The former Camp Elliott is located approximately 12 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, California. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is investigating and monitoring the former camp through the Formerly Used Defense Sites Program for munitions and explosive hazards that may remain from previous military activity. USACE has divided the former Camp Elliott property into four project areas. The information on this page relates to the Tierrasanta project.
Tierrasanta is a residential community in eastern San Diego. Developers purchased a portion of the former Camp Elliott property after the U.S. Navy closed the camp. The community of Tierrasanta, founded in 1971, contains homes and shopping centers.
The Camp Elliott –Tierrasanta project area is located in the southwestern portion of the former camp and was used for tank and artillery training. After Camp Elliott closed in 1960, the Navy and the Marine Corps each conducted ordnance clearance activities in portions of the former camp. In 1983 three children discovered a 37mm unexploded round in an open area near their Tierrasanta homes, and while playing with it the round detonated. This accident prompted the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobil Unit to perform two searches for unexploded ordnance in the area, one in 1984 and the other in 1985. These searches indicated the need to conduct extensive munitions removal activities, especially in areas of thick brush. USACE performed clearance activities from 1990 to 1994. These activities included surface clearances, brush removal, subsurface magnetic detection and subsurface removal of identified munitions items. USACE located and removed unexploded ordnance, munitions debris and trash from the project area.
The Tierrasanta project is currently under Long-Term Management, in which USACE investigates the site every five years to evaluate if previous removal and remediation activities are still protective of human health and the environment.