Division of Spill Prevention and Response

Breadcrumbs

Site Report: North River RRS OT001 & Site Wide


Site Name: North River RRS OT001 & Site Wide
Address: 13 Miles NE of Unalakleet, Unalakleet, AK 99684
File Number: 630.38.001
Hazard ID: 845
Status: Cleanup Complete
Staff: ,
Latitude: 63.888622
Longitude: -160.518467
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

The North River Radio Relay Station (RRS) was part of the White Alice Communication System, operated from the late 1950s until declared excess in 1978. Site is jointly owned by U.S. Air Force, Unalakleet Native Corp., Bureau of Land Management. EPA ID # AKD981762164. The site condition has been improved significantly since cleanup operations began in the 1980s. Before building demolition and environmental restoration began, the site contained large deteriorated structures containing asbestos, above-ground fuel and water tanks, an underground storage tank, four 80-foot high communications towers, scattered debris, electrical transformers, drums containing petroleum, and associated soil contamination. Contamination resulted from past handling of fuels, chemicals, and wastes at the station. The contaminants of concern are PCBs and diesel range petroleum. The Army Corps of Engineers demolished the abandoned buildings and structures, and conducted a removal of contaminated soil under the Formerly Used Defense Sites program in 1993 and 1995. Field work was terminated in 1996 when the contractor went bankrupt and the replacement contractor failed to fully report the site work conducted. In 2002, two areas of PCB contaminated soils were discovered, one of which had been spread from the source area by vehicle traffic. Time Critical Removals were conducted in 2003 through 2005, although the PCB contaminated soil remains. A Site Investigation was conducted in 2004 to continue the site characterization that stalled in 1996. This Site Investigation includes all other contaminated areas not addressed in the Time Critical Removals. A Supplemental Site Investigation was conducted by the Air Force in 2007 to further delineate the extent of the contamination. A Record of Decision (ROD) was signed on September 13, 2010. The ROD describes the Air Forces proposed remedy for the OT001 site as excavation and offsite disposal. The goal of the proposed remedial action is to remove PCB contaminated soil above the residential cleanup level of 1.0 mg/kg. POL contamination at OT001 is below the ingestion cleanup criteria, so no further action is warranted for POL at this site. The remedial action is scheduled for 2011.



Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
5/28/1981 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = SI - Site Investigation). U.S. General Accounting Office report to Secretary of the Air Force. Indicated vandalism and lack of security at North River site. PCBs found in 5 gallon cans at 6 White Alice sites (report did not state how much at North River). 276 gallons sulfuric acid, 67 pounds NaOH, 25 gallons cresylic acid, 192 gallons trichloroethane, 1 gallon xylol, and 100,000 gallons of bulk diesel fuel noted at site. Large storage tanks not locked. Photos show surface soil contamination by spilled fuel. No Longer Assigned
1/1/1982 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RDRA - Remedial Design / Remedial Action). 5099th CEO visited North River to remove transformers. No Longer Assigned
4/2/1982 Preliminary Assessment Approved Hazardous waste assessment found approximately 500 gallons transformer oil, one 5 gallon can PCB fluid, 1 drum transformer oil, 5 gallons sulfuric acid, 10 pints NaOH, 35 carbon dioxide cylinders, 3 klystron tubes, and 94 batteries (44 Exide). Fuel raided, most drums empty. No Longer Assigned
7/1/1982 Interim Removal Action Approved (Old R:Base Action Code = REM - Removal / Excavation). Air Force cleanup of site and removal of hazardous wastes. No Longer Assigned
7/7/1982 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Site visit by J. Janssen and C. Pearson. Several areas of stained soil observed and samples were obtained for PCBs. Analyses detected 200,000 ppm Arochlor 1260. No Longer Assigned
9/20/1982 Interim Removal Action Approved (Old R:Base Action Code = REM - Removal / Excavation). Air Force cleanup crew performed additional cleanup. Excavated area 20x20x1 feet. Approximately 20 drums used for transport and disposal. No Longer Assigned
9/29/1982 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Site visit by J. Janssen and C. Pearson during cleanup. 3 soil and 2 surface water samples obtained. Two samples showed 610 and 1490 ppm PCBs. Insufficient volume of surface water prevented PCB analysis. No Longer Assigned
10/28/1982 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Pump house at Unalakleet and Ryan Air water sampled by S. Mawson. Analysis of samples did not detect PCBs. No Longer Assigned
1/1/1984 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RDRA - Remedial Design / Remedial Action). 5099th CEO visited North River to remove PCB-contaminated soils. An inventory report (March 1986) and three sampling reports were available in March 1989. No Longer Assigned
10/1/1985 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Woodward-Clyde Field Investigation Report, Northwest Alaska Sites. No Longer Assigned
3/1/1986 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = FI - Field Inspection (General)). Woodward-Clyde Site Inventory Reports. No Longer Assigned
3/13/1987 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = MS - Monitoring/Sampling). COE Chemist Reports dated 11/7/86, 12/8/86, 1/27/87, and 3/13/87. No Longer Assigned
3/1/1989 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RAPR - Remedial Action Plan Review (CS)). Work Plan for chemical contamination dated March 1989. No Longer Assigned
5/1/1990 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = SI - Site Investigation). Harza Environmental Services, Inc. Chemical Contamination Report, Unalakleet - Aircraft Warning Site, Nome Area - Seward Peninsula Project dated May 1990. Observed two 250,000 gallon fuel storage tanks, 3 pole-mounted oil transformers, and a small leaking capacitor. 9 soil, 1 groundwater, and 3 surface water samples obtained. Soil sample analyses detected up to 160 ppb toluene, 270 ppb xylenes, 25 ppb trichloroethylene (TCE), and semivolatiles including PAHs, phenolic compounds, and up to 3.5 ppm dibenzofuran. Up to 390,000 (? units) PCBs also detected. Samples also contained up to 1600 ppm diesel and 120 ppm bunker fuel. Water analyses detected up to 5 ppb TCE and 115 ppb fuel (similar to gasoline) in surface water. No semivolatiles, pesticides, or PCBs. 17 ppb chromium, 2 ppb lead, and 0.0062 mercury also found in surface water. No Longer Assigned
8/1/1990 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RAPR - Remedial Action Plan Review (CS)). James Montgomery Engineers Design Analysis for Seward Peninsula DERP Project. No Longer Assigned
12/20/1990 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Initial ranking. No Longer Assigned
