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Site Report: Akutan FUDS Former Naval Station


Site Name: Akutan FUDS Former Naval Station
Address: Akutan Naval Station, Former Whaling Facility, Akutan, AK 99553
File Number: 2509.38.001
Hazard ID: 2615
Status: Active
Staff: Darren Mulkey, darren.mulkey@alaska.gov
Latitude: 54.126788
Longitude: -165.808810
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.

Problems/Comments

Approximately five acres of land between the bulk fuel storage tanks and the shoreline were contaminated with bunker C and diesel fuel. The military abandoned the fuel tanks and remaining product after WWII. The tanks and piping deteriorated and the product spilled. Petroleum sheening into Akutan Harbor. The 12.2-acre site was a whaling station between 1911 and 1939. During World War II the Navy converted the site into a fueling, provisioning and repair station for Russian ships operating between Siberia and our west coast. Six bulk tanks ranging in size from 4,700 - 5,700 barrels were used to store bunker C and diesel fuel. Diesel oil and aviation gas were stored in smaller tanks and whale oil cookers. Local residents report tanks were full at one time, were abandoned with fuel in them, deteriorated over time and spilled their contents. The facility burned down in the late 1940s. Residents recall large oil sheens on the bay in past. The land is currently owned by a private party (William Lagen) and by Akutan Corp.

Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
12/16/1992 Preliminary Assessment Approved PA action added by Shannon and Wilson, Inc., on 2/19/97. Based on FUDS Site Summary dated 02/21/96, PA was completed 12/16/92. S&W-Miner
7/15/1996 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RA - Remedial Action). The Corps of Engineers conducted a removal action during the summer of 1996. Removed surface debris, six large ASTs and the residual fuel in them. Excavated ~4,000 cubic yards of bunker C and diesel contaminated soil. The soil was barged to Dutch Harbor and thermally treated. John Halverson
7/15/1996 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RI - Remedial Investigation). RIFS action added by Shannon and Wilson, Inc., on 2/19/97. Based on FUDS Site Summary dated 02/21/96, RIFS was scheduled to start 10/95, to be completed 9/30/97. RD scheduled to start 10/97. Corps conducted a remedial investigation concurrently with the removal action. Estimate ~5,000 cubic yards of petroleum contaminated soil >5,000 mg/kg remains. Sediments along the shoreline are contaminated. S&W-Miner
8/7/1996 Interim Removal Action Approved Received final workplan for a remedial investigation and interim removal action. Calls for emptying and cleaning the abandoned ASTs, excavating grossly contaminated soil, barging the soil to Amaknak Island (Dutch Harbor) for thermal treatment at Anderson AK's facility. Installing soil borings and monitoring wells to characterize the site. John Halverson
8/7/1996 Site Characterization Workplan Approved Received final workplan for a remedial investigation and interim removal action. Calls for emptying and cleaning the abandoned ASTs, excavating grossly contaminated soil, barging the soil to Amaknak Island (Dutch Harbor) for thermal treatment at Anderson AK's facility. Installing soil borings and monitoring wells to characterize the site. John Halverson
11/19/1996 Site Added to Database Site added by Shannon and Wilson. S&W-Miner
11/17/1997 Long Term Monitoring Established Groundwater monitoring program established. John Halverson
11/17/1997 Update or Other Action Received the groundwater monitoring report #1. DRO and low level PAHs are present in several monitoring wells. John Halverson
2/13/1998 Update or Other Action Received the groundwater monitoring report #2. John Halverson
4/13/1998 Update or Other Action Received groundwater monitoring report #4. John Halverson
6/19/1998 Risk Assessment Report Approved The RI/IRA report contains a risk assessment. ADEC concurred that risk to human health in the upland areas falls within an acceptable range, with the assumption that groundwater will not be used as a drinking water source in the future. The remedial investigation and risk assessment did not adequately address potential impacts to the marine environment adjacent to the site. Further investigation was requested. John Halverson
6/29/1998 Site Characterization Report Approved Received the final report for the remedial investigation and interim removal action. Approximately 4000 cubic yards of bunker C contaminated soil were excavated and hauled to Anderson, Alaska treatment facility. Excavation limited by shallow groundwater, the "road area" near the beach and other site conditions. The report estimates ~22,000 cubic yards of bunker C contaminated soil remains in place. A passive bioventing system was installed during the removal. Surface water drainage was altered by installing lined ditches to minimize infiltration over the area of residual contamination. Impacts to sediments along the shoreline were documented, the extent of contaminated sediments was not defined. John Halverson
