A hazardous waste cleanup project aimed at removing contaminated soil from a former Point Mugu storage yard and restoring wetlands has been completed, Navy officials said Tuesday.
During the winter and spring, Navy workers cleared about 14,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from a 12-acre site once used to store vehicles and maintenance parts. The storage yard was in operation from the 1960s until last year. Officials estimate about 40 gallons of transformer fluid leaked onto the site. Sandblasting at the yard also contaminated the soil with arsenic, copper and lead, officials said.
The storage yard was located near the center of Naval Air Weapons Station, just off Mugu Lagoon. After clearing out the soil and razing old buildings, workers dug a channel from the lagoon to the cleanup site. Two small islands, mud flats, and a tidal creek have been restored, base spokeswoman Cora Fields said.
Officials hope endangered birds will be attracted to an area that suffered from a lack of environmental awareness, Fields said.
"If something leaked on the ground, they'd just throw dirt on it--that was standard practice," she said. "We're hoping to attract species who've lost habitat for nesting."