SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District has completed an $18 million groundwater cleanup and environmental restoration project at the former Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Monterey, about 15 years and $4.5 million ahead of schedule.
To celebrate the completion the Corps held its final public meeting for the project at the Casanova-Oak Knolls Community Center March 19, attended by nearly 25 residents, local officials and U.S. Rep. Sam Farr.
"These kinds of projects can last someone's lifetime," said Farr at the meeting. "I've been here from the start and tonight we're all here to celebrate the finish. I'm glad it could be done while I'm still in office and that we built the trust that the community needed--that indeed this job was going to get done and there'd be a safe place for children to grow up in--and we've done that."
The U.S. Navy used the air station, now known as Monterey Regional Airport, from 1942 to 1989. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been investigating groundwater contamination at and around the airport since the early 1990s under a federal program to clean up contamination resulting from military activities. The March 19 meeting marked the end of active cleanup work for the Corps.
"Any project can be a successful project if you have the right combination of people who have a focused purpose: to accomplish the mission at hand," said Jerry Vincent, the Corps’ project manager for the site. "We had a great group of people involved from the airport, the city, the community representatives and just a great team of contractors providing the support we needed to accomplish this technical mission."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District provides planning, engineering, project management, environmental restoration and construction services to military and civilian customers in parts of eight western states, including California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming.