Division of Spill Prevention and Response

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Fairbanks Areawide Industrial Reclamation Project

 

Incident location map. Summary Date: May 2008 Back to Areawide Investigations Mainpage
Status: Active View detailed database information on these sitesarrow
Location: Fairbanks, AK Latitude: 64.85 Longitude: -147.72
DEC Contaminated Sites Contact: Tamara Cardona-Marek, Project Manager - 907- 451-2192

Description

The Fairbanks Areawide Industrial Reclamation (FAIR) project began as a pilot-scale study in 2001 to investigate the potential for managing contaminated sites on an areawide basis. This approach has allowed the Contaminated Sites Program to address contamination at multiple sites as a whole instead of as individual sites


The tasks common to individual cleanups, such as site assessment, data collection, risk assessment, and modeling, have been conducted to the whole area, with the help of Geographical Information Services (GIS). Data can be shared, eliminating redundancy, and issues of co-mingling contaminant plumes can be more easily resolved among multiple responsible parties and landowners. DEC uses areawide investigations to be proactive and solution-oriented as we fulfill our duties common to all contaminated sites cleanups: delineating the nature and extent of contamination, evaluate the risks to current and future land users, achieve consistent reporting, and protect current and future land users through land and activity controls if contamination must remain after cleanup. A number of areawide projects have been and continue to be conducted in the Fairbanks vicinity, including: the Six-Mile Richardson Highway groundwater investigation, the Bentley Trust lands -- see the areawide investigation web page.


The FAIR area is a slice of Fairbanks' history, located in the midst of an industrial portion of downtown Fairbanks and dating back to the beginning of the build-up of industry for the pipeline in the 1970s. The Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) owns most of the property that has been divided in lots and leased to a number of tenants over the years. Historic petroleum contamination exists from a number of sources, possibly including four tank farms that leased ARRC property: Van Gas, Willlners Texaco, Saupe's Chevron, and Unocal.


In 2001 when the FAIR project began, the area's boundaries included much of the central business district north of the Chena River. Since that time, many of the problems in this area have been resolved and, in recent years, DEC has focused mostly on the Alaska Railroad property where petroleum spills from four historic tank farms have left a large area of contaminated groundwater. 


When Chevron merged with Texaco in 2001 and with Unocal in 2005, it became the main responsible party for the petroleum contamination on the railroad property. Chevron continues to work with DEC to monitor contamination of soil and groundwater and evaluate all the potential exposure pathways that may pose risks to human health and/or the environment.

 


Public Health and Environmental Concerns

 

Because drinking water is supplied by the local water utility, impacts to the drinking water supply is not the primary public health concern in the FAIR area. However, installation of a well in this area for other purposes may spread the contamination. Incidental exposure through contact with contaminated soil, inhalation of vapors volatilizing from contaminated soil and groundwater, and the movement of contaminated groundwater to a surface water body are means by which contaminants in this area may pose a threat to human health or the environment. Other potential exposure pathways currently under evaluation by Chevron include vapor intrusion. Vapor intrusion refers to the possibility of health risks from exposure over many years to low levels of volatile hazardous substances that migrate into the indoor air of buildings above or near contaminated soil or groundwater. See additional information on vapor intrusion.

 


Current Status

 

DEC continues to work with Chevron to effectively monitor and determine the extent of the contamination in the FAIR area. Exposure pathways continue to be evaluated through sampling of groundwater, soil, and soil gas.

 

Topographic map of Fairbanks.

Aerial view of the area, outlined in red, which is now monitored by Chevron Corporation. Historical contamination from several sites became Chevron's responsibility as mergers and land purchases took place. The Alaska Railroad owns the land.


More Information

 

Database links: Even though these sites are being treated as a whole, our database records are kept as separate sites.

 

Supporting Documents

  • May 2008 Fact Sheet on Chevron's investigation area (PDF 73K)

  • PowerPoint Presentation from DEC Meeting - April 2006 (PPT 6.35M)

  • 2005 ADEC Presentation at March 17 Meeting with Core FAIR Participants (Part 1) - (Power Point 9.2MB)

  • 2005 ADEC Presentation at March 17 Meeting with Core FAIR Participants (Part 2) - (Power Point 10MB)

  • 2004 FAIR Fact Sheet - (PDF 211K)

  • 1999 AGRA Minnie Street Land Users Group Groundwater Monitoring Report - (PDF 798K )

  • 1999 SECOR Minnie Street Land Users Group Conceptual Site Model - (PDF 6MB)

  • 1998 USGS Minnie Streeet Land Users Group Biodegradation Potential Report - (PDF 849K)

  • 1996 USGS Minnie Street Land Users Group Groundwater Monitoring Report - (PDF 4.4MB)

  • 1995 DNR Minnie Street Land Users Group Water Quality Report - (PDF 338K )

  • 1995 USGS Minnie Street Land Users Group Groundwater Monitoring Report - (PDF 11MB)

  • 1994 DNR Minnie Street Land Users Group Water Quality Report - (PDF 2.8MB)

  • 1990 DOT Investigation - (PDF 1.3MB)

  • 1989 DOT Investigation - (PDF 7.37MB)

 

Photo of industrial area.