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Site Report: Arness Septage

Site Name: Arness Septage
Address: Mi. 26.1 N. Kenai Spur Hy, 3/8 Mile NW, Nikiski, AK 99635
File Number: 2323.38.004
Hazard ID: 176
Status: Active
Staff: Peter Campbell, 9072623412
Latitude: 60.733005
Longitude: -151.314658
Horizontal Datum:WGS84

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.


Fifty-six drums of Drag Reducing Agent (DRA) and DRA-contaminated soil. In addition, two underground sewer systems that were used to dispose non-domestic wastewaters and oil have been excavated and the polluted soils spread on the land surface on site. The quantity of oily sludge contaminated soils that were spread on the property was substantial, and the treatment process for these soils was never properly monitored. One groundwater monitoring well has been installed and groundwater was encountered approximately 125 feet below ground surface. This well is located on the immediately adjacent parcel of property, and the groundwater is contaminated with 10-20 micrograms per liter (ug/L) 1,1,1-Trichloroethane. The magnitude and extent of groundwater contamination has not been defined, even though it has migrated across property boundaries. Dave Brown of MAR Enterprises used this site to store drums of hazardous materials.

Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
3/13/1979 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = PER - Permit Action at Site). Permit application from M. Tuariainen's engineering firm for sludge disposal facility for Arness property. Conditional permit for septage disposal facility granted, stipulating that the permit is nontransferable without written notice to ADEC and severable if any scope or conditions of permit are violated. No Longer Assigned
12/1/1980 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = PER - Permit Action at Site). Open burning permit from ADEC environmental engineer for MAR's disposal of DRA. Permit conditions provide for: maximum combustion efficiency, minimization of black smoke and use of adequate extinguishing methods. B. Martin of ADEC rescinded AEI's open burning permit dated 12/1/80 and sent a copy of revised air quality regulations to Mr. Brown. No Longer Assigned
11/2/1982 Notice of Violation Served to D. Brown of AEI for violations of oil pollution to lands of the state, land nuisance, oil pollution, discharge reporting and consolidating waste without permit. No Longer Assigned
11/15/1982 Interim Removal Action Approved (Old R:Base Action Code = REM - Removal / Excavation). Cleanup of spilled DRA in progress. Barrels placed on truck. No Longer Assigned
11/15/1982 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Follow-up investigation (ML) shows barrels have been removed, but considerable amount of residual contamination remains at Soldotna Shop facility. No Longer Assigned
12/26/1982 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Investigated spill and met with D. Brown regarding cleanup by hauling material in a dump truck with a visqueen liner and burying it under permit at North Kenai site. Mike Lucky
7/24/1985 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Site visit (ML) turned up an estimated 150 drums of CDR and waste oil and a considerable amount of spillage to ground surface. No Longer Assigned
8/3/1985 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Samples analyzed at Douglas lab with the help of Conoco representative (Dr. Monte Evans). Infrared spectra shows weathered drag reducing agent, approximately 3 years old. Source is apparently not proven since ARCO's DRA is not available for comparison. No Longer Assigned
9/19/1985 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). C. Burgh, B. Erikson, B. Cannone and M. Lucky visited site with search warrants after observing about 150 barrels and leakage from the air. Inventoried 40 barrels with bag liners, open tops and burn residue and about 100 with grease and/or oily sludge. Barrel labels include the following: Chem-o-lene demulsifier 981 (DOW), voranol-urethane foam, ethylene glycol, ARCO CIDE LB-5976 (with caution-corrosive), methanol (containing grey/white sludge), chlorothene NU: inhibited 1,1,1-trichloroethane. 40 drums were by pit, 100 in open area and 140 in group without bottoms (caustics - acids?). Colleen Burgh
10/3/1985 Meeting or Teleconference Held (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Meeting of ADEC, AG, Alyeska and AEI personnel on site. ADEC allowed one week for presentation of adequate spill cleanup plan and allowed another test burn. No Longer Assigned
10/30/1985 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = PER - Permit Action at Site). Permit to burn DRA from drums (M. Lucky). Not for soil contaminated DRA or other petroleum contaminated wastes on site. Mike Lucky
1/30/1986 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Representative areas (drums, soil and DRA) on site sampled for PCB contamination. No Longer Assigned
6/4/1986 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). D. Dinkuhn and B. Savage went to site, noted recent grading and stacked, empty barrels without tops near standpipe. SAS contained oily substance to 8 inches below ground surface, which was sampled. No Longer Assigned
8/20/1987 Preliminary Assessment Approved Tryck, Nyman and Hayes found waste oil released from leaking barrels contaminating soil. Type of substances include linseed oil, drag reducing agent, aliphatic hydrocarbon based grease and weathered diesel oil. Medium priority assigned. No Longer Assigned
3/3/1988 Notice of Violation NOV issued to J. Arness. Request for determination of waste materials stored on site and any contaminated areas on or adjacent to property. No Longer Assigned
7/1/1988 Interim Removal Action Approved (Old R:Base Action Code = REM - Removal / Excavation). Excavation, containment and transfer to temporary sites, labeling and sampling of drums. No Longer Assigned