1/31/1992 Site Added to Database Multiple contaminants. No Longer Assigned
9/8/1992 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = RPL2 - Site Information Request Letter). Sent PRP-CS Database Notification letter to RP requesting update and more environmental information concerning contaminated site. Jim Levine\COE called 10-5-92 and responded by returning updated DECRPTs. Jeff Peterson
3/3/1993 Meeting or Teleconference Held Markey report pre-construction meeting in Fairbanks describing DERP project at Unalakleet and North River sites. Rielle Markey
3/3/1993 Site Characterization Workplan Approved (Old R:Base Action Code = MP - Management Plan (CERCLIS)). Received specifications describing scope of project at Unalakleet and North River sites. Martech is contractor. Rielle Markey
3/26/1993 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = CORR - Correspondence (General)). Sent letter to COE describing ADEC concerns with project. Rielle Markey
12/6/1993 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = CORR - Correspondence (General)). Letter documenting September 8, 1993 meeting, and stating requirements for determining an acceptable alternate clean-up level. Bob Couch
12/13/1993 Update or Other Action (Old R:Base Action Code = CORR - Correspondence (General)). Sent letter in response to request for alternate clean-up levels giving the regulatory requirements and asking for a response as to their decision. MARTEC is the contractor on this site. Recently the contractor has been in the news as filing for bankruptcy...Dave Maiero is the contractor's project manager, and his telephone number is 561-1970. Bob Couch
1/19/1994 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Initial ranking. No Longer Assigned
3/20/1997 Update or Other Action Site updated by Shannon and Wilson, based on the FUDS Site Summary dated 2/21/96. S&W
3/24/1997 Update or Other Action Site updated by Shannon and Wilson, based on the Air Force Relative Risk Evaluation Worksheet dated 12/5/95. S&W
3/3/2000 Update or Other Action Staff received a Site Investigation Report prepared by the Corp of Engineers (COE) for 15 sites in the Unalakleet area that may have been used by the military when the base was active but not on the actual FUD site. A contract was awarded for the FUD site and the North River RRS site in 1993 to perform a RI. Unfortunately the contractor went bankrupt before a RI report was finished. No work has been done on these sites in many years. The DSMOA calls for a RI for Unalakleet Aircraft Warning Site in 2000 and other RI for North River RRS in 2001. A meeting is tentatively planned for March 14th in Unalakleet to discuss the report and talk to the local residence about their concerns. Patrice Buck
4/24/2002 Update or Other Action Per USAF request, staff made recommendations of further necessary remedial action based on North River RRS, Final Remedial Action Report, prepared by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Action entered by Sarah Riddle. Patrice Buck
1/23/2003 Update or Other Action Sampling efforts began January 9, 2004 to collect grouse, rabbits, and ptarmigan to test the effects of a PCB spill had on the animals’ tissue and internal organs. Last week, Unalakleet hunters bagged about 6 animals, a combination of rabbits and ptarmigan, all taken within 5 miles of the PCB “hot zone.” Laboratory Technician and locals participants prepared and shipped the critter parts to a Michigan laboratory last week. The efforts have been subdued by extreme cold, deep snow, and weather conditions that have the vast majority of the animals laying low. The consensus is to stand down for now and re-start in a few months. It will be considered the same sampling event as long as there is still snow on the ground. Patrice Buck
7/25/2003 Update or Other Action During an Air Force drum removal and soil sampling event this summer at the North River RRS, PCB-contaminated soil was discovered in the middle of an access road to a native allotment. Preliminary sampling results show PCB concentrations exceeding 30,000 ppm in an eight foot square area and that some contamination has likely been dispersed through tire tracks. Analytical results are expected to be received Friday. The Air Force plans to take grid samples on August 6 and excavate the contaminated soil this summer as a Time Critical Removal Action. They are also planning to sample inside the cabin on the native allotment were PCB-contaminated soil could have potentially been tracked. A risk assessment and evaluation of potential pathways is in development. Patrice Buck
9/5/2003 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff attended a public meeting in Unalakleet to discuss the highly contaminated PCB soil found in a driveway leading to a native allotment in July. Source area soil sample results exceeded 30,000 ppm PCBs. Contamination has spread from the site via vehicular and foot traffic and a nearby cabin may also be contaminated. Analytical quality control problems invalidated wipe samples collected inside the cabin. Additional samples will be collected. DEC has requested the Air Force perform the cleanup as quickly as possible. However, a washed out bridge in the area may prevent the Air Force from moving equipment to the area to excavate the contaminated soil. If excavation cannot be completed this season due to logistical problems, DEC has requested the Air Force secure the site to eliminate the exposure pathway to people and wildlife. This is critical as the area is used for hunting and subsistence gathering. Patrice Buck
9/17/2003 Update or Other Action An update on the site was sent to Senator Olson and Representative Foster indicating the following: "Soil containing high levels of PCB contamination was found earlier this year along an access road to a cabin on a Native allotment. It appears the actual spillage occurred quite a few years ago and was related to drums that were stored or disposed of in the area. The Air Force has been responsive to DEC and community concerns. They are in the field now removing some of the most heavily impacted soil and are planning to fence and/or cover areas with lower contaminant levels and complete the work during next summer’s field season. The work is also being coordinated with EPA. DEC’s project manager recently participated in a public meeting in Unalakleet and inspected the site. The Native Village of Unalakleet recently sent the attached letter to Senator Steven’s office regarding funding for the remaining work. DEC is working with residents and the Dept. of Defense (DOD) to ensure adequate cleanup of DOD contamination." Ann Farris
