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Abstract

A remedial investigation (RI) was performed in an area downgradient from an abandoned missile silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, as part of the United States Air Force Installation Restoration Program (IRP). A number of complementary investigative techniques were used to assure a reliable assessment of site contamination. These included the review of aerial photographs, the use of an organic vapor analyzer (OVA) and carbon adsorption/mass spectrometer (MS) method to conduct a soil-gas survey; magnetic and electromagnetic geophysical surveys; bedrock permeability testing; and the chemical analysis of soil, sediment, surface water, and ground water samples. The results from this investigation revealed the presence of an undocumented landfill and a small trichloroethylene plume in ground water at concentrations ranging from 6.7 ppb to 31 ppb. The investigation also identified local ground water flow direction, provided strong evidence of the location of potential sources of contamination, and defined the downgradient extent of ground water contamination. Because the identified contaminants have not as yet reached the environmentally sensitive wetland at the base of the slope below this facility, there is still time to propose remedial alternatives that would serve to protect this environmentally sensitive area.