CHESAPEAKE, Va. , –
A near-perfect summer day marked the celebration of a significant milestone regarding the Navy's Environmental Restoration Program during a ceremony held at St. Juliens Creek Annex in Chesapeake, Virginia, Aug. 23, at 11 a.m.
The shipyard, which worked collaboratively with the Environmental Protection Agency, and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, celebrated the Navy's completion of construction activities under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, culminating 36 years of investigation and remediation.
"This project demonstrates the incredible power of partnership and what we can achieve when we all work together," said Rear Adm. Jack Scorby, Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, who spoke at the event.
"Being good stewards of the environment is a major concern and a serious commitment for our Navy and we will continue to strive to reduce the environmental impact of our operations while balancing the needs of our national security," he added..
The completion of these activities marks a major milestone which demonstrates all physical construction of cleanup remedies is complete and all immediate threats have been addressed while long-term threats are being managed.
"This milestone sets us on a journey that is going to carry us forward to a better future," said special guest speaker, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment) Dennis McGinn.
"A future that in fact makes us, in the Department of the Navy, our Marines and Sailors, better stewards of the natural environment even as we go about protecting this great United States of America."
In July 2000 St. Juliens Creek Annex was placed on the National Priorities List. A Federal Facility Agreement (FFA), negotiated between the Navy, EPA (spell out) Region III, and VDEQ (spell out), was signed in July 2004. In accordance with the FFA, all identified environmental restoration sites, areas of concern, and solid waste management units were to be reviewed with a course of action for future work requirements at each site to be developed.
Of the 59 locations initially identified, the properties associated with 56 of these locations have been returned to the Navy with no land use restrictions. Of the remaining three locations, remedies are in place to control long-term threats and land use restrictions are being maintained to protect human health from unacceptable exposure to contaminants that remain.
Also in attendance was Shawn Garvin, EPA Region 3 Administrator; and David Paylor, VDEQ Director.