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NPL Site Narrative for Spokane Junkyard/Associated Properties

Spokane, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  May 31, 1994

The Spokane Junkyard/Associated Properties site covers 10.5 acres in a light commercial and residential area in Spokane, Spokane County, Washington. It is surrounded by single and multiple-family dwellings, as well as several private businesses and an elementary school.

From the 1940s until 1983, the Spokane Junkyard accepted military surplus items, automobiles, heavy equipment, appliances, and electrical transformers. On July 15, 1987, an explosive fire consumed the Spokane Junkyard property. Adjacent to the junkyard is a property where Spokane Metals Co. recycled scrap metal, including transformers, from 1936 to 1983. The site also encompasses a residential lot and a vacant field owned by two individuals, and an undeveloped strip of land dedicated to public use.

Following the 1987 fire, EPA used CERCLA emergency funds to transport 140 drums of hazardous liquids and solids (including PCB oils, flammable materials, corrosive materials, and chlorinated organic compounds) and 140 cubic yards of asbestos to regulated landfills. During 1987-89, EPA found elevated levels of heavy metals (including liquid mercury, cadmium, and lead) and PCBs in surface soils. An estimated 200,000 square feet of contaminated soil remain on-site. The site is currently fenced, but EPA has received reports of attempts at illegal access.

The site lies above the Spokane Valley Aquifer, designated a Sole Source Aquifer under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Approximately 165,000 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells within 4 miles of the site. Wells within 4 miles are also used for irrigation. The wells are potentially threatened because water is shallow (40 feet in some cases) and soils are permeable, permitting soil contaminants (as deep as 3.5 feet in some cases) to reach ground water.

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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