NPL Site Narrative for Northwest Transformer
Federal Register Notice: June 10, 1986
Conditions at proposal (October 15, 1984): Northwest Transformer's salvage yard covers 1.2 acres about 2 miles south of Everson, Washington, a rural community in Whatcom County. The site was used for storage and salvage of transformers, which involved dismantling and draining, as well as incineration operations. Waste transformer fluids were stored in a tank on-site. PCBs, a component of some transformer fluids, were detected in private domestic wells near the site in tests conducted by the Whatcom County Health Department. Although the levels of PCBs were near detection limits (0.05 to 0.11 part per billion), no other source of PCBs has been identified near the wells. Subsequent sampling showed no PCBs. Further sampling is planned.
Wells within 3 miles of the site are the source of drinking water for 2,700 people.
Status (June 10, 1986): In an extensive soil sampling effort, EPA detected high concentrations of PCBs at certain locations. The highest was 31,000 parts per million (ppm). In May 1985, EPA used CERCLA emergency funds to remove PCB-containing materials from the site. Five transformers containing greater than 500 ppm were drained and cleaned. About 500 transformers were either already clean (less than 46 ppm) or, if containing 46 to 500 ppm, were drained, rinsed, and cleaned on-site. Contaminated soil (1,360 cubic yards) and waste liquid (5,500 gallons) containing 10 ppm or more were also removed. All wastes were taken to a disposal site meeting the requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act.
EPA is developing a plan for a remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and develop alternatives for remedial action.
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.