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Munitions Response
Munitions Response page

Phone: (858) 307-6702
Fax: (858) 307-4200


The U.S. Armed Forces train as they fight and under realistic battle conditions. There is no substitute for effective training. However, as a result of years of training activity, unexploded ordnance (UXO), discarded military munitions and munitions constituents are present to some degree at most training facilities and sites.
The Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) was established in 2001 to manage the environmental, health and safety issues presented by UXO, discarded military munitions and munitions constituents. The MMRP is an element of the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), under which the Secretary of Defense carries out environmental restoration resulting from historical activities. The DERP, through the Installation Restoration Program (IRP), had historically focused on cleaning up sites contaminated with hazardous components, including explosives, but generally has not addressed either UXO or challenges presented by sites containing discarded military munitions and munitions constituents.

The Department of Defense (DoD) established the Military Munitions Response Program to reflect the statutory program goals established for the DERP, to enhance understanding of the nature of munitions response sites, and to manage response activities more effectively. Since the DERP is intended to address environmental problems remaining from past practices, the MMRP does not cover munitions responses for areas that operated after fiscal year 2002.

Important elements of the MMRP are as follows:

  • Requires the DoD to establish and maintain an inventory of non-operational ranges that contain or are suspected to contain UXO, discarded military munitions or munitions constituents;
  • Establishes the requirement to identify, characterize, track and report data on MMRP sites and response actions;
  • Requires a sequencing process to prioritize site cleanup and site-specific cost estimates to complete the response;
  • Requires installations to program and budget for MMRP response actions.  


Federal Laws and Executive Orders

  • Executive Order (EO) 12580, as amended by EO 12777, delegates most of the President’s CERCLA authority to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, in the case of releases and threatened releases on or from DoD properties not on the National Priorities List (NPL), the President has delegated his authority to DoD. Accordingly, DoD serves as the Lead Agency at DoD installations.  DoD has re-delegated its Lead Agency Status to the individual military departments.  Within DON, NAVFAC has been delegated program responsibility to plan and implement response actions at all DON (including Marine Corps) installations. More information on the IR Program can be found by clicking here.

Marine Corps and Department of Defense Policy

Program Overview

The DON Munitions Response Program, typically abbreviated as MRP, was established to manage the environmental, health, and safety issues presented by munitions and explosives of concern (MEC), including unexploded ordnance (UXO), discarded military munitions (DMM), and munitions constituents (MC) on closed ranges. MEC at MCAS Miramar was the result of munitions debris from training exercises by various military entities during their historical tenure on the installation.

A Preliminary Assessment (PA) was conducted for the MCAS Miramar’s MRP in 2008 resulting in 11 Munitions Response Sites (MRS) requiring further study. Individual PAs were conducted at each of these eleven sites. One additional site was added to the program in August 2010, increasing the number of total number of MRS on MCAS Miramar to 12. Site Inspection (SI) Reports were submitted in 2011, as referenced in the subsections to follow, resulting in recommendations for No Further Action (NFA) for seven of the 12 MRS, and further evaluation for the remaining sites.

Closed MRP Sites

  • MRP Site 2: Shot Gun Range
  • MRP Site 3: Former Skeet Range
  • MRP Site 7: Rifle Range 2 and 3
  • MRP Site 8: Pistol Range 12
  • MRP Site 9: Pistol Range
  • MRP Site 12: Bomb Target (Kearny Field)
  • MRP Site 13: Bore Sight Range

 Active MRP Sites

  • MRP Site 1:  Grenade Course
  • MRP Site 5: Skeet Range
  • MRP Site 6: Pistol Ranges 5 - 7
  • MRP Site 10: Pistol Range 9 - 11
  • MRP Site 15: Rifle Range – 200 Targets

The Community Relations Plan (CRP) is an update every 5 years for Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar's Installation Restoration (IR) Program and the Munitions Response Program (MRP). It was developed to enhance community relations through education and involvement of community members. It explains how the United States Marine Corps (USMC) will engage the community surrounding MCAS Miramar in the cleanup process at MCAS Miramar in San Diego, California.