9/12/1988 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = SI - Site Investigation). Monitoring well completed, water/split spoon/soil samples taken. No Longer Assigned
10/10/1988 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = MS - Monitoring/Sampling). Water samples taken from barrels for heavy metals analysis. No Longer Assigned
11/21/1988 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = MS - Monitoring/Sampling). KDO has begun purging site monitoring well. Resampled water. No Longer Assigned
12/9/1988 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = MS - Monitoring/Sampling). KDO staff involved in sampling monitoring well. Some results have been received; currently being reviewed for incorporation into the final report. No Longer Assigned
6/1/1989 Interim Removal Action Approved In 1989, DEC directed the landowner to remove contaminated soils in the area of the leach fields (also known as the East Pit), the leaking drum area (the West Pit) and a buried drum burn residue area (the North Ditch). The majority of the excavated contaminated soils and sludge from multiple septage disposal systems were ultimately landspread over roughly three acres of the 10-acre property. No Longer Assigned
7/26/1990 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RAPR - Remedial Action Plan Review (CS)). Sampling of monitoring well by J. Jackson, J. Hock and J. Garland (502.2). No Longer Assigned
10/3/1990 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = NFA - No Further Action Required (CERCLA)). EPA Superfund Program CERCLIS dated 10/3/90 has NFA flag. EPA will take no further action on site. No Longer Assigned
12/3/1990 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Initial ranking. No Longer Assigned
2/13/1991 Site Number Identifier Changed Old Reckey 19852X0126201. Changed to reflect correct Workplan. Also, Kenai Special Project code eliminated. No Longer Assigned
1/1/1992 Site Added to Database Drag Reducing Agent. No Longer Assigned
4/15/1992 Meeting or Teleconference Held A meeting took place with ADEC staff to discuss how to best proceed with the Arness Site. Meeting attended by Kegler, Twidwell, Horwath and Marcorelle. Bryson Twidwell
4/26/1994 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RPL3 - RP Determined and Action Request). Follow-up letter sent to RP identifying the remaining tasks which must be accomplished prior to site closure. RP notified that failure to respond may lead to state assumption of cleanup activities, with a bill provided to RP. Bryson Twidwell
1/22/2004 Update or Other Action File number assigned and entered into the Fileroom DB and CS DB. Alyce Hughey
4/26/2004 Meeting or Teleconference Held Met with Jim Arness to secure access to the Arness monitoring well. Don Fritz
5/19/2004 Update or Other Action The Arness monitor well was sampled by Shannon & Wilson on May 19th. The groundwater sample result for 1,1,1 Trichloroethane (TCA) was 10.6 ug/liter (ppb). In past samplings, TCA has been detected between 6 and 19 ug/liter. Groundwater contaminant levels at the monitor well location appear to be stable and the groundwater meets the groundwater cleanup level for 1,1,1 TCA (200 ug/liter) at the location sampled. Don Fritz
7/27/2005 GIS Position Updated Using Figure 1 from a Groundwater Sampling and Monitoring Well Survey, from HartCrowser, dated November 11, 1992 in conjunction with TopoZone Pro and the KPB Parcel Lookup, entered the coordinates for this site. Metadata include No Topo Basemap, TopoZone Pro Street Map, Black and White Aerial Photo, on a Medium Size Map, View Scale 1:10,000, Coordinate Datum NAD83. High degree of confidence in accuracy of location. Alyce Hughey
4/3/2006 Meeting or Teleconference Held Met with Jim Arness, son of now deceased James Arness, who is desiring to assist his mother in the disposal of the property. Jim wanted to determine the status of the site with regard to past contamination issues. Jim was told that ADEC had identified the need to address several issues at the site to his father through past correspondence, but for the most part those issues still remained unresolved. Jim was informed that the site was not receiving much attention from ADEC, but that a water sample had been collected from the well a couple of years prior, and that low level contamination (below cleanup levels for 1,1,1 TCA) remained. Jim was told that one of the issues identified through past correspondence to his father was the disposal of numerous drums of waste at the site. Jim confirmed that his father had burned the drum contents using a Smart Ash burner, and that the empty drums were left at the site to demonstrate that the waste had not simply been transferred to another vacant property. Discussion occurred regarding the one monitor well with analytical results below cleanup levels, but that we were unable to make any representation from this well regarding the extent or level of groundwater contamination due to not knowing the location of the well to the release area. That the well demonstrates that contamination has migrated to groundwater , and that soil contamination exists, or at least existed, from the release point down to the water table. Discussed that a minimum of 3 wells were needed to obtain adequate information regarding groundwater, and that a 4th might prove necessary, even if no groundwater contaminant plume was found if 1 of the first 3 wells was not found to be downgradient. Discussed the need to assess the contaminated soils from the initial release site, and the need to assess the soils at the landspread site and at the drum storage area. Jim stated that he was an accountant, and that he felt that that he should hire an engineer to assist in assessment work to close out the site. Other issues we briefly discussed including site closure vs. NFRAP's and potential advantages/disadvantages of each, use of the site as a gravel borrow pit, and the persistence of chlorinated solvents. Don Fritz