10/3/2003 Update or Other Action Staff will travel to Unalakleet next week to inspect the completion of the interim action for the removal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) soil near the North River RRS site. The Air Force completed field work September 26. The PCB hot spot soil was excavated and placed in drums in preparation for transport to Anchorage; total weight of soil is 31,530 pounds. Final disposal will be determined based on sample results. Heavy industrial liner and crushed rock were placed over the hot spot as temporary top cover. Sample results received October 2 show high concentrations (greater than 1,000 ppm) still remain in the area under the cover. The PCB-impacted area, located on USAF, Native Corporation, and Native Allotment properties, was fenced with 6 foot chain link "Cyclone" fence. A geotech material was placed on the main road and covered with gravel for 150 feet in each direction. State Department of Public Health, Epidemiology Section staff have been in Unalakleet this week testing for PCB concentrations in family members who own the Native Allotment adjacent to the spill area. Patrice Buck
10/15/2003 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff traveled to Unalakleet and met with community leaders and Air Force staff to discuss polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) contamination near the North River RRS site. Planning has begun for the removal of PCB contaminated soil above 1 ppm. Initial quantity estimates for removal and offsite shipment are approximately 1 million pounds of soil. Laboratory sample results for vegetation collected in the vicinity of the hot spot showed elevated levels of PCB presumably caused by dust. State Department of Public Health, Epidemiology Section conducted blood test on 21 individuals from the Unalakleet community the first week in October. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) laboratory is doing the analysis of these medical samples. The Unalakleet Tribal Council has requested the Air Force replace the cabin on the Native Allotment adjacent to the spill area. The Tribe has requested tissue sampling of grouse for PCB because the area is a popular hunting area. A meeting to discuss health and property issues is schedule for October 27 in Anchorage. Patrice Buck
11/14/2003 Update or Other Action Staff received results from the epidemiology investigation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposures in Unalakleet. Blood serum samples were collected from area residents considered to have the greatest potential for exposure to PCB contamination near the North River Radio Relay Station. The Department of Health & Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology found that the serum PCB levels were below levels associated with ill health effects and were similar to those of people in other parts of Alaska and other part of the United States. PCB levels detected in Unalakleet participants are similar to global background exposures. Epidemiology staff is traveling to Unalakleet this week to discuss the report and answer any questions. Patrice Buck
12/12/2003 Update or Other Action The CSP risk assessor reviewed and commented on the North River RRS Animal Survey for PCBs, prepared by CT&E/ SGS Environmental Services. The community of Unalakleet is concerned of possible polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in subsistence food animals harvested near a PCB-contaminated site. The Air Force, with the assistance of local hunters, plans to collect specimens of grouse, ptarmigan, and rabbits. Five of each species will be collected within 0.5 miles of the hot zone as well as three specimens of each from at least 5 miles away (background samples). Gizzards, livers, and the meat will be analyzed separately. Sample collection is planned to begin January 7, 2004. Dr. Angela Matz with US Fish and Wildfire will assisted Tim Hansen with CT&G/SGS in preparing the samples for shipment. Patrice Buck
2/19/2004 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed and commented on Draft Report Time-Critical Removal North River (former) Radio Relay Site (December 2003). The report describes the background, field work, and sampling results of work done in the summer of 2003 on the PCB spill and drum removal. Patrice Buck
2/27/2004 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed and commented on the Draft 2004 Sampling and Analysis Plan and Draft Action Memorandum for the Time-Critical Removal, North River Radio Relay Site. The plans describe field work and sampling to be done at the North River site during the summer of 2004. The Air Force has proposed to remove all the contaminated soil and vegetation with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations greater that 1 mg/kg from the site discovered in July 2003 and some petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL) contaminated soil discovered in two other areas near the North River RRS Site. Patrice Buck
10/15/2004 Site Characterization Workplan Approved DEC staff approved the revised work plan for the North River RRS Time Critical Removal in May, and approved the revised work plan for the North River RRS Site Investigation in August. The Time Critical Removal work was conducted by the Air Force's 611th CEVO, while the Site Investigation work was conducted by an Air Force contractor. Colin Craven
10/15/2004 Update or Other Action DEC staff visited the site on September 9 and 10 to inspect the progress of the Time Critical Removal. Logistical complications have prevented the Air Force 611th from completing all the work proposed in the approved work plan. The main PCB source area (Area C) turned out to be larger and more contaminated than originally expected. The other, smaller areas of PCB and POL contamination (Areas A and B) were prepared for removal, but no excavation took place due to the efforts at the main source area (Area C). Because work could not be completed this year, the excavation at Area C was covered with a liner and backfilled with clean fill. Fences and warning signs were placed around the areas where PCB contamination remains. A public meeting in Unalakleet is planned for later in the year to discuss the status of the site with the community. Colin Craven
11/9/2004 Update or Other Action DEC received the draft version of the 2004 Site Investigation Report, created for the Air Force 611th Civil Engineer Squadron by contractors MWH. Colin Craven
12/10/2004 Meeting or Teleconference Held Meetings were held in Unalakleet that presented the findings of the 2004 Site Investigation at the former North River RRS. A public meeting was held in the city school, and a presentation was made to the high school age children the following morning about the PCBs that remain at the North River site. Sufficient interest was expressed in forming a Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) to merit a RAB information meeting tentatively scheduled for January 2005. If a RAB is formed, the goal is to integrate both the Air Force and U.S. Army Corps into the RAB for all the sites that surround Unalakleet. Colin Craven
