DEC's Brownfield Assessment and Cleanup Projects
- Akiak – Old City Tank Farm and Power Plant
- Beaver – Generator Building Fire
- Elim –Old Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) Tank Farm
- Glennallen– Tazlina Copper Valley School
- Manokotak – Old BIA School
- New Stuyahok – Old Landfills
- Port Heide – Former landfill
- Port Lions – Afognak Raspberry Straight Dumpsite
- Tuluksak – Old Power Plant
- Chignik Lagoon – Old Chignik Lagoon Cannery Dump
- Delta Junction – End of Alaska Highway Triangle
- Fairbanks – Assessment of Possible Contaminated Sites in Fort Yukon
- Fairbanks – Former Weeks Field Areawide Investigation
- Fairbanks – Noyes Slough
- Kwigillingok – Vacant Bureau of Indian Affairs School
- Pilot Point – The Deteriorating Alaska Packers Cannery
- St. Michael – Former Airstrip
- Whittier – City of Whittier
Brownfield Projects in Alaska
Since 2003, DEC's Brownfield staff has been working with Alaska communities to identify their concerns about contaminated properties. Brownfields are properties where reuse, redevelopment, or expansion is hindered by real or perceived environmental contamination. Brownfields can be large or small, vacant or developed, abandoned or occupied. The brownfield "vision" focuses on sustainable redevelopment, which takes many forms: parks and green space, public facilities, new businesses, residential developments, and more. DEC's brownfield assistance can help you make those decisions.
The biggest obstacle to cleaning up and revitalizing contaminated sites is funding. DEC has led more than 70 brownfield assessments at both rural and urban sites across the state using both state and federal resources. Our assessments can give communities a definite advantage when applying for federal and state grants and other assistance. Most of our assessment funding comes through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and our staff also helps communities get other types of Brownfield grants and services.
DEC facilitates assessment
DEC Brownfield Assessments and Cleanups (DBACs) are available to public, quasi-public, and non-profit entities, such as city and borough governments, tribal councils, Native corporations, and community development organizations. A DBAC helps identify contamination at a property, evaluates how the contamination could be managed to facilitate future use, and provides an estimate of cleanup costs. DEC conducts between three and ten DBACs each year, using either federal funding from EPA or state funds for state-owned properties. Assessments provide additional data at sites where a lack of environmental information has thwarted redevelopment opportunities. (See more information about Brownfields.) Some highlights of our DBAC projects using our federal State & Tribal Response funding over the years are summarized below:
State Fiscal Year 2013 – Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups
Anchorage – Alpina Site (also known as the Tesoro – Olson Gas Services Store #1)
Requested by the Cook Inlet Housing Authority
Aerial view of the Alpina Site outlined in red, Anchorage, Alaska. Image reproduced by Google Earth TM Mapping Service.
This site is being acquired by the Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA) to add to their neighborhood revitalization efforts in the economically disadvantaged and heavily blighted Spenard Road corridor in Anchorage. CIHA applied to DEC for assistance in clarifying site conditions before the pending property transfer. The general area-wide plan for the neighborhood is to replace the light-industrial property uses with new retail businesses, housing, and public use spaces. The owner of the property, while possibly considered a financially viable responsible party by the State, has not been diligent in responding to recent requests from DEC to comply with regulatory requirements for site characterization, cleanup, and regular monitoring. The property has several liens on it that will prevent the owner from receiving a windfall in the final sale. The CIHA has resources to obtain funding for the necessary remediation and redevelopment of the property.
The R&R Program’s scope of services for this site has included a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), to fulfill CIHA’s due diligence, all appropriate inquiry requirements. The Phase I ESA also is required by CIHA’s partner funding agencies. In addition to the Phase I ESA, the R&R Program assisted CIHA with an evaluation of the steps needed to bring the site into regulatory compliance and the remedial actions necessary to proceed with the intended redevelopment. Pursuant to those two activities, the R&R Program completed limited plume delineation offsite, sampled existing wells on the property, and conducted additional soil and soil-gas sampling. The R&R Program assisted CIHA in obtaining an EPA Targeted Brownfield Assessment to further clarify cleanup requirements in 2013.
Boring and monitoring well installation on the site (2013).
Buckland – Summit Prototype Homesite
Requested by Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Standing on the Summit Prototype Homesite, Buckland, looking northwest toward the new and former bulk fuel-storage tank farms, July 2012. Photo courtesy Shannon & Wilson, Inc.
The Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) applied for an assessment of the Summit Prototype Homesite in Buckland, Alaska in 2012. Housing is in seriously short supply in Buckland, and this project is critical to the community’s development objectives. The CCHRC project is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Due to reported petroleum releases at an adjacent tank farm, HUD asked that environmental conditions be clarified before releasing the funding to allow the construction materials to be shipped to the site. The timeline was tight because of the need to complete the project during the summer construction season, and construction materials were already staged for delivery to the village.
CCHRC asked the DEC R&R Program to evaluate the site for environmental conditions that would preclude its suitability for construction of a new residential development. The new single-family home planned for the site is a prototype for rural Alaska energy-efficient and sustainable housing design. This request ranked highest in the pool of brownfield assessment requests in 2012 because of the partnerships, plans, and funding already in place, the innovative design of the construction, and the environmental concerns impeding progress on the new development. The R&R Program was able to get a contract in place in only a few short weeks, after which the site evaluation project was completed in only 14 days, including a site visit, interviews and final reporting. Upon completion, the materials were cleared for delivery to the community enabling the project to continue.
Prototype Home completed in Buckland. Photo courtesy of CCHRC, 2013.
The R&R Program scope of work included coordination of stakeholders, a site visit, and document review, with the final product being a letter report providing a statement about how environmental impacts affect the use of the property as intended. The result of this work ended up being the assurance HUD needed to allow the funding to be released for the project, making the site available for its intended purpose. Construction was completed in 2013.
- CS Database Record
- Environmental Evaluation of Property – Summit Prototype Homesite, Buckland AK (PDF)
Kobuk – Abandoned Tank Farm (Continuation Project)
Originally requested by the City of Kobuk
Overgrown stockpile located offsite and against Kobuk dump fencing (2012).
In State Fiscal Year 2012 we completed follow-up assessment to the work requested by the City of Kobuk in 2007 (see State Fiscal Year 2008 Projects). This work consisted of sampling the stockpile that was generated by the excavation and removal of soil from the former backup generator site. Previous sampling results collected in 2008 indicated that contaminant levels in the soil exceeded cleanup criteria. Consequently, results from this sampling event yielded similar results. DRO concentrations in the stockpile remain greater than the most conservative cleanup levels for migration to groundwater; however, the detected concentrations were less than the DEC cleanup levels for direct contact and inhalation. It is possible that the soil may be used as landfill cover material in a dump or landfill, which presumably prevents potential impact from soil to groundwater. If this material is determined to not be suitable for reuse in the landfill, it is recommended that soil amendments (fertilizers) and/or tilling of the soil be completed to reduce the DRO concentrations. DEC will follow up with the City of Kobuk to determine the next course of action to treat the soil and develop disposal alternatives. It is our understanding that the backup generator was successfully purchased and installed at the designated location.
New backup generator facility constructed on old tank farm site.
Kwethluk – Cleanup at Former Joseph Guy Community Center (Continuation Project)
Requested by the Organized Village of Kwethluk and the City of Kwethluk
Targeted soil removal and storage in super-sacks.
