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Case Summary: Settlement Reached at Salt Creek Park Firing Range Site

On June 13, 2016, a consent decree between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and several state and federal potentially responsible parties (PRPs) was approved by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

In the consent decree, the PRPs agreed to reimburse EPA for over $800,000 of the costs the Agency incurred when it cleaned up lead and other contaminants at the Salt Creek Park Firing Range. The site, which had historically been used by a firing range by both the US military and the Washington National Guard, is now used by local citizens for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

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Information about the potentially responsible parties

The potentially responsible parties in the cost recovery case were Clallam County, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and the Washington National Guard (collectively the Settling Defendants), and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the United States Coast Guard (collectively the Settling Federal Agencies). All of the PRPs were public entities.

Information about the Salt Creek Park Firing Range Site

The Salt Creek Park Firing Range site is approximately 1 acre, and is located within Salt Creek Park in Clallam County, Washington, near the town of Port Angeles, Wash. Prior to becoming a park, the Site was used by the military as a firing range during World War II.

After military use ended in the late 1950s, there was continued use of the firing range by the Washington National Guard and by a private rifle club. Once all shooting activities ceased on the property, a concerned citizen reported the past use of the property to the Clallam County Health Department. The citizen was concerned about potential lead in soils and the potential risk to people using the area for camping, hiking, and collecting mushrooms. Further investigation led to EPA involvement at the site, and in 2010 EPA conducted a fund-lead time-critical removal action to clean up soils contaminated with heavy metals.

The main contaminants of concern addressed by the removal action were lead, copper, nickel, and zinc. In addition to threats of exposure to heavy metals to both human and environmental receptors at the Site, there was also a high risk that hazardous materials would migrate offsite, into nearby surface waters in the Strait of Juan De Fuca. This area encompasses the Lower Elwah Klallam Tribe’s shellfish beds and fishing grounds.

More information on the Salt Creek Park Firing Range site is available from the Salt Creek Park on-scene coordinator web page.

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Summary of the consent decree

The consent decree addressed payment of EPA’s past costs for the cleanup action at the site and includes interest and stipulated penalties for late payments. The settling parties agreed to pay the following amounts: $165,485.15 by Clallam County; $74,468.32 by the Washington Department of Natural Resources; and $8,274.26 by the Washington National Guard.

The United States, on behalf of the settling federal agencies (the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Coast Guard), agreed to pay $579,198.03. The total amount recovered in the consent decree is $827,425.76, which represents 100% of EPA’s past costs at the site.

The consent decree was filed with the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and was subject to a 30-day public comment period. The Court approved the consent decree on June 13, 2016.

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Contact information

For more information, contact

Kris Leefers
Assistant Regional Counsel
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 10
1200 Sixth Ave., Suite 900, M/S: ORC-113
Seattle, Washington 98101

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