12/17/2004 Update or Other Action DEC reviewed the draft 2004 Site Investigation Report and submitted comments to the Air Force 611th Civil Engineer Squadron. Major findings from the report include PCBs above the cleanup level in surface soils at the former White Alice site. These PCB cleanup level exceedances were spotty and relatively low compared to the source areas addressed in the Time Critical Removals of PCB contaminated soils. Subsurface petroleum contamination was documented at the White Alice site and the former Auto Maintenance Yard. The petroleum contamination is almost entirely in the diesel range, and the only detection of BTEX above cleanup levels was at the former Auto Maintenance Building underground storage tank site. Groundwater was encountered in the bottom of test pits excavated at the former Auto Maintenance Yard at approximately six feet below the ground surface. This is the first indication of groundwater present at the North River RRS site. Recommendations will be summarized upon completion of the final report. Colin Craven
12/20/2004 GIS Position Updated Location of former North River White Alice site updated. Colin Craven
2/14/2005 Update or Other Action A comment resolution meeting was held at Elmendorf Air Force Base between the 611th Civil Engineering Squadron, their contractors, and DEC. The comment resolution was in regards to finalization of the 2004 Site Investigation report prepared by 611th contractors. Colin Craven
2/18/2005 Update or Other Action The Air Force 611th Civil Engineering Squadron is still in the process of seeking funds to remove the PCB-contaminated soil stockpiled at Area C of the Time Critical Removal project. Funding acquisition for removal of stockpile is probable, but is not likely for continuing the excavations at Areas A and C under a continuing Time Critical Removal. DEC is awaiting additional information from the 611th in regards to the current site conditions after the 2004 removal action. Colin Craven
4/4/2005 Update or Other Action DEC formally requested that the Air Force remove the PCB contaminated soil stockpile created in 2004 and placed within “Area C” of the Time Critical Removal areas. Also requested was a rescheduling of further remedial action to address the remaining PCB contamination in the soil at the North River site, separate from the lower risk subsurface petroleum contamination at the site. A formal response was requested from the Air Force by May 1, 2005. The Native Village of Unalakleet and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have both agreed with DEC’s position in correspondence to the Air Force. Colin Craven
4/27/2005 Update or Other Action The Air Force requested a two week extension for formal reply on the matters raised in the April 4, 2005 update. DEC agreed and requested a formal response by May 13, 2005. Colin Craven
4/28/2005 Meeting or Teleconference Held A Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) formation meeting was set up by the Air Force and hosted by the Native Village of Unalakleet on April 25, 2005. While not in attendance, interested was expressed by all parties for the Army Corps of Engineers to join the RAB upon formation. The Army Corps is responsible for the restoration of properties associated with the former Aircraft Control and Warning station near Unalakleet. Sufficient interest was expressed by community members for the RAB formation to proceed. An interim community co-chair was selected at the meeting to set up the RAB charter. Colin Craven
4/29/2005 Update or Other Action DEC reviewed the draft report that documents the 2004 Time Critical Removal action. The 2004 activities included excavation and delineation of PCB contaminated soil. Colin Craven
5/20/2005 Update or Other Action The Air Force is currently planning to mobilize to the North River site on June 13, 2005 to remove the stockpile of PCB contaminated soil left behind from the 2004 Time Critical Removal excavation. DEC requested a removal or capping of known PCB contamination in the surface soils at Areas A and C while conducting the stockpile removal. Colin Craven
6/6/2005 Site Characterization Workplan Approved DEC approved a work plan addendum to the 2004 work plan that states the 2005 project goals. The 2005 project mobilization is intended primarily to remove the stockpile of PCB contaminated soil generated and stored at “Area C” of the Time Critical Removal actions. The Air Force will excavate the remaining contamination at Area C if possible. If not, the remaining contamination will be covered with a liner and fenced in, as has been done as a site control for both Areas A and C over the past few years. Colin Craven
7/13/2005 Update or Other Action The Air Force mobilized to the North River site in June, but was called out to work on another project shortly after. Work is expected to resume in August or September 2005. Colin Craven
8/8/2005 Site Characterization Report Approved The revised report that documents the 2004 Time Critical Action work was received by DEC. Colin Craven
9/15/2005 Update or Other Action ADEC visited the continued excavation of “Area C”, as labeled from the Time Critical Removal Actions of 2003 and 2004, as the Air Force 611th Civil Engineering Squadron was completing work for the season. After removing the stockpile of PCB contaminated soil as requested by ADEC, the Air Force crew reopened the excavation with the goal of removing the remaining subsurface PCB contamination without field screening or a mobile laboratory, in contradiction to their approved work plan. Samples were collected from the floor of the excavation as completed, and the results are pending. The Air Force currently plans to leave the excavation open, enclosed with a chain link fence, until returning to the site to perform a Remedial Investigation in 2007. Colin Craven
12/6/2005 Update or Other Action Air Force personnel returned to the Area C site in late October to cover the excavation. However, the excavation cover was a small piece of liner that does not cover most of the excavation. The excavation remains surrounded by chain link fencing and warning signs. Colin Craven
12/7/2005 Meeting or Teleconference Held The first official meeting of the Unalakleet RAB was held in the new community hall. Attendees included co-chairs from the community, USACE, and Air Force, as well as approximately six of the community RAB members. Despite a shift in the meeting schedule due to flight delays, the RAB meeting was also well attended by other members of the community. After summarizing the recent site characterization and debris removal work at both former Air Force installations (Aircraft Control & Warning and North River White Alice), discussion revolved around several unpermitted dumps and other Air Force sites that are not included in the current scope of work by either the Air Force or USACE. Many local residents have knowledge of these site locations, although it was difficult to determine whether these areas had already been investigated due to the different names given to the sites by the locals and the Department of Defense. The frequency of future RAB meetings was not determined, but is expected to be approximately biannual. Colin Craven
