Soil from a fire pit and rubble disposal areas with toxic levels of chemicals and heavy metals will be removed from Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach (NOLF IB) in March, said Naval Region Southwest spokeswoman Angelic Dolan.
Trucks started bringing clean soil to the Naval Base Coronado installation to replace the contaminated soil Jan. 8 and will continue through Feb. 12.
About 5,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed from NOLF IB from March 11 to April 5.
About 15 to 20 trucks daily will travel north and south on 13th Street and east and west on Palm Avenue during the project.
Clean soil will be transported from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. while contaminated soil will be moved from 7-10:30 a.m.
To minimize impact, removal of contaminated soil will take place during two weeks of spring break (March 18-29) for students at Mendoza, Central and Emory elementary schools near the route trucks will take to Interstate 5, Dolan said.
Soil and groundwater samples dating back to the 1980s confirmed that the areas contain hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds and lead, arsenic and mercury that can be harmful to the health of people, plants and animals.
According to multiple studies prepared for the Navy, direct contact or inhalation of the substances can result in adverse impact to a person's lungs, heart, brain, kidneys and red and white blood cells.
One of the areas known as Site 6 was regularly packed with diesel fuel and used as a firefighter training area and later for rubble disposal. The other, known as Site 7, was used as a skeet shooting range and for rubble disposal.
The close proximity of the toxins to the Tijuana River raised concern that they could leech into the river that flows to the Pacific Ocean less than a mile away.