Working Paper

Land Use and Remedy Selection: Experience from the Field — The Fort Ord Site

Sep 1, 1997 | Kris F. Wernstedt, Robert Hersh

Abstract

In September of 1994, the Army closed the Fort Ord Military Reservation, a Superfund site of some 28,000 acres located in Monterey County, California. Under the Base Closure and Realignment Act, nearly all of this land will be transferred to federal and state entities and to a number of cities of the Monterey peninsula that border the base. A good deal of this property is valuable real estate — coastal dunes, golf courses, and barracks that can be converted to apartments or dormitories. For the beneficiaries of these property transfers the Fort Ord cleanup is a modern day gold rush that is taking place as part of a Superfund cleanup. What effect have economic development pressures had on the cleanup process and on decisions about cleanup standards? This case study addresses this question by examining: (i) how the legal requirements regulating cleanup, community involvement and reuse have been implemented by the Army and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency; and (ii) the effectiveness of two groups created by legislation to integrate reuse planning and cleanup — the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, an economic planning authority representing the area’s local governments, and the Fort Ord Restoration Advisory Board, a citizens group mandated to advise the Army about the cleanup process.