Department of the Navy Invites Public Comment on Proposed Remedial Action Plan for Munitions Response Site UXO-001, Historical Munitions Disposal Area Naval Air Station Patuxent River

February 1, 2023

In accordance with the requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River invites public comment on the Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP) for the Munitions Response (MR) Program Site UXO-001, Historical Munitions Disposal Area.

MRS UXO-001 is located south of the NAS Patuxent River installation and consists of a private beach along the Chesapeake Bay, owned by the Cedar Cove Subdivision. The private beach is bounded to the north by Pine Hill Run; to the south by a community revetment structure; to the east by the low tide level of the Chesapeake Bay; and to the west by a wooded area. From approximately 1954 to 1974, NAS Patuxent River personnel discarded a variety of excess munitions, both live and inert, into the Chesapeake Bay.

This practice was halted at NAS Patuxent River in 1974. NAS Patuxent River has responded to the appearance of munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) and material potentially presenting an explosive hazard (MPPEH) along the shoreline in and around the historic munitions disposal areas for over 30 years.

The Navy conducted periodic surveys and cleanup activities of the former seaplane basin to the north and nearby beaches, including sweeps by divers as far as 300 feet offshore. In cooperation with USEPA and MDE, and in accordance with applicable guidance and consultation, the Navy performed additional investigations at MRS UXO-001 in 2018 to evaluate the potential extent of MEC and MPPEH and to assess the potential risks to human health.

The findings of the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at MRS UXO-001 indicate it is highly unlikely that MEC and MPPEH are present at the private beach resulting from historical disposal operations immediately to the north. Furthermore, to address any uncertainty the Navy proposes the most conservative approach to ensure protection of human health and assumes the potential for MEC and MPPEH to be present. Therefore, “Action” is proposed for institutional controls at the private beach to inform residents and visitors of the potential hazard of the presence of MEC and MPPEH is proposed for MRS UXO-001.

Public comment begins on February 1, 2023, and closes on March 2, 2023. A public meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on March 8, 2023, at the Frank Knox Employee Development Building, Building 2189, Room 100, to present the PRAP for MRS UXO-001 and answer any additional comments or questions. 

PRAPs are issued as part of the Navy ER Program. The purpose of a PRAP is to describe the background and rationale for the selection of the remedy proposed by the Navy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The PRAP includes solicitation of public comments on the remedy.

The public is encouraged to comment on the PRAP. The final remedy will be selected only after the public comment period has ended. An alternative remedy may be selected for MRS UXO-001 only after all comments have been received from the public. Relevant environmental documents for MRS UXO-001, including final technical reports and the PRAP, are available at:

NAS Patuxent River Public Website Administrative Record:
St. Mary’s County Public Library
21744 FDR Boulevard
Lexington Park, MD 20653
Monday-Thursday: 9:00 a.m. — 8:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 9:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Comments may be written and mailed (postmarked by the closing date of March 9, 2023) to any of the following points of contact:

Naval Air Station Patuxent River Public Affairs Officer
Attn: Patrick Gordon
22268 Cedar Point Road
Building 409, PAO
Patuxent River, MD 20670-1154
U.S. EPA Region 3
Attn: Ms. Jenna O’Brien
NPL/BRAC Federal Facilities Branch,
Four Penn Center
1600 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2852
Maryland Department of the Environment
Attn: Mrs. Jenny Herman
Land and Materials Administration
1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 625
Baltimore, MD 21230-1719

For further information, contact the Naval Air Station Public Affairs Officer at 301-757-3343 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.