Navy Toxic Soil Removal to Begin in March

The soil will be moved primarily during spring break to avoid exposing children to hydrocarbons and metals like lead and arsenic.

Soil from a fire pit and rubble disposal areas with toxic levels of chemicals and heavy metals will be removed from Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach (NOLF IB) in March, said Naval Region Southwest spokeswoman Angelic Dolan.

Trucks started bringing clean soil to the Naval Base Coronado installation to replace the contaminated soil Jan. 8 and will continue through Feb. 12.

About 5,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed from NOLF IB from March 11 to April 5.

About 15 to 20 trucks daily will travel north and south on 13th Street and east and west on Palm Avenue during the project.

Clean soil will be transported from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. while contaminated soil will be moved from 7-10:30 a.m.

To minimize impact, removal of contaminated soil will take place during two weeks of spring break (March 18-29) for students at Mendoza, Central and Emory elementary schools near the route trucks will take to Interstate 5, Dolan said.

Soil and groundwater samples dating back to the 1980s confirmed that the areas contain hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds and lead, arsenic and mercury that can be harmful to the health of people, plants and animals.

According to multiple studies prepared for the Navy, direct contact or inhalation of the substances can result in adverse impact to a person's lungs, heart, brain, kidneys and red and white blood cells.

One of the areas known as Site 6 was regularly packed with diesel fuel and used as a firefighter training area and later for rubble disposal. The other, known as Site 7, was used as a skeet shooting range and for rubble disposal.

The close proximity of the toxins to the Tijuana River raised concern that they could leech into the river that flows to the Pacific Ocean less than a mile away.

Libi Uremovic January 28, 2013 at 10:52 PM
does anyone know what are they going to do with the toxic soil?
Ed Sorrels January 28, 2013 at 10:59 PM
The Haul truck's shown are what are called belly dumps, if this is what they are going to use then there is a problem if any of the waste is waterlogged. They are not "Watertight" and will leave a trail of contaminated waste on the street where ever they travel.
Mike G January 29, 2013 at 03:48 AM
The exhaust from the trucks hauling this material away will be far more hazardous than then material itself. Frankie says relax dude!
Lenora Porcella January 29, 2013 at 09:16 AM
The surrounding community has not had the benefit of a meaningful assessment For example, Wikipedia says "The mission of NOLF Imperial Beach at the present time as described, is to handle the overflow of helicopter squadrons traffic both VFR and IFR, from North Island. As a result the helicopter squadrons at North Island do 95 percent of their operations at Imperial Beach." Overflow means extra... not 95 percent! We lost an opportunity last year, to find out a lot about NOLF when the Navy and Coastal Commission refused requests from IB residents for more analysis in the EIS regarding an increase in helicopter noise. We’re told to expect 15-20 trucks per day for 25 days... I didn't really have a good idea of how much 5,000 cubic yards is so I looked it up. Imagine If you woke up one morning and saw a gigantic ice cube out on your front lawn, and it was 51 feet long, 51 feet wide, and 51 feet high (over 3 stories), it would add up to about 5,000 cubic yards of ice, before it melted. (continuted)
Lenora Porcella January 29, 2013 at 09:17 AM
I do not think the haul route should go through town, to Palm. Use Coronado and get away from all of us quickly. Where does the toxic soil go? Not anywhere near the Tijuana, Otay or Sweetwater Rivers, I hope! Where is the new fill coming from? Where is a copy of the report(s) and analysis on the toxins? Better maps of the site? Has the Navy done any studies about what kicking up the dust will do to wildlife during mating and nesting season? The Navy knows more than it is saying. They are not doing this from the goodness of their heart. We can assume that if they are doing it that the problem is bad... very bad. Why isn’t IB leadership asking the tough questions? We deserve to know what we are breathing and what is going on that impacts our quality of life and that of the wildlife


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