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NPL Site Narrative for Bangor Naval Submarine Base

Silverdale, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  August 30, 1990

Conditions at proposal (July 14, 1989): The Bangor Naval Submarine Base covers 7,000 acres on Hood Canal near Silverdale, Kitsap County, Washington. The area around the base is primarily residential. Established in 1946, it now has the primary mission of basing Trident submarines.

In July 1987, a 6-acre hazardous waste site on the base known as Site A was placed on the NPL under the name "Bangor Ordnance Disposal."

The Bangor Naval Submarine Base 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. As part of IRP, the Navy has identified 19 additional waste areas within 1.5 miles of each other where industrial wastes and waste water containing explosives were mishandled. The areas include ordnance burn and disposal pits, pesticide storage and disposal areas, a PCB spill area, a portion of Hood Canal with contaminated sediments, and Clear Creek.

Cyclonite (RDX), trinitrotoluene (TNT), ammonium picrate, ammonium picramate, and propylene glycol dinitrate are present in numerous wells on the base, according to IRP tests conducted in 1983. An estimated 18,000 people, including base employees and local residents, obtain drinking water from public and private wells within 3 miles of hazardous substances on the base. Ground water is also used for irrigation.

The 1983 tests identified most of the same explosives, as well as copper and lead, in surface waters and shellfish in three locations on the base. The waters drain into Hood Canal and Clear Creek. Waste waters containing explosives were routinely discharged to surface waters, and ships in Hood Canal were painted with paints containing heavy metals. The Navy also has found these contaminants in shellfish in Hood Canal, which is used for recreational activities and contains commercially valuable fish and shellfish.

Status (August 30, 1990): On January 29, 1990, EPA, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the Navy signed an Interagency Agreement under CERCLA Section 120 covering remedial activities at the 20 identified hazardous waste areas at the base, including Site A. Combining similar hazardous waste areas has resulted in 10 "operable units" (discrete field activities) at the base. Remedial investigations and feasibility studies are scheduled to start in 1990 and 1991.

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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