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NPL Site Narrative for Fort Lewis (Landfill No. 5)

Tacoma, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  July 22, 1987

Conditions at proposal (October 15, 1984): Fort Lewis is located near Tacoma in Pierce County, Washington, on the eastern shore of the southern part of Puget Sound. It has been a U.S. Army facility since 1917. Industrial operations at Fort Lewis have included maintenance of aircraft and vehicles, repair and refurbishing of weapons, and neutralization of caustic paint-stripping waste and battery acids. Prior to the mid-1970s, wastes were disposed of in on-site landfills covering 225 acres. These disposal sites may have received hazardous wastes such as spent solvents, plating wastes, pesticides, and PCBs. The State has detected hazardous chemicals, including iron and manganese, in ground water on and off Landfill No. 5, which covers 104 acres. The Army has installed 11 monitoring wells near the landfill.

Other operations at Fort Lewis received Interim Status under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when the Army filed Part A of a permit application.

Fort Lewis is participating in the Installation Restoration Program (IRP), established in 1978. Under this program, the Department of Defense seeks to identify, investigate, and clean up contamination from hazardous materials. In 1983, the Army completed Phase I (records search), which recommended no further action at that time.

Status (July 22, 1987): This specific area is not being investigated at this time due to a higher priority study associated with a known contamination problem on and off the installation. However, in 1985, a ground water investigation in the northwest corner of Fort Lewis (not Landfill #5) found trichloroethylene in ground water. This investigation has gone forward with Defense Environmental Restoration Funds, not the IRP.

Within the boundaries of this Federal facility, there are areas subject to the Subtitle C corrective action authorities of RCRA. However, no such areas were included in scoring this specific site. Therefore, this Federal facility site is being placed on the Federal section of the NPL under the NPL/RCRA policy announced on September 8, 1983 (48 FR 40662).

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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