5/24/2006 Meeting or Teleconference Held Contaminated Sites staff met with Jim Arness and Ron Rozak (Rozak Engineering) regarding the Arness Septage Disposal site. Jim Arness is the son of the recently deceased James Arness. Ron Rozak has reviewed ADEC files and has visited the site in an attempt to better understand past response actions undertaken by ADEC and James Arness Sr. Jim Arness will be approaching his mother (the surviving responsible person) with a proposed plan, and if approved, will be submitting that plan to ADEC Don Fritz
4/11/2008 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking with ETM completed. Don Fritz
11/16/2011 Update or Other Action Site transferred from Don Fritz to Peter Campbell per Paul Horwath. Alyce Hughey
2/8/2012 Update or Other Action The only groundwater monitoring well ever installed on the adjacent property near this site is 125 feet in depth and is contaminated with a chlorinated solvent. Chlorinated solvents do not biodegrade in the natural environment, and can migrate tremendous distances in groundwater, compared to petroleum hydrocarbons. The releases of hazardous substances at this site were sufficient in mass quantity to pollute groundwater at a depth of 125 feet below ground surface, and the extent or magnitude of this groundwater contaminant plume is not known. One groundwater monitoring well is deficient for purposes of establishing groundwater gradient and flow direction, and for assessing the impacts this site has had on the local groundwater resource. Paul Horwath
8/2/2012 Meeting or Teleconference Held ADEC held a meeting with Arness family members to discuss future assessment work requirements at the Arness Septage property. Peggy, Jim, and Joe Arness attended, and Linda Nuechterlein, Paul Horwath, and Pete Campbell participated from ADEC. ADEC requested that the Arness’s survey the monitoring well at the septage site into the same elevation datum as the wells located at the proposed Aimm Monofill, located approximately 500 feet south-west of the Arness Property. Following the completion of the elevation survey and the evaluation of the groundwater flow direction, ADEC will likely require the installation of additional groundwater monitoring wells. Peter Campbell
8/13/2012 Update or Other Action ADEC sent a letter to Peggy Arness memorializing our meeting and reiterating our request for an elevation survey and work plan for the installation of an additional monitoring well. Peter Campbell
8/28/2012 Update or Other Action Letter from Peggy Arness acknowledging our August 13, 2012 ADEC letter, and agreeing to conduct an elevation survey and to begin the process of determining the extent of contamination and the direction of travel form the site. Peter Campbell
11/20/2012 Update or Other Action Letter from ADEC to Peggy Arness requesting an update on progress in conducting an elevation survey. Peter Campbell
1/16/2013 Update or Other Action Letter from ADEC to Peggy Arness reiterating our requirement for an assessment work plan, prepared by a qualified person. Peter Campbell
1/22/2013 Update or Other Action Letter from Peggy Arness stating that they are in the process of finding a consultant to develop a work plan. Peter Campbell
2/20/2013 Update or Other Action Joe Arness met with ADEC office on February 20, 2013, discussing goals and approaches for additional assessment work at this site. Mr. Arness has retained an engineer to develop an assessment workplan to be implemented this spring, for the installation of one monitoring well in the source area, followed up by surveying, water sampling of the new well and the existing well, and the installation of a third monitoring well in order to determine the direction of groundwater flow. Peter Campbell
5/20/2013 Site Characterization Workplan Approved Conditional approval of drilling and sampling workplan for the installation and sampling of one new monitoring well and sampling the existing well. Peter Campbell
6/17/2013 Site Visit Campbell met with the owner’s representative and their consultant, on site, to determine a monitor well drilling location and to discuss site logistics and survey issues. Peter Campbell
7/2/2013 Site Visit On site to observe the installation of a monitoring well on the Arness site. Drilling was started on July 2, 2013. The well should be completed on July 3, 2013. Peter Campbell
9/11/2013 Update or Other Action Received sample results from the August 2013 monitoring well (MW) sampling event at the Arness site. The existing well (MW-1) was sampled with results of 12.0 ppb of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA). This is similar to historical sampling results of 16 ppb in 1988, 21 ppb in 1990, and 10.6 ppb in May, 2004. The new monitoring well, MW-2, was tested for the first time in August 2013, and detected 10.1 ppb 1,1,1-TCA. No other compounds were detected. We are still awaiting the receipt of a written report from the consultant, along with MW survey information. Peter Campbell
10/28/2013 Report or Workplan Review - Other Received Limited Additional Site Investigation Report of Findings, Arness Disposal Site, Nikiski Alaska. The report discusses the installation of a new monitoring well, (MW-2) analytical results from well testing and elevation survey results. Peter Campbell
10/28/2013 Report or Workplan Review - Other Received Limited Additional Site Investigation Report of Findings, Arness Disposal Site, Nikiski Alaska. The report discusses the installation of a new monitoring well, (MW-2) analytical results from well testing and elevation survey results. Peter Campbell

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