Any digging, grading, clearing, mowing, or grubbing in contaminated sites will require compliance with the following:

a. Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires that hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) training on contaminated sites for construction personnel.

b. A 40-hour trained monitor personnel, with experience in identifying contaminated soil and groundwater, will need to be present during subsurface work.

c. Coordination with MCAS Miramar Environmental Management Department, Installation Restoration Program Manger and approval from the Remedial Project Manger (RPM) at Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and concurrence from Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) will be needed before execution of the above mentioned any action to ensure conformance with CERCLA requirements.


MR Site Synopsis

  • MRP Site 01:

The Grenade Course comprises 30.4 acres and is in approximate center of the base, bisected by I-15. The western third of the site was used as practice range for grenades, including MKII, M21 practice grenades, and MKI1 training grenades, between 1941 and 1943. In October 2003, the Cedars Wildfire burned through the area east of I-15 where the Grenade Course is located. During the 2007 PA, there was no evidence of MEC, resulting in a recommendation for NFA for MEC at the site; however, during SI fieldwork in  2010, munitions debris was present, including one grenade handle and one cap from a can. Although these items represent a relatively low risk, the SI recommended an RI/FS for MC to ensure the site is clear of any potential hazards.

  • MRP Site 02:

Servicemen used an outdoor shotgun sighting range at the former NAAS Camp Kearny during the mid-1940s into the early 1950s. The Shot Gun Range (MRS 2) overlapped the Former Skeet Range (MRS 3). The majority of the area comprising MRS 2 has been developed, providing the base with a flight operations and support area including Hangars 5 and 6, and asphalt parking areas to the north of the hangars. The 2007 Preliminary Assessment (PA) (MARRS, 2008a) resulted in no observation of MC. MRS 2 was closed with NFA required on September 25, 2007.

  • MRP Site 03:

The outdoor skeet range (MRS 3) that overlapped the shotgun sighting range (MRS 2) at the former NAAS Camp Kearny was used throughout the 1940s and early 1950s. The site has been developed as a flight operations and support area within the fenced-in airfield portion of the installation, including Hangars 5 and 6, a concrete ramp leading to the hangars, and asphalt parking areas to the north of the hangars which provide a staging area for helicopters. The 2007 PA (MARRS, 2008b) resulted in no observation of MEC or MC,

  • MRP Site 05:

The Skeet Range was used between 1964 and 1980, providing up to eight firing positions for shot gun skeet (20 gauge) shooting. By 1996, natural vegetation covered the range completely. Following the 2007 PA, SI fieldwork in 2010 resulted in observations of munitions debris, including empty shotgun shells, shotgun shell pieces, and areas of accumulated lead pellets from expended shotgun ammunition. In addition, accumulated skeet fragments were also observed at the former range. Surface soil sampling resulted in detection of MC, including results above human health project screening levels for metals associated with shotgun shell debris. The SI resulted in the recommendation for an RI/FS with a focus on MC for MRS 5.  A RI? FS is scheduled for 2015.

  • MRP Site 06:

MRS 6, approximately 3.68 acres in size with three ranges, is north of the airfield, south of Miramar Road, and on the northern side of Rose Canyon (IR Site 2), approximately 2,000 feet north of the former Camp Kearny boundary. It is estimated that the ranges were in use for two to three years for small arms (.45 caliber) training, between 1917 and 1920; since that time, the site has remained undeveloped.
No MEC was observed during SI fieldwork in 2010. Soil samples taken during the SI confirmed that metals associated with munitions had concentrations detected above the range of installation background metals values for soil and ecological project screening levels. In addition, concentrations of total lead were detected above human health project screening levels. Based on these results, an RI/FS has been recommended for MRS 6.

  • MRP Site 07:

The ranges that made up MRS 7 were used for small arms training (.30 caliber) from 1917 – 1920, located on approximately 12.4 acres in the northwestern portion of the installation within the footprint of the current MCAS Miramar Golf Course. Results from the 2007 PA reported no observance of MEC or MC, and soils sample results were within acceptable ranges for human health and ecological screening levels. (MPI, 2011a) The site was closed on February 28, 2011 with NFA required.
A portion of the former range is located off base, and will be addressed by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) under the Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) program, which is responsible for the evaluation and cleanup of former military ranges that are no longer located on active military bases. This program is independent of the Navy/Marine Corps’ MRP and will not be associated with installation environmental cleanup efforts.