3/10/2006 Update or Other Action DEC reviewed the draft report prepared the Air Force that documents the continued cleanup activities at the former Time Critical Removal "Area C". The report lacked reporting or a review of the laboratory data. When later received by DEC, the data had several significant anomalies that would require qualification, although the Air Force’s review of the data did not address these anomalies. Until these problems can be solved, DEC will not accept the report. Colin Craven
7/12/2006 Meeting or Teleconference Held RAB meeting in Unalakleet. Attendees included USACE and contractors, 611th Air Force, local RAB members, public representatives, and a representative from ACAT by teleconference. Meeting minutes will soon be made available on the Contaminated Sites RAB web page. Colin Craven
8/14/2006 Institutional Control Record Established The North River institutional control consists of fencing and warning signs surrounding Areas A and C, excavation cover (liner and backfill), and the agreement to maintain these site controls. The site controls will be maintained until Areas A and C meet DEC Method 2 or site specific risk-based cleanup levels. Annual inspections will be conducted in May or early June, unless findings indicate that more frequent inspections are needed. Inspection findings, with photographs, as well as an action plan for repairing any damage to the site controls that could not be repaired during the site visit will be submitted by email within 30 days of the inspection. The adequacy of the current excavation liner and backfill at Area C will be discussed by DEC and the Air Force at a meeting in October 2006. Colin Craven
9/6/2006 Update or Other Action ADEC received a revised report documenting the 2005 time critical removal actions at "Area C". The prior concerns about reporting and providing adequate review of laboratory data have been addressed by the Air Force, although a few errors were found in the revised report, as noted in a comment letter sent to the 611th Civil Engineering Squadron. Colin Craven
10/2/2006 Site Characterization Report Approved ADEC received a revised report that satisfied the comments mentioned in the Sept. 6, 2006 database entry. Colin Craven
10/5/2006 Meeting or Teleconference Held ADEC participated in a systematic planning meeting for a remedial investigation scheduled to take place in 2007. Representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers Seattle district facilitated the planning meeting with attendees representing the 611th Civil Engineering Squadron, Pacific Air Forces, Bureau of Land Management, ADEC, and Air Force contractors. After summarizing the installation history, a substantial amount of time was spent discussing current and projected landownership for areas used by the Air Force in running the former relay station. Options for sampling, remedial action, and institutional controls were discussed for each contaminated site and landfill, although project planning was kept general since the Air Force plans to use this input to consider the costs and benefits of remediation versus institutional controls for PCB and petroleum contamination. Projected future landownership was the most important factor in the site decisions, although it is not known with certainty for many of the areas under consideration. Colin Craven
3/23/2007 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking. Broke the site into White Alice and Maintenance Bldg for ranking in the ETM. Lisa Maserjian
6/18/2007 Meeting or Teleconference Held PM attended Systematic Planning Meeting for Unalakleet North River RRS on June 18th. Attendees were Todd Fickel (6llth); Earl Crapps and Marty Brewer (ADECJ), three BLM representatives, and three Jacobs representatives. Conceptual Site Models were presented for each area of concern. The areas of concern are OT001, Former White Alice Communications System (WACS); SO001, Former Vehicle Maintenance Facility (VMF); SS001, Drum Storage Area and ATV Trail (Area C); SS003, Drums and Stained Area (Area A); SS004, Drums and Former Landfill (Area B). And, two other areas of interest: The Lower Pump House and Potential Metallic Anomaly. The Air Force stated that Area B should be renamed Former Borrow Pit, as the landfill was recorded in a different location and this site has evidence of borrow pit activity. The consultant presented the proposed sample locations and approach for each area of concern. Also discussed preliminary schedule for the proposed 2007 field work and analytical procedures. The proposed approach for the WACS was to divide it in 4 quadrants and conduct MI sampling at the surface (0 – 2 feet) and subsurface (0 – 15 feet ) of each quadrant. DEC stated this approach was not what was decided at TRIAD meeting. Approach was to first calculate 95 UCL for each quadrant. Also, informed them that MI approach does not work where there are detections over cleanup level. For the other areas of concern, the consultant’s approach was to define and characterize COCs with analytical soil sampling. The consultant was asking for a very fast review time for the draft work plan, due in July. This meeting makes it clear that a follow-up meeting after a TRIAD should occur in order to go over action items brought up in the TRIAD and to reach agreement on the sampling plan prior to writing a draft work plan. Lisa Maserjian
7/11/2007 Meeting or Teleconference Held Colin Craven attended RAB Meeting in Unalakleet. One of the villagers (Henry) stated he remembered Area B being a dump, not a Borrow Area as Todd Fickel is claimining. Colin Craven
7/26/2007 Update or Other Action Received Response to Comments for the Draft Work Plan. Todd Fickel indicated he wanted ADEC's comments on the Response on July 27, 2007. This is not possible due to the obligations of some of the ADEC staff (meetings). Need to communicate to Todd Fickel that ADEC does not concur with the statements concerning Area B. Todd contends that the area is a borrow area so they do not have to survey the area for landfill materials. A local villager (Henry) stated at the July 11, 2007 RAB meeting that the area was a dump. ADEC is requesting the Air Force stick with the original plan to look for the landfill limits using metal detectors. Lisa Maserjian
7/7/2008 Meeting or Teleconference Held The Army Corps and the Air Force held a joint RAB meeting in Unalakleet to discuss the FUDS Proposed Plan, and the North River release investigation. The new community co-chair Teri Panipichuk set up the meeting hall, but the meeting was not well attended due to the opening of fishing season. The RAB members that attended had questions about the cleanup levels, and concerns about migration of contaminants to surface water. The meeting was cordial, and the RAB members thanked the Air Force, and Army Corps for the restoration of the sites. Kim DeRuyter
9/15/2008 Site Characterization Report Approved Approved the August 2008 Final Site Characterization and Remedial Investigation Report. PCB and DRO soil contamination at the Main Installation area (OT001) was further delineated. Kim DeRuyter
