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Sites in Reuse in Alaska

Adak Naval Air Station

The 76,000-acre Adak Naval Air Station (NAS) is located on Adak Island, near the western end of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. United States military forces used Adak NAS as a key operations and supply location beginning in the early 1940s. Over a 40-year period, operators disposed of hazardous substances in areas on the island. These areas included landfills, storage areas, drum disposal areas, spill sites and pits for waste oil and fire-fighting training. Petroleum, solvents, batteries, transformer oils, unexploded ordnance and pesticides are some of the hazardous materials present. In 1993 the U.S. Navy, EPA and the state signed a Federal Facilities Agreement under which the U.S. Navy agreed to clean up the installation. In 1994, EPA listed Adak NAS as a site on the National Priorities List (NPL). The U.S. Navy has since completed numerous cleanup actions. Some cleanup actions continue. The island is a federally designated wilderness area and is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. A wide variety of marine mammals and birds inhabit the near-shore areas. Officials allow access to remote areas, but restrictions are necessary due to the potential presence of unexploded ordnance. About 50 to 100 people reside on the island. Inhabitants use the area for hunting, fishing and recreational purposes. Commercial fish processing and tourism bring additional people to the island. In 2004, the United States government transferred 71,171 acres of Adak NAS from the U.S. Navy to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). USFWS then exchanged 47,000 acres of the former Adak NAS property with The Aleut Corporation for other lands in the Aleutian Islands. The exchange provided the Aleuts with a well-developed city (i.e., all of the downtown area, housing units and industrial facilities) for economic reuse. In return, the Aleut Corporation transferred high quality marine bird habitat to USFWS for management within the refuge. The Alaska Department of Transportation received approximately 2,000 acres that includes the airfield and support buildings, and is responsible for airport operations. The Adak Reuse Corporation is marketing the island to commercial fishing fleets and other businesses operating in the area. Negotiations with Shell Oil Company are underway for leasing residential units for the exploration of oil in the Chukchi and Bering Sea.
Updated 12/2012

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Alaska Battery Enterprises

The 1-acre Alaska Battery Enterprises Superfund site is located just south of Fairbanks, Alaska. From the early 1960s until about 1988, the site operated as a battery recycling facility. Releases from activities at the battery yard contaminated on-site soil with lead. Ground water was not contaminated, but there was a potential for contamination since ground water is shallow and the soil is permeable. EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989. In the summers of 1988 and 1989, EPA excavated about 4,000 cubic yards of soil contaminated with lead. EPA disposed of the contaminated soil in a licensed hazardous waste disposal facility. EPA issued a “no further action” Record of Decision (ROD) in 1993. The ROD required two additional years of ground water monitoring to confirm there was no lead contamination. After confirming that lead had not impacted ground water, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1996. Currently, a glass window and door retailer operates on the site. A private residence, occupied by the landowner, is also located on site.
Updated 12/2012

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Arctic Surplus
Site photo

The 25-acre Arctic Surplus Superfund site is located six miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska. A salvage business operated at the site and accepted U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) military equipment, asbestos insulation and other various chemicals. In addition, the business recovered scrap metals by deconstructing batteries and transformers. In 1988, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation detected high concentrations of metals in the soil and found large amounts of asbestos on site. Local residents living around the site depend on an aquifer located just beneath the site for their water supplies. The EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990 and immediately removed the asbestos, drums and contaminated soils. In addition, the DoD began on-site soil treatment and isolated residual soil in a closed landfill covered with asphalt. Cleanup reached completion in 2005 and the EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2006. The same year, a private owner began leasing the asphalt-covered cap as a parking lot for vehicles and trailers.
Updated 10/2013

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Elmendorf Air Force Base

Elmendorf Air Force Base (EAFB) covers about 13,130 acres in Anchorage, Alaska. Surroundings include the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet, Fort Richardson and developed urban areas within the city. More than half of EAFB is undeveloped, including 1,416 acres of wetlands, lakes and ponds. The U.S. Air Force developed the remaining area for airfield operations, base-support operations, housing and recreational facilities. Beginning in the mid-1940s, operations at the base generated varying amounts of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes from industrial and airfield operations, fire training and fuels management. In 1990, EPA listed EAFB on the National Priorities List (NPL). The U.S. Army signed a Federal Facilities Agreement with EPA and the state in 1991 to address site contamination. The U.S. Air Force identified over 30 source areas for investigation, including a site adjacent to Ship Creek, a salmon bearing stream and host to a Chinook salmon and rainbow trout hatchery operated by Alaska Fish and Game Department. The U.S. Air Force has closed or determined that no further action is required at some of these sites. Investigation, treatment or monitoring within other areas is ongoing. In 2010, the federal government administratively merged EAFB and Ft. Richardson to become Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson under the command of the Air Force's 673d Air Base Wing.
Updated 12/2012