  • MRP Site  08:

MRS Site 8 is located on approximately .69 acres in the central portion of the installation, just south of Johnson Road in San Clemente Canyon. The range was used for small arms (.45 caliber) training from 1917 - 1920. The MRS is in the canyon drainage way and has become overgrown with vegetation. No MC was observed during the 2007 PA, and soils sample results determined that soils were not a health concern to humans or the environment. The 2010 SI resulted in a recommendation for NFA at MRS 8, and the site was closed on February 28, 2011.

  • MRP Site 09:

MRS 9 was used between 1917 and 1920 for small arms (.45 caliber) training in on the eastern side of former Camp Kearny. During the 2008 PA (MARRS, 2008c), it was determined MRS 9 is located beneath the northbound and southbound lanes of I-52 at the SR-52 West / Clairemont Mesa Boulevard off-ramp. The site is contained within the interstate, consisting of concrete and asphalt, along with a contoured embankment covered with erosion control landscaping and rocks. With the extensive construction of the freeways in that area, it was determined that any residual MEC or MC would have been removed during site preparation for the roadways and the interchange. In accordance with the results from the PA, the site was closed on November 15, 2007.

  • MRP Site 010:

Pistol Ranges 9-11 are located in the southernmost portion of the installation, just north of the southern boundary, south of the airfield on the northern side of San Clemente Canyon, and north of the J. Harris Quarry site, which is privately-owned land used for sand and gravel extraction. The ranges were in use between 1917 and 1920 for small arms training with .45 caliber pistols. The site currently consists of approximately 1.98 acres of undeveloped land, much of which is located within the area where lead shot from a recreational range would be anticipated to occur. Soils sampling conducted during the 2010 SI resulted in metals values above Human Health Project Screening Levels, possibly due to overshot from the recreational range, based on the location of the surface danger zone of the recreational skeet and trap range. An RI/FS with a focus on MC has been recommended for MRS 10.

  • MRP Site 012:

In the early 1940s, the Navy extended the runway at the former US Naval Air Station San Diego (now MCAS Miramar) and acquired additional land north of the field for the relocation of the Dive Bombing Target at the base. Practice bombs weighing three-pounds each were used in this target area prior to 1940 through approximately 1942. MRS 12 is located in the middle of the operational runways at MCAS Miramar and the majority of the site is currently covered by paved or concrete surfaces associated with the airfield. The 2007 PA found no evidence of MEC or munitions debris, and determined that soils were not a health concern to humans or the environment. (MPI, 2011c) MRS 12 was closed with NFA required on February 28, 2011.

  • MRP Site 013:

The Bore Site Range was an outdoor range that was in use between 1946 and 1968. The range was used to calibrate wing-mounted guns on aircraft, and was located adjacent to the taxiway at the installation’s airfield. In 1969, the outdoor range was replaced by a tunneled Bore Sight Range, which was used until 2000. Munitions used in this area included .30 caliber, .50 caliber cartridge, and 20 millimeter ammunition. The MRS is approximately 19 acres and is located adjacent to the active MCAS Miramar airfield. Currently, the area is covered by a tarmac associated with a flight line fueling station, former firing pads, and undeveloped land covered with sparse vegetation.
An SI was completed in 2010, which reported elevated levels for metals associated with munitions, yet all analytical results were below the risk screening levels for human health. Munitions debris was observed during the SI, including projectiles from used target practice rounds. MRS 13 was recommended for an RI/FS with a focus on metals was conducted 2014 and was closed with NFA required. 

  • MRP Site 015:

MRS 15 is made up of 28 acres in the northwestern portion of the installation. The site was a former rifle range limited to .30 caliber rifle ammunition used between 1917 – 1920, consisting of a target berm and three firing lines. The site is currently located beneath the installation golf course and its parking areas, associated buildings on the east side of Anderson Avenue, as well as beneath the recreational field on the northeast corner of Anderson Avenue and Bauer Road.

A PA/SI for MRS 15 was conducted in 2010, at which time it was added to the installation’s MRP. No evidence of MEC, munitions debris, or historical range features (berms) were observed during PA/SI fieldwork; however elevated metals values resulted in a recommendation for an RI/FS for MRS 15. 





As part of our commitment, all projects, planning and POA&Ms are tracked, followed and resolved using the Marine Corps' latest online tracking system.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the Munitions Response Program (MRP).
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar-EMS