This first brownfield cleanup project under the State & Tribal Response Program grant was completed this year. The Former Joseph Guy Community Center was destroyed during a fire in April 2006. The site is located in Kwethluk, a rural Alaskan village located approximately 12 miles east of Bethel. The Organized Village of Kwethluk applied for and received a Targeted Brownfield Assessment (TBA) for the burn site. The TBA was completed in 2009/2010, focusing on the 5,000 square-foot footprint beneath the building. Previous work included the demolition and removal of the burned structure, targeted soil removal, and additional sampling across the footprint. Results from last year identified elevated metals concentrations along the southern portion of the footprint. Work this year involved refined sampling and removal of soil from the property. For more information on earlier project work at this site, see State Fiscal Year 2012 Projects.
Staged soil pending confirmation sampling and ultimate disposal.
State Fiscal Year 2012 – Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups
Note: FY2012 was the first year in which we used our State & Tribal Response Program funding to support cleanup activities at qualifying brownfield sites. We solicited projects that had had some form of prior assessment, provided either by us or by EPA, and for which strong reuse plans were in place. The main projects we worked on were the cleanup at the Former Joseph Guy Community Center in Kwethluk, and developing supporting documents for cleanup at the Former IRA Fuel Project Tank Farm in Selawik. We also conducted some follow-up stockpile sampling to our FY2008 work at the former fuel storage tank farm in Kobuk.
Kobuk – Abandoned Tank Farm (Continuation Project)
Originally requested by the City of Kobuk
Overgrown stockpile located offsite and against Kobuk dump fencing (2012).
In State Fiscal Year 2012 we initiated follow-up assessment to the work requested by the City of Kobuk in 2007 (see State Fiscal Year 2008 Projects). However, the scope of work completed by the R&R Program in FY2012 consisted only of development of a work plan for stockpile sampling and management. The actual sampling was postponed to the subsequent fiscal year.
The abandoned tank farm was the site of a 2007 ADEC Brownfield Assessment where approximately 270 cubic yards of diesel contaminated soil was excavated from the abandoned tank farm site and transported to the stockpile location near the Kobuk Landfill. A Shannon & Wilson field representative traveled to Kobuk in August 2012 to conduct stockpile sampling and visual site assessment of the Backup Generator Site. Diesel range petroleum concentrations in the stockpile at the community landfill remain greater than the ADEC cleanup levels for migration to groundwater; however, all concentrations are less than the ADEC cleanup levels for direct contact and inhalation. An assessment is underway to determine if the material is suitable for reuse in the landfill. If not, further application of soil amendments (fertilizers) and/or tilling the soil to reduce the DRO concentrations will be recommended.
Kwethluk – Former Joseph Guy Community Center (First Phase)
Requested by the Organized Village of Kwethluk and the City of Kwethluk
Former Joseph Guy Community Center prior to cleanup activities.
This first brownfield cleanup project under the State & Tribal Response Program grant was completed initiated in 2012. The site is located in Kwethluk, a rural Alaskan village located approximately 12 miles east of Bethel. The Former Joseph Guy Community Center was destroyed during a fire in April 2006. The Organized Village of Kwethluk applied for and received a Targeted Brownfield Assessment (TBA) for the burn site. The TBA was completed in 2009/2010, focusing on the 5,000 square-foot footprint beneath the building. The TBA identified three locations requiring corrective action, and developed a brief analysis of cleanup options that focused on building removal and disposal, followed with targeted source area removal.
Work this year involved the contracted removal of the structure, and the disposal of the building and debris in the Bethel landfill. Steel that was of recyclable quality was staged for future sale. Pursuant to the building removal in the Spring of 2012, the community was flooded, including the site.
Loading building debris onto truck for transport down ice road.
- Kwethluk Demolition Work Plan (PDF)
- Brownfield Cleanup Action Plan (PDF)
- EPA Targeted Brownfield Assessment, 2011 (PDF)
Kwethluk flooding receding in 2012 prior to source area cleanup. Circle identifies site location.
Building demolition and removal was the first step in order to make the contaminated material accessible.
Selawik – Former IRA Fuel Project Tank Farm
Requested by Native Village of Selawik
Looking north across the former IRA former tank farm area in 2010.
The fuel tank farm formerly located at this site was reportedly in use between 1972 and 1996 and consisted of a fuel dispenser and 7 vertical above ground storage tanks with a total capacity of approximately 100,000 gallons of diesel/heating oil and 20,000 gallons of gasoline. A Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan (PACP) investigation conducted by our R&R Program in 2010, found gasoline range organics (GRO), diesel range organics (DRO), benzene, and other fuel hydrocarbons at concentrations that exceed DEC inhalation, ingestion, and direct contact cleanup levels. The work that was completed in 2012 focused on an Analyses of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) for the site. The community worked closely with our Anchorage office staff in determining how best to make the land reusable.
State Fiscal Year 2011 – Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups
Elim – Elim Old City Shop
Requested by the City of Elim
Aerial view of the Old City Shop, Elim, Alaska.
The City of Elim requested an assessment of their Old City Shop property, in order to identify environmental hindrances that could limit the future beneficial reuse of the site. The intended reuse of the site was for an upgraded and improved city shop facility.
The Old City Shop property in Elim is a swampy area that was used as a dump site before it became a shop area for heavy equipment in the late 1970s. The site has old tanks that were used to store heating fuel, a storage area of used batteries and waste oil, and a storage area for broken down equipment and drums of diesel fuel. Previous assessment work did not identify extensive contamination, but future sampling was recommended once the berms were removed from the fuel-storage area.
The community is interested in cleaning up any contamination that may affect the future reuse of the site. This was identified in the DBA request form as a specific objective. The City would like a better work area for the heavy equipment mechanics. Our scope of work was the development of a Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan (PACP) to help determine how best to achieve an acceptable end result.
According to the final PACP report, the Elim Old City Shop is at the same location as the community’s old landfill. Since burial of the landfill in the early 1980s, the site has become the location of the city's equipment shop, fire station, and storage and disposal area for broken equipment, vehicles, used oil, lead-acid batteries, and construction debris. The consultant identified the potential exposure routes at the site as ingestion, direct contact, and inhalation. The Old City Shop site is located slightly down-gradient from the community drinking water source on Elim Creek; however, salt-water intrusion and backwash sometimes occur at high tide and surface water runoff could enter the municipal drinking water supply. Overall, environmental actions recommended for the Old City Shop site include removal of solid and hazardous waste, development of a comprehensive plan to manage storage and disposal of future waste, and a site characterization to determine the extent of contamination in groundwater, surface water, and soil.
- CS Database Record
- Primary Document: Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan, Old City Shop (PDF 18.4M)
Larsen Bay – Larsen Bay Old School
Requested by the Larsen Bay Tribal Council
Aerial photograph of the Larsen Bay Old School, shown in center of photo; the new school is shown at bottom.
The Larsen Bay Tribal Council submitted a request for an assessment of the former Larsen Bay Elementary School. The community plans to reuse this property for community gardens or a recycling center. The site is located next to the current school. The old school was constructed in the 1940s, with a footprint estimated at 1,640 square feet. The facility is a wood-framed structure, part sheathed and roofed with metal panels and a smaller area sheathed with wood and roofed with asphalt roofing. Heat was provided by an oil-fired furnace supplying warm air through an under floor duct system and by an oil-fired space heater. Electrical service to the facility was provided by an on-site diesel generator. According to a 1981 report by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, a 2,000-gallon underground storage tank (UST) was also located on site.
