Innovation Pays off at McClellan Business Park

  • Published
  • By Susan Wolbarst
  • AFRPA / PA
Today, the Air Force and Sacramento County, together with McClellan Business Park and environmental regulators celebrated the largest property transfer to date at the former McClellan Air Force Base, Sacramento, CA.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) and Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics, Mr. Terry Yonkers spoke at the event held at McClellan's Aerospace Museum of California. The ceremony marked the transfer of 560 acres including a variety of industrial facilities, office buildings, a hotel, and housing. An innovative, multiagency agreement referred to as an early transfer with privatized cleanup facilitated the transfer from the Air Force to Sacramento County and then to McClellan Business Park, the developer for the former base, bringing the total acreage transferred to approximately 1,300 acres.

"McClellan's early transfer with privatized cleanup is good for the Air Force because we can hand off our environmental role to the EPA and reduce our environmental liability through a negotiated cost agreement," said Yonkers. "Encouraging efficiencies in the redevelopment process is good for the community, because it translates into more jobs."

"This transfer represents a major milestone in McClellan's transformation into a vital economic engine for Sacramento County," said Roger Dickinson, Chair of the Sacramento Board of Supervisors who also spoke at the event. "Bringing this land into our local control is a smart investment for the region and will stimulate the creation of new businesses and jobs."

"Here at McClellan we're at the forefront of combining cleanup and redevelopment while addressing complex environmental and community concerns," said Phil Mook, senior representative for the Air Force Real Property Agency. "The success of this unique transfer speaks to the dedication and teamwork of everyone involved," he noted.

In 1987, the 3,000-acre installation was added to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List due to contaminants in the soil and groundwater. Since then, the Air Force has worked with the U.S. EPA and the State of California's, Department of Toxic Substances Control and Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board to clean the property before transferring it to the county for redevelopment.

Under the agreement, McClellan Business Park, with oversight from U.S. EPA, will be responsible for addressing contamination in the first 15 feet of soil below the surface. This allows redevelopment and cleanup to proceed in tandem, resulting in much efficiency. The developer can hold title to the property, easing financing negotiations with lenders and investors. In addition, it puts them in the driver's seat for scheduling, permitting and coordination with regulators.

Other distinguished guests at the event included Jane Diamond from EPA Region IX, and Stewart Black from Cal EPA. The ceremony was presided over by Larry Kelley, President of McClellan Park LLC.

McClellan Air Force Base closed in 2001 following the 1995 recommendation of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. Today, it's one of the largest economic development and infill reuse projects in Northern California. Some 15,000 people live and work on McClellan Park. Sacramento County estimates that when fully developed the Park will have 35,000 jobs and generate over $6.6 million per year in local property tax and $1.1 million per year in local sales tax revenue.

The Air Force Real Property Agency is responsible for remediation and property transfer at 40 former Air Force installations throughout the U.S. under the Base Realignment and Closure program. At the height of the BRAC process, AFRPA managed 87,000 acres, or about 137 square miles of property. In the two decades since the first BRAC in 1988, the agency has transferred 88 percent, more than 116 square miles of land - twice the area of Washington, D.C. - to local communities for public use. Throughout the transfer process, the Air Force remains committed to protecting human health and the environment.

Media Contact:
Linda Geissinger
Regional Public Affairs Officer
Air Force Real Property Agency
3411 Olson St, Suite 105
McClellan, CA 95652-1071
Phone: (916) 643-6420 x109
Cell: (916) 708-1526