Wyckoff Eagle Harbor Audio Tour Transcript
In 1987, the US Environmental Protection Agency designated Wyckoff-Eagle Harbor Superfund as a Superfund site. Superfund is the federal government's program to clean up the nation's uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
The Wyckoff-Eagle Harbor Superfund site is located on the east side of Bainbridge Island, Washington, in Puget Sound
The 7 acre parcel of contaminated land that can be seen from the Bainbridge Island ferry goes by several names: Creosote point, Bill point, and the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund site. Because of the existing contamination, the point is off limits to the public
The site was formerly one of the largest wood treatment facilities in the northwest, and was located in the town of Creosote. As a result of wood treatment activities, the soil and groundwater beneath this area are heavily contaminated. The contaminants, creosote and other wood-treatment compounds, are hazardous to human health, aquatic life and the environment.
The wall that surrounds the point is a barrier wall installed by EPA to contain the creosote still lodged in pockets of soil beneath the spot where the Wyckoff wood treatment plant once stood. In some areas, the barrier pile wall extends down 100 feet below the surface to prevent the contaminants from entering Eagle Harbor and Puget Sound.
A new groundwater treatment plant began operation in April 2009. The plant pumps and treats oily liquids and dissolved contaminants from several extraction wells on the point. The pumping causes an inward flow of water from Puget Sound so that contaminants are contained and treated and only treated water is released.
The property was purchased by the City of Bainbridge Island through the efforts of a partnership of the Trust for Public Land and the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, with federal and state funding and public and private donations.
Beaches, woodlands, and the Japanese American Internment Memorial at the western end of the site are open to the public and are safe to visit. Trails run throughout these areas.
The shoreline on Eagle Harbor, west of the point, is known as Pritchard Park. It is used year round for kayaking, wading, swimming and strolling. Since it was capped with over three feet of clean beach cover, it is now a safe area. From the age of 2 months, Joel Pritchard, for whom the park was named, spent summers on Bainbridge Island and is probably best known as one of the co-inventors of a game called pickle ball.
In 2008, a federal public health agency studied the health effects at the site and concluded that all beach and upland areas open to the public are safe for normal recreational activities.
The City of Bainbridge Island has developed several conceptual drawings for the future use of the point as a park, which includes a walking path around the perimeter. For more information on the future conceptual uses of the point, please visit biparks.org and look under parks and facilities.
EPA will be conducting work to help restore the site. Beginning in 2010, EPA is:
To review documents relating to the Wyckoff site, including the final health advisory report, or to be added to the EPA mailing list for site updates, visit the EPA Web site at http://www.epa.gov/region10/wyckoff
- Pumping and treating groundwater in the new groundwater treatment plant;
- Removing the tanks at the water’s edge, which was the old groundwater treatment plant;
- Upgrading the existing groundwater extraction wells; and
- Preparing plans for monitoring and maintaining the protective cover on the west beach, which is Pritchard Park.