The Kodiak Island Borough owned the building and parcel until 1987. A new school was built directly adjacent to the property in 1980. The property ownership transferred to the City of Larsen Bay in 1988. The building now stands vacant and is boarded up. The parcel is fenced but it is easily accessible and there are no institutional controls in place.
Larsen Bay Old School, looking southeast, with new school in the background
The Larsen Bay Tribal Council asked that the site be assessed for potential sources of contaminants, including petroleum and chemical contaminants, asbestos, and lead-based paint contamination. Our scope of work included development of a Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan and a hazardous building materials survey, in order to help support and facilitate the desired reuse of the site.
According to the project report, several recognized environmental conditions that could affect the future reuse of the site were identified: asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paint in the school; PCB-containing light-fixture ballasts; soil contaminated with diesel fuel in the southeastern area of the site; 55-gallon drums with unknown contents; a UST in the ground between the old school and the active Larsen Bay School; a septic system may remain in the subsurface west of the building; and two tanks on the adjacent property occupied by the active Larsen Bay School.
- CS Database Record
- Primary Document: Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan, Larsen Bay Old School (PDF 4.6M)
Noatak – Noatak Former Dumpsite
Requested by the Native Village of Noatak
Old dumpsite exposed in hillside in Noatak, Alaska, summer 2009.
The Native Village of Noatak requested an assessment of the historical dumpsite that is eroding into the Noatak River, impeding boat traffic and causing concern about potential environmental contamination affecting their traditional subsistence resources. Two dumpsites are associated with this project: the old eroding Noatak dumpsite, and the active dumpsite that the community would like to close and redevelop the area it currently occupies.
A new boat harbor is needed in Noatak, with the best location identified as at the base of the cliff where the old dumpsite is eroding. The community would also like to relocate their current landfill and site a new landfill. This project involved assistance from Maniilaq Association (recycling and backhaul) and the DEC Solid Waste Program, who had previously visited the site.
Old Noatak Dumpsite
The old dump was used by the community from the 1970s until 1995, approximately. It was about 3 acres in size. When the new dumpsite was installed, the old dump was covered with about 18 inches of gravel. According to a preliminary assessment report completed in 2000 by EPA’s Superfund Technical Assistance and Response Team (START), the potential existed for receptors to be exposed to contaminants through the surface soil exposure pathway; detected contaminants included diesel-range organics (DRO) and toluene. However, detected analytes were generally well below DEC’s health-based cleanup levels. During site intake, DEC found the site to be non-qualifying on the Contaminated Sites Database based on these levels of contaminants detected in sediment and soil samples collected near the dumpsite.
At the time of the START investigation, one end of the old dump was beginning to erode into the Noatak River. A few years ago the community worked to remove and stockpile debris from the old dumpsite, but that debris also began falling into the river. The debris in the bottom of the channel impedes boat traffic and is a safety hazard, especially during times of low water levels.
The community would like to clear away the debris, remove it from the river bank to prevent further erosion, and establish a new safe boat harbor below the old dump location. The community is also concerned about health and environmental risks that may be posed by the contents of the old dump.
Noatak’s current, active dumpsite is in a poor location and is not properly managed. It is located too close to the school, clinic, and village residences. The community has been moving away from the eroding river bank and is now abutting up against the active dumpsite. They are seeking technical assistance to properly close their existing dumpsite and remove large items for backhaul or transport to a new landfill location, which would be properly planned and designed, and sited in a better location farther from town. This aspect of the project will be coordinated with staff from Maniilaq Association’s brownfield and recycling/backhaul department. The community would like to close this dumpsite and use the reclaimed land for a backhaul staging area or a shop for heavy equipment.
The intent of this project is to help the community of Noatak with their desire to reduce or eliminate the environmental and human health hazards posed by both the old eroding dumpsite and the existing poorly maintained dumpsite. Our project would entail development of a property assessment and cleanup plan (PACP) and assistance with exploring funding options for other phases of the work. Our objective for this project is to provide the community with an assessment report that can be used as reference documentation for future funding requests to various agencies.
- CS Database Record
- Primary Document: Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan, Noatak Dump Sites (PDF 13.8M)
Selawik – Area-Wide Site Evaluation
Requested by the Native Village of Selawik
Aerial photograph of Selawik, showing sites planned for assessment, Selawik, Alaska.
This request was for assessment of several properties in Selawik: The Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) Fuel Project Former Tank Farm, the Old Alaska Village Electrical Cooperative (AVEC) Tank Farm, and the Barge Landing. An additional site in Selawik already on DEC’s contaminated sites database is the Former School Tank Farm Gravel Pad. DEC determined tht the best approach for this community would be an area-wide survey of environmental conditions at the sites of concern, with limited sampling at selected sites.
The community would like to redevelop the former IRA fuel project’s tank farm property into a new store. The old AVEC site is planned for possible community housing and a recreational area for children. Space for additional storage for incoming and outgoing barge shipments is planned for the barge landing; barge landing improvements by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities are slated for 2013.
Site 1: IRA Fuel Project Former Tank Farm
The IRA Fuel Project Former Tank Farm is located in the northeast part of the village, on an island of the Selawik River. This property contained the very first tank farm in Selawik and is proposed as the site for a new store to service the community. The property consists of vacant land and part of the former tank farm (approximately two acres). Adjacent land consists of the Selawik River immediately to the east and residential houses and community buildings to the south, west, and north. Some individual residents may get their drinking water from the Selawik River, and the river is an important subsistence resource; however, the Village derives its drinking water from Selawik Lake and a water treatment facility.
Petroleum storage tanks were on this location from 1972 to 1996. The tanks were positioned on the ground with no spill containment or support structures. Fuel releases were reportedly common during fuel transfers, and leaks were also likely because of rusting of tank bottoms from constant contact with the ground.
Store construction was initiated with the installation of special, refrigerated support piles on the site. No other soil excavation has taken place. The new store construction was halted because of the threat of finding petroleum contaminated soils and groundwater from previous releases at the former tank farm.
Site 2: Old AVEC Tank Farm
The Old AVEC Tank Farm is located at the northern end of the Village along the west shore of the Selawik River and near the Village office. The site is also located on the east side of the village school and close to residences. The property consists of approximately 4.4 acres of partially vacant land associated with the former AVEC tank farm and contains homes and several Connex containers, abandoned tanks from the old tank farm, and a generator building.
Historically, this site was used by AVEC for fuel tank storage and electrical generation. No data are available to determine when fuel storage at the site began, but the tanks were decommissioned sometime around 2000 and most of the tanks were moved to the barge landing.
Impacts in this area are likely from petroleum products and possibly polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the electrical components at the generator shed. The generator still remains at this location.
Old tanks remaining at the former AVEC site in Selawik, September 2010.
Site 3: Barge Landing
The barge landing is located along the south side of the Selawik River northwest of the Village. The site consists of approximately 4.5 acres and contains various abandoned equipment and old tanks scattered on the site. The tank inventory includes one petroleum fuel tank owned by the Northwest Indian Housing Authority, several abandoned AVEC fuel tanks, and several fuel tanks relocated from the school tank farm.
