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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

GEORGE AIR FORCE BASE
VICTORVILLE, CALIFORNIA


CONCLUSIONS

  • On the basis of available data, ATSDR concludes that exposure to contaminants in groundwater and soil at George AFB does not pose an apparent public health hazard.
  • On-site and off-site groundwater do not represent a past, present, or future public health hazard. On-site groundwater has never been used as a source for drinking water at George AFB and no supply wells are expected to be installed there in the foreseeable future. Groundwater contamination from the OU 1 plume has migrated off site towards the Mojave River, but has not affected any municipal or private drinking water wells. Two supply wells in the path of the plume, at the VVWRA, have never been used to supply drinking water. The installed pump-and-treat system at OU 1 is expected to prevent contaminants from migrating to the Mojave River and regular groundwater sampling will continue to monitor the movement of the plume over time.
  • Soil at George AFB does not represent an apparent past public health hazard and does not represent a present or future public health hazard. Soil contamination has been detected above ATSDR health-based comparison values in very few areas of George AFB. Access to most areas of contamination is limited and the contaminant levels detected would not pose a health hazard to either children or adults from short-term exposure. Due to the low levels of contamination, exposure to contaminated soil through future industrial reuse of the base is not expected to pose a public health hazard to adults working at the base.
  • Radiological contamination does not represent an apparent past public health hazard and does not represent a present or future public health hazard. A small amount of radioactive material was discovered and removed from a portion of the SEDA. Radiation surveys and exploratory soil excavation indicate that this area and the two munitions storage areas were not used for disposal of significant quantities of radioactive waste. Although people using the SEDA for recreation in the past may have been exposed to small amounts of low-level radioactive material, such exposures would have been infrequent and of short duration and would not be expected to pose a health hazard. The SEDA has recently been fenced and its landfill cover has been rehabilitated. The George AFB property located south of Air Base Road, which includes the SEDA, has been transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons and will be the site of a prison that is currently under construction; the SEDA will remain fenced and will be within the fenceline of the prison.
  • On the basis of information available on groundwater and surface soil contamination at George AFB, the previous and ongoing remediation efforts, and the past, present, and planned future uses of this land and these facilities, ATSDR concludes that the George AFB site should be assigned to the No Apparent Public Health Hazard category

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

This public health action plan (PHAP) for George AFB contains a description of actions taken and those to be taken by ATSDR, the Air Force, and other entities at and in the vicinity of George AFB after the completion of this PHA. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this PHA not only identifies ongoing and potential public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The public health actions that are completed, being implemented, planned, or recommended are as follows:

Completed Actions

  • George AFB installed a groundwater pump-and-treat system to contain and clean up the TCE plume beneath the NEDA.

Ongoing and Planned Actions

  • The Air Force is operating and maintaining the OU 1 groundwater pump and treat system. This system will operate for an estimated 30 years to reduce groundwater contamination to below federal drinking water standards. While the Air Force and regulatory agencies are considering a natural attenuation cleanup strategy for the OU 2 jet fuel plume located beneath the flight line, the Air Force is removing free product from the groundwater at OU 2.
  • The Air Force has instituted a long-term basewide groundwater monitoring program involving OU 1, OU 2, and OU 3 landfills and other sites. This program monitors the elevation, flow direction, and quality of groundwater and is used to assess the efficacy of groundwater remediation and the integrity of landfills at the base.
  • CDHS specifies water sampling schedules for all water purveyors, including those with supply wells located in the vicinity of George AFB. CDHS reviews the sampling data to ensure that the drinking water distributed to consumers is safe.
  • The Air Force will continue to maintain fences around restricted IRP sites and repair landfill covers as needed. The Air Force will also continue to operate the various soil remediation systems at the base (e.g., soil-vapor extraction and bioventing systems).
  • The VVEDA's current reuse plans for George AFB call only for industrial use of the base. If reuse plans change to include residential use, ATSDR may reevaluate the potential public health effects on future populations at the base.
  • The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA; also known as Superfund), as amended, requires ATSDR to conduct needed follow-up health actions in communities living near hazardous waste sites. To identify appropriate actions, ATSDR created the Health Activities Review Panel (HARP). HARP has evaluated the data and information contained in the George Air Force Base Public Health Assessment for appropriate public health actions. No follow-up health activities are recommended at George Air Force Base because there is no known exposure at this site at levels that pose a public health hazard.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

