Case: Vieques/AFWTA, PR
The Vieques Island Atlantic Fleet Weapons
Training Area (AFWTA) Superfund Site was used by the U.S. Navy for military
operations from the 1940s until 2003.
Vieques Island, seven miles southeast of mainland
Remedial investigation and munitions response
activities are ongoing.
Since the 1940s, the eastern side of the island was
used for military training exercises, including naval gunfire and aerial
bombing, while the western side was used for storage, open burning and
detonation of munitions. Beginning in 2001, the U.S. Navy turned over land on
the western end of Vieques Island to the Municipality of Vieques, the U.S.
Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust. In
early 2003, the Navy ceased all operations and finalized the transfer of
property on the eastern end of the island to DOI for use as a wildlife refuge,
with the former Live Impact Area to be managed as a wilderness area closed to
The site was added to the National Priorities List on February 11, 2005. The
Navy is conducting site investigations and cleanup activities on the island
through both environmental and munitions response programs. NOAA provides
scientific support to the Navy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board regarding
these ongoing response activities. NOAA is also helping to facilitate
cleanup and restoration of Vieques Island through a variety of other