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NPL Site Narrative for Jackson Park Housing Complex (USNAVY)

Kitsap County, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  May 31, 1994

The Jackson Park Housing Complex (JPHC) is located east of Highway 3, approximately 2 miles northwest of Bremerton, Washington. The area west of Highway 3 includes a golf course, an urban area, and an undeveloped wooded area. A wooded park and urban area are located south of Highway 3. JPHC occupies approximately 300 acres of land that includes housing for approximately 3,000 military personnel, recreational areas, undeveloped areas, a hospital, and community services buildings.

The facility was operated as a Naval ammunition depot from 1904 to 1959. From 1910 to 1959, unused ordnance was disposed of by open burning along the shoreline. From 1918 to 1959, during low tides, various marker dyes and smoke candles were placed on the beach and ignited, where they continued to burn until the tide rose and extinguished the fires. Residual ordnance powders from loading operations were disposed of by open burning along the waterfront or at a fill area at the south end of the site. During ordnance handling and loading operations, potentially hazardous dust and powder were deposited on the floor and washed into floor drains emptying into Ostrich Bay. Waste acid and caustics from case cleaning operations were also flushed down floor drains. Waste water that contained elevated levels of explosives from demilitarization operations went down the nearest drain. Since many types of casings and projectiles cleaned and repaired were made of brass and bronze alloys, heavy metals such as copper, zinc, tin, and other metals were dissolved into acid and base solutions and drained into the bay. In 1959, ordnance and industrial operations were relocated to SUBASE Bangor. Between 1973 and 1975, nearly all ammunition buildings were demolished and the current facility was constructed. Industrial activities at JPHC included ordnance storage, loading, testing, burning, and disposal; case and projectile cleaning; tank and powder can repair; bag dyeing; fuse operations; demilitarization; and pier operations. In addition, the site contained incinerators; paint, locomotive, battery, industrial, and machine shops; and a boiler plant.

According to several people, Ostrich Bay occasionally became a yellow color due to discharges emanating from the ordnance facility. The yellow color was a result of waste water containing ammonium picrate (an explosive) or dyes. During decontamination and demolition operations in 1974 and 1975, ammonium picrate was found in storm drains leaving abandoned buildings that had formerly housed ordnance operations. From 1918 to 1959, untreated sewage and waste water from ordnance and other activities was discharged directly into Ostrich Bay outfalls located along the waterfront. The Navy sampled the outfalls in 1991 and confirmed the presence of arsenic; cadmium; chromium; copper; lead; nickel; zinc; 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene; 2,6-dinitrotoluene; 1,3,5-trinitrobenzene; and 1,3-dinitrobenzene.

In 1991 and 1992, soil, sediment, and fish samples were collected as part of two environmental investigations conducted by the Navy. Analytical results from these investigations show that there is extensive surface soil contamination at the site. Hazardous substances were also detected in sediment and fish samples collected from the bay and can be attributed to the waste water outfalls. The Navy has closed the beaches at the site to shell fishing.

Ostrich Bay has been identified by EPA as a special area requiring protection under the National Estuary Program. The bay is used for both recreational and commercial fishing, and extensive wetland habitats exist adjacent to the site. EPA, the Navy, and the Washington Department of Ecology are negotiating an interagency agreement to address the contamination at the site.

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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