8/28/1998 Update or Other Action Received groundwater monitoring report #3. John Halverson
8/31/1998 Update or Other Action ADEC reviewed and commented on a draft workplan for additional site characterization (installing more soil borings and monitoring wells, sampling from each and sampling the existing MWs). Based on the contractors response to these comments the plan was finalized and implemented. John Halverson
8/13/1999 Update or Other Action Received the draft groundwater monitoring report #5. In general the DRO and PAH levels in monitoring wells appear to be decreasing over time, however, there are also periodic increases in some wells. DRO results in the recent sampling ranged from 0.15 to 5.4 mg/l, PAHs level ranged from non-detectable to 2.7 ug/l. Further trend analysis and evaluation is necessary along with evaluating the extent of sediment impacts. John Halverson
10/8/1999 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Ranked the site using current data; result was high priority, appears the driver is observed impacts to environmental receptors (based on sediment chemistry data and toxicity test results from RI - note, further RI in the marine environment adjacent to the site is planned). John Halverson
2/21/2000 Update or Other Action Received a Technical Memorandum - Saltwater Intrusion Study, dated December 2000. The report documents results from pump tests on the site to determine whether saltwater intrusion would ocurr and demonstrate that the groundwater was non-potable. However, the results did not identify any saltwater intrusion during the test. John Halverson
2/22/2000 Update or Other Action Received the Groundwater Monitoring Data Report #6 for samples collected in November 1999. John Halverson
7/28/2000 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed and commented on a draft Remedial Investigation Workplan to assess whether the site has caused adverse impacts to the marine environment that warrant remedial action. A comment resolution meeting was held, the plan was finalized and implemented during the summer of 2000. John Halverson
3/22/2001 Update or Other Action Received Groundwater Monitoring Data Report #7 for samples collected in December 2000. John Halverson
3/27/2001 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed and commented on the draft Marine Sediment Remedial Investigation Report. Several issues were identified that needed further evaluation and clarification in the report. John Halverson
4/20/2001 Update or Other Action Staff received and reviewed the Groundwater Monitoring Program Annual Report, dated April 2001. The report shows a general decrease in DRO, RRO and PAH levels in groundwater since the removal action was completed in 1996. The latest sampling results indicate groundwater in only one monitoring well exceeded the applicable cleanup levels. John Halverson
10/16/2001 Update or Other Action Staff received the Groundwater Monitoring Program Annual Report, dated October 2001. It summarizes groundwater monitoring activities in December 2000 and June 2001. Monitoring results for both events show that the groundwater meets the applicable cleanup levels for groundwater (Table C levels) and surface waters (TAH and TAqH standards). No further groundwater monitoring is proposed. John Halverson
1/2/2002 Site Characterization Report Approved ADEC sent a letter to the Corps of Engineers documenting the the Marine Sediment RI Report, October 2001 (along with the prior RI/IRA reports) meets the requirements for site characterization reporting in 18 AAC 75.335. Note, the RI recommends a focussed feasibility study to evaluate remedial alternatives or no further action for the marine sediments. John Halverson
1/2/2002 Long Term Monitoring Complete ADEC sent a letter to the Corps of Engineers documenting that long term groundwater monitoring requirements have been satisfied. The last two semiannual groundwater monitoring events show that groundwater and surface water cleanup levels have been achieved. John Halverson
2/11/2002 Update or Other Action ADEC met with the Corps and Trident Seafoods regarding the cleanup status and Tridents option to purchase the site. Trident does not want to buy into liability for pre-existing contamination. We discussed the potential for a prospective purchaser agreement between the State and Trident, whereby if Trident were to develop and implement institutional controls to ensure their site activities would not create additional exposure to residual contaminants and they agreed to develop a waste management plan to handle any contaminated soil or groundwater they may generate, we could release them from liability for pre-existing contamination. We also discussed the pending feasibility study to evaluate no further action, monitored natural attenuation, capping and dredging or excavation. Trident would like the central bench area capped. John Halverson
