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NPL Site Narrative for Aluminum Co. of America (Vancouver Smelter)

ALUMINUM CO. OF AMERICA (VANCOUVER SMELTER)
Vancouver, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  February 21, 1990

Conditions at proposal (June 24, 1988): Aluminum Co. of America (ALCOA) started operating a primary aluminum smelter in 1940 on a site of several hundred acres adjacent to the Columbia River in Vancouver, Clark County, Washington. In 1986, VANALCO purchased the smelter portion of the site and plans to re-open it.

About 56,000 tons of waste potlinings containing cyanide, fluoride, and heavy metals were piled on bare ground on the site during 1973-80. ALCOA has been monitoring ground water since 1979. Both ALCOA and the State have found cyanide and fluoride in wells around the piles. One of the wells provides drinking and process water for the smelter. An estimated 50,000 people draw drinking water from public and private wells within 3 miles of the site. Ground water is also used to irrigate almost 300 acres of cropland within 3 miles of the site.

In June 1987, ALCOA completed studies conducted under an Administrative Order issued by the Washington Department of Ecology. The department is reviewing the studies.

Status (February 21, 1990): In September 1989, ALCOA completed detailed sampling to characterize the potlining piles. A report summarizing the sampling is expected to be completed in early 1990. At that time ALCOA and the Washington Department of Ecology will negotiate a plan for a removal 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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