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Site Report: White Mountain BIA School - Drum Storage Area

Site Name: White Mountain BIA School - Drum Storage Area
Address: White Mountain Airport, Tract III Plat 94-4RS, White Mountain, AK 99784
File Number: 580.38.002
Hazard ID: 3102
Status: Active
Staff: Tim Sharp, 9074512131 tim.sharp@alaska.gov
Latitude: 64.683479
Longitude: -163.409783
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

Four acre drum dump with diesel contamination - approximately 1000, 55-gallon drums. Source of drums is questionable. ***2016 Update*** According to 2001 evaluation conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the White Mountain National Guard or Federal Scout Armory Site did not contain hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants eligible for cleanup under the Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) program. The Corps provided documentation indicating residents of White Mountain reported the drums contained fuel used at the BIA boarding school between 1948 and 1955.

Action Information

Action Date Action Description DEC Staff
11/15/1999 Site Added to Database 4 acre drum dump with diesel contamination. A Preliminary Assessment Report, prepared by Ecology and Environment for the USEPA was received in the Fairbanks CSRP office 3/1/1999. The report indicates 1000 + abandoned drums and minor petroleum contamination (up to 540 ppm TPH) on a ~4 acre site. The drums contain military markings. Approximately 75% of the drums were inspected and found to be empty; 10-20 contained 1-2" of residual liquid. Scott Pexton
11/15/1999 Site Ranked Using the AHRM Air Exposure Index, Surface Water Usage, and Surface Water Exposure Index Values changed from original submittal. Greg Light
2/24/2000 Update or Other Action Received a letter from William Vagt of the Alaska Army National Guard indicating the site may be a Formerly Used Defense Site instead of a National Guard site. Scott Pexton
7/27/2000 Update or Other Action Letter sent to the Alaska Army National Guard requesting a review of the EPA Preliminary Assessment Report to verify whether the National Guard ever owned or operated the site. Scott Pexton
8/10/2000 Update or Other Action Letter received from the Alaska Army National Guard with information indicating that the drum disposal area is not located with the former White Mountain Alaska National Guard property boundary and does not appear related to Guard activities. Scott Pexton
9/7/2000 Update or Other Action Letter sent to Alaska Army National Guard indicating that the database was updated to remove the Alaska Army National Guard as a responsible party and the site name was changed. Scott Pexton
12/7/2001 Update or Other Action Staff sent a message to the AK District Corps of Engineers requesting it re-evaluate the site for cleanup eligibility under the Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) Program. The Corps replied that it has a copy of the EPA preliminary assessment and will review the site in federal FY 03. John Halverson
4/21/2003 Update or Other Action Staff reviewed the Corps of Engineers FUDS program annual workplan. It does inlcude funding to review this site for cleanup elegibility under the FUDS program. We should have a determination before the end of Sept. 2003. John Halverson
3/15/2004 Update or Other Action File number assigned: 580.38.002. Sarah Cunningham
3/25/2004 Update or Other Action DEC received a letter and memo from the Corps of Engineers stating it has reviewed the available information and determined the site is not eligible for cleanup under the FUDS program. Their decision is based on a lack of documentation that the drums are from military operations, area residents recollection that the drums are from past operation of the BIA school between 1948 and 1955. During this era the military may have supplied fuel to BIA school under the Military Sea Transport Service (MSTS) Mona Lisa operation. John Halverson
6/18/2004 Update or Other Action DEC concurred with the the Corps determination that the drum site is not eligible for cleanup under the FUDS program. John Halverson
9/14/2004 Potentially Responsible Party/State Interest Letter DEC sent a letter to BIA informing it on the drum disposal site, prior site characterization work, and efforts to identify a responsible party. BIA was advised that it appears to be responsible for the improperly disposed of drums, the potential for additional residue to leak, and the potential physical hazards posed by the solid waste. DEC requested BIA properly cleanup and dispose of the drums. John Halverson
