The Subic Naval Base is located some 120 km north of Manila, directly in the path of international shipping lanes. Since 1990, NGOs both inside and outside of the Philippines have reported that military activity in both locations had been contributing to extensive pollution of the Subic Bay. Both the Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Force Base were abandoned in 1992, leaving all the preexisting pollution untreated and uncovered in the environment. The Naval facility had no comprehensive sewage system or sewage treatment, instead dumping all waste directly into Subic Bay. Lead and heavy metals from the ship repair facility were also similarly dumped into the Bay.
The Clark Air Base was evacuated following a volcanic eruption in September of 1991. The eruption put a massive amount of ash into the air, as well as decimated a large portion of land and residential areas. The fallout from the volcanic eruption left several groundwater drinking wells contaminated. At the initial stages of this project, the Subic Bay housed 14 identified contaminated sites, as well as 12 potentially contaminated sites