It was also noted during a site visit by the recycling and backhaul staff from Maniilaq Association that a marine header is present at the barge landing. The header and a fuel transfer pipeline may be potential source areas. This site has always been used as a barge landing. Although the primary concern by the community pertains to the abandoned fuel tanks left scattered on the property, and the potential spillage or leaks of residual fuel from the tanks, it is equally likely that the transfer of fuel associated with the marine header and pipeline are more significant sources of contamination. The property is important to the village because it is the primary source of shipments in and out of Selawik. No prior environmental assessments are known to have occurred for this site.
Site 4: Former School Tank Farm Gravel Pad
In 1997, the Northwest Arctic Borough School District (NWABSD) constructed a new school addition for grades kindergarten through 12. The effort included the relocation of the school’s fuel tank farm. The former school tank farm gravel pad is located below the northwest corner of the school.
During relocation activities, the contractor encountered stained soils in the gravel pad. Seven soil samples were collected from 18 inches to 32 inches below grade. Contaminant levels detected were up to 8,050 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) diesel range organics (DRO) and 60 micrograms per kilogram (Ã‚Âµg/kg) benzene.
In 1998, the NWABSD proposed the installation of an impervious cap to prevent exposure to the contaminants. It was then reported to DEC that the cap was never installed and the former tank farm location appears to be within the northwest footprint of the school.
The focus for investigating the former school tank farm gravel pad site entails reviewing all the historical information and determining whether closure of the site is appropriate, or whether additional investigation is required.
The historical use of a storage pad located southwest of the school is unknown. This area could have been used to store tanks or equipment in the past.
This area-wide assessment project involved the development of a PACP, with limited sampling used to clarify suspected conditions or delineate the extent of contamination. The field sampling focused primarily on the IRA Fuel Project Former Tank Farm where the new store is proposed; however, sampling also was conducted at the old AVEC sites, because of conditions found during the site visit.
For details on the project results, please download the final PACP report, located below the database links.
This area-wide project does not have its own database record, but links to the records for the individual sites, including subsequent activities and current status, are below:
- CSP Database Record: Selawik IRA Fuel Project Former Tank Farm
- CSP Database Record: Selawik Old AVEC Tank Farm
- CSP Database Record: Selawik Barge Landing Area
- CSP Database Record: Former School Tank Farm Gravel Pad Ã¢Â€Â“ Selawik
- Primary Document: Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan, Selawik Area-Wide (PDF 13.5M)
Thorne Bay – Thorne Bay Old Fire Hall
Requested by the City of Thorne Bay
Old Thorne Bay Fire Hall, Thorne Bay, Alaska.
The City of Thorne Bay requested an assessment of the Thorne Bay Old Fire Hall, which is now abandoned in a central area of town. The old fire hall is contaminated with cement asbestos siding, and an asbestos evaluation report has already been completed. The City of Thorne Bay is seeking other funds for asbestos abatement and building demolition. Their request is for a Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan (PACP) with a site visit to evaluate potential contamination from past fuel handling and vehicle maintenance operations, and to lay out options for cleanup and reuse. The City is interested in reusing this site for an expansion of the neighboring Pearl Nelson Community Park and construction of a covered gazebo or band shell for public use and community events.
Thorne Bay is 47 air miles northwest of Ketchikan on the east coast of Prince of Wales Island. On the island road system, it lies 60 miles from Hollis and 36 miles east of the Klawock Junction.
Thorne Bay was historically the largest logging camp in North America. When the Ketchikan Pulp Company ceased major operations in Thorne Bay in the late 1990s, the community saw an immediate 30-percent loss of employment and residency. Over the past four years, the City has developed a comprehensive strategy to improve utility infrastructure. The planned upgrades include water, sewer, and solid waste, in order to improve public health and enhance the municipal harbor operations to support expanded recreational, subsistence, and commercial fishing operations to increase the population base of Thorne Bay.
The Thorne Bay Old Fire Hall was constructed in the 1970s for the Thorne Bay volunteer firefighting squad. The City constructed its newer “Roth Building” in 1991 to house both the Emergency Medical Service and firefighting operations and decommissioned the use of the old fire hall as a municipal building. Currently, City staff utilizes the building to store sand for winter road maintenance activities. The location of the building is poor for this function because it is located at a 5-way intersection and it has been identified as a public safety problem because of its exposure to traffic. The City is seeking funding to construct a proper sand storage building adjacent to Thorne Bay’s existing municipal operations building.
Previous investigations have determined that the Thorne Bay Old Fire Hall contains asbestos siding on the exterior of the building. Other environmental hazards could include soil contamination from the previous storage and maintenance of vehicles and equipment. Our scope of work was to develop a PACP to summarize existing environmental conditions and options for making the site ready for its intended reuse. The PACP also incorporated the elements of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment to support future funding applications.
According to the final PACP report, the following potential source areas were identified: exterior cement siding and paint containing asbestos; potential fuel-contaminated soil around the location of the former aboveground fuel storage tank on the southwest side of the building; past vehicle maintenance poses the potential for petroleum hydrocarbon and chlorinated solvent contamination; and, because of the age of the building, the paint may contain lead.
- CS Database Record
- Primary Document: Property Assessment and Cleanup Plan, Old Fire Hall (PDF 57.4M)
State Fiscal Year 2010 – Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups
Tazlina Copper Valley School
Requested by the Native Village of Tazlina
* Copper Valley School, property assessment and cleanup plan.
Inside condition of one of the former school's remaining outbuildings.
The Catholic Church operated a mission boarding school in Tazlina for 15 years from 1956 until 1971. Alumni of the former Copper Valley School continue to hold annual gatherings in memory of their years at the school, which turned out many leaders in the Alaska Native community. In 1976, a fire destroyed the main buildings, and over the years the remaining outbuildings have deteriorated. Private housing has developed around the former school, which has become a common play area for the children who live in the area.
Potential contaminants of concern include asbestos used in the buildings for pipe insulation; pallets of bags of unknown powdery substances; underground fuel storage tanks; piles of unused cans of lead-based paint; and buried dumps containing lead-acid batteries and other refuse, with at least one dump eroding into the river.
Although this property is owned by the Catholic Church, Diocese of Anchorage, the Native Village of Tazlina, in conjunction with the Copper Valley School Alumni Association, would like to reuse this property for educational opportunities for the future Native leaders of Alaska. The community, which sees this site as a positive part of local history, would like to see the property used for outdoor education, and environmental and subsistence activities for the general public.
Our work in Tazlina includes development of a property assessment and cleanup plan, to inform decisions on remedial and restorative actions that could be taken to make the site ready for the desired reuse.
Port Heiden – Former landfill
Requested by the Native Council of Port Heiden
* Former Landfill, property assessment and cleanup plan.
This site, known as the Old Landfill near Jacks New Meshik Mall/Home, is owned by the City of Port Heiden. The site is approximately 1.5 acres in size and lies within city boundaries. A neighboring business owner is interested in purchasing the property from the City of Port Heiden to expand his property and business.
The site is suspected to have heavy metals, petroleum products, and old military equipment buried there. Five houses in the area, as well as the local store, have drinking water wells. The community is concerned that contamination from the landfill could be seeping into the surrounding water wells. The city would like to be assured that the property and nearby water wells do not pose a risk to human health or the environment before selling the land.
