Benicia CA – TOURTELOT PROPERTY (48970005) Housing on unexploded shells on Gunnery range

What happens when you build a housing development and then 6 years later you find unexploded artillery shells on the property? Perhaps it might have been a clue that the property was once called the Benicia Arsenal and that during World War II it was an artillery range?

Site History

Prior to 1990, the Tourtelot Property consisted of approximately 220 acres of undeveloped grassland situated in the northwest corner of the former Benicia Arsenal. The Army leased the Tourtelot Property from 1944 to 1960 for artillery testing, ordnance and explosives (OE) demilitarization, and demolition of damaged and obsolete munitions. In 1990, Granite Management Corporation (Granite) began grading the site for home construction. In 1996, Granite found concrete-filled howitzer shells and live ordnance on the site. Granite then retained the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to characterize the site for OE and chemical impacts to soil and groundwater. Contaminants on the Tourtelot Property included: petroleum hydrocarbons; polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons; dioxins/furans (combustion by-products); volatile organic compounds; trinitrotoluene; and OE.

On June 1, 1999, DTSC issued an Imminent and/or Substantial Endangerment Order to FN Projects, Inc., Pacific Bay Homes, Inc., Granite Management Company, and the United States Department of the Army. Cleanup activities completed between 1999 and 2004 rendered the property suitable for its intended use. Approximately 120 acres of the Tourtelot Property is now an unrestricted residential area with 417 homes and a 2.5-acre public park. The remaining 100 acres is restricted from excavation activity through a land use covenant with the City of Benicia, and the city submits annual monitoring reports to DTSC.

Envirostor (State of California)

Tourtelot Cleanup Project; Tourtelot Project Annual inspection and Report Form, Benicia California, City of Benicia California; Department of Toxic Substances Control, 2019 p. 3

OE DEFINITIONS

“OE” means ordnance and explosives and may include OE-Energetic, OE-Like or OE Scrap items.

“OE-Energetic”is defined as ammunition or ammunition components that contain measurable amounts of explosives that have been abandoned, expelled from demolition pits, burned, buried, lost or discarded; or soil containing 10 percent or more of explosives.

“OE-Like” refers to any item that is (1) any recognizable, intact component of an OE item that presents no explosive hazard or (2) an ordnance item, other than small arms cartridges, casings, or bullets that has retained the shape of a projectile. Examples of OE-Like items are expended fuzes, burster tubes, booster caps, rocket motors, tail fin assemblies, practice warheads or projectiles, or solid ball projectiles (such as a 37 mm armor piercing projectile).

“OE Scrap” includes those items that are fragments of intentionally destroyed items that do not contain explosives or explosive residue. OE Scrap is inert and does not pose a safety risk

Google Map

Deed Restriction / Land Use Covenant

Envirostor (State of California) Deed Restriction Page

SITE MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS

ASPHALT COVER NOT TO BE DISTURBED WITHOUT APPROVAL
DAY CARE CENTER PROHIBITED
ELDER CARE CENTER PROHIBITED
HOSPITAL USE PROHIBITED
LAND USE COVENANT
NO EXCAVATION OF CONTAMINATED SOILS WITHOUT AGENCY REVIEW AND APPROVAL
NOTIFY AFTER CHANGE OF PROPERTY OWNER
NOTIFY DAMAGES TO REMEDY AND MONITORING SYSTEMS UPON DISCOVERY
NOTIFY PRIOR TO DEVELOPMENT
PERFORM H&S PLAN PRIOR TO SUBSURFACE WORK
PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOL FOR PERSONS UNDER 21 PROHIBITED
RESIDENCE USE PROHIBITED

Editors note: it should be noted that there are houses on the site, hence the problem.

POTENTIAL CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN

2,4,6-TRINITROTOLUENE
DIOXIN (AS 2,3,7,8-TCDD TEQ)
EXPLOSIVES (UXO, MEC)
POLYNUCLEAR AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAHS)
TPH-DIESEL

Editors Note: TRINITROTOLUENE is TNT for some strange reason the deed restrictions omit the “TNT” in the name. Notice everything else has the abbreviations.

Envirostor disclaimer

 

One thought on “Benicia CA – TOURTELOT PROPERTY (48970005) Housing on unexploded shells on Gunnery range

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