W. Mark Weber, Ph.D.
Geologist/Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Gary Campbell, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


REFERENCES

Bechtel. 1995. Potential Benefits of the Proposed Mojave River Pipeline Project on the Ground-water Resources of the Mojave River Region. Prepared by Bechtel Corporation for Mojave Water Agency, Apple Valley, California. May 1995.

CEDAR. 1997. Military Base Closures Announced in December 1988 - BRAC 1: George Air Force Base. Listed on the California Economic Diversification and Revitalization (CEDAR) Website. August 1997.

City of Adelanto. 1998. Personal communication with Jack Stonesifer, Water Superintendent. City of Adelanto. January 15, 1998.

Earthtech. 1993. Basewide Environmental Baseline Survey, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by Earth Technologies for George Air Force Base, California. December 1993.

IT. 1992. Remedial Investigation Operable Unit 2 JP-4 Spill, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by International Technology Corporation for George Air Force Base, California. October 1992.

IT. 1995. Report of Southeast Disposal Area Background Radiation Survey, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by International Technology Corporation for U.S. Air Force, George Air Force Base, California. August 1995.

IT. 1996. Draft Natural Attenuation Monitoring Treatability Study Report, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by International Technology Corporation for Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. March 1996.

James Montgomery. 1992. Final Remedial Investigation Operable Unit 1, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by James Montgomery, Consulting Engineers for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, California. August 1992.

Montgomery Watson. 1994. Final Record of Decision Operable Unit 1, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by Montgomery Watson for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, California. March 1994.

Montgomery Watson. 1996. Final Operable Unit 3 Remedial Investigation, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by Montgomery Watson for Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. April 1996.

Montgomery Watson. 1997a. Final Basewide Ground-water Monitoring Report, February 1997 Event, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by Montgomery Watson for Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. June 1997.

Montgomery Watson. 1997b. Draft Remedial Action Report (Post Construction) OU 1 Ground-water Extraction Treatment System, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by Montgomery Watson for Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. June 1997.

Montgomery Watson. 1997c. Draft Operable Unit 3 Record of Decision, George Air Force Base, California. Prepared by Montgomery Watson for Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, Brooks Air force Base, Texas. April 1997.

U.S. Air Force. 1991. Final Draft Community Relations Plan for the Installation Restoration Program at George Air Force Base, California. July 1991.

U.S. Air Force. 1994. Draft George Air Force Base Installation Restoration Program Newsletter. October 1994.

U.S. Air Force. 1997a. Personal communication with Bob Sommer, Base Environmental Coordinator. George Air Force Base, California. June 26, 1997.

U.S. Air Force. 1997b. Personal communication with Bob Sommer, Base Environmental Coordinator. George Air Force Base, California. August 5, 1997.

U.S. Air Force. 1997c. Final Draft Community Relations Plan for the Installation Restoration Program at George Air Force Base, California. October 1997.

U.S. Air Force. 1997d. Draft George Air Force Base Installation Restoration Program Newsletter. April 1997.

U.S. Air Force. 1998a. Personal communication with Bob Sommer, Base Environmental Coordinator. George Air Force Base, California. January 14, 1998.

U.S. Air Force. 1998b. Personal communication with Bob Sommer, Base Environmental Coordinator, George Air Force Base, California. April 2, 1998.

U.S. Air Force. 1998c. Personal communication with Bob Sommer, Base Environmental Coordinator, George Air Force Base, California. April 9, 1998.

U.S. Air Force. 1998d. Comments on the George AFB Draft Public Health assessment by Charles Weir, U.S. Air Force ATSDR Liaison Officer. June 24, 1998.

VVWRA. 1998. Personal communication with Bruce Corria, Health and Safety Officer. Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority. April 9, 1998.

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