Beaver – Generator Building Fire
Requested by the Beaver Tribe
* Beaver Generator Building Fire, property assessment and cleanup plan, with limited sampling.
Site of former Beaver generator building after the fire.
The Beaver Tribe’s former generator building caught fire and burned down in July 2007. At least one fuel tank (day tank) was associated with the generator building. Across the street is the village tank farm, owned by Beaver Joint Utilities (BJU). The tank farm and the generator building were constructed in the early 1990s and were originally operated by the Beaver Tribe. Fuel was also sold to community members and was dispensed to containers from the generator tank(s).
As part of a tank farm reconnaissance in Beaver conducted by a DEC term contractor in 2002, environmental soil samples were collected at the tank farm, but not at the generator building. Visual inspection around the generator building noted large amounts of stained soil, both where residents pumped fuel and where piping from the tank farm connected to the generator day tank. The 2002 report provided estimates of soil removal volumes at the BJU tank farm, and further suggested that excavation of soil at the generator building might not be practical because of the presence of the structure. However, with the building no longer in place, an updated assessment would help to determine best remedial approaches for this area.
DEC’s work in Beaver was planned to combine assessment of the burned-down generator building with a state-funded assessment of the former BIA school in Beaver. This “bundled” project has the active participation of partners from the Village of Beaver, the Yukon Flats School District, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, and DEC.
Afognak – Raspberry Straight Dumpsite
Requested by the Native Village of Afognak
* Raspberry Strait Dumpsite, updated assessment and cleanup plan.
The Raspberry Strait Dumpsite is located on the southernmost tip of Afognak Island bordering Raspberry Strait, approximately 50 feet south of an unimproved trail connecting Back Bay with the Russian settlement of Aleneva. Two timber operations used the site from 1944 Ã¢Â€Â“ 1976. However, a site assessment done in 2005 showed no evidence that the timber operations contributed to the dumping. The earliest evidence of the dump on aerial photos was in 2000.
The 2005 site assessment indicated evidence of batteries and petroleum-associated materials such as absorbent pads, used oil filters, and engine parts. The landowner for the site is the Afognak Native Corporation. The community is concerned about the dump because of its proximity to a stream and wetlands. The dump also poses a potential risk to visitors of a tribal shareholders’ lodge nearby.
The Native Village of Afognak would like to return the land to its natural state to protect tribal traditional subsistence use areas and visitors to the area. In addition to the prior assessments, the community has removed some of the debris from the area. They have also engaged with DEC’s Solid Waste Program staff to try to determine the best approaches to safe handling of remaining hazardous substances and materials and compliance with new landfill permitting options for materials that could be managed locally.
DEC’s scope of work is to update the existing assessment and develop planning documents, to help determine whether the site could qualify for federal brownfield cleanup assistance. As a Native corporation, the owner of the site is eligible for an EPA competitive cleanup grant.
Tuluksak – Old Power Plant
Requested by the Tuluksak Native Council
* Tuluksak Old Power Plant, site characterization.
Old power plant in Tuluksak
The Tuluksak old power plant was built in the early 1980s and is owned by the Tuluksak Native Community. Photographs of the site indicate potential petroleum contamination related to an aboveground fuel storage tank and the power plant itself. The Tuluksak Native Community Council and the Association of Village Council Presidents Regional Housing Authority have been building new houses in the new Tuluksak River Subdivision, but further development has been delayed because of the fire hazard and health risks associated with the contamination at the old power plant. The last house was built in 2003 and community members are in need of additional housing.
The community plans to build 28 additional homes in the subdivision once the contamination is cleaned up from the old power plant. As no prior site assessment has been done at this property, DEC is planning to conduct a site characterization on behalf of the community. For cost savings, this project is planned to coincide with a state-funded assessment project at an old school site in Tuluksak.
New Stuyahok – Old landfills
Requested by the New Stuyahok Traditional Council
* Old landfills, environmental site inventory and solid waste management plan.
The community of New Stuyahok identified six abandoned dumpsites around the village. The potential contaminants of concern at the various sites include batteries, freon, asbestos, drums, petroleum hydrocarbons, and other hazardous materials that may have been disposed of in the landfills.
The community plans to reuse many of the areas for new housing and greenspace. Community members also rely on these areas for subsistence fishing, hunting, and berry picking, and they want to be assured that any contaminants that may be in the landfills are not harming their subsistence foods.
DEC’s scope of work includes an inventory of these landfills to support development of a community conceptual site model illustrating potential risk to the environment and identified receptors. We also plan to coordinate with DEC’s Solid Waste Program to develop a solid waste management plan for these old dumpsites. For cost savings this project is planned to coincide with a state-funded site assessment at the former school in New Stuyahok.
Elim – Old Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) Tank Farm
Requested by theNative Village of Elim
* Old Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) Tank Farm, property assessment and cleanup plan.
Old AVEC tank farm in Elim
The Native Village of Elim requested assessment of the Old AVEC Tank Farm in Elim. AVEC upgraded to a new tank farm several years ago but no assessment or cleanup has taken place at the former tank farm. In 1970 the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) issued a site use permit to AVEC for use as a power generation facility to provide electricity to Elim. In its site use permit the BIA stipulated that the site be left in a clean and sanitary condition upon the termination of the permit, which expired in 2005.
The tanks remain on the site within a fenced area. The executive summary of a 2001 state-funded tank farm reconnaissance report for Elim recommended no further site investigation until the site was decommissioned and additional sampling beneath the tanks upon their removal to identify any localized contamination.
The community wants to use the property for residential or commercial development, but has no clear plan in place. Our proposed work in Elim would entail the development of a property assessment and cleanup plan, in coordination with AVEC.
Akiak – Old City Power Plant and Tank Farm
Requested by the Akiak Native Community - Middle Kuskokwim Consortium
* Akiak Old City Power Plant and Tank Farm, property assessment and cleanup plan.
The former generator building for Akiak was built in the late 1970s. The owner of the property is the City of Akiak. Contamination exists at the site from accidental spills, and the suspected contamination at the site is waste oil, glycol, and battery acid. The old power plant in Akiak is located several hundred feet from the old city tank farm, which is no longer in use. The community is concerned that contaminants from the site may be seeping into the groundwater. The DBA request indicated that the community would like to restore this area for greenspace.
Our work at this site entails development of a property assessment and cleanup plan, to inform decisions on remedial actions that may be required to support future site reuse.
Manokotak – Old BIA School
Requested by the Manokotak Village Council
* Manokotak Old BIA School, property assessment and cleanup plan and updated site characterization.
The former BIA school in Manokotak sits vacant, boarded up, and vandalized. Moreover, the extent of fuel contamination remaining in soil, from releases in the school boiler room and at the former fuel-storage tank farm, is uncertain. The community is pursuing the development of a new multi-use facility, and the site of the old abandoned and dilapidated school was identified as an excellent location for this new structure. Revitalizing this location would serve many beneficial purposes, because public utilities are already connected to the site, the building is an attractive nuisance and a safety hazard that serves no purpose at this time, and with the current conditions, the old school only continues to fall into disrepair.
Although environmental investigations have previously been completed at this site, it is still not clear as to what environmental cleanup requirements would be necessary before this property could be used as a new building site. The intent of this project is to provide additional interpretation of the extent of contamination, and a logical cleanup plan to facilitate reuse of the site. This assessment of state-owned property is being completed with state capital improvement projects funding.
