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Site Report: Amchitka - Wastewater Lagoon


Site Name: Amchitka - Wastewater Lagoon
Address: Amchitka Island, Amchitka, AK 99546
File Number: 2512.38.004.01
Hazard ID: 708
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

Aroclor 1254 was detected in 1993 and 1997 investigations. Concentrations up to 456 mg/kg in the lagoon sediment were sampled in 1997 by Shannon and Wilson. Aroclor 1254 was also detected in sediment samples downgradient of the lagoon at concentrations up to 2.6 mg/kg with one sample in the drainage ditch at 61 mg/kg. Some metals (cadmium, lead, mercury, and selenium) are elevated above background levels, although not above industrial cleanup levels.

Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
12/1/1999 Site Added to Database PCBs in soil/sludge. Jeff Brownlee
12/6/1999 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Initial ranking. Jeff Brownlee
8/21/2000 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff participated in a meeting concerning the responsible party status of the Sewage Lagoon on Amchitka Island. The lagoon sludge has PCBs at concentrations over 200 mg/kg. There are documented spills and sampling results showing impacts to the downgradient drainage. The Department of Energy, Navy, Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife, Aleutian/Pribilof Island Association and ADEC were represented at the meeting. The Navy began using the lagoon in 1987 and made major renovations in 1988. PCBs were first detected in 1993. The source is unknown. Unless information is provided that demonstrates PCBs were present prior to 1987, the Navy is the responsible party. The lagoon contains approximately 4,000 cubic yards of sludge and 300,000-gallons of standing water. The Navy proposed a couple of month's ago to perform an EE/CA and off island disposal of the sludge. At this meeting, they presented other remedial alternatives including solidification, on-island incineration, and a multi-layer cap. The Navy seems to be defaulting to the cap or solidification, citing excessive costs with off-island disposal and on-island incineration. ADEC mentioned that a baseline and post-treatment risk assessment would be required for those options and that EPA would need to be included on the review team. The schedule may not accommodate remedial action at the Lagoon during the multi agency cleanup planned for the summer of 2001. 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
11/15/2002 Site Characterization Report Approved Staff reviewed an after action report for the remedial action at the sewage lagoon and several petroleum sites. The sewage lagoon portion of the report was approved, but the remaining sites are being requested for ACLs which the Fish&Wildlife service is not agreeing to on the refuge. Further negotiations will need to take place between agencies or the Navy will have to proceed with cleanup of the sites in question. 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. The letter indicated the area surrounding the sewage lagoon required further characterization and risk assessment. Wendy Hansen
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. Wendy Hansen
3/19/2007 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Jeff Brownlee
8/1/2007 Update or Other Action Risk evaluation is planned for late 2007, based on email correspondence between ADEC and Navy. Wendy Hansen
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 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
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. 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: 71687 name: PCBs in sewage lagoon sludge 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 to the Draft Amchitka Navy Ohl Lake Sampling and Petroleum Sites' Inspection Report dated November 2011 and received by ADEC on November 7, 2011. Wendy Hansen
6/1/2012 Report or Workplan Review - Other Staff approved the Final May 2012 Amchitka Navy Ohl Lake Sampling and Petroleum Sites' Inspection Report which was received by ADEC on May 31, 2012. 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
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
11/3/2015 Meeting or Teleconference Held CS staff participated in a scoping and technical planning meeting with representatives from the U.S. Navy and the USFWS to discuss the site characterization data gaps and planned 2016 investigation activities. Data gaps were identified in the 2011 Amchitka Navy Ohl Lake/Former Sewage Lagoon Site Investigation Report and the 2013 Amchitka Navy Ohl Lake/Former Sewage Lagoon Revised Environmental Risk Assessment which determined that PCB concentrations in sediment and fish tissues exceeded the risk thresholds for benthic organisms, fish, and several avian species. Planned data gap investigation efforts include plant, sediment, surface water, and fish tissue sampling at the Former Sewage Lagoon, drainage outfalls, Ohl Lake, and the downgradient drainage to the Bering Sea marine environment. 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

Name Level Description Media Comments

Control Type

Type Details

Requirements

Description Details

There are no documents for this site report.

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