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SACRAMENTO, CA, Sept. 19, 2018 – Department of Toxic Substances Control Director Barbara Lee today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recognition of the former McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento County for its exemplary transformation from a Superfund site into a successful business park.
“McClellan is a model for how coordinating site cleanup with redevelopment plans can accelerate the return of land to productive reuse and provide more local control,” Director Lee said. “DTSC is proud to have played a role in restoring this land to benefit the community, the regional economy and future generations.”
The U.S. EPA held a ceremony today honoring the former Air Force base with one of four “National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse” awards that recognize the hard work, innovative thinking and cooperation among federal agencies, states, tribes, local partners and developers in transforming federal sites. Director Lee delivered remarks about DTSC’s role in the cleanup of the contaminated site.
McClellan Air Force Base, an aircraft repair depot and supply base established in 1935, was placed on the Superfund list in 1987. It was closed in 2001 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act. In 2007, a landmark agreement paved the way for rapid clean up and early land transfer at the McClellan site. As the lead state agency DTSC played an important role in the land transfer.
Normally, when federal land is transferred to local entities, it must first be cleaned. But DTSC helped facilitate the early transfer of the site with privatized remediation, which allowed greater local input into remediation decisions that better reflected community priorities. The early transfer and private sector remediation make it possible to accelerate the cleanup and expedite productive reuse.
The 3,452-acre McClellan Business Park now supports more than 300 businesses and close to 17,000 jobs, and has generated $580 million in public and private investment.
The Air Force agreed to pay McClellan Business Park $28.4 million for cleanup of the site. DTSChas been overseeing cleanup of more than 350 contaminated areas, including soil contaminated by releases of industrial solvents, radium paint, combustion waste product, pesticides, toxic metals, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as fuel spills and other pollutants.
DTSC’s cleanup work at the site soon will include an additional 45 acres. On Thursday, Sept. 13, DTSC signed a decision document allowing this work, a necessary step in the Finding of Suitability of Early Transfer (FOSET), which allows the expedited transfer of land and the improved ability of local input into its future use.
Four National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Awards are being given this year in recognition of exemplary work transforming federal sites for beneficial uses. Also receiving awards-are two former military bases in Illinois and a former ordnance plant in Missouri.