Base Realignment and Closure

Naval Air Facility Adak Selected for Closure

With passage of Public Laws 100-256 and 101-510 in 1988 and 1990, the Secretary of Defense created the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) to provide a fair process that would result in timely closure and realignment of military installations.

The former Naval Air Facility (NAF) Adak was selected for closure by the Commission in 1995. The military mission of the former Navy base ended in March 1997. Since that time the Navy has been involved in the environmental restoration, cleanup and closure activities that would allow for lease and transfer of property on Adak to non-federal entities.

Laws Governing Military Base Closure

The Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-526) and the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-510) govern the closure and realignment of DoD installations. The Community Environmental Response Facilitation Act (CERFA) (P.L. 102-425), amended Section 120(h) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. Section 9620), requires the identification and documentation of all uncontaminated real property at DoD installations undergoing closure or realignment and subsequent disposal and requires that each deed for property transferred by the United States include a covenant warranting that all remedial actions were taken that were necessary to protect human health and the environment with respect to any hazardous substance remaining on the property and that these actions were taken before the date of transfer. Any additional remedial action found necessary after the date of such transfer (as a result of Department of Defense [DoD] activities) shall be conducted by the United States (CERCLA § 120(h)(3)).

Property Disposal and Reuse Issues

All of Adak Island is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Navy use of approximately 77,000 acres on the northern half of the island was authorized by a public land withdrawal in 1959. When Navy use for military purposes is no longer needed, the only legally permissible action Navy may take to dispose of the property is to relinquish it back to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Under the Base Closure and Realignment Act program, the military mission at Naval Air Facility Adak ended on March 31, 1997. Navy need for the property will cease when environmental cleanup actions are complete.

The improvements the Navy placed on the property associated with its military use would be liabilities to the US Fish and Wildlife Service in managing the property as wildlife refuge. The Aleut Corporation (TAC) has proposed an exchange of property with US Fish and Wildlife Service under which TAC would acquire approximately 47,000 acres of this property on Adak, including all developed areas. The transfer is contingent on approval of the property transfer plan by both the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board and by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The property included in the military withdrawal on Adak Island is divided into five parcels. Click for map of parcels. These parcels are described as follows:

* Parcel 1A comprises approximately 31, 895 acres of Adak Exchange Lands in Operable Unit (OU) B-1. This parcel also encompasses 58 CERCLA sites that have been cleaned up and 128 petroleum sites that are in the process of being cleaned up under the State-Adak Environmental Restoration Agreement (SAERA) between the Navy and the State of Alaska. The CERCLA and petroleum sites for which institutional controls or ongoing monitoring are required comprise approximately 31,895 acres of Parcel 1A.
* Parcel 1B comprises approximately 13,781 acres of Adak Exchange Lands in OU B-1 that have been cleaned up as set forth in the CERCLA OU B-1 Record of Decision (ROD) (U.S. Navy, EPA, and ADEC 2001).
* Parcel 2 comprises approximately 3,500 acres in the Mt. Reed Exclusion Zone.
* Parcel 3 comprises approximately 22,000 acres as the Remainder of PLO-1949.
* Parcel 4 comprises approximately 5,624 acres as the Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) Exclusion Zone to be retained by the Navy pending further ordnance characterization and remediation.

These parcels were developed to facilitate land transfer by segregating properties anticipated to have different ownership in the future (TAC vs. USFWS). The delineation of boundaries also reflects the phased completion of ordnance clearance activities (Parcels 1A, 1B, and 4) and the desire to recognize special property use (Parcel 2, which was intended to facilitate management and protection of the threatened Aleutian shield fern).

CERFA Parcel 1A is a portion of the property that was withdrawn from the public domain for use by the Navy for military purposes by PLO 1949, dated August 15, 1959 (24 Federal Register (FR) 6872). The Navy will submit a Notice of Intent To Relinquish PLO 1949 to the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM will then convey to TAC Parcel 1A of the Adak property in exchange for TAC’s relinquishment of a similar acreage of prioritized, valid ANCSA surface and subsurface estate in accordance with § 14(h)(8) selections and associated entitlements described in the Land Transfer Agreement (LTA) (TAC, DOI, and the Department of the Navy 2000). The Interim Conveyance will contain all of the required CERCLA transfer covenants with regard to the FOST parcel.

CERFA Parcel 1B is a portion of the military reservation that was withdrawn from the public domain for use by the Navy for military purposes by PLO 1949, dated August 15, 1959 (24 Federal Register (FR) 6872). The Navy will submit a Notice of Intent to Relinquish PLO 1949 (except Parcel 4) to the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM will then convey to TAC Parcels 1A and 1B of the Adak property in exchange for TAC’s relinquishment of a similar acreage of prioritized, valid ANCSA surface and subsurface estate in accordance with § 14(h)(8) selections and associated entitlements described in the Land Transfer Agreement (LTA) (TAC, DOI, and Navy 2000). The Interim Conveyance will contain all of the required CERCLA covenants with regard to the FOST parcel.

The RODs for OU A and OU B-1 selected various use restrictions or institutional controls (ICs) that ensure that the intended use of the property is consistent with protection of human health and the environment. Implementation of the land use and ICs is set forth in the Final Adak Island Institutional Control Management Plan (ICMP). The only institutional control applicable to Parcel 1B is the public ordnance education and awareness program.

Covenants required by CERCLA will be included in the Interim Conveyance documents. Such covenants include, but are not limited to, prohibiting activities that could disrupt any remediation activities or jeopardize the operation of remedies in place. The Interim Conveyance documentation will reserve non-exclusive access easements to allow continued access for the Navy to monitor the effectiveness of cleanup, or take additional remedial or removal actions as may be necessary. Use conditions will also be included in the Interim Conveyance documentation. No use restrictions are applicable to any of the Parcel 1B areas described in this FOST.

Parcel 1B and the Parcel 1A sites have been assessed and evaluated for (a) the presence of hazardous substances and contamination and (b) the adequacy of ICs, use restrictions, contract provisions, and notifications to ensure that the intended use of these parcels is consistent with the protection of human health and the environment. This assessment and evaluation has adequately demonstrated that the proposed use of Parcel 1B and the Parcel 1A addendum sites by TAC is consistent with the protection of human health and the environment.

Closure Objectives

The following are the objectives outlined for closure of NAF Adak by the Navy and state and federal regulators:

* Protect human health and the environment;
* Comply with all existing federal and state statutes and regulations;
* Conduct an environmental baseline survey (EBS) to establish the current environmental condition of the property, supporting its lease or transfer;
* Establish priorities for environmental restoration and restoration-related one-time compliance activities (so that property disposal and reuse goals can be met);
* Initiate selected remedial actions to control risks or reduce them to manageable levels;
* Consider future land use when assessing risks associated with releases of hazardous substances, contaminants, or hazardous wastes;
* Develop, evaluate, and select remedial actions in a manner consistent with applicable state and federal statutory and regulatory requirements;
* Commence remedial actions for areas of environmental concern and prioritize actions for areas to allow property disposal and reuse;
* Advise the Navy Real Estate and BRAC organizations and the community regarding property that is deemed environmentally suitable for reuse and;
* Establish programs to monitor the efficacy of remedial actions.

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Get Involved: Thursday, October 09, 2014

The next RAB meeting is re-scheduled for Thursday, October 09, 2014 at NOON Adak time in the Bob Reeve High School Conference Room on Adak and at 1 p.m. local time in the ADEC Conference Room at 555 Cordova St, Anchorage.