Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Virginia
EPA ID# VA1170024813
3rd Congressional District
Last Update: February 2014
Main Shipyard, Southgate Annex, Scott Center Annex,
New Gosport Annex, St. Helena Annex (Norfolk),
Paradise Creek Disposal Area
Current Site Status
OU2 – Sites 3 through 7, Paradise Creek Landfill. This is a sanitary landfill that was used as the shipyard landfill from 1945 through 1983. Waste disposed of at the site includes salvage waste, abrasive blast grit material, boiler fly and bottom ash, residential trash, and industrial wastewater treatment plant sludge. Within the overall boundaries of OU2 are Site 3, eastern and western landfills; Site 4, liquid waste holding ponds; Site 5, oil reclamation area; Site 6, former liquid waste disposal area; and Site 7, liquid waste holding area (also calcium hydroxide disposal area). An Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) was completed in 2004 to identify, evaluate and compare alternatives for OU2. The project contains 3 phases. Phase I is complete and included excavation/restoration of the Site 7 marsh. A Record of Decision (ROD) was signed in FY10 that addresses Phases II and III. Phase II includes a soil cap for Site 3 (Eastern Landfill). Phase III includes a soil cap for Sites 3 (Western Landfill), 4, 5 and 6. Phase II and III construction was completed in FY10 and final documentation is scheduled for the middle of FY14. Groundwater under OU2 is being addressed as OU7.
OU4 - Site 17, Metal Plating Shop. Building 195 was the main plating shop at the NNSY from the early 1970s through the mid 1980s. The ground surface surrounding Building 195 is completely paved. The formerly unpaved area north of Building 195 was used for coal storage from the 1920s until approximately 1966. The site is currently under industrial land use and the surficial aquifer is not used as a potable water source. Based upon additional soil data and field investigations in 2001 and 2004, an addendum to the Human Health Risk Assessment and Final Remedial Investigation was issued in February 2005. The Focused Feasibility Study was finalized in December 2005. A Record of Decision (ROD) was completed in 2006, the selected remedy includes land use controls to prohibit residential development. Land use controls have been implemented.
OU6 - Site 10, 1927 Landfill. The 1927 Landfill and vicinity is located in the southern portion of the Main Shipyard in an area covered with paved roads, buildings, and parking lots. The landfill was utilized prior to 1927 until 1941. Wastes disposed of at the site reportedly include various solid wastes generated by the NNSY, salvage waste, sandblast grit, flyash, and asbestos waste; there is no design information for the landfill. The Site 10 disposal area consists primarily of dredge fill material and small amounts of construction debris rather than waste consistent with an industrial landfill. A Site Screening Process (SSP) investigation for the 1927 Landfill and Vicinity was conducted in September 2001. A Supplemental Site Investigation was conducted in 2004. The Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study was finalized in 2006. A ROD for this site was signed in October 2008. Land use controls have been implemented.
Site 15 - Past Pier Side Industrial Operations. Site 15 was established as an additional site screening area in the 2004 Federal Facilities Agreement. The site is located on the eastern boundary of the NNSY along the Southern Elizabeth River waterfront. Site 15 was addressed with a No Action Decision Document in 2006, however, recently sediment samples were collected in the area that indicated there may be a risk to ecological receptors. Both the Southgate Annex and the Main Shipyard were maintenance dredged in late 2010. The EPA has requested that the Navy collect sediment samples in both areas and perform a screening level ecological risk analysis. Discussions are on-going.
Paradise Creek. Several of the Navy's Operable Units have contributed to contamination in the Paradise Creek. The conclusions of the Ecological Risk Assessment completed in 2001 were that sediments in the creek posed a risk to ecological receptors. Since that report was completed, the Navy has conducted several landfill removals near Paradise Creek which would reduce or eliminate the continuing contaminant sources to the creek. The EPA has requested that the Navy collect additional sediment samples to determine if risk remains. Discussions are on-going.
OU7 - Groundwater. This site addresses the groundwater contamination under OU2. Past investigations show that groundwater contamination includes VOCs, SVOCs, metals and petroleum products. Investigations during FY11 further evaluated the nature and extent of groundwater contamination. A Feasibility Study is being prepared and a ROD is planned for late 2015.