10/22/2002 Update or Other Action ADEC reviewed and commented on a draft-final focussed feasibility study report. The report evaluated no action, monitoring and institutional controls, capping and institutional controls, and dredging as remedial alternatives. It recommended no further action as the preferred alternative. Staff had several comments and requested a revised alternative consiting of limited monitoring and institutional controls be added. John Halverson
11/22/2002 Update or Other Action DEC received a Monitoring Well and Passive Bioventing System Decommissioning Report (draft), date November 2002, by Jacobs Eng. The report describes removal or closure of all monitoring wells and the riser pipes from the bioventing system. Most of the MWs were pulled and the borehole sealed with grout, a couple could not be pulled and were sealed in place. The riser pipes were removed from the bioventing system, but the lateral piping was closed in place. The report notes that petroleum stained soil and odors were evident along the northern and north-western portions of the bioventing system from ~2 feet below ground to an undetermined depth. Similar conditions were observed at MW-11. John Halverson
3/21/2003 Update or Other Action DEC received the Final Focused Feasibility Study, Akutan Naval Station, prepared by Jacobs Engineer and dated March 2003. John Halverson
6/14/2005 Update or Other Action File number update 2509.38.001. Aggie Blandford
3/3/2006 Proposed Plan DEC approved the final Proposed Plan for Akutan Naval Station. The preferred remedial alternatives are: capping localized hotspots in the upland area where DRO exceeds the maximum allowable soil cleanup levels and recording a deed notice to document the residual contamination; limited monitoring and establishing a Reserved Use Designation for the marine sediments. The Reserved Use Designation would be established by DNR, which owns the tidelands, and would highlight the fact there is residual petroleum contamination in the sediment and human activities should be limited to reduce the potential for creating sheen on the surface water. Visual monitoring would be conducted to document any sheen and determine whether it is attenuating over time. John Halverson
5/24/2006 Meeting or Teleconference Held DEC participated in a public meeting at Akutan held by the Corps of Engineers to describe the plan and seek input from the community. There were several questions about the plan and those present indicated they thought it made sense and would be appropriate. They thought some written comments may be provided by mid June after the next village council meeting. John Halverson
7/14/2006 Update or Other Action DEC reviewed and commented on a draft Decision Document calling for limited soil capping, informational institutional controls (deed notice and creating a "reserve use designation" within DNR tideland records to document residual contamination, and visual monitoring of sheen attenuation in the intertidal zone. John Halverson
9/8/2006 Cleanup Plan Approved DEC recieved the final version of the 2006 Akutan Naval Station Remedial Action Workplan. The plan includes adequate responses to DEC comments on the draft version. The plan describes work that will be done to place additional cover (geotextile fabric and soil) over portions of the site with elevated levels of petroleum contamination. A long-term monitoring plan for shoreline and intertidal areas is still needed along with development of institutional controls. John Halverson
9/20/2006 Record of Decision DEC signed the decision document for cleanup of the Akutan Naval Station. The document summarizes prior site characterization, removal actions, and risk assessment work. It outlines the final remedy as capping (geosynthetic liner and soil) areas with residual soil contamination at levels above 12,500 mg/kg DRO, visual monitoring of the intertidal marine sediments to evaluate attenuation of localized petroleum sheen, and institutional contorols (deed notice documenting residual petroleum contamination in soil and "reserve use designation" in the DNR tideland records to document residual petroleum contaminated sediments and limit permitting of future activitiy in the intertidal area that could cause additional sheen. Monitoring will be evaluated after five years to determine the need for continued monitoirng and overall protectiveness of the remedy. John Halverson