State Fiscal Year 2009 – Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups
McGrath – Tribal Council Hall
Requested by the McGrath Native Village Council
* McGrath Tribal Council Hall, for closure of an underground storage tank and issuance of documentation to the prospective funding agencies that the site is ready for reuse.
Tank from former Chamai Center, McGrath
On Christmas Eve, 2006, a fire destroyed the McGrath Native Village Council’s (MNVC) tribal hall. During clean-up work after the fire, workers discovered a fuel-oil release in the subsurface. They worked with staff from DEC’s Preparedness Prevention and Response Program to complete limited site screening and then requested further assessment to help make the site ready for construction of a new tribal hall. They have secured funds from the Interior Regional Housing Authority for the new hall's conceptual plan and are applying for an Indian Community Development Block Grant for the construction of the new building. The new construction is intended to incorporate green building practices.
The new tribal hall will serve as a community gathering place for the MNVC Tribal members, for meetings and cultural activities. The new building will also hold more space for offices, for both tribal administrators and for other community organizations. The new space will save the MNVC money they have been spending on rent and will allow the creation of new jobs, with the positions to be housed in the new offices.
The scope of this DEC Brownfield Assessment included tank removal and limited soil excavation, and confirmation sampling. The project will also provide additional leveraging for complementary funding assistance for design and construction of the new facility.
Koyukuk – Old Power Plant
Requested by the Koyukuk Tribal Council
* Old Power Plant, environmental management plan.
Old Power Plant in Koyukuk
The old power plant (generator building) in Koyukuk is abandoned and occupying valuable space in the village. In January and March of 2002, two separate overfills of the generator day tank occurred when the automatic shut-off malfunctioned. During the first spill, diesel fuel spurted out the vent pipe in the roof of the building, saturating the walls and the ground under the structure. The volume of fuel spilled was estimated to be approximately 500 gallons each time.
The location is a concern because it is across the street from the school, washeteria, and primary water source for the village. This also makes the property a potential candidate for a new clinic, because it needs to be close to the water supply.
Our work entailed development of an environmental management plan for the property, to determine what local resources might be available for remediation and management of the contamination. This effort is in coordination with the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, which has assisted with development of a community action plan for the site.
Hughes – Old Generator Building and Tank Farm
Requested by the Hughes Village Council
* Old Generator Building and Tank Farm, for limited site characterization and limited cleanup.
Old tank farm and distribution piping, Hughes (May 2006, DEC post-flood photo).
This effort is also in coordination with the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council. Benzene contamination was documented in the late 1990s in the public water supply well for Hughes, and is linked to the old tank farm and distribution lines. The system is on quarterly testing for Volatile Organic Compounds, which seem to be adequately removed by the treatment system. Much of the contamination related to the former fuel storage and distribution system for the village is a result of flooding of the Koyukuk River in 1994 and 2006.
The community would like to reuse this flood-prone area for a softball field or playground to provide new recreational opportunities for tribal members, and possibly construction of a new building for community gatherings.
DEC developed an environmental management plan for the site, with cost estimates for different remedial scenarios. Further evaluation of the drinking-water supply options for the village is ongoing.
Lower Kalskag – Old Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) Tank Farm
Requested by the Village of Lower Kalskag
As with many former AVEC facilities throughout the state, Lower Kalskag has had a bulk fuel tank farm upgrade, but the old tanks are still present at the former location and no subsurface investigation to characterize the extent of contamination was carried out when the old tank farm was decommissioned.
The community is concerned about lingering fuel contamination in soil at the former fuel storage site, because their public water supply well was previously located on the adjacent lot. The Village of Lower Kalskag would like to have the site assessed and remedial action completed, if necessary, for protection of their drinking-water resources and to make the site available for reuse as storage space for the city and tribal offices’ connexes, an office building for landfill management operations, and new lodging facilities for visitors.
DEC’s work at this site included field screening and limited evaluation of off-site contaminant migration.
Holy Cross – Big Lake Former Dumpsite
Requested by the Holy Cross Village Council
* Big Lake Former Dumpsite, environmental management plan.
This site was used as a dumping ground for 20 years or more. A sawmill located there in the 1960s was reportedly shoved into the lake when it broke down. Refuse is estimated to include vehicles, motors, batteries, and general household garbage. The request also mentions a shop building located north of the lake that has fuels and hazardous substances and a “distinctive diesel smell.” The community is concerned that the contamination in the lake could damage their subsistence fishing resources and water quality of surrounding sloughs and rivers. Big Lake was once a recreation area, used for swimming, fishing, and trapping; it is currently used for canoe races in the summer and a spring ice-picking contest.
The community would like to restore Big Lake to its former, pristine condition before the sawmill operation and the dumping so that it could be used as a recreation area once again, for swimming lessons, picnicking, community gatherings, fish stocking, and beaver trapping.
DEC developed an environmental management plan, including a site inventory to document recognized environmental conditions at the lake and adjacent shop building, recommendations for analytical testing, and exploration of options for site restoration.
State Fiscal Year 2008 – Brownfield Assessments &/ Cleanups
Alatna – Old Alatna Village Site
Requested by the Alatna Tribal Council
* Old Alatna Village Site, environmental audit.
After a devastating flood of the Alatna and Koyukuk Rivers in 1994, the entire community of Alatna was relocated one mile down river. The Old Alatna site was the first traditional Inupiaq Village of Alatna; it is situated on the Arctic Circle, across from the Athabaskan community of Allakaket. The community requested an environmental audit of the site to determine if specific environmental conditions would preclude use by future generations. No environmental assessment had been completed since the flood, which left behind several cabins, miscellaneous debris, and some potentially hazardous materials, such as fuel drums and transformers.
The community would like to reuse the traditional village site for community gatherings, subsistence activities, and for a cultural historic monument to preserve community memories.
This DBA project included an evaluation of potential environmental conditions resulting from historical uses, and as affected by the flood.
Mountain Village – Old Village Store
Requested by the Mountain Village
* Old Village Store, Mountain Village, for site assessment and chemical inventory.
Old village store, Mountain Village.
The old village store in Mountain Village has a rich history as an early trading post on the lower Yukon River. The Asa’carsarmiut Tribal Council (ATC) plans to redevelop this site as part of a mixed-use commercial project. With little available land in the village proper, which is situated between the river and steep hills, this site is important to future economic development in Mountain Village. In 2005, EPA contractors conducted a Targeted Brownfield Assessment of the old store and determined that the structure was unsafe to enter. EPA focused on the exterior of the building, which continues to sit boarded up and abandoned.
DEC completed an assessment of the interior and the stability of the structure, a review of the inventory of chemicals stored onsite, and directed removal of waste to another location. The ATC and EPA will conduct follow up work. Demolition will occur in planned stages and with local labor.
Kobuk – Abandoned Tank Farm
Requested by the City of Kobuk
* Kobuk Abandoned Tank Farm (Emergency Generator Proposed Site), for site characterization and cleanup oversight.
Kobuk's new generator site, with cleanup of old aboveground fuel tank
The City of Kobuk sought and was awarded a Community Development Block Grant from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, to procure a new emergency generator for their community. Kobuk obtains its power from Shungnak and has no back-up power supply when the Shungnak connection is disrupted. The site identified for the new emergency backup generator was a former aboveground storage tank site with historical petroleum impacts.
