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Camarillo Airport - Abandoned Landfill

The Camarillo Airport Formerly Used Defense Site, or FUDS, is located within the city limits of Camarillo, in Ventura County, California, approximately 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Corps of Engineers is investigating and monitoring the former Air Force base through the FUDS Program for potential environmental contamination that may remain from previous military activities. This page provides information on the Abandoned Landfill project, which is part of the Camarillo Airport FUDS.

The Abandoned Landfill project comprises nearly 4.6 acres on the western portion of the Camarillo Airport property. Based on site plans and historical aerial photographs of the airport; the Corps of Engineers suspects that burning and disposal of ordnance and explosive waste materials occurred in this area.

From 1945 to 1953, an elongated, Z-shaped trench was constructed on the landfill site. Historical aerial photographs and records indicate the trench was filled with water and served as a collection/infiltration pond. The trench does not appear in aerial photographs after 1959. Since 1993, the Corps of Engineers has been assessing whether the soil and groundwater have been impacted by previous military activities and whether there is a risk to human health and the environment.

In 2001 the Corps of Engineers completed a Remedial Investigation at the Abandoned Landfill project to evaluate potential contaminants in the soil and groundwater. The work involved soil trenching, which uncovered debris from inert materials, such as concrete asphalt, metal, glass and burnt wood. Soil and groundwater samples were also taken and analyzed for potential contaminants. The results indicated contaminants in the soil and potential contamination to groundwater.

In 2003 a Supplemental Remedial Investigation was conducted to characterize the near-surface groundwater impacted by potential contaminants. Five monitoring wells were installed downgradient of the Abandoned Landfill project. Analysis of groundwater samples taken from the wells detected contaminants in a semi-perched aquifer, located downgradient of the landfill. However, with the exception of one well in which vinyl chloride was detected, none of the sampling results exceeded maximum contamination levels. Based on these findings, periodic monitoring to establish seasonal variation of contaminants, including vinyl chloride, was recommended for all five monitoring wells.

The Corps of Engineers also conducted a Human Health Risk Assessment to consider and compare various future land use scenarios, the ways by which people might be exposed to the identified chemicals on the site, the possible concentrations of the potential exposure, and the potential frequency and duration of the exposure. The results of the assessment indicated that the chemical compounds within the soil and groundwater fell within or below the acceptable risk management ranges for both future recreational and residential scenarios.

Based on the Human Health Risk Assessment, the Corps of Engineers recommended that no remedial action be taken at the Abandoned Landfill project. However, in accordance with a recommendation from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles, the Corps of Engineers agreed to conduct semi-annual monitoring of groundwater for two years to ensure the level of vinyl chloride continued to decrease.

The Corps of Engineers began semi-annual monitoring of the wells downgradient of the Abandoned Landfill project in 2013 and planned to complete monitoring in 2015. However, the 2015 analysis of water samples indicated that contaminants related to military activities may not meet the California Regional Water Quality Control Board’s criteria. Based on these findings, the Corps of Engineers determined that the water quality monitoring program would be extended for one additional year to assess whether the hazards are being reduced and if the 2015 sampling results were anomalies. Based on the sampling results, the Corps of Engineers will prepare a Decision Document that will identify the Corps of Engineers’ chosen remedial alternative for the project area.

Contact Information

For more information about the Camarillo Airport - Abandoned Landfill project, please call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District Public Affairs Office at 213-452-3921.

To learn more about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ FUDS Program, please click here.