Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the Next Steps?

Over the next 18-24 months the Local Reuse Authority (LRA) will be preparing a business plan to support various transfer decisions. The primary challenge will be to find alternative infrastructure financing now that tax increment is not available through redevelopment laws. The LRA is looking at other existing financing vehicles as well as the possibility of special legislation. The LRA will also continue the ongoing efforts to secure site wide permits from regulatory agencies that will guide mitigation of impacts to sensitive habitats and threatened and endangered species. The LRA has also received a second round of grant funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) which will support some additional detailed planning of land uses near the North Concord BART Station and development phasing concepts.

During this year-and-a-half to two-year period, the Navy BRAC office has to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under federal law and conduct required consultations under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. There will be public scoping meetings on the EIS starting in late September and issuance of a draft EIS in the early spring of 2013. The Navy is also continuing to remediate various contaminated areas on the property so that land is suitable for transfer once the EIS process is completed.
Click here for Next Steps.

When and how will the property transfer?

It is estimated that actual property transfer is still a couple of years away (mid-2014). The regional open space area will be transferred via a Public Benefit Conveyance (PBC) and the property will transfer directly from the Navy to the East Bay Regional Park District with their sponsor, the U.S. National Park Service. The old Navy administrative area north of Highway 4 will also transfer via a PBC to the County Sheriff/Fire District with their sponsor, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The balance of the property will transfer at no-cost to the LRA through an Economic Development Conveyance (EDC). The LRA will then take the property to market through a competitive sale process controlled by the LRA, not the Navy. Once the property is sold, the new owners will prepare specific plans for their property and proceed through an expedited approval process. It will likely be 2016 before any construction on the Base would take place.

Is the Concord Naval Weapons Station (CNWS) closed?

The base is divided into two areas -- the Inland Area and the Tidal Area. The Inland Area of the base is now officially approved for closure under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Authority. The Tidal Area will remain in operation. The property has been transferred from Navy ownership to Army ownership.

The Inland Area is located in the northeast section of the City of Concord. It contains bunkers, and limited administrative and testing facilities. The Navy mothballed the Inland Area in 1999. This is the area that was included on the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list and the Navy will retain ownership of the property until it completes various Federal regulatory requirements and the property is deemed suitable for transfer.

The Tidal Area fronts on Suisun Bay. It contains a port and industrial buildings used by the Army. The Tidal Area was not under consideration for closure.

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How big is the Concord Naval Weapons Station?

The CNWS covers approximately 12,800 acres or approximately 20 square miles. An acre is about the size of a football field.

The Inland Area is approximately 5,028 acres or approximately 8 square miles.

The Tidal Area is approximately 7,630 acres or approximately 12 square miles.

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Are munitions still stored in the bunkers located in the Inland Area?

No, the munitions have been removed and the bunkers have been cleared by military munitions experts.

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Who will decide what happens to the land?

The U.S. Navy currently owns the land, but the City Council, serving as the Local Reuse Authority (LRA), will work with residents and interested regional stakeholders to prepare a Community Reuse Plan. The City of Concord has created the Concord Reuse Project Area Plan to allow the vision of the community reuse plan to be amended into the Concord General Plan.

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What is the Local Reuse Authority (LRA)?

The Local Reuse Authority (LRA) is the one point of contact for negotiating with the Department of Defense and the single community point of contact for all matters relating to closure of the Naval Weapons Station. The Concord City Council has been designated as the LRA. The LRA also is the entity responsible for preparing the Community Reuse Plan, which establishes the vision for base reuse by determining:

•  community goals that will guide the planning process,
•  economically and environmentally feasible land uses,
•  community facilities that will be provided through base reuse and,
•  the manner in which homeless needs will be balanced with community reuse objectives.

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How will the Reuse Plan be prepared?

The Reuse Plan is the primary planning document that will establish the community's vision for the conversion of the base from military to civilian use. The Reuse Plan will be prepared by the City Council, serving as the LRA.

