The Air Force has acknowledged that large amounts of trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE/PERC), benzene, and petroleum hydrocarbons (Free Product) were improperly disposed of at the former George Air Force Base, CA, “EPA Superfund ID: CA2570024453.” See map
This illegal dumping, spilling, and leaking of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), has resulted in the widespread contamination of the soil, vadose zone, groundwater, and the probable contamination of the indoor air (Vapor Intrusion) of the offices, shops, schools, and housing, located over/near these toxic plumes.
The location of the former Harry Shepard Middle School/current Excelsior Aviation Medicine Academy was obscured on the new GAFB groundwater and soil contamination map. archived copy
AFCEC link: http://www.afcec.af.mil/Portals/17/documents/BRAC/George/AFD-160211-052.pdf
The EPA rule adding a subsurface intrusion component (SsI), including vapor intrusion, to the Hazard Ranking Score for adding sites to the “Superfund” National Priorities List took effect on 5/22/2017.
The following actions should occur because of the well-documented health problems associated with the exposure to VOCs, their daughter products, and metabolites:
- The Air Force needs to acknowledge that this potential contamination of the indoor air (the Vapor Intrusion of VOCs) posed/poses serious health risks to former and current occupants of the base, and notify the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of this potential Completed Exposure Pathway (CEP).
- The ATSDR needs to conduct a Vapor Intrusion threat assessment and health survey for the former George AFB personnel and current occupants of the base.
- IF the ATSDR determines that a VOC Completed Exposure Pathway existed, the former George AFB personnel need to be notified of their potential exposure.
- IF the ATSDR concludes that there is a VOC Completed Exposure Pathway for the new occupants of the old AF buildings and/or the newly constructed buildings above the existing VOC contamination plumes, the occupants need to be notified of their potential exposure, and steps need to be taken to prevent further exposure.
- IF the ATSDR concludes that there was/is a VOC CEP, the Air Force will need to update the transferred property’s Quitclaim Deed’s CERCLA 120(h) Notices Covenants and Environmental Restrictions to reflect this new information.
If you lived, worked, or went to school on George Air Force Base, click on the map to determine if there was a VOC contamination plume within 100ft the building where you were. On this map, the Air Force has identified two classes of soil and groundwater VOC contamination at the former George AFB:
Free Product – Petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) such as gasoline, diesel, Avgas, and jet fuel (JP-4)
Chlorinated solvents – tetrachloroethylene (PCE/PERC), trichloroethylene (TCE), and Benzene
In 2008, DOD knew that the extremely toxic VOC vapors could pose a health risk to the occupants of buildings located above or near the VOC contamination plumes at George AFB. This includes the schools on GAFB that are located above the benzene and near the “Free Product” contamination plumes.
- The Air Force failed to install VOC ventilation systems or other mitigation measures in the existing buildings.
- The Air Force failed to disclose this material defect in the Quitclaim Deed, CERCLA 120(h) Notices, Covenants, and Environmental Restrictions.
- The Air Force failed to protect or notify the building occupants of this potential health hazard.