Bremerton Gasworks Superfund Site | Region 10 | US EPA

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Bremerton Gasworks Superfund Site

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Bill Ryan (ryan.william@epa.gov), Remedial Project Manager
206-553-8561

Debra Sherbina (sherbina.debra@epa.gov), Community Involvement Coordinator