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Fort Richardson (USARMY) Green Infrastructure
Site photo

Fort Richardson is located in the City of Anchorage, Alaska. Constructed in 1940, Fort Richardson occupies a 56,000-acre area. Anchorage, Elmendorf Air Force Base, the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet, Chugach State Park and undeveloped lands surround the site. During World War II, the U.S. Army used the fort to defend Alaska against foreign invaders. Its current mission is to command and control Army forces in Alaska. Fort Richardson provides the services, facilities and infrastructure to support and train rapid deployment forces from Alaska to the Pacific theater. Past practices resulted in the contamination of soil, sludge, ground water and surface water. EPA listed Fort Richardson as a site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1994. The U.S. Army signed a Federal Facilities Agreement with EPA and the state in 1994 to address site contamination. Five work areas, or operable units, at the site each contain and address a varying number of contaminated sub-areas. The U.S. Army has undertaken a number of early actions at many of the work areas and all sites are under long term monitoring to assess risk. One of the areas, the Eagle River Flats ordnance impact area, includes 2,500 acres of wetlands associated with the Eagle River delta. White phosphorous contaminated the wetlands, resulting in mortality to waterfowl during spring and fall migrations. Efforts to clean up the white phosphorus have resulted in meeting the goal to reduce mortality to less than 1 percent of the migrating population of waterfowl. Additional areas are under investigation including the Nike Hercules missile site at a summit of the Chugach Mountain Range and three drum disposal sites on the base. The Nike Hercules missile site is on the National Historical Register; group in Anchorage is working with stakeholders to allow tours of the site for the public. In 2010, the federal government administratively merged EAFB and Ft. Richardson to become Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson under the command of the Air Force's 673d Air Base Wing.
Updated 12/2012

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Fort Wainwright
Site photo

The 900,000-acre Fort Wainwright Superfund site is located on the eastern boundary of Fairbanks, Alaska. The federal government established the fort in 1938 to train soldiers and test equipment in arctic conditions. Industrial mission support operations include maintenance of aircraft and vehicles, landfill activities and power generation. Fort Wainwright includes several areas, including a main post area of 4,473 acres (located partly within the city limits), 8,825 acres of ranges and over 898,000 acres of military maneuver areas. Past operations contaminated ground water, soil and sediments. About 15,000 people live and work at Fort Wainwright. These residents get drinking water from wells that are near contaminated source areas. In addition, the Chena River runs through the contaminated area of Fort Wainwright. Area residents use this river for subsistence, recreation and sport fishing. The U.S. Army began its investigation of contaminated areas at Fort Wainwright in 1989. EPA listed Fort Wainwright as a site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990. The U.S. Army signed a Federal Facilities Agreement with EPA and the state in 1992 to address site contamination. In 2002, the U.S. Army completed construction of all systems necessary for site cleanup. The U.S. Army continues to perform ground monitoring and consider possible additional cleanup options. Construction of a housing project on Fort Wainwright led to the discovery of hazardous debris and drums buried on the construction site. An amendment to the Federal Facilities Agreement in 2007 added this area, known as the “Former Communication Site”, as an operable unit. The amendment also prevents use of the housing until approved by the EPA and the state. The U.S. Army finalized a cleanup plan for this area in January 2014.
Updated 9/2014

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Standard Steel & Metals Salvage Yard (USDOT)
Site photo

The 6.2-acre Standard Steel & Metal Salvage Yard (USDOT) Superfund site is located in Anchorage, Alaska. Tucked away in an industrialized part of the city along the north side of lower Ship Creek, the site formerly operated as a metal salvage yard. The Federal Railroad Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, acquired the land in the 1920s. Metal recyclers and salvage operators used the site beginning in the mid-1950s until 1993. Activities from these operations resulted in soil and ground water contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead. In 1990, EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL). EPA and those responsible for the contamination cleaned up the site by removing some of the surface waste and treating, solidifying, and covering the remainder with a cap. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2002. The Alaska Railroad Corporation, the site owner, leases the majority of the site to K&T Enterprises. K&T Enterprises subleases the site for warehouse, truck maintenance and storage operations. Another company uses the remainder of the site for storing trailers and piles of steel.
Updated 12/2012

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