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Site Report: Amchitka - Navy


Site Name: Amchitka - Navy
Address: Amchitka Island, Amchitka, AK 99546
File Number: 2512.38.004
Hazard ID: 1331
Status: Active
Staff: Wendy Hansen, 9072693059 wendy.hansen@alaska.gov
Latitude: 51.367000
Longitude: 179.242333
Horizontal Datum:

We make every effort to ensure the data presented here is accurate based on the best available information currently on file with DEC. It is therefore subject to change as new information becomes available. We recommend contacting the assigned project staff prior to making decisions based on this information.

Problems/Comments

Sites on Amchitka Island that are Navy responsibility resulted chiefly from activity related to a Relocatable Over The Horizon Radar (ROTHR) station on the western side of the island and fuel storage facilities near Constantine Harbor. Several support facilties (fuel storage, vehicle maintanence, lodging) were located at the WWII Base Camp area. Some of these support facilities were associated with various petroleum issues and some minor PCB transformer spills. The largest Navy site involved PCB contamination in a sewage lagoon near South Hanger at the old Army Base. Sludge in the lagoon was removed in 2001 and the footprint of the lagoon was capped. During the 2001 multi-agency cleanup all the buildings on the island were removed and a variety of petroleum sites were cleaned up. A complete Navy site listing can be found in the ROTHR closure report (2003). The Navy is producing a proposed plan for the remaining petroleum sites and an ecological evaluation for the sewage lagoon (2006).

Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
11/30/1999 Site Added to Database Various petroleum issues plus a PCB impacted sewage lagoon. Jeff Brownlee
3/14/2000 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Initial ranking. Jeff Brownlee
9/28/2000 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed a 50% design submittal on a building demolision and debris removal to be done on the island this summer. Buildings include the old ROTHR facility, several other Navy support buildings and several ASTs and USTs. The design also included the remediation of the sewage lagoon and PCB impacted sludge. Jeff Brownlee
1/16/2001 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed an Ecological Assessment/FONSI for the work to be performed this summer on the island. The Corps of Engineers produced the EA/FONSI for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The ADEC agreed that no significant impact would result from the multi-agency cleanup planned for this summer. Major work includes the DOE stabilizing the drilling mudpits and the Navy demolishing a number of buildings including the ROTHR facility, and performing a cleanup action at the sewage lagoon. Jeff Brownlee
4/6/2001 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed and commented on a draft workplan for remediation of a PCB impacted sewage lagoon and Building Demolition/Debris Removal on Amchitka Island. The Navy plans to remove the sludge from the lagoon, dewater in a centrifuge, dry in a thermal dryer and dispose off island. Standing water on the lagoon and water from operations will be treated in a diatomaceous plate-filter press and discharged to the ground surface after meeting discharge criteria sampling at the on-site laboratory. The lagoon bottom will then be confirmation sampled and backfilled and seeded. The building demolition involves 57 buildings. Many of the buildings were constructed in the mid 1980s for the Navy's Relocatable Over the Horizon Radar (ROTHR) Station. Other building belong to the Fish and Wildlife Service and date back to World War II. Several large AST, and six registered USTs will be decommissioned. Contaminated soil associated with the tank removals will attempt to be remediated by HAVE system. Jeff Brownlee
5/11/2001 Cleanup Plan Approved Staff issued an approval letter for the Navy work planned on Amchitka Island this summer. Planned work includes the remediation of a PCB impacted sewage lagoon and a large building demolition project. Demolition will include the removal of several USTs and ASTs. Jeff Brownlee
7/31/2001 Update or Other Action Staff visited the island and performed site inspections at various sites being cleaned up by the Navy, Department of Energy and the Corps of Engineers. The three agencies are conducting a joint cleanup effort this summer and sharing the cost of mobilization and support. There are currently about 100 people on the island with full camp facilities. The DOE is making good progress on the drilling mud pits from the nuclear drilling program in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There are six separate sites that include eleven mud pits. Currently the DOE contractors are working on drill site D, which includes the three largest mud pits and the Longshot site, which has the most contaminated mud pits. The contractors are mixing sands and gravel with the drill muds and closing the pits in-place. A 30-mil liner is being placed over the mixed soil and a soil cap placed over that and seeded. The muds are impacted with DRO and chromium. The Navy is making good progress on the sewage lagoon cleanup in spite of some technical problems. The lagoon was contaminated with PCBs at levels up to 400 mg/kg. Approximately 1200 cubic yards of sludge is being slurried off and put through a centrifuge. The solids are then dried in thermal dryer for transport off the island. The fluids are treated through an engineered water treatment system and discharged on-site. The Corps of Engineers is conducting an Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) investigation at various sites on the island. The work involves screening with EM-61 detectors and magnetometers for UXO. Several items that have had to be "blown in-place" have been found so far. Locations for study have been determined by historical records and aerial photographs and documented in a report called an Archive Search Report. Jeff Brownlee
2/4/2002 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed a UST closure report for six regulated tanks removed by the Navy in 2001. All six tanks were double wall fiberglass waste oil tanks. Four tanks confirmation and stockpile samples were below Method 2 cleanup levels. Two tanks had confirmation samples above Method 2 for DRO. The majority of samples were also over Method 2 for arsenic, however below expected background concentrations. Jeff Brownlee
2/19/2002 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed an after-action report for the Navy environmental work on Amchitka Island. The work was part of a joint effort between the Department of Energy, Navy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the Corps of Engineers to perform an island wide Building Demolition and Debris Removal and complete as many environmental tasks as possible. The Navy performed several tasks including: •Remove and dispose off-island approximately 1,400 cubic yards of PCB contaminated sewage sludge. •On-island landfill debris from approximately 30 buildings including the Relocatable Over the Horizon Radar facility at the northwest end of the island. •Remove and on-island landfill approximately 40 ASTs and six regulated USTs. •Treat approximately 2.500 cubic yards of petroleum contaminated soil in an on-site HAVE system. Some areas of petroleum contamination remain above the anticipated cleanup levels. The Navy is negotiating with the DEC on alternative cleanup levels. An environmental assessment will need to be performed at the sewage lagoon as past data shows PCB impacts outside the footprint of the lagoon. Jeff Brownlee
