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NPL Site Narrative for Naval Weapons Station Yorktown - Cheatham Annex

Williamsburg, Virginia

Federal Register Notice:  December 01, 2000 (PDF) (8 pp, 272K, About PDF)

Conditions at Proposal (February 4, 2000): The Naval Weapons Station Yorktown - Cheatham Annex (Cheatham Annex) is a 1,579-acre federal facility located outside of Williamsburg, in York County, Virginia. The facility is located adjacent to the York River approximately 15-miles upstream of the Cheasapeake Bay. The primary mission of Cheatham Annex is receiving, storing, packing and shipping of materials to federal facilities on the east coast and major distribution centers in Europe. Construction on the supply facility began in 1942. Cheatham Annex was commissioned in June 1943 as a satellite unit of the Naval Supply Depot to provide bulk storage facilities. The mission of Cheatham Annex has remained essentially the same since its commissioning.

During World War I, prior to Navy ownership and activity, a portion of the current Navy property was the location of a large powder and shell-loading plant operated by DuPont. During this time the area included a city of 10,000 people and was named Penniman. The DuPont plant operated for approximately three years, closing at the end of World War I. Between 1922 and 1942 the land was in private ownership and was used for farming or left idle.

An Initial Assessment Study (IAS) was completed at Cheatham Annex in 1984. This study identified twelve disposal sites and potential contamination areas. Four of the twelve sites were recommended for additional studies. Three of these sites (identified as sites 1, 9, and 11 in the IAS) are included as sources in this hazard ranking system (HRS) documentation record. A site inspection (SI) was completed at a portion of the Penniman Shell Loading Plant site in 1999 by EPA. This SI identified sources that were formerly part of the overall DuPont plant. Five of these sources have been evaluated in this HRS documentation record.

The sampling results collected from the seven sources currently identified at the facility indicate contamination with semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and metals. The sources are not fully contained therefore the contaminants may be available to migrate into adjacent surface waters. Cheatham Annex is located in an area with recreational fisheries. The only fishery sampled to date is Penniman Lake. The sample results indicate that a release of SVOCs and metals has occurred to this fishery. The other potential fisheries affected by onsite sources have not been sampled to date therefore the impact of contaminant migration into these surface waters is unknown at this time.

Status (December 2000): EPA and the Navy are considering various alternative for the investigation and cleanup of the Cheatham Annex site. In addition, the Navy has recommended that Cheatham Annex be incorporated into the Federal Facility Agreement for the Navel Weapons Station Yorktown, an existing NPL site. EPA agrees in principle with this proposal, and will work with the Navy in future negotiations to determine the most appropriate course of 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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