12/20/2006 Update or Other Action DEC signed a Containerized Hazardous, Toxic or Radiological Waste (CON/HTRW) project No Further Action / No Dept of Defense Action Indicated decision document. The Corps of Engineers signed the document on Sept. 29, 2006. The decision document states the Corps of Engineers has removed and properly disposed of all known containerized wastes that had been left behind at the site from prior Dept. of Defense activities. This primarily entailed the bulk fuel storage tanks and associated pipelines that were removed in the mid 1990s; it also included misc drums, batteries and other containers. Remedial action consisting of capping areas residual petroleum contaminated soil at concentrations above 12,500 mg/kg DRO and longer term visual monitoring of the intertidal area and surface water is continuing. John Halverson
4/23/2007 Update or Other Action DEC reviewed and commented on a draft Remedial Action Report for work conducted by Jacobs Eng. during 2006. Placement of a soil cap over areas with residual DRO in soil at concentrations above 12,500 mg/kg was completed. Final surveying, long term monitoring, and development of institutional controls still need to be completed. John Halverson
5/25/2007 Update or Other Action DEC received the final version of the 2006 Akutan Naval Station Remedial Action Report. The report documents work conducted in 2006 (capping soil containing > 12,500 mg/kg DRO. Informational Institutional Controls (deed notice and Reserve Use Designation on tidelands) still need need to be developed. John Halverson
6/13/2007 Long Term Monitoring Established DEC concurred with the Akutan Beach and Cover Monitoring plan prepared by Jacobs Engineering, under contract to the Corps of Engineers. The plan calls for visual inspection and photographs of the shoreline, intertidal area and upland areas that were capped. The goals are to ensure the caps stabilize and the vegetation grows and to determine whether sheen in the intertidal area diminishes and ceases to exist over time. John Halverson
7/30/2007 Update or Other Action DEC received the Akutan visual inspection report. Memo format reports with field notes and photographs are being provided after each inspection. An annual report will be prepared to compile pertinent information and make recommendations. The first inspection did not document visual contamination; the revegetation over capped areas is reported to be taking hold. John Halverson
8/27/2007 Update or Other Action DEC received the 2nd site inspection report for 2007. No obvious contamination / visible sheen or staining was observed. Inspection done at high tide rather than low due to weather problems. Revegetation reportedly looks good and no erosion problems. John Halverson
9/28/2007 Update or Other Action DEC received the 3rd inspection report for 2007. No sign of contamination or petroleum impacts were identified in the intertidal, central bench, ditche and channel beds, or the adjacent marine waters. No erosion or site disturbance observed. Significant vegetation growth at each of the seven capped hot-spots - hot spots 3-6 are nearly completely revegetated. John Halverson
1/11/2008 Update or Other Action DEC received the Draft Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report covering the 4th inspection of the surface water, intertidal shoreline and upland areas at the Former Akutan Naval Station. The report is consistent with the prior three reports. No visible petroleum contamination was observed. The soil cover and revegetation look good. Exposed filter fabric was observed in the main drainage channel during the inspections; evaluation of corrective measures is necessary. DEC requested photographs be taken showing the exposed fabric and the high, medium and low intertidal beach areas at Transects 4 and 5. John Halverson
4/17/2008 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking with ETM completed. John Halverson
3/27/2009 Update or Other Action DEC received the 2007 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Final Report. It is consistent with the previous reports. There is no visible petroleum contamination and it seems the remediation efforts are adequate. There was an observed increase in vegetation cover in the covered areas throughout the summer. Ponding is occuring in low lying areas however it appears to be related to rainfall. There is no evidence of erosion in the 7 covered areas, however exposed geotextile fabric was observed in the channels east and west of Covered Area 5. In response to DEC's request, photos were taken of the exposed geotextile fabric and low tide area of the intertidal beach. Photos of the mid and high intertidal beach area are still needed. Meghan Dooley
