24 Bases with reported TCE water contamination
(Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)

McClellan Air Force Base

McClellan AFB, CA

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McClellan Air Force Base (McAFB), an active aircraft maintenance facility since 1936, is located approximately seven miles northeast of Sacramento, in Sacramento County, California, and covers 2,952 acres. Operations at the base have involved the use, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials, including industrial solvents, caustic cleaners, electroplating chemicals, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), low-level radioactive wastes, and various fuel oils and lubricants. For remedial purposes, the base is divided geographically into eight operable units (OUs); contaminant characterization is ongoing. McAFB has identified 239 locations as confirmed or potential sources of contamination.
In 1979, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in groundwater. Contaminated groundwater plumes emanating from McAFB are responsible for the closing of two municipal wells and several base supply wells. In 1986, approximately 550 homes west of the site were connected to municipal water supplies. In addition, groundwater at McAFB has been treated with an activated carbon filter system to remove contaminants from the groundwater.
Contaminants of concern [including VOCs, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals] have been detected on site in groundwater, surface soil, subsurface soil, air, sediment, and surface water, and off site in groundwater, sediment, surface soil, and air. People have been, are being, or may be exposed through inhalation and ingestion of, or dermal contact with, the contaminants. Past exposure pathways have been identified for private wells and base supply wells. Because the locations and use status of all private wells are not known, unidentified private wells pose potential exposure pathways. Past, present, and potential future exposures exist for surface soil, sediment, and ambient air pathways. The listing of contaminants of concern in a human exposure pathway does not mean that adverse health effects will result from those exposures. ATSDR evaluated the exposures for each chemical in each completed exposure pathway to determine if there is a public health concern.
The community, including off-site property owners and on-site workers, is concerned about exposures to contaminants from McAFB. Off-site residents are concerned about health effects from exposures to contaminants in the groundwater and sediment and surface water in Magpie Creek.
ATSDR's toxicological evaluation of the chemicals in the human exposure pathways indicated several areas of concern. Those concerns are discussed in detail in the Toxicologic Evaluation Section of the public health assessment.
Past off-site exposures by the private well pathway indicate an increased risk of developing cancer (for the VOCs 1,2-DCA, 1,1-DCE, TCE, and vinyl chloride, and arsenic) and an increased risk of developing adverse noncancerous health effects from exposures to vinyl chloride and cadmium. Past and present exposures of children to cadmium by incidental ingestion of and dermal contact with contaminated sediments in Magpie Creek may result in an increased risk of developing adverse noncancerous health effects.
Past and present inhalation exposures to benzene, 1,1-DCE, and TCE in the ambient air at Stations 2 and 4, and incidental ingestion and dermal contact with PCBs in surface soil at the DRMO yard are of public health concern and may result in an increased risk of developing cancer. In addition, there is an increased risk of developing adverse noncancerous health effects as a result of inhalation exposures to mercury in building 252.
Because of the contaminant concentrations emanating from the southern and western portions of McAFB and the completed human exposure pathways, ATSDR has concluded that the site is a public health hazard. (This conclusion category is defined in Table 21.) ATSDR is unable to completely evaluate the public health implications of several of the on-site OUs because contamination has not been characterized. To further characterize the OUs, ATSDR recommends additional sampling of on- and off-site soil gas, on-site surface soil and ambient air, off-site sediment and surface water in Magpie Creek, ambient air (breathing zone) in nearby homes, and biota. In addition, ATSDR recommends surveying residents in the identified groundwater plume areas about their well use, and continued monitoring of base water supply wells.
The ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has evaluated the data and information in this public health assessment and determined several health actions are necessary for this NPL site. Health actions include health education for health professionals and the community, community health investigations, comprehensive epidemiologic studies, and a community assistance panel (CAP). The public health action plan defines the implementation of those health actions.
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