DEC conducted modified Phase I and II assessments and oversight of contaminated soil removal and closure testing. The community provided labor and equipment. Maniilaq Association provided assistance to the city, and TeckCominco contributed $10,000 toward cleanup. DEC plans follow-up work to evaluate the condition of the resultant soil stockpile in the future.
Golovin – Dump at Chinik Creek
Requested by the Chinik Eskimo Community Combined with Alakanuk
* Old Golovin dump at Chinik Creek, for an environmental audit and baseline report
The Old Golovin dumpsite is located on the north shore of Norton Sound, near the confluence of Chinik Creek and Golovin Bay. The dump was actively used from the early 1960s until the summer of 1996, when it was closed and covered with gravel from the excavation created during construction of a new city landfill on higher ground. The west edge of the gravel pad cover has eroded steadily since 2003, following more frequent and severe fall storms. Household wastes in the dump include batteries, used oil, household chemicals, and old appliances. The dump reportedly also contains the old Freon system from a former cannery and junk vehicles.
The community is concerned that the eroding dumpsite affects the Chinik Creek watershed and may be impacting subsistence foods. Storm surges push suspected contaminated water up the creek and past the intakes for their fresh water supply.
DEC made a site visit to Golovin to conduct an environmental audit and interviews with members of the community. The work associated with this project included a review of previous rural dumpsite characterizations, and an evaluation of options for managing abandoned dumpsites in remote settings. This project coincided with the assessment at another eroding former dumpsite, in Alakanuk (see below).
Alakanuk – South Side Dumpsite
Requested by the Native Village of Alakanuk
* Alakanuk South Side Dumpsite, review of prior site assessment and a summary of expected concerns.
Eroding former dumpsite at Alakanuk
This site is located along the bank of the Alakanuk River, a major southern channel of the Yukon River. This beach is used primarily as a boat landing for residents and commercial fishermen and is considered one of the few areas suitable for this use. Erosion along the riverbank has exposed a variety of wastes, now depositing directly into the river, habitat to anadromous fish populations. Concerns include both chemical and physical hazards. The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council conducted a Phase I environmental site assessment of this site in 2006, and had ranked this as one of the two priority sites of more than 100 sites surveyed in their region.
The work associated with this project included a review of previous rural dumpsite characterizations conducted by both EPA and DEC, and provided a summary of expected concerns with these sites. It will identify a management plan or evaluation of options to render the properties useable and safe. Such a management plan would benefit these and other communities by helping to identify what actions can be taken locally to minimize impacts caused by abandoned and eroding dumpsites.
Kotlik – Former BIA School Playground
Requested by the Village of Bill Moores Slough
* Former BIA School Playground, Kotlik, site assessment.
This former BIA school playground was reportedly used as a location to dispose of spent syringes from tuberculosis vaccinations. This site was also located next to the school’s fuel storage tanks.
The community would like to convert this site into a needed parking area and basketball court.
DEC’s assessment focused on identification and delineation of contaminants of concern, and providing a general work plan and estimate for completing appropriate cleanup activities. This is an example of a site where simple and appropriate reuse was only hindered by unknowns.
Anvik – Old School Site
Requested by the Anvik Tribal Council
* Old school site, to identify specific sources of contamination and provide recommendations for cleanup necessary to render the site ready for reuse.
Old School Site in Anvik
The “Old School Site,” is located approximately 1,000 feet southwest of the Anvik River. This site sits on about two acres of land, in which one abandoned building still stands. The local tank farm is located on the northwest corner of the lot, approximately 100 feet from the main site. Suspected contaminants are restricted to the site and a small area surrounding the lot. A pipeline was built from the site carrying fuel for the generator, back through the woods to where the City of Anvik offices are now located.
Port Heiden – Former Aboveground Storage Tank
Requested by the Meshik Seafood Co-op
* Port Heiden former aboveground storage tank, to evaluate the condition of the subsurface impacts associated with historic tank use in proximity to the tanks.
The community received a new storage tank upgrade associated with the Alaska Energy Authority rural bulk fuel storage tank upgrade program.
The community and Meshik Seafood Co-op would like to redevelop the old tanks into storage buildings and shop facilities to allow them to utilize the structures during the off season months to repair boats and store equipment. The reuse of these tanks will benefit the community in many ways. The restoration of these tanks into shop-like storage buildings will benefit the fisherman, so they can work on their boats during the off season months. The facilities will also be utilized by the City of Port Heiden and the Native Council of Port Heiden, so they can store and maintain their heavy equipment and other equipment. The buildings would allow the general public to work on cars, trucks, 4-wheelers, and snow machines.
State Fiscal Year 2007 – Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups
Delta Junction – End of Alaska Highway Triangle
Requested by the City of Delta Junction
* End of Alaska Highway Triangle, for site characterization.
The assessment will help a transfer of the land from the state. The City plans to construct an “End of the Alaska Highway Arch” on the site of a former fuel tank farm, now the Sullivan Roadhouse museum and the Delta Farmer's Market.
Whittier – City of Whittier
Requested by the City of Whittier
*The City of Whittier requested an area-wide brownfield assessment
This will emphasize several sites with significant redevelopment potential. The DBA is the first phase of a comprehensive redevelopment initiative for Whittier.
Pilot Point – Alaska Packers Cannery
Requested by the Pilot Point Tribal Council
* The deteriorating Alaska Packers Cannery, built in 1891, for an environmental assessment.
Old Alaska Packers Cannery, Pilot Point
This is one of the only original cannery sites still capable of being saved. DEC found bunker C fuel contamination in the soil. The next step is cleanup.
The City and the Tribe plan to convert at least some of the buildings into a hostel for a summer youth camp, a museum/visitor center and a community metal/wood shop.The redevelopment plans are well thought-out and community interest and support is strong.
Kwigillingok – Vacant Bureau of Indian Affairs School
Requested by the Native Village of Kwigillingok
* DEC assessed petroleum and other contamination at a vacant Bureau of Indian Affairs school.
The Native Village of Kwigillingok is working with the school district and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development to resolve obstacles facing reuse of the area.
St. Michael – Former Airstrip
Requested by the Native Village of St. Michael
* DEC conducted a Phase I assessment of a former airstrip.
The airstrip is where the community plans to build a new school, electric cooperative structure and bulk fuel tanks. The land is now owned by the City of St. Michael.
Chignik Lagoon – Old Chignik Lagoon Cannery Dump
Requested by theChignik Lagoon Native Corporation
*Old Chignik Lagoon Cannery Dump, for a Phase I assessment.
The corporation seeks to redevelop the Ward’s Cove cannery site to revive fish processing or other seasonal and recreational use. An adjacent landfill may have contamination.
Fort Yukon – Assessment of Possible Contaminated Sites in Fort Yukon
Requested by the Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich'in Tribal Government
* DEC conducted a community-wide assessment of possible sources of contamination at the request of the Native Village of Fort Yukon.
Assessment of possible contaminated sites in Fort Yukon
Possible sources include old landfills and sewage lagoons.
Fairbanks – Noyes Slough
Requested by the Tanana Valley Watershed Association
* Noyes Slough, for historical research.
