2009 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 09:44:03 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] VOCs: El Toro Marine Corps Air Station (CA)
I've been following the contamination and cleanup at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, in southern California, for more than a decade - perhaps 15 years. I have toured the base twice. I've reviewed many of the primary documents. I know that a number of local residents, from various political perspectives, have been engaged in oversight of activities there.

A lot of information is circulating about El Toro these days, and some of it is misleading. So I would like to summarize my understanding of the problem. I've written about it in greater detail in the past.

1. There is a very large plume of TCE emanating from the base. It should be cleaned up, but there never has been any evidence of an off-post exposure pathway. The Marines/Navy have paid for the TCE water treatment facility to ensure that area drinking water is clean. Area residents are fortunate that the plume dives under a clean aquifer as it leaves the base. Thus, there is no evidence of potential vapor intrusion. With no known exposure pathway, there is no reason to believe that reported health problems among off-post residents are associated with El Toro contamination.

2. Much of the base is being redeveloped, but the Navy did NOT sell the the most contaminated areas to the developer. I think development must proceed carefully, and that the Navy should continue to address the areas it retained.

3. Marines and civilian personnel who worked on base were exposed to TCE in their workplace and perhaps later through vapor intrusion. There is a chance that people on base drank contaminated water in the distant past. I support a policy of presumptive medical support for former base workers and Marines who may have been exposed to TCE there.



Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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