 acres of predominantly industrial and commercial property - was transferred using another multi-agency agreement referred to as “early transfer with privatized cleanup.” While the land was transferred prior to cleanup under this agreement, the methods and decisions related to cleanup had yet to be finalized. These have now been decided and are documented in the newly signed environmental Record of Decision.

This new Record of Decision consists of 45 environmental cleanup sites, 41 of which have reached a Response Complete status with only land use restrictions and monitoring required; leaving only four that still require “dig and haul” remedial actions.

“Our team takes great pride in how successful the privatization of McClellan Park has been,” said Alan Hersh, senior vice president of McClellan Park. “We couldn’t have made McClellan Park California’s largest infill/resuse master planned community without the crucial partnerships we have developed with the Air Force, the County and many other local and federal agencies.”

The sites have soil contamination from past industrial practices when the base served as a supply and repair depot from 1936 until it closed in 2001. In 1987, the 3,458-acre installation was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List due to contaminants in the soil and groundwater.

Since then, AFCEC environmental engineers overseeing the remediation actions at McClellan have completed 14 Records of Decision governing the cleanup activities at more than 300 sites. Additionally, all but 200 of McClellan’s 3,458 acres have been transferred to the local community. 

“This is why McClellan is a benchmark for cleanup and redevelopment,” said Phil Mook, Chief of the AFCEC’s Western Region Execution Branch. “Collaboration among regulatory agencies, Sacramento County and McClellan Park has once again proven a successful model for putting former military sites back into productive reuse for the benefit of the local community.”