Noyes Slough cleanup day
DEC funded a review of past environmental research on Noyes Slough and identification of areas where contaminants have been documented in the past and areas of concern for future sampling. DEC staff also worked closely with the Tanana Valley Watershed Association on its successful request for a Targeted Brownfield Assessment from the EPA to facilitate a systematic planning approach to study the potential for revitalization of the slough as a community asset and recreational resource.
Former Weeks Field Areawide Investigation
* DEC conducted an areawide investigation of a 50-year-old housing project and former contaminated site.
Old Fairview Manor apartments
The property now is part of the Fairview Manor $70 million redevelopment project in downtown Fairbanks, which will replace existing apartment housing with new housing. The proposed mixed-use will include affordable housing, retirement community, assisted living, and commercial businesses.
Taking a “partnership” approach to redevelopment, DEC's investigation looked for any contamination which would interfere with development or require cleanup, such as indoor air contamination from vapor intrusion or other problems which would arise during excavation. We looked at the history of the neighborhood when it was Fairbanks’ first airport. Our area-wide site characterization also included other properties unrelated to the former Weeks Field, including:
- A former gas station, Fairway Service Station, located at the northeast corner of Airport Way and Cowles Street, which operated until 1968.
- A dry cleaner located in Shoppers Forum on the south side of Airport Way along Kennicott Avenue, which has operated nearly continuously under various names at least since 1961 (DEC 2002).
- A search for an upgradient source of perchloroethylene south of Fairview Manor.
Concerns over unforeseen contamination turned out to be unfounded. No significant concentrations were detected in areas of greatest impact. While no investigation can determine that an entire site is free of contamination, the investigation didn’t identify anything of additional concern. DEC recommended that the development team use the guidance of environmental professionals as they excavate. Future construction on any known site that has been contaminated should also consider the possibility of unforeseen vapor intrusion and take precautions in the building design and construction when warranted. (Updated 1/2008)
State Fiscal Year 2006 – Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups
Anchorage – Wilhour Trust Properties
Requested by the Anchorage Community Land Trust (ACLT)
* Wilhour Trust Properties in the Mountain View Subdivision, for a Phase I assessment.
Despite historic uses of the property as an auto and machine shop and a film processor, no significant evidence of contamination was found in initial investigation, but future soil tests were warranted. On the basis of the findings, ACLT was able to sell this property. DEC also conducted an assessment of the Warner Trust property in concert with the Wilhour Trust site to help smooth the sale of this property. Plans are in progress to develop these two properties together.
St. George – Historic Buildings
Requested by the St. George Chadux Corporation
* St. George historic buildings, for a Phase I assessment of five historic buildings.
The St. George Tanaq Corporation is seeking to restore and preserve the buildings through a grant provided by the Alaska State Historic Preservation Office.
Beluga – West Cook Inlet Construction
Requested by the Kenai Peninsula Borough
* West Cook Inlet Construction, for a Phase I and site characterization.
The Borough wants this site cleaned up and health risks addressed. Contamination related to oil-field support service activities could affect neighboring residential wells.
Kenai – Millennium Square
Requested by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development Corporation/City of Kenai
* Millennium Square, for a Phase I assessment and site characterization.
This development project is a 30-acre site used by the Federal Aviation Administration since 1941. A DBA in 2006 detected no remaining contaminated soil or groundwater. Proposed uses include a convention center, tourism-related businesses, senior housing, and a cultural site for Native American history.
Anchorage – Peacock Cleaners
Requested by the Municipality of Anchorage
* Peacock Cleaners, for a Phase I assessment and site characterization.
The site was a dry cleaner business for many years. The owner went bankrupt and the Municipality of Anchorage obtained the property through foreclosure. DEC conducted a Phase I assessment in 2005, and the Municipality performed a site characterization in 2008. DEC also helped the Municipality apply for an EPA competitive cleanup grant, a Targeted Brownfield Assessment grant and researched the insurance archeology.The property is to be used by the Municipality of Anchorage as a public road right-of-way, with landscaping
Anchorage – John's Motel and RV Park
Requested by the Municipality of Anchorage
* John's Motel and RV Park, for a Phase I assessment and site characterization.
Photo by Hoefler Consulting Group
Former heavy automotive use indicated potential contamination at this strategic location in the Mountain View Subdivision. This DBA turned up no major environmental concerns, and allowed the Anchorage Community Land Trust to proceed with a complex property transaction.
State Fiscal Year 2005 – Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups
Deering – Former Utica Mine Site
Requested by the Northwest Arctic Borough
(for the city of Deering and Native Village of Deering)
* Former Utica Mine site, approximately 14 miles south of Deering. Phase I and limited sampling.
Building 17 at the former Utica Mine.
The site is under consideration for redevelopment as a tourist destination.
Anchorage – Mountain View Subdivision
Requested by the Municipality of Anchorage, Office of Economic and Community Development
* Mountain View Subdivision, for a Phase I areawide environmental site assessment.
In addition to this areawide assessment, individual assessments were conducted at several individual locations.
Anchorage – Carey Property
Requested by the Municipality of Anchorage, Office of Economic and Community Development
* Carey Property, for a Phase I environmental site assessment.
This property was a former lumberyard, store and warehouse in the Mountain View Subdivision. Environmental assessment was a prerequisite for a Community Development Block Grant from the Municipality of Anchorage. It is now home to several offices.
Anchorage – Color Creek Fiber Art Studios
Requested by the Municipality of Anchorage, Office of Economic and Community Development
* Color Creek Fiber Art Studios, for a site assessment.
This former gas station and auto shop in the Mountain View Subdivision was found to have no significant environmental concerns, allowing its “new life” as artists’ studios.
State Fiscal Year 2004 – Brownfield Assessments & Cleanups
Fairbanks – Former Universal Recycling
Requested by the Fairbanks North Star Borough
* Former Universal Recycling (also known as Universal Recycling, Bartlett Industries or Sanduri Property), for a Phase I environmental site assessment and site characterization.
Press event in 2007 to celebrate cleanup.
DEC conducted a Brownfield Assessment in 2004, which encompassed a Phase I and limited Phase II environmental site assessment. Also in 2004, the Borough got an EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant to complete the Phase II (more in-depth) assessment. But the need to clean up a large amount of debris on site prevented completion of the assessment work. A waste disposal plan was developed which estimated cleanup costs would be $604,000. Funding for this cleanup project includes a $200,000 EPA cleanup grant with a local match of $40,000, a borough appropriation of $182,000, and a borough tipping fee deferral of up to $182,000. Once the debris is completely removed from the site, the borough will then be able to finish the assessment under the EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant.
When the former Universal Recycling site is cleaned up, the borough hopes it will become viable light-industrial property. This redevelopment will create jobs, increase revenue, reduce the tax burden on the community, and address the health risks associated with the contamination. (Update 1/2008)
Moose Creek – Sani-Klean Service Station, Former SKS Texaco
Requested by the North Star Borough
* Former Sani-Klean Services (also known as SKS Texaco Property), for a Phase I environmental site assessment and site characterization.
Contact our Staff
Please contact the following brownfields staff with any questions or concerns:
- Amy Rodman, Environmental Program Specialist 907-465-5368
- Christy Howard, Environmental Program Specialist 907-465-5206
- ADEC Contaminated Sites Program
- 410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 303
- Juneau, AK 99811-1800
- Fax Number: 907-465-5218