3/20/2009 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff met with the Air Force and their contractor to discuss a Tech Memo, and the path forward for the North River Radio Relay Station site. The Air Force had calculated a 95 % upper confidence level (UCL) of 0.87 mg/kg for an area of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated soil at the White Alice Communication Site. CS explained that while the 95% UCL did address the risk of exposure, leaving any PCB contamination above 1 mg/kg might hamper future land transfer. Previous clean sweep activities have complicated the PCB cleanup. The draft feasibility study will be submitted to the State in April, the remedial action is scheduled for 2010. Kim DeRuyter
6/24/2009 Report or Workplan Review - Other Contaminated Sites staff and Jennifer Currie with the Department of Law reviewed and provided comment on the Draft Feasibility Study (FS) for the North River RRS. The preferred remedy for cleanup of PCB contamination selected in the Draft FS is excavation and off-site disposal. However, the Air Force will gather further information on two innovative treatment technologies - 1) a treatability study being conducted at Granite Mountain, and 2) an EPA Technical Demonstration at Port Heiden prior to submitting a Draft Final Report. Petroleum contamination at the site will be addressed under a separate Work Plan. Kim DeRuyter
12/14/2009 Meeting or Teleconference Held CS staff, and Jenn Currie (DOL) met with the Air Force to discuss the Proposed Plan for the North River Radio Relay Station. The proposed remedial action is excavation and offsite disposal. Of primary concern were the areas where PCBs remained below 5 mg/kg in scattered detections across OT001. CS advised reducing the size of the decision units to include only the areas where previous detections exceeded 1 mg/kg. Excavate the contaminated soil and resample using either a multi-incremental or TSCA grid sampling approach. Soil stockpiles resulting from these excavations will be sampled, stockpiles with concentrations below 1 mg/kg may be used to backfill the excavation, provided adequate sampling is done to confirm the soil concentrations. Stockpiled soil with concentrations greater than 1 mg/kg, will be shipped offsite. Kim DeRuyter
12/15/2009 Update or Other Action Minor comments on the Draft-Final FS were sent to the Air Force and contractor on 11/5/09. The Final FS was received on November 24, and approved on December 15, 2009. The final remedy - excavation and offsite disposal has been incorportated into the draft Proposed Plan received yesterday. Kim DeRuyter
1/20/2010 Proposed Plan The Final Proposed Plan was received on January 4th, and approved today. A public meeting is scheduled for February 17, 2010. Kim DeRuyter
2/18/2010 Meeting or Teleconference Held Staff traveled to Unalakleet to attend a public meeting on the North River Radio Relay Station Proposed Plan. While in Unalakleet, CS staff and Air Force personnel met with the Board of Directors of the Unalakleet Native Corporation to discuss the Proposed Plan and the cleanup levels for PCBs and petroleum contaminated soil at a former drum storage area on Native Corporation property. The community and the Board both expressed gratitude to the Air Force for conducting the cleanup at the RRS. The selected remedy of excavation and offsite disposal for PCB soil met with the approval of the community. The Air Force is proposing on-site treatment of petroleum contaminated soil using land farming with the biochemical soil additive Pentanonic. Petroleum contaminated soil cleanup will be covered under a separate workplan Kim DeRuyter
5/17/2010 Report or Workplan Review - Other Staff provided comments on the Draft Record of Decision (ROD) for the CERCLA contaminated sites. The ROD did not clearly define whether PCBs below 10 mg/kg would be removed from the site, or capped and managed in place. The Air Force will draft a decision document to document the ICs and location of landfills and sites with soil or groundwater contamination above the applicable cleanup level. Several sites do not contain contamination above the applicable cleanup levels and do not require further action or institutional controls (ICs). Closure of these sites will be documented in a State Closure letter. Kim DeRuyter
6/4/2010 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Initial ranking with ETM completed for source area id: 78180 name: Vehicle Maintenance Building Kim DeRuyter
6/22/2010 Update or Other Action Staff provided comments on the Draft Final Record of Decision, and the POL Decision document. The ROD describes the Air Forces decision to excavate polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and PCB/petroleum contaminated soil from three sites, SS003, SS001, and OT001. The excavated soil will be segregated based on PCB concentration and will either be disposed of at a TSCA chemical waste or RCRA subcategory D landfill. Excavations will proceed until the Table B1 and B2 ingestion, inhalation and direct contact cleanup levels have been met for PCB and petroleum contaminants. Groundwater was not encountered during previous investigations at the sites covered in this ROD, however, if groundwater is encountered, cleanup levels will be reassessed. The Decision Document describes the Air Forces plan to address petroleum contamination at two sites, the former Vehicle Maintenance Facility (SO001), and a former drum storage area (SS004). The Air Force proposes excavation and onsite treatment of the contaminated soil. Contaminated groundwater was encountered during previous investigations at SS004. A series of monitoring wells will be installed to delineate the extent of the groundwater contamination. Institutional controls will be required to protect site users from contacting or ingesting groundwater until concentrations have met Table C cleanup levels. When the treated soil has met the applicable cleanup levels it will be used to backfill the excavations. Kim DeRuyter
7/23/2010 CERCLA ROD Approved The Final POL Decision Document and PCB Record of Decision were reviewed and approved for signature. The Departments comments on the Draft and Draft Final documents were addressed in the Final Documents. Kim DeRuyter
9/13/2010 Cleanup Level(s) Approved The Record of Decision and POL Decision Document were signed on September 13, 2010. Kim DeRuyter
6/3/2011 Update or Other Action Staff provided comment on the Pre-draft Cleanup Plan for this site. As described in the Record of decision, the plan for this site is excavation and offsite disposal of PCB soil greater than 1 mg/kg. The work is scheduled to begin in late July. Kim DeRuyter
7/14/2011 CERCLA Remedial Design/Remedial Action Plan Approved The Air Force has submitted Draft Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs) for cleanup of the remaining PCB and petroleum (POL) areas of concern at this facility. The plan for OT001 (which was incorporated into the POL QAPP for contracting purposes),is to remove PCB soil to 1 mg/kg and ship the contaminated soil to a permitted landfill. The Draft and Draft Final POL QAPP have been reviewed, and revised per the Departments comments. The Final POL QAPP was approved via email in late June, the official approval letter was sent today. The Draft PCB QAPP is currently under review. Kim DeRuyter
