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Site Investigation/Site Assessment, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field, San Clemente Island, CA

San Clemente Island (SCI) is located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 78 miles northwest of San Diego and 63 miles southeast of Long Beach. Accord Engineering was selected to provide a Site Assessment/Site Investigation to evaluate the nature and extent of impacts to soil and/or soil vapor from historic on-site operations at nine IR sites.

The first major challenge to performing operations at SCI is the logistics of mobilization and demobilization. All equipment and materials, including water and food, must be transported to and from the island via a barge that departs once a week. Personnel must be transported via chartered air. Accord Engineering coordinated the transportation of over 180,000 lbs of equipment for this project, including a jobsite trailer and vehicles. In addition, sample holding times were considered and 10 flights were charted strictly for the transportation of the 350 samples to the mainland. Once received on the mainland, the samples were inspected, repackaged, and delivered to the carrier by Accord Engineering.

In addition to the logistical challenges presented by working on an island, SCI harbors more endemic flora and fauna than any other islands in the Channel Island archipelago. There are currently 533 documented species present on SCI, with 48 of them endemic. Additionally, 17 federally or state-listed threatened/endangered species are present on SCI, including eight plants, one reptile, seven birds, and one mammal. As a result of SCI's isolation from the mainland, the number of endemic species, and the history of anthropogenic disturbance, conservation of SCI flora and fauna receives high priority from a variety of private and public organizations. The sampling activities were scheduled during winter and coordinated so that the potential impact to the protected habitats and breeding activities could be minimized.

Sampling effort occurred over a 3-week period. The Accord Engineering sampling team worked 12-hour days, 6 days a week to perform both the sampling efforts and debris mapping. Sampling methods included hand augering, hollow-stem augering, direct push, and installation of soil vapor probes to collect soil vapor via SUMMA canisters. All sample and debris spatial data (from the debris mapping) were recorded and plotted using ArcGIS. These data were then uploaded to the Naval Installation Restoration Information Solution (NIRIS) and are maintained and accessible over the lifecycle of the IR program and beyond. With the entire fieldwork scheduled in a winter season, which increased the logistical challenges, the sampling activities were completed on time, within budget, and without incidents. All data were validated and successfully met stringent data quality objectives.

More pictures from this very important project