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Norfolk Naval Base Contamination

Norfolk Naval Base (Sewells Point Naval Complex) Norfolk VA

by Civilian Exposure

The Norfolk Naval Base (Sewells Point Naval Complex) site is located directly northwest of Norfolk, Virginia. The 4,630-acre facility provides shore facilities and logistics support for Navy vessels and aircraft. Wastes generated at the facility include halogenated and non-halogenated solvents, corrosives, paint wastes, wastes from electroplating operations, petroleum products, and oils and lubricants. In addition, the facility manages used oils, construction debris, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), contaminated oils and trash. Historical operations and disposal practices contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. Following cleanup, operation and maintenance activities are ongoing.

*Note – We’ve posted, verbatim, the information from the EPA on Norfolk on this page rather than simply sharing a link.  This is to maintain an ongoing record of the information to-date as of October 2015, in the event it is edited or removed from their site in the future. You can view the link to full information on the EPA page at the bottom of this post.

Shipyard activities include metal forming, repair and installation of mechanical and electrical equipment, metal fabrication and plating. Industrial shops, industrial wastes, scrap metal, waste oils, hydraulic oils, cutting oils, and oils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (‘PCBs’), cleaners, solvents, paint, paint sludges, thinners, blasting residues, asbestos and batteries.

Risks and pathways addressed by the cleanup include health risks from people ingesting or touching contaminants in soil. Drinking water for Norfolk is provided by the city’s municipal surface water supplies. Contaminated groundwater or surface water runoff from the base may reach either the Elizabeth River or Willoughby Bay.

The 4,630-acre Norfolk Naval Base (Sewells Point Naval Complex) Superfund site is located just north of Norfolk, Virginia. The site is an active naval base providing Atlantic Fleet command and support for U.S. Navy vessels and aircraft. Industrial activities at the site generated hazardous products, including corrosives, petroleum, paint waste, electroplating waste and solvents. Site investigations in 1994 revealed on-site contamination with the potential to affect neighboring waterways. EPA added the site the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1997. Cleanup actions involved removal of soil, sediment and buried drums; capping; treatment of ground water in place; and installation of ground water extraction and treatment systems. The site reached construction completion in September 2010. The Virginia Department of Transportation is currently assessing potential designs for a highway connector to the Norfolk airport that would cross the site. Though highway construction is not yet underway, workers have relocated and rebuilt facilities located on the future highway paths. These facilities, including soccer and recreational sports fields, were rebuilt on a former landfill area of the site and are now open for use. The naval station continues to provide ocean-front space, facilities and logistics support for U.S. Navy vessels and aircraft. Currently, the Norfolk Naval Base is the world’s largest naval outpost. Maintenance, optimization and monitoring of in-place remedies and institutional controls continue.

For more information, visit this link: EPA Superfund Site – Norfolk (Sewells Point)

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