3/11/2002 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff participated in a comment resolution meeting for the Navy environmental cleanup on Amchitka in 2001. About 18 sites will need to be addressed under Method 3 or 4. The Navy and their contractor are working with the Fish & Wildlife Service and the DEC to develop alternative cleanup levels and institutional controls for those sites. Jeff Brownlee
9/20/2002 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff attended a meeting with the Navy to discuss Alternative Cleanup Levels for 21 sites on the island that did not cleanup to Method 2. The sites are mostly UST and AST sites with DRO impacted soil. Three sites have known groundwater contamination. The proposed cleanup levels would group 19 sites into Method 3; however the input parameters need to be discussed internally. The Navy has based the ACLs on minimal TOC sampling and a very generous hydraulic conductivity. Jeff Brownlee
11/2/2002 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed a method 3 request for 21 sites on the island with soil exceeding method 2 DRO cleanup levels. DEC wasn’t able to approve the alternative cleanup levels as only one organic carbon sample was taken to represent the sites and there was not enough soil characterization data to support the hydraulic conductivity proposed by the responsible party. Jeff Brownlee
4/28/2004 Report or Workplan Review - Other The ADEC contaminated sites department issued approval letter to the Navy for report titled Closure Report ROTHR Facility Demolition and Environmental Close Out (Final, April 11, 2003) for the sewage lagoon remedial action and building/structure demolition. Remaining sites where Alternative Cleanup Levels (ACLs) have been proposed could not be closed. In addition, the area surrounding the sewage lagoon required further characterization and risk assessment. Application of Method 3 ACLs would require agreement with the land manager and additional aquifer and soil data. Wendy Hansen
3/16/2006 Update or Other Action Contaminated Sites staff wrote a letter to the Navy requesting a status update of their work left on Amchitka Island. The after action report from work done in 2001 specifies 21 petroleum sites and an ecological risk assessment that need work. A couple of the petroleum sites will likely need remediation. The majority can probably be closed under NFRAP if the land manager (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) is willing to allow alternative cleanup levels. The ecological risk assessment is necessary to address PCB contamination that entered a drainage from a PCB impacted sewage lagoon Jeff Brownlee
5/9/2006 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff participated in a meeting with the Navy and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to discuss the environmental concerns left from the 2001 FUDS work on Amchitka Island. A PCB cleanup at a sewage lagoon still requires an ecological evaluation of historic seepage into the surrounding wetlands. There are 21 petroleum sites that are above Method 2 cleanup levels. Fifteen of these will possibly drop off using Method 3 alternative cleanup levels. The USFW needs to consult with their environmental section to check on national policy for the approach to alternative cleanup levels and institutional controls. The remaining six sites will require a proposed plan, decision document and remediation or monitoring. Jeff Brownlee
3/22/2007 Update or Other Action Proposed Plan and Decision Document scoping is planned for late 2007. Jeff Brownlee
2/15/2008 Update or Other Action Contaminated Sites staff reviewed a risk evaluation for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) impacts at a former sewage lagoon on Amchitka Island. The formerly used defense site (FUDS) was remediated in 2001 but impacts to the surrounding wetlands were not evaluated. There are known PCB impacts in nearby and down gradient soils and sediment, but not enough data to develop an adequate screening. The Navy attempted to evaluate risk by using existing data for water fowl from the nearby base camp area, but the level of uncertainty is too high for the department to accept Jeff Brownlee
3/14/2008 Update or Other Action Contaminated Sites staff met with the Navy concerning comments on a risk evaluation for the former sewage lagoon on Amchitka Island. The sludge in the lagoon had poly chlorinated biphenyl impacts. Dike breaches and leaks over the years impacted the adjacent wetlands. The Navy agreed with the department that more characterization is needed. We will schedule a scoping meeting to plan an investigation for this summer’s field season Jeff Brownlee
5/19/2008 Meeting or Teleconference Held Contaminated sites staff met with the Navy and their contractor to scope an ecological risk evaluation of PCB impacts adjacent to a former sewage lagoon on Amchitka Island. PCB contamination was removed and disposed off island from the lagoon in 2001 and the site capped. Historic data show PCB contamination in sediment in wetlands and a drainage outfall ditch. Existing data is not sufficient for a tier I screening, so the Navy will be collecting additional samples this summer. We also discussed several outstanding petroleum sites on the island and how to address those in a proposed plan Jeff Brownlee
