The first round of base closings in 1988 addressed Cameron Station, long the home of the Defense Logistics Agency. All 165 acres were declared excess, and the Station's major activities were relocated to Fort Belvoir in 1995. Cameron Station ceased its mission on September 30, 1995. 101 acres of Cameron Station were sold to a private developer in December 1996. The remaining 63 acres were transferred to the City of Alexandria Parks Department.
The former Army Cameron Station consisted of 164 acres within the City of Alexandria, Virginia. Cameron Station was a sub-installation of the Fort Myer Military Community in Arlington, Virginia. Cameron Station was used as a general depot on land first purchased in 1941. Cameron Station provided administrative, commissary and post exchange support, as well as vehicle washing and maintenance shops, a steam plant and grounds maintenance. Cameron Station also served as the Headquarters location for the Defense Logistics Agency, as well as host to other smaller tenant activities including print shops and photographic laboratories.
When representatives of the Army and the city of Alexandria, Va. ceremonially lowered the flag for the last time and locked the gate at Cameron Station in September 1995, it marked the end of an era. It also marked a success story of cooperation between the Army and the civilian community, but did not mark the immediate transfer of the property.
The transfer process continued after closure, because the property was not quite ready to transfer. Like nearly any old industrial facility, Cameron Station needed cleaning up. Some of the storage and disposal procedures for petroleum products, cleaning solvents, battery acid and other industrial substances that were followed for decades have become unacceptable in the new age of environmental awareness.
At Cameron Station, the Army removed underground and above-ground storage tanks, excavated contaminated soil, removed or enclosed asbestos and recorded lead-based paint in buildings that will be torn down. All the necessary cleanup has been accomplished, except for three areas that require long-term treatment and monitoring.
The bottom line is that 63 acres of Cameron Station became property of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which transfered it to Alexandria. The remaining acreage belongs to the developer, Greenvest L.C., which began demolishing the old brick buildings to make room for houses. In December 1996, the Army accepted $33 million for 101 acres of property at Cameron Station. More than 2,000 housing units were constructed, and commercial space was developed. The new owner also committed an additional $3.5 million to build recreational facilities. The next time Cameron Station appeared in the news was in the real-estate ads when the newest additions to Alexandria's tax base went on the market.
When the U.S. Army sold a major portion of the former Cameron Station to a private company for $33 million, the residents of Alexandria, Virginia benefited. Where the Army and the Defense Logistics Agency once conducted critical defense operations, there now will be new homes, sports fields, tennis courts, and playgrounds. This success story demonstrates the huge benefits to the community that are made possible by the cooperative efforts of federal, state, and local agencies and local citizens.
Focusing on the sale of the property in the early stages of the cleanup, personnel at the installation worked with environmental regulators to use new fast-track cleanup procedures and regulatory mechanisms to move the administrative process forward and actively involve citizens in cleanup decisions. Short- and long-term cleanup approaches, such as removing underground storage tanks and implementing a pump-and-treat technology to clean up contaminated groundwater, demonstrated that necessary cleanups had been completed or that they were in place and operating properly. That success allowed the Army to continue long-term treatment of contaminated groundwater at the former installation. The creative and common-sense efforts of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) cleanup team (BCT) at Cameron Station made possible steady and cost-effective cleanup in preparation for transfer of the military installation--bringing real benefits to the community.
Cameron Station is bordered on two sides by Holmes Run and Backlick Run which converge to form Cameron Run. Removal of flow restrictions along these streams during redevelopment removed Cameron Station from the 100-year flood plain. The single shallow aquifer underlying Cameron Station is associated with the Piedmont and Coastal Plain ground water systems. It ranges from 10 to 20 feet below the surface, is not currently used as a drinking water source, and is deed restricted on-site. Municipal and private wells are prohibited by city policy. The site originally contained wetlands areas but was filled by the Army from 4 to 6 feet, and by the developer up to 14 additional feet. Wetlands are restricted by steep slopes to correspond with the stream banks. Cameron Lake was classified as a wetland, but the Army Corps of Engineers subsequently waived any permitting requirements. Cameron Lake is now used by the City as a stormwater management feature. Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Areas occur at Cameron Station and include a 100-foot buffer area along the surface water features.
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