7/26/2011 CERCLA Remedial Design/Remedial Action Plan Approved Response to comments on the Draft Final PCB cleanup plan were received. The Departments comments have been addressed and the document has been approved for final printing. Work has begun on the road to improve access to the site and initial samples have been collected to delineate the source areas. Kim DeRuyter
8/17/2011 Update or Other Action Delays in the repair of the North River Bridge have stalled the remedial action. Road repairs were completed, but the bridge repairs are not yet complete. Over 50 cubic yards of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated soil from OT001 have been excavated and placed in super sacks on a liner near the excavation. Additional PCB and petroleum cleanup actions planed for the 2011 field season have not been started. The Air Force has contacted the Environmental Protection Agency with a request to store super sacks of PCB soil at the site until next year, in the event that the bridge repairs are not done in time to allow for transport of the contaminated soil on the last barge out of Unalakleet in mid September. The Air Force will complete the remainder of the cleanup next summer. Kim DeRuyter
12/8/2011 Report or Workplan Review - Other The Air Force submitted a draft Tech Memo describing the work conducted at the North River sites during the 2011 field season. The North River Bridge which is the only access to the site was repaired and approximately 260 cubic yards of PCB contaminated soil was excavated from OT001. The excavation proceeded to bedrock and samples from the margins of the excavation were above cleanup levels. Further excavation is anticipated in 2012 provided funding is available. Kim DeRuyter
3/23/2012 Update or Other Action Project manager changed from DeRuyter to Dooley. Rebecca Bryan
5/24/2012 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC recieved the draft PCB Soil Removal QAPP Revision 1 on May 14 and sent comments on May 23. A removal action is planned for all contaminated soil above cleanup levels. Meghan Dooley
8/23/2012 Site Visit ADEC conducted a site visit to the North River RRS to conduct oversight on the removal of PCB contaminated soil from the WACS, Area A, and Area C. PCB contamination is extending much further than previously thought from prior investigation and will continue at least through 2013. Meghan Dooley
7/11/2013 CERCLA Remedial Design/Remedial Action Plan Approved ADEC approved the Final Cleanup Plan for PCB Contaminated Areas, Revision 2. The plan addresses additional cleanup for Areas A and C as well as the White Alice site. Meghan Dooley
7/11/2013 CERCLA Remedial Design/Remedial Action Plan Approved ADEC approved the Final Cleanup Plan for PCB Contaminated Areas, Revision 2. The plan addresses additional cleanup for Areas A and C as well as the White Alice site. Meghan Dooley
7/17/2013 Meeting or Teleconference Held ADEC participated in two public meetings facilitated by the US Air Force in Unalakleet to address questions on remedial progress at the RRS. Meghan Dooley
7/17/2013 Site Visit ADEC conducted a site visit to the RRS to observe work conducted and discuss issues encountered during the 2013 season. PCB-contaminated soil excavation is nearing completion at the WACS, however the extent is much larger than anticipated at Area C and groundwater has been encountered. Meghan Dooley
1/31/2014 Update or Other Action ADEC received the Draft 2013 Cleanup Report for PCB- and POL- Contaminated Soils. Meredith Savage
3/27/2014 Meeting or Teleconference Held PCBs above cleanup levels remain on bedrock in Areas A and C at depths of 8 to 19 feet bgs; ROD amendment will be needed to allow site closure with ICs. In this meeting it was decided that the ROD amendment process will be undertaken in 2015. A work plan will be drafted for work to be conducted during the 2014 field season and a community meeting will be scheduled to get community input on the draft. The work plan will include: 1) installing groundwater monitoring wells at Area C and conducting gw sampling; 2) removing 1,2,4-TCB from two grids and a bedrock ridge, if possible, in Area C; 3) excavation of the floor of grid 31I in the WACS area for remaining PCBs;backfilling Areas A and C; 4) further investigation for DROs and RROs at the drum site south of the cabin; 5) removing contaminated soils from the VMF area and land farming them at the WACS site; and 6) transporting the 640+ super sacks down to Unalakleet. Meredith Savage
3/28/2014 Update or Other Action Approved comments; asked for final version of North River RRS 2013 Cleanup Report for PCB- and POL Contaminated Soils. Meredith Savage
5/6/2014 Meeting or Teleconference Held Public meeting held at 1:00pm in the Village of Unalakleet to discuss data from 2013 field season and field work proposed for 2014. Attending: Meredith Savage-ADEC,Robert Johnston-USAF, Jennifer Anderson and Forrest Janukajtis-Jacobs Engineering. Discussion was held with community members regarding the information that PCB concentrations above ADEC Table B1, Method 2 cleanup levels still remain onsite at bedrock level at Area A and Area C. Community members voiced concern over the potential that those PCBs would migrate down gradient via groundwater and indicated they would like to see cleanup at site continue. Community members also asked that vegetation be sampled for PCBs. It was agreed that although Areas A and C are at bedrock, additional cleanup efforts would take place this summer, as well as installation of groundwater monitoring wells. Vegetation sampling would be considered. Meredith Savage
5/13/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other ADEC approves as final North River Radio Relay Station 2013 Cleanup Report for PCB- and POL Contaminated Soils. Meredith Savage
7/14/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other Provided comments on Soil Delineation and Drum Removal Work Plan Addendum, received electronically on 7/01/2014. The work plan a)proposes additional sampling in the location of a 55-gallon drum that was found (and removed) from near Area C in August of 2013, and b)proposes to sample and remove any other USAF drums found in the general area of the site. Meredith Savage
7/29/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other Received the draft Vegetation Sampling Work Plan Addendum to the North River Radio Relay Station Cleanup Plan for PCB-Contaminated Areas. The work plan describes the project approach and methodology for sampling vegetation ant Site SS001 (Area C) and SS003 (Area A). Meredith Savage
8/4/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other Comments provided the draft Vegetation Sampling Work Plan Addendum to the North River Radio Relay Station Cleanup Plan for PCB-Contaminated Areas. Meredith Savage
