Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Land Revitalization in the Outer Pacific Islands
Tanapag Tank Removal
Tanapag Tank Farm was built by the US military during World War II (WWII) to provide fuel for naval ships and aircraft. Prior to WWII, the area was a privately owned residential area. Post-WWII, the nearly 100 acre site continued to be used for refueling purposes until the 1950s when the operations ceased and the site was abandoned. While aircraft fuels were removed from some of the tanks, residual heavy oils were left in other tanks. After the war, Tanapag Village was returned to local control, but the tanks were left where homes are located. Consequently, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was tasked to assess the hazards and contamination associated with the former tank farm. Years of neglect and weathering had caused many of the tanks to collapse, resulting in oil spills and soil contamination in close proximity to residences.
In 2006, the EPA's Emergency Response Team, in conjunction with the CNMI Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and USACE, removed six aboveground oil storage tanks, oil/sludge, and contaminated water and soil from the former Tank Farm. With an emphasis placed on minimizing harm to the surrounding natural environment, over 2,300 tons of contaminated soil and 16,710 gallons of treated water were removed. Over 140 tons of disassembled scrap metal from the tanks were sent for recycling. CNMI DEQ worked side by side with EPA, expanding their field and laboratory experience and increasing their environmental programs capacity.
- Six properties were made safe for residential and commercial use.
- Two of the properties are currently being used.
- Four remaining properties are available.
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