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NPL Site Narrative for Old Navy Dump/Manchester Laboratory (USEPA/NOAA)

Manchester, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  May 31, 1994

Manchester Laboratory is located along the western shore of Clam Bay, which is an embayment off the west side of Rich Passage in Puget Sound. The site is approximately 1 1/4 miles north of Manchester, Washington. Federal ownership of this site started with the U.S. Army in 1898. In 1924, the entire area was transferred to the U.S. Navy. Between 1941 and 1944, a submarine net depot and an open storage area were established on what is now EPA's property. In the early 1970's, EPA and NOAA acquired a portion of the former Navy property.

Available records are somewhat unclear, but it appears that the Navy started disposing of scrap metal from onsite submarine net construction in the dump site in the 1950s. By 1957, a dike was constructed across a shoreline area on the west side of Clam Bay. Scrap metal from nearby submarine net construction and the Navy's Bremerton Shipyard were reportedly placed in the dump site. The entire contents of the dump site, however, are undocumented. A burn pit was also constructed in the 1950s on the east side of the dump site and appears to have been used into the early 1960s. Materials allegedly burned in the pit include wastes from an on-site dispensary and waste paper products. PCB contaminated oil in underground storage tanks may have been dumped and subsequently burned in fire fighting activities.

As the current owner of part of the former Navy property, EPA has conducted the Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspections required under section 120 of CERCLA, as amended, which established the Federal Facility Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket. The most recent inspection, conducted by EPA in May, 1992, documented heavy metals, mercury, asbestos, and PCBs in the old navy dump. Runoff water from the dump contains copper and zinc in excess of Ambient Water Quality Criteria established under the Clean Water Act. Offshore sediments contain elevated levels of metals, mercury, and PCBs. NOAA has also completed a Preliminary Assessment for their portion of the former Navy property.

Clam Bay is used primarily for recreational shellfishing and is also known to be used by the bald eagle, a Federally threatened species designated under the Endangered Species Act.

EPA will negotiate with the Navy to perform any clean-up necessary at this site. EPA and NOAA have also contacted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Formerly Utilized Defense Site (FUDS) program to conduct further remedial work.

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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