11/12/2004 Update or Other Action BIA responded to the 9/14/2004 letter stating that it did not receive the attachments and requesting further information. John Halverson
5/6/2008 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking Site transferred to State/Private sites. Initial ranking with ETM completed. Pam Clemens
3/29/2011 Update or Other Action On this date, ADEC received a response from the White Mountain IGAP Tribal Coordinator. The Tribal Coordinator indicates that approximately 275 drums remain at site. Over time the villagers have used the drums for burn barrels or fuel storage. In 2008, the IGAP Program transported 120 drums to the landfill. The IGAP coordinator indicates that all the remaining drums are either empty and/or rusted through. The potential fate of the drums, at both the site and the land fill, are to either be transported to Nome’s drum crusher or for reuse by the village. Grant Lidren
3/14/2012 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking A new updated ranking with ETM has been completed for source area 74077 drum dump area. Grant Lidren
12/2/2013 Update or Other Action Received email correspondence from IGAP Coordinator indicating that no drums remain on the site. All of the drums were transported to the landfill or were reused by the residents in White Mountain. Joshua Barsis
12/13/2013 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking A new updated ranking with ETM has been completed for source area 74077 drum dump area. Joshua Barsis
8/7/2015 Update or Other Action Reviewed file and transferred to PM Whitsel for further action and evaluation of BIA period of operation. PRP letter to BIA is in file but no further correspondence has been received from BIA. Further characterization is required at the site to delineate contaminated soil at former drum dump. Fred Vreeman
12/16/2015 Potentially Responsible Party/State Interest Letter Sent PRP letter to BIA requiring them to complete the following two actions: 1.) Take confirmatory soil samples from the area with greatest petroleum contamination, based on 1998 sampling; 2.) Evaluate soil samples for remaining contaminants; a.) If no contaminants are detected above applicable cleanup levels, DEC will issue a designation of “cleanup complete”. b.) If remaining contaminants are detected, remedial activity will be required. Joy Whitsel
6/8/2016 Update or Other Action Received email correspondence from IGAP Coordinator that at least 50-100 drums remain on-site, many of which are obscured from view by brush. Most drums are open, but it is unknown whether anything remains in the drums. Joy Whitsel
9/16/2016 Update or Other Action DEC responded to KNOM Radio questions regarding this site. The interviewer requested information on what was known about the drums, who was responsible for cleaning up the site, and additional details regarding site investigation and survey of the drums. Joy Whitsel
6/17/2019 Update or Other Action Site location was updated on this date. Coordinates for this site are used to determine the presence and position of the site on BLM’s ANCSA Conveyed Land web map. Rebekah Reams
6/28/2019 Update or Other Action Letter provided to BIA providing a list of 31 sites where BIA is a PRP and requesting a meeting to discuss long-term planning for cleanup at these sites. Gretchen Caudill
7/19/2021 Update or Other Action July 9th, a site visit (DEC not present) discovered 250 55-gallon drums at the site, the majority of which were intact. Most appeared to be empty. No odor and no visible signs of contamination were observed. Tim Sharp
7/19/2021 Exposure Tracking Model Ranking A new updated ranking with ETM has been completed for source area 74077 drum dump area. Tim Sharp
7/29/2021 Report or Workplan Review - Other DEC sent comments on the draft 2021 Work Plan, which entails sampling surface soils around the remaining drums in the area. DEC had questions concerning screening methods for heavily weathered fuels, as well as drum disposal concerns and what COCs will be tested for. Tim Sharp
9/21/2021 Report or Workplan Review - Other DEC Approved the Final Work Plan. Unfortunately, the contract and scope of work could not be adjusted to facilitate all of DEC's recommended actions. All requested sampling and characterization activities that were not already scoped will be considered under the next contract, and will be driven by what is found during this field season. Tim Sharp

Contaminant Information

Name Level Description Media Comments

Control Type

Type Details

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Description Details

No associated sites were found.

Missing Location Data

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