Asbestos detected in base soil

According to a press release issued this week by officials of the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, a site inspection revealed asbestos-containing material scattered throughout the vacant lot located north of Blandy Avenue, and the subsequent detection of substance in the surface soil. contains detectable levels of asbestos in the surface soil.

“Lab test results indicate chrysotile asbestos in some areas of the soil,” says the press release. “Given the new test results, the NAWS commanding officer [Capt. Paul Dale], in consultation with the base, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Division Environmental and Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center asbestos experts, has decided to restrict all access to the lot until further analysis can be performed.”

The issue reportedly came to light near the end of April when a request was initiated to support a potential helicopter landing and heavy equipment staging on the vacant lot that previously contained now-demolished base housing.

After test results confirmed the presence of asbestos in material, use of the lot was denied as a helicopter landing and staging zone.

The Public Works Department will install a temporary fence around the lot to prevent vehicle and pedestrian access. This action will be followed by additional assessment and action to prevent movement of soil from the site.

Other areas where base housing was demolished have been submitted for inclusion in the Installation Restoration program for analysis and action, as required.

The local community can be involved in this process by attending public Restoration Advisory Board meetings.

The RAB next meets Aug. 28 at 4:30 p.m. at the Indian Wells Valley Water District office. For info call the NAWS Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at 760-939-8000 or the Public Affairs Office at 760-939-1683.

Story First Published: 2018-06-29