|North Pole Public Water System Expansion - Design nearly complete
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In 2009, sulfolane was detected in drinking water wells near the North Pole Refinery, about 15 miles east of Fairbanks. Under DEC oversight, property owner Flint Hills Resources Alaska (FHRA) responded quickly by providing affected residents and businesses with alternative drinking water and initiating an extensive characterization effort. The possible effects of long-term exposure to sulfolane through drinking water are not yet fully understood. The sulfolane groundwater plume is currently approximately 2 miles wide, 3.5 miles long and over 300 feet deep, and continuing to migrate to the north-northwest.
The current status of the sulfolane project is summarized below:
- The City of North Pole is expanding its piped water system to provide sulfolane-free drinking water to impacted residents: The design phase is complete and the City of North Pole is currently evaluating proposals for construction, anticipated to begin in early 2018. Right-of-way acquisition is in progress. In late 2017, the City of North Pole solicited construction bids, with construction of the first phase of the project expected to begin in Spring 2018.
- Alternative water supplies: With expansion of the piped water system, the alternative water supply (AWS) program is being phased out. While the piped water system is under construction, alternative water will continue to be provided to affected properties. Approximately 1,500 people receive alternative water.
- Monitoring: Groundwater monitoring will continue throughout the piped water system construction process and beyond to track migration of the sulfolane plume.
- The National Toxicology Program (NTP) continues toxicology studies: This important research on sulfolane will address questions regarding long-term exposure to the solvent. See more on the NTP studies.
- Cleanup Level Review: Currently there is no cleanup level for sulfolane. The Spill Prevention and Response Division (SPAR) is continuing to review an appropriate cleanup level while waiting for information from research being conducted by the National Toxicology Program (see their web page). The August 2015 newsletter describes the sulfolane cleanup level situation.
August 2015 newsletter (1.5MB).
COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2018
2:30 - 4:30p.m. , North Pole Plaza Mall
An Open House will be held
to provide information
to the public and solicit comments and questions on the
upcoming community water expansion project.
City of North Pole
Flint Hills Resources Alaska
Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation
DOCUMENTS OF INTEREST
THE EXPANSION OF THE
CITY OF NORTH POLE'S PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM
Other Documents of Interest
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