3/30/2010 Update or Other Action DEC received the 2008 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report. Throughout 2007 and 2008 vegetation in Cover Areas was observed to be increasing. There was no visual evidence of petroleum contamination in any of the observed areas. Native soils were added in response to the erosion observed in 2007 in the drainage channels that exposed the geotextile fabric on July 30, 2008. On September 10, 2008 grass was seeded however success was not evaluated as the seeding took place on the final site inspection of the year. Fill was also added to some of the areas prone to ponding. More photos were taken in response to DEC's request for images of the low, medium, and high areas of the intertidal beach. Meghan Dooley
3/30/2010 Update or Other Action DEC received the Visual Inspection Report for June 2009. No visual signs of petroleum contamination were observed in the study area. The Akutan harbor appeared to have a green color apparently due to a nearby fish processing plant. No new erosion was observed and the geotextile fabric remained covered from being filled in 2008. Vegetation appears to continually increase and there appeared to be no areas of ponding. Meghan Dooley
3/30/2010 Update or Other Action DEC received the July 2009 Visual Inspection Report. Due to heavy recent rainfall, there are 2 ponded areas near the drainage areas and the drainage ditch was noted as damp to wet. No erosion was observed in the hot spots or drainage areas and the soil seems to be holding up on the areas where geotextile had been previously exposed. Vegetative cover was observed to be 90% with unvegetated areas noted as covered with rocks or on the roadway. There is no visual petroleum contamination in any of the study area. Meghan Dooley
3/30/2010 Update or Other Action DEC received the August 2009 Visual Inspection Report. Vegetation appears to be flourishing in the hot spot areas. No new erosion is present and the soil is still in place that is covering the previously exposed geotextile material. The large ponded areas are not longer present although the spots are still wet. A petrolum sheen was observed near the dock piling from the skiff. It was noted that the sheen was coming from the treated piling and not the beach. No petroleum contamination was noted on the beach and the intertidal wildlife seemed healthy. Dead fish carcasses were present, however their origin was likely from the nearby fish processing plant. Meghan Dooley
3/30/2010 Update or Other Action DEC received the 2009 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Draft Report for the Former Akutan Naval Station. It is consistent with the previous 2009 inspection reports. Vegetation continues to thrive and increased from 80% covereage in 2008 to 90% in 2009. Healthy wildlife was observed in both the marine and terrestrial environments. No new erosion was observed in the study area and the drainage ditch where geotextile was exposed remains covered and vegetated. Intermittent ponding occurs in low lying areas however it is usually following high precipitation events and does not appear to be detrimental to the enviornment. A small sheen was observed in the water near a piling, however it was not coming from the direction of the beach and during the August site inspection it was assumed to be originating from a newly exposed area of a treated peir piling. No other petroleum contamination was visible on land or in the intertidal beach. ADEC had no comments for the draft report and sent a letter to finalize the document on October 21, 2011. Meghan Dooley
6/24/2011 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC sent comments on the draft 2010 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report. ADEC requested additional information on the ruts that were a result of the 2006 remedial activities, and that the ruts be smoothed out and seeded when the exposed geotextile fabric is addressed in 2011. Sheen was again observed in Akutan Harbor likely a result of creosote or tar preservation in the pilings. Three small areas of exposed geotextile will be addressed in 2011, and it is estimated that the site is 90% vegetated. Meghan Dooley
11/29/2012 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC received and approved the Final 2011 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report. Sheen was observed in the surface water however it appeared to be originiating from creosote covered pilings. ADEC requested that a sheen test be conducted in the sediments during the 2012 inspection event to ensure that contamination is not migrating to the surface water. The site appears to be revegetating well. Meghan Dooley
2/15/2013 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC sent comments on the draft 2012 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report. Conditions appear to be unchanged and the site was observed to be 90% vegetated. Pits were hand dug along the shore to determine if there was evidence of contamination int he marine sediments. Potential petrolum sheen was observed in several pits. ADEC requested the sheen be sampled to determine if it is biogenic or petroleum, and if it is petroleum, whether it is occuring above risk based cleanup levels. Meghan Dooley