6/30/2008 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking with ETM completed. Jeff Brownlee
11/13/2008 Update or Other Action Staff received document titled Draft Ecological Risk Assessment Area Near Former Sewage Lagoon and Ohl Lake, dated 30 October 2008. Wendy Hansen
12/5/2008 Report or Workplan Review - Other Staff provided initial comments to the document Ecological Risk Assessment Area Near Former Sewage Lagoon and Ohl Lake received on November 13, 2008. Responses were developed on December 30, 2008 and January 30, 2009. Wendy Hansen
10/25/2010 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff met with the Navy and USFWS to discuss the Ecological Risk Assessment for the Former PCB Sewage Lagoon and path forward for ROTHR facility petroleum sites. The team resolved USFWS comments on the 2008 ERA for the sewage lagoon and agreed to recalculate Method Three ACLs for petroleum sites for human health risk based on residential land use the updated ADEC calculator. Wendy Hansen
12/9/2010 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff met with the Navy, USFWS, and AK Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and discussed scope and schedule for 2011 site activities. Wendy Hansen
2/2/2011 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking with ETM completed for source area id: 72309 name: Various petroleum sites, ASTs Bianca Reece
5/10/2011 Report or Workplan Review - Other Staff provided comments to the Navy for the Draft April 2011 Amchitka Navy Ohl Lake (Sewage Lagoon) Sampling and Analysis Plan and POL Sites Site Investigation Work Plan received on April 4, 2011. Wendy Hansen
6/2/2011 Report or Workplan Review - Other Staff approved the Draft Final April 2011 Amchitka Navy Ohl Lake (Sewage Lagoon) Sampling and Analysis Plan and POL Sites Site Investigation Work Plan/Quality Assurance Project Plan dated April 2011 Wendy Hansen
12/22/2011 Report or Workplan Review - Other Staff provided comments on Draft November 2011 Amchitka Navy Ohl Lake Sampling and Petroleum Sites' Inspection Report. Wendy Hansen
6/1/2012 Site Characterization Report Approved Staff Approved Final May 2012 Ohl Lake Sampling and Petroleum Sites Inspection Report. ADEC comments and revision requests were adequately addressed. Remedial Action Objectives were considered achieved for the immediate area/perimeter of the sewage lagoon but not for the associated drainage ditch, Ohl Lake, and other areas down gradient of the lagoon. Wendy Hansen
12/6/2013 Update or Other Action Staff received document titled Draft Technical Memorandum: 2013 Petroleum Sites Data Evaluation Former ROTHR Naval Facility, dated 5 December 2013. Wendy Hansen
4/23/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other Staff provided initial comments via email to the Draft 2013 Petroleum Sites Data Evaluation Former ROTHR Naval Facility report, received on December 6, 2013. Comments were formalized with a follow up letter on March 11, 2014. Additional comments were provided on April 14, and a comment resolution meeting held on April 18. Wendy Hansen
5/15/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other Staff received Final 2013 Ecological Risk Assessment for Ohl Lake, Outfall Ditch, and Overflow Area Near the Former Sewage Lagoon. Data gaps were identified in this revised risk assessment which determined that PCB concentrations in sediment and fish tissues exceeded the risk thresholds for benthic organisms, fish, and several avian species. Wendy Hansen
5/15/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other The ADEC received document titled Addendum to Final Technical Memorandum: 2013 Petroleum Sites Data Evaluation Former ROTHR Naval Facility. The Final Technical Memorandum was provided on May 6, 2014 following response to comment resolution on the Draft document dated December 2013 received by ADEC on December 6, 2013. Wendy Hansen
11/3/2015 Update or Other Action CS staff participated in a scoping and technical planning meeting with representatives from the U.S. Navy and the USFWS to discuss the planned 2016 investigation activities to address site characterization data gaps. Data gaps were identified in the 2011 Amchitka Navy Petroleum Sites Investigation Report, the 2013 Amchitka Navy Petroleum Sites Assessment Report, as well as the results of the 2001 ROTHR Facility Demolition and Environmental Closeout - Method Three Alternative Cleanup Level Determination Report. Planned 2016 data gap investigation efforts include soil and groundwater sampling at 25 sites. Contaminants of concern associated with both previously confirmed and potentially contaminated soil and/or groundwater are petroleum contaminants, PCBs, and PFOA/PFOS associated with fire foams which were stored in various tanks at several sites. Curtis Dunkin
5/15/2017 CERCLA SI ADEC Contaminated Sites staff reviewed the draft 2016 Site Reconnaissance Petroleum Sites and Ohl Lake Data Report and submitted comments to the Navy. The Navy's 2016 investigation activities included sampling and analyses of plant and fish tissues, sediment, soil, groundwater, and surface water at numerous sites associated with the Navy's former ROTHR facility on Amchitka Island. The results of this investigation will be used to update the Petroleum Sites Technical Memorandum and the Former Sewage Lagoon/Ohl Lake Environmental Risk Assessment. Curtis Dunkin

Contaminant Information

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