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NPL Site Narrative for Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station (4 Waste Areas)

Keyport, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  October 04, 1989

Conditions at proposal (June 10, 1986): The Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station (NUWES) at Keyport, Kitsap County, Washington, was acquired in 1913 to develop a still water torpedo testing range. The main station, which is located on a peninsula 15 miles west of Seattle, covers slightly over 200 acres and employs approximately 3,500 people. NUWES (Keyport) has been involved in a wide variety of activities, including maintenance of torpedoes; storage of fuel and ordnance; and production functions such as welding, plating, painting, carpentry, and sheet metal work. Waste contaminants generated include cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, lead, nickel, tin, zinc, carbon tetrachloride, methyl ethyl ketone, and trichloroethylene.

Four waste disposal areas are included in this NPL site. The areas are part of the same operation, have the same sources of contamination, and have the same contaminants. They also threaten the same ground water and surface water. The four areas are: Area 1: Keyport Landfill, situated in a marsh and having no liner or leachate containment system; Area 2: the Van Meter Road Spills, an area about 100 x 200 feet located near an intermittent creek that flows into a lagoon used for fishing and swimming; Area 5: Sludge Disposal Area, which covers about 100 feet x 200 feet and is located less than 200 feet from Liberty Bay; and Area 9: Liberty Bay Outfalls/Shoreline, where very substantial quantities of wastes were discharged directly into the water. The waste from at least one of these areas, Keyport Landfill, is in direct contact with ground water.

Thousands of gallons of wastes were dumped onto the ground at the Van Meter Road Spill area. Up to 500 gallons of sludge were disposed of at the Sludge Disposal Area. Sediments from the Liberty Bay Outfalls/Shoreline area and from the landfill contain lead, cadmium, chromium, and zinc, according to analyses conducted by a consultant to the Navy. Liberty Bay is used for commercial shell fishing and recreational activities.

At least 3,400 people obtain drinking water from wells within 3 miles of the site.

NUWES (Keyport) 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 (confirmation study) started in October 1985.

Status (October 4, 1989): The Navy has submitted workplans to EPA for a remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and identify alternatives for remedial action. EPA is working with the Navy to correct deficiencies in the workplan such as fully characterizing the shallow aquifer, the vertical/lateral migration of contamination, and contaminant loading. The Navy is expected to begin marine biological sampling soon.

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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