8/7/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other Received final Vegetation Sampling Work Plan Addendum to North River RRS Cleanup Plan for PCB-Contaminated Areas; work plan approved as final. Meredith Savage
8/7/2014 Report or Workplan Review - Other Received final Soil Delineation and Drum Removal Work Plan Addendum to North River RRS Cleanup Plan for PCB-Contaminated Areas; work plan approved as final. Meredith Savage
2/20/2015 Update or Other Action Received North River RRS Site OT001 (WACS)Closure Request. Meredith Savage
5/8/2015 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking A new updated ranking with ETM has been completed for source area 78179 OT001 PCB and POL Release. Meredith Savage
5/19/2015 Report or Workplan Review - Other The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) received an electronic copy of the document titled 2014 North River Radio Relay Station Site Activities Technical Memorandum on May 19, 2015. The document describes the vegetation sampling, drum investigation, and excavation activities at the North River Radio Relay Station (RRS) site during the 2014 field season. Vegetation sampling was conducted to address concerns raised by the community of Unalakleet about the potential for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in vegetation and to evaluate the potential for transmission through the food chain. Samples were collected from the roots, leaves, and fruits of various plants in the vicinity of the Site SS003 (Area A) excavation, in the vicinity of the Site SS001 (Area C) excavation, and along the ATV trail to the recreational cabin located to the southeast of the Area C excavation. Of the 111 total samples, 88 of the samples had no detection of PCBs and the remaining samples had detections that were less than the PCB soil cleanup level of 1 mg/kg. Detections were limited to root samples and one leaf sample; the highest detection was 0.44 mg/kg. The site of a drum removed in 2013 was sampled for petroleum hydrocarbon contamination. ADEC Method Two Soil Cleanup Levels were exceeded for diesel range organics (DRO) in each of the four samples. Because of suspected biognenic interference (organic matter), a silica gel cleanup was run on the samples and although the results showed that DRO concentrations for the four samples were below soil cleanup levels, a recommendation was made that 1.5 cubic yards of soil be removed from the vicinity of the drum during the 2015 field season and that no further investigation is required. Analytical results from the 2013 remedial action activities at Site OT001 (WACS) showed one remaining small area of PCB concentration exceeding the 1mg/kg soil cleanup level (a 1.18 mg/kg result). The contaminated soil was removed and confirmation sample results were below the soil cleanup levels for PCB. With this action all PCB-contaminated soil has been removed from Site OT001 (WACS), no further remediation is necessary, and site closure is recommended. ADEC has reviewed this report and accepts it as final. Meredith Savage
6/5/2015 Cleanup Complete Determination Issued The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has completed a review of the environmental records associated with the North River Radio Relay Station (RRS) Site OT001 (WACS). Based on the review a Cleanup Complete determination for Site OT001 has been issued. No further remedial action is required at this site. Meredith Savage
6/5/2015 Institutional Control Record Removed Institutional Controls have been removed. Meredith Savage
7/22/2016 Report or Workplan Review - Other DEC approved 2015 Site Activities Report, which included the following work at each site: - OT001 (WACS): construction and maintenance of the landfarm for petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) contaminated soil. - SO001 (VMF): excavating POL-contaminated soil and transporting this soil to the landfarm at Site OT001, collection of soil samples, and installation and sampling of groundwater monitoring wells. All groundwater results were below DEC cleanup levels. - SS001 (Area C): lining and backfilling the existing excavation, drilling, and site restoration; installation and sampling of groundwater monitoring wells. All groundwater results were below DEC cleanup levels. - SS003 (Area A): lining and backfilling the excavation, drilling, and site restoration; soil sampling. All soil results were less than ADEC cleanup levels, which indicates no contamination is present downgradient. Joy Whitsel
12/16/2016 Report or Workplan Review - Other DEC received Draft 2016 Site Activities Report. The objective of work conducted at the North River RRS included construction of a stockpile at SS001 (Area C), the removal of petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL)-contaminated soil from SO001 (vehicle maintenance facility [VMF]), and the operation of a landfarm at OT001 (White Alice Communications System [WACS]). Groundwater monitoring wells were sampled to determine if contamination had migrated to site groundwater at SO001 (VMF) and SS001 (Area C). Joy Whitsel
12/16/2016 Site Visit DEC Project Manager (PM) attended public Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting on 9/20 where US Air Force (USAF) and their contractor provided update of work completed in 2016, including landfarming, excavation and stockpiling of approximately 3,000 cy of petroleum-contaminated soil, and groundwater monitoring. On 9/21, the DEC PM, USAF PM, and contractors conducted a field visit to observe the work completed over the summer at the VMF, landfarm, and Area C, and to check on vegetative re-growth at the sites closed with institutional controls – Areas A and B. Re-growth at Area B is robust; re-growth at Area A is patchy due to large amounts of gravel in the surface soil. Joy Whitsel
2/2/2017 Final Cleanup Report Reviewed DEC has reviewed and approves as final the 2016 Site Activities Report for North River RRS. DEC agrees with the recommendations of the report – namely: a) further delineation of the extent of and removal of petroleum, oil, and lubricant- (POL) contaminated soil at the vehicle maintenance facility (VMF); b) a minimum of two years of groundwater monitoring upon completion of excavation activities at the VMF; c) continued landfarming activities as described in the report; d) and discontinuation of groundwater monitoring at Area C due to two consecutive years of sampling that indicated contaminants were below DEC groundwater cleanup levels. Joy Whitsel

Contaminant Information

Name Level Description Media Comments
PCBs - Total < Method 2 Most Stringent Soil Sub-surface confirmation samples show detection of PCB at 0.014 mg/kg.


Control Type

Type Details
No ICs Required


Requirements

Description Details
Advance approval required to transport soil or groundwater off-site.
Movement or use of contaminated material (including on site) in a manner that results in a violation of the water quality standards is prohibited (18 AAC 70)