SITEWIDE: A Five Year Review to evaluate the protectiveness of existing remedial systems and institutional controls was signed in August 2011.
Site DescriptionThe NNSY is the oldest shipyard in the United States devoted exclusively to ship repair and overhaul dating to 1767. The shipyard is located in the tidewater region of southeastern Virginia along the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River and Paradise Creek, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Fisheries and other sensitive environments are located near the site. NNSY is also adjacent to the Atlantic Wood Industries NPL site. Activities at the shipyard include metal forming, repair and installation of mechanical and electrical equipment, metal fabrication, metal plating, and painting operations. Industrial shops generate large quantities of industrial wastes, scrap metal, waste oils, hydraulic oils, cutting oils, and oils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls ('PCBs'), spent cleaners, solvents, paint, paint sludges, thinners, blasting residues, asbestos, batteries, plating wastes, and cleaning boilers solutions.
Site ResponsibilityThis site is being addressed though federal actions.
NPL Listing HistoryThis site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long-term remedial action on March 6, 1998. This site was formally added to the list on July 22, 1999. The St. Helena Annex (in Norfolk, VA) was not included in the final listing, and has been addressed under separate cleanup authorities.
Threats and ContaminantsBefore the shipyard began using the industrial waste treatment plant ('IWTP') in 1979, numerous industrial wastes generated in shops or by waterfront maintenance of naval vessels frequently reached storm drains. The storm sewer system drains all areas of the shipyard, independent of the sanitary sewer system, and discharges without treatment to the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River and Paradise Creek at various locations. Other industrial wastes that were not suitable for reuse or reclamation were disposed on site. Historically, solid waste disposal areas were located in the southern portion of the shipyard, and at Annexes which border along Paradise Creek, i.e., Scott Center Landfill, Sanitary Landfill, Chemical Waste Pits, Hydraulic Fill Area, Bermed Chemical Disposal Area, and Acetylene Waste Lagoon. Solid wastes included abrasive blast media residues, sludge from the IWTP, and fly and bottom ash.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
The following describes the CERCLA-related construction activities at NNSY:
OU5, Site 1, New Gosport Landfill Area In 2001, the Navy excavated 55,000 tons of ABM residues that Norfolk Naval Shipyard used in the 1970s to fill approximately four acres at the New Gosport Annex, which borders along Paradise Creek. As a result of the removal action, the Navy was able to create 1.9 acres of new tidal wetlands to help reduce urban sediment contamination in Paradise Creek and increase wetlands buffers in the Elizabeth River watershed. In July 2004 a Site Screening Document was finalized to close out the site with no further action.
OU3, Site 9, Calcium Hyroxide Disposal Area In 2002, EPA, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Atlantic Wood Industries Inc., and the Navy reached an important agreement to undertake a joint approach response action at Site 9 within the Main Shipyard. A removal action was initiated in January 2003 and completed in August 2003. At the completion of this removal action 44,000 tons of material (including 16,000 tons of fly ash used to stabilize the waste calcium hydroxide) was removed and 1.3 acres of engineered wetlands was created. In May 2004 a Decision Document was finalized to close out the site with no further action.
OU1 - Site 2, Scott Center Landfill This is a 1.7 acre site that lies adjacent to Paradise Creek. In the 1950s the site was used for disposal of waste generated from dry-dock operations. Waste disposed of includes ABM, paint residues, sanitary wastes, solvents, and other industrial waste products. A removal action of the landfill contents was completed in June 2005. As part of the removal action, adjacent impacted marsh sediments were removed, and an engineered tidal wetland was created. A Record of Decision (ROD) for no further remedial action was completed for the site in October 2005.
OU2 – Sites 3 through 7, Paradise Creek Landfill. This is a sanitary landfill that was used as the shipyard landfill from 1945 through 1983. Waste disposed of at the site includes salvage waste, abrasive blast grit material, boiler fly and bottom ash, residential trash, and industrial wastewater treatment plant sludge. An Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) was completed in 2004 to identify, evaluate and compare alternatives for OU2. The selected remedy for OU2 was a soil cap and marsh excavation/restoration. Construction was completed in FY10. Groundwater under OU2 is being addressed as OU7. A Feasibility Study for OU7 will be completed in 2015 and a ROD for groundwater is planned for late 2015.