SAN DIEGO – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting here September 20 to address an upcoming field investigation for munitions debris at the former Camp Elliott in northeast San Diego, Calif.
Lloyd Godard, a project manager for the Corps’ Los Angeles District, discussed the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study that will investigate the presence of military munitions and chemical constituents that might have been left behind from military use of the property and determine alternatives that could be taken in the event any are found.
The remedial investigation serves as the mechanism for collecting data to characterize site conditions, determine the nature of the waste and assess risk to human health and the environment. The feasibility study is the mechanism for the development, screening and detailed evaluation of alternative remedial actions.
Field work for the investigation, set to begin October 22 and expected to take three and half months to complete, will include collecting and analyzing soil samples and conducting digital ground mapping to identify magnetic anomalies in the study areas. Magnetic anomalies could indicate the presence of munitions, or they could be scrap metal or trash with no association to the former military use.
The project area, known as East Elliott, consists of approximately 3,200 acres, about five square miles. It is part of 30,500 acres acquired by the Department of Defense in 1941 and used as a U.S Marine Corps training facility from 1941 to 1944 for live-fire exercises with tank, anti-tank and artillery detachments. The investigation at the former camp is being managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Formerly Used Defense Sites program, which was created by Congress to clean up the environmental hazards at formerly owned, leased, possessed or used Department of Defense properties.
The majority of East Elliott is undeveloped at present, and unrestricted access along its southern boundary makes the area attractive for a variety of recreational uses, including hiking, mountain biking, jogging, motor biking, horseback riding, and off-road vehicle use. Rock climbers also use several clusters of large boulders located near the southeast corner of the site.