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NPL Site Narrative for Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island (Seaplane Base)

Whidbey Island, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  February 21, 1990

Conditions at proposal (September 18, 1985): The Naval Air Station (NAS) at Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington, was commissioned in September 1942. It covers over 7,000 acres and is composed of two bases -- Ault Field and Seaplane Base -- 5 miles apart. The mission of NAS Whidbey Island is to maintain and operate facilities and provide services and materials in support of the Navy's aviation activities and units. Ault Field contains most of the military activities.

The major waste-generating activities at Seaplane Base involve aircraft and vehicle maintenance, paint and paint stripping, and machine and boat shop operations. Wastes generated include solvents, zinc chromate, lead-containing paint wastes, thinners, ethylene glycol, sulfuric acid, and lead-based sealants. The Seaplane Base Site consists of six waste areas (a landfill and five uncontained spills) covering 7 acres. To date, contamination of ground water or surface water has not been documented. The waste areas potentially affect both the shallow and sea-level aquifers. These aquifers provide drinking water to about 16,500 people within 3 miles of the site. Local surface water bodies are used for recreational activities. A coastal wetland is within 200 feet of the site.

NAS Whidbey Island is participating in the Installation Restoration Program, established in 1978. Under this program, the Department of Defense seeks to identify, investigate, and clean up contamination from hazardous materials. The Navy has completed Phase I (records search). Phase II (preliminary survey) is scheduled to start in October 1985.

Status (February 21, 1990): Contamination of nearby shellfish and sediments is suspected, but additional sampling is necessary to confirm previous data.

The Navy has identified 12 "operable units" (discrete field activities) that will be considered in two remedial investigations/feasibility studies, which will determine the type and extent of contamination at Seaplane Base and identify 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.

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