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Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany is an active U.S. Marine Corps installation covering 3,579 acres in Dougherty County, Georgia. 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 Superfund program’s 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, monitoring, and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, the Navy, EPA and Georgia EPD continue to protect people and the environment from contamination.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Marine Corps Logistics Base (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, the EPA placed the installation on the NPL.

  • The Navy leads the investigation and cleanup of the site, with oversight provided by EPA and Georgia EPD.
  • The Navy started Superfund cleanup activities at the site between 1995 and 2010 as well as various actions under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), including removing sludge-drying beds at the MCLB Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant. Monitoring activities and the implementation of land use controls are ongoing.
  • The Navy has completed cleanup activities for OU-1 through OU-5. From 1995 to 2000, the Navy conducted several smaller-scale cleanup actions, or removals, to remove soil  contamination in OU-1, OU-3, and OU-5. Land use controls selected for OUs 1, 3 and 4 remain in place and prevent unacceptable levels of exposure to contaminants remaining on site.
  • Cleanup activities for OU-6 base-wide groundwater 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. Vegetation monitoring is ongoing. Land use controls for OU-6 remain in place.
  • The Navy prepared the third Five-Year Review for the site in 2011. It found that the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment in the short term. For site remedies to be protective in the long term, the Navy recommended additional investigation to document that preferential pathways for vapor intrusion do not exist.
  • The Navy is performing ongoing cleanup activities for OU-6, monitoring groundwater contamination and making sure land use controls remain effective. The Navy is also performing additional work to satisfy the 2011 Five-Year Review suggestion concerning vapor intrusion.
  • The fourth Five-Year Review, completed in 2016, reflects.....

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What Is the Current Site Status?

Originally, 26 Potential Sources of Contamination (PSC) were identified. EPA determined that 14 of the 26 PSCs required further investigation. EPA organized the 14 PSCs into six investigation areas, referred to as operable units, or OUs:

  1. OU-1 (PSC 1-East Disposal Area, PSC 2-Rubble Disposal Area, PSC 3-Long-Term Landfill, and PSC 26-Containment Berm Area);
  2. OU-2 (PSC 11-Area Behind Small Bore and Pistol Range);
  3. OU-3 (PSC 16-Building 1700 PCB Area, PSC 17-Depot Maintenance Activity [DMA] Chrome Area);
  4. OU-4 (PSC 6-Industrial Discharge Drainage Area, PSC 10-DMA Main Building, PSC 12-Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant (IWTP), PSC 13-IWTP Pipelines, PSC 22-DMA Storage Area );
  5. OU-5 (PSC 8-Grit Disposal Area, PSC 14-Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant); and
  6. OU-6 (Base-wide Groundwater in three plumes: Northern Plume Area (NPA)- PSCs 1, 3, 26; DMA Plume Area- PSCs 10, 12, 13, 22); and PSC 4 Blast Grit Disposal Area).

The 1994 OU-1 short-term cleanup plan included containment of contaminated groundwater via a pump and treat system at PSC 3. However, it was concluded this was not working. A decision was made to address all contaminated groundwater on the base in one separate OU and to focus only on soils in the other OUs. In 1996 contaminated soils at PSC 3 were removed and disposed. A 16 inch soil cover was placed on the landfill. The 1997 OU-1 final cleanup plan included “No Action” for PSCs 1and  2, and land use controls for PSCs 3 and 26.

The 1996 OU-2 cleanup plan included “no action” for soils in PSC 11-Area Behind Small Bore and Pistol Range.

The 1994 OU-3 short-term cleanup plan included excavation of contaminated sediments, a multi-layer cap, and groundwater monitoring for Building 1700 PCB Area (PSC 16); and excavation and disposal of contaminated soil followed by site stabilization for the DMA Chrome Area (PSC 17). The 1997 final cleanup plan for OU-3 included adding land use restrictions for PSC 16; and “no further action” for PSC 17.

The 1999 OU-4 cleanup plan included land use controls for the Industrial Discharge Drainage Area (PSC 6) and “no action” for the Depot Maintenance Activity - Main Building (PSC 10), the Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant Area (PSC 12), the Treatment Plant Pipeline (PSC 13) and the DMA Storage Area (PSC 22).

The 1995 OU-5 short-term cleanup plan included removing contaminates soil from the Grit Disposal Area (PSC 8). The Navy and EPA issued the final cleanup plan for OU-5 in 1997 that included “no further action”  for PSC 8; and “no action” for the Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant Area (PSC 14).

The OU-6 cleanup plan for base-wide groundwater addressed the three plume areas: the Northern Plume Area - NPA (PSCs 1, 3, and 26), the Depot Maintenance Area plume – DMA (PSCs 10, 12 13, and 22), and the PSC 4 groundwater plume areas. The cleanup plan for the NPA included maintaining a cap of soil and natural vegetation over the landfills for source control, enhanced natural processes to treat contaminated groundwater in the Upper Water Bearing Zone (UWBZ), and monitored natural attenuation (MNA) in the Lower Water Bearing Zone (LWBZ). The cleanup plan for the DMA included maintaning a concrete cover as a cap at the DMA area; using enhanced natural processes to treat contaminated groundwater in the UWBZ; and using MNA for contaminated groundwater in the LWBZ. The cleanup plan for PSC 4 included a soil cover for source control, MNA in the UWBZ and LWBZ, and LUCs. In 2005, the Navy and EPA revised the cleanup plan for OU-6, eliminating the ET cover for PSCs 1 and 26, changing the groundwater cleanup approach to use abiotic (non-living) treatments, and eliminating maintenance of the concrete cap in the DMA area. In 2012, the Navy and EPA issued another revision to the OU-6 plan. The update clarified groundwater cleanup levels; documented the areas to which the cleanup levels apply; updated the land use controls (LUCs) component of the remedy; documented the establishment of requirements to inspect and maintain the covers at PSCs 3 and 4; and replaced the three-year, 10-year, and 20-year goals are replaced with a process using Remedy Effectiveness Reviews, Five Year Reviews, and Optimization Studies to track, evaluate, and optimize groundwater cleanup procedures and timeframes.

The Navy is performing cleanup activities for OU-6 and monitoring ground water contamination levels. The Navy will continue to make sure land use controls remain effective.

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Sampling and Monitoring

The Navy is conducting an optimization study to improve current cleanup efforts.

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Enforcement Information

For many years, the EPA has been working with its federal and state partners to clean up the installation. In 1991, the Navy, the 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.

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