The U.S. Army and the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) entered negotiations in Spring 2005 for an Army-funded Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement (ESCA) addressing “cleanup”/remediation of Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) on approximately 3,340 former Fort Ord acres. In 2007, the Army awarded FORA approximately $100M for MEC cleanup to address remnant hazard safety issues resulting from previous munitions training operations conducted at the former Fort Ord.
The 1997 adopted FORA Base Reuse Plan defines development on Economic Development Conveyance (EDC) properties. The ESCA grant enables MEC removal on EDC property not yet certified for transition from military to civilian use. At this time, the planned ESCA MEC remediation field activities are complete and ESCA field teams have;
1. recovered over 4,900 munitions items and 50,000 lbs. of munitions debris,
2. sifted over 133,000 cubic yards of soil, and
3. removed residual Army cultural debris (121,000 lbs).
During these critical public safety actions, worker security was sustained with no injuries. Once the ESCA documentation is complete, the Army will issue proposed remedy plans and, ultimately, Records of Decision. Since the regulatory agencies have agreed that remediation is complete on the County North MRA and Parker Flats Phase I properties, FORA transferred these properties to the County of Monterey and Monterey Peninsula College.
The ESCA Remediation Program has diligently conserved former Fort Ord ecological resources through habitat management restoration and monitoring. For the past 7 years, the ESCA
Remediation Program has;
1. managed approximately 3,340 acres for 15 threatened and endangered species,
2. restored 14 acres of Coastal Chaparral habitat,
3. sprouted and planted more than 30,000 native plant seedlings,
4. removed invasive weed species such as Ice Plant, French Broom and Pampas Grass,
5. removed illegally dumped materials on ESCA properties,
6. sponsored a Volunteer Cleanup Day for 2 miles of former Fort Ord roads,
7. created a system to report illegal trash dumping, and
8. removed dilapidated Army structures such as latrines, range towers and other Army training structures.
Since 2007 the ESCA Remediation Program has worked with local jurisdictions and community groups to provide safe coordinated access through ESCA properties to the new Fort Ord National Monument through the use of multiple ESCA roads for bikers, hikers, runners and equestrians.
The ESCA Remediation Program’s robust community involvement and outreach program has been effective in communicating and delivering valuable information concerning safe access, access restrictions and corridors and program updates via Informal Community Workshops, ESCA updates at FORA Board meetings and Army Community Information Workshops, representation at informational booths at community events, on-site information kiosks, signage at various trailheads, a dedicated ESCA website, newsletters, Facebook presence and ESCA Hotline.
For more information, please visit the ESCA website at: http://www.fora-esca-rp.com