WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the winners of the fifth annual National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Awards. These awards highlight the accomplishments of federal agencies, states, Tribes, local partners, and developers in restoring and reusing contaminated land at federal facilities.
“Congratulations to the 2022 National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Award winners,” said Dr. Carlton Waterhouse, EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management. “These awards highlight the hard work and tremendous partnerships needed to address contaminated federal facilities and implement locally driven reuse strategies to safeguard communities and protect the environment.”
The Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Awardees were selected from four categories of contaminated land at federal facilities: (1) Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) sites, (2) Superfund NPL Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) sites, (3) non-NPL BRAC sites, and (4) non-NPL sites. The award winners by category are:
- Superfund NPL Award: Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant, Minnesota (Navy). The Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant is an 80-acre NPL site where industrial activities, including the production of naval guns during World War II, contaminated soil and groundwater. After cleanup, part of the site was deleted from the NPL. A developer purchased the site and surrounding property and redesigned it into an industrial park called The Northern Stacks Industrial Park. The industrial park is home to multiple businesses, including a brewery. These businesses employ over 1,100 people and generate an estimated $600 million in annual revenue. The redevelopment represents reuse of a vacant urban property, reducing blight, improving the community, and generating tax revenue.
- Superfund NPL BRAC Award: Former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California (Navy/Marines). Former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was decommissioned as an active base in 1999 under the Base Realignment and Closure Act. Extensive cleanup efforts have facilitated the transformation of approximately 1,300 acres of the Station into the Great Park. The Great Park is a recreational destination that includes parks, hiking trails, multi-use sport facilities, an art complex, an amphitheater, a police/firefighter training facility, Children’s Museum, and an ice rink which serves as the training facility for the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks. This approach demonstrates how successful partnerships between public and private entities and the local community can facilitate the transformation of a military facility with significant environmental issues into a multi-use area that is an asset to the community while fostering economic growth and community identity.
- Non-NPL BRAC Award: Kelly Air Force Base, Texas (Air Force). This base closed as part of the BRAC Act. More than 30 years of investigation and cleanup has enabled the transfer of nearly 2,000 acres to the San Antonio community for reuse and redevelopment. Now, the base, known as Port San Antonio, is home to over 80 public and private sector organizations that directly employ 15,000 people and generate $5.6 billion annually. Environmental justice issues were front and center during the BRAC process, including a successful petition for technical assistance to empower the community to participate in key cleanup and reuse decisions by the Committee for Environmental Justice Action.
- Non-NPL Award: Krejci Dump Site, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio (Department of Interior). The Krejci dump site accepted municipal and industrial waste in the 1940s and was later transferred to the National Park Service. The contamination from the dump site prompted an emergency response action and cleanup. Now, the site is open to the public for the enjoyment of current and future generations, as intended by Congress when the Park was established. In addition, the restored wetlands and meadows provide a healthy ecological system for wildlife, including the Great Blue Heron.
EPA has ongoing cleanup and property transfer responsibilities at 175 federal facility NPL sites, which are some of the largest and most complex sites within the national Superfund program. The agency promotes innovative cost-effective cleanups at federal facilities by joining forces with federal agencies, Tribes, state and local governments, and community representatives to meet environmental standards and undergo redevelopment for public and private-sector reuse. To recognize outstanding collaborative outcomes at federal facility sites, EPA created the National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Award.
These awards are given to project teams including federal agency project managers; developers; reuse authorities; or state, Tribal and local partners who demonstrated excellence in working cooperatively with EPA to ensure the reuse of a site complements the type of cleanup actions taken. Winners demonstrate excellence in:
- Working cooperatively and forming partnerships
- Complementing redevelopment design with the selected remedy
- Innovating beneficial use outcomes
- Considering the impacts on and inputs from the local community, especially communities disproportionately impacted by environmental contamination
- Creating jobs, fostering economic development or recreational opportunities, or supporting mission support
For more information about the 2022 awards, please visit www.epa.gov/fedfac/2022-national-federal-facility-excellence-site-reuse-awards
For more information about cleanups at federal facilities, please visit www.epa.gov/fedfac