The Concord City Council and City staff are committed to a collaborative and inclusive community-wide outreach and planning process. The City has been holding a series of community workshops in its role as the designated LRA. In the fall of 2006, a 21 member Community Advisory Committee was appointed by the LRA to assist in soliciting community perspectives and to advise the LRA on the development of a reuse plan. Residents will have the opportunity to comment on the plan at multiple public meetings, workshops and forums as well as through letters, surveys and e-mails.

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What is the status of the investigation and cleanup of environmental contamination at the Inland Area of CNWS?

A comprehensive program is currently underway to systematically investigate, clean up, and monitor environmental contamination that may have resulted from past operations at the base. This program began in 1983, and is being carried out by the Navy through its Installation Restoration Program (IRP) and Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP).

The Navy issued a report known as the “Environmental Conditions of Property” report. This report summarizes the historical, cultural, and environmental conditions of the property and contains a summary of the current status of the IRP and MMRP programs. The report indicates that known or suspected areas of environmental contamination are present on less than 1,200 acres of the 5,170 acre site. These areas consist of approximately 60 specific locations where past releases of hazardous substances to soil and groundwater are either suspected or are known to have occurred. These locations are currently in various stages of study, cleanup and monitoring.

A local information repository has been established by the Navy to facilitate community access to reports prepared to date on environmental conditions and cleanup activities at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The information repository is located at the Concord Public Library, located at 2900 Salvio Street in Concord, CA. The entire Administrative Record File for the Concord Naval Weapons Station is maintained at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, 1220 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92132.

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Who is responsible for the environmental cleanup?

The Navy is responsible for investigating and cleaning up the site pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA, 1986), the National Contingency Plan (NCP), and other federal and state laws and regulations.

The cleanup process is overseen by several federal and state environmental regulatory agencies. To facilitate this oversight, investigation and cleanup activities are discussed at monthly Remedial Project Managers meetings comprised of representatives from the Navy, the City, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board), and other federal and state agencies.

The Navy always retains liability for any discovery of additional contamination at an identified site or at an unknown site.

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How can the community be kept informed and participate in the environmental cleanup process?

A community-based Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was established in 1995 to review progress, provide input, and participate in the decision-making process concerning the investigation and cleanup work at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The RAB is made up of volunteer community members, base representatives, regulators and other stakeholders who reflect the diverse interests of those living and working near the base. The group meets quarterly to review technical documents and discuss cleanup activities. The meetings are open to the public.

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How will the environmental cleanup and the preparation of a base reuse plan be coordinated?

The environmental cleanup being performed by the Navy, and the base reuse plan being developed by the City of Concord as the LRA, has been closely coordinated and integrated into the Concord Community Reuse Plan and the subsequent CRP Area Plan. The cleanup levels established for the site consider and reflect the planned future land uses established by the CRP Area Plan.

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How will the Navy ensure that the land is adequately cleaned up before or after it is transferred?

The Navy is required to ensure that the base is investigated and cleaned up to a level that is protective of public health and the environment. Areas of the base cannot be transferred or sold for reuse until after the investigation and clean-up of these areas is completed, and a Finding of Suitability for Transfer (FOST) is issued by the U.S. EPA.

There is a second approval where the EPA can make a Finding of Suitability for Early Transfer (FOSET). This approach is designed to assist communities in expediting the reuse of a former base while ensuring that the cleanup is completed. Under FOSET, property may be transferred prior to the completion of cleanup, provided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the state Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) are satisfied that safeguards are in place to protect human health and the environment. The Navy remains liable after transfer to complete or fund the completion of the required cleanup in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment. The cleanup must still meet all EPA, DTSC and RWQCB requirements.

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Contact Information

If you have any questions about the City of Concord's reuse planning process, please contact:

Michael Wright, Executive Director, Local Reuse Authority
City of Concord
1950 Parkside Drive, MS/56
Concord, CA 94519
Phone: (925) 671-3019
Or via e-mail to: michael.wright@ci.concord.ca.us


If you have any questions about the Navy's environmental cleanup process, please contact:

Scott Anderson, BRAC Environmental Coordinator
Navy BRAC Program Management Office West
1455 Frazee Road, Suite 900
San Diego, CA 92108
Phone (619) 532-0938, Fax (619) 532-0780
Or via e-mail to: scott.d.anderson@navy.mil

 

 
City of Concord CA