4/5/2013 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC approved the Final 2012 Visual Monitoring and Inspection Report. Meghan Dooley
11/26/2013 Update or Other Action ADEC reviewed and commented on the Draft 2013 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report. The document provides the results of the 7th year of monitoring for the site. Eight test pits were dug within the intertidal zone and water samples collected from the pits were analysed for BTEX and PAH. None of the samples exceeded ADEC WQ Standards. In the upland area, the seven hot spot cover areas have greater than 90% vegetative cover. In its comments letter, ADEC requested a more thorough summary of observations, an explanation of a deviation from Work Plan sampling methodology, and also a request for a 7-year review of the monitoring (because 5-year review as stated in ROD has not been completed). Meredith Savage
1/7/2014 Update or Other Action ADEC concurs with USACE responses to ADEC comments regarding the Draft 2013 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report and USACE may issue the report as final. Meredith Savage
1/21/2014 Update or Other Action Final 2013 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report received. Meredith Savage
2/10/2014 Update or Other Action Approval letter sent out for Final 2013 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report. Meredith Savage
12/1/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) received a report titled "Draft 2014 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report – Former Akutan Naval Station FUDS" on October 22, 2014. This report provides a description of observations made during the 2014 monitoring activities carried out at the former Akutan Naval Station on Akutan Island, Alaska. The purpose of the monitoring is to determine compliance with ADEC Water Quality Standards requiring that surface waters and adjoining shorelines must be virtually free from floating oil, film, sheen, or discoloration. Out of three site inspections conducted in June, July, and August of this year, a light sheen potentially derived from hydrocarbons was seen only once in a ponded area within the intertidal zone. No other signs of petroleum contamination were observed in the marine, intertidal, or upland zones, and the seven capped upland areas appeared to have healthy vegetation at approximately 98% cover. Meredith Savage
12/3/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC completed its review of the report titled "Periodic Review Report- First Review Report for Akutan Naval Station, FUDS Property No. F10AK0018, HTRW Project 03, Akutan, Alaska." The report provides a summary of the visual inspections and monitoring events that have been carried out four times yearly from 2007 through 2013 for the purpose of documenting that the selected remedy for remedial action at the site is being carried out in accordance with the 2006 Decision Document. The 2014 monitoring event was not included in this periodic review. The Periodic Review concludes that the remedy at the Akutan Naval Station is currently protective of human health and the environment, but recommends that annual site inspections continue for the intertidal and upland areas. The report cites two outstanding issues: a) that a deed notice be implemented for the upland parcel and that an Alaska Department of Natural Resources Reserve Use Designation be placed on the intertidal area. Meredith Savage
12/3/2014 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking A new updated ranking with ETM has been completed for source area 78354 Marine Intertidal Area. Meredith Savage
12/3/2014 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking A new updated ranking with ETM has been completed for source area 78355 Central Bench Area. Meredith Savage
12/29/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC received Final 2014 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report for the Former Akutan Naval Station Formerly Used Defense Site on December 18, 2014; ADEC accepts report as final. (Report summary provided on 12/01/2014 entry above.) Meredith Savage
2/9/2016 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC accepts as final the "2015 Visual Inspection and Monitoring Report – Former Akutan Naval Station FUDS" on February 9, 2016. This report provides a description of observations made during the 2015 monitoring event carried out at the former Akutan Naval Station. A single site inspection was conducted in August of this year; no signs of petroleum contamination were observed in the marine, intertidal, or upland zones, and the seven capped upland areas appeared to have healthy vegetation at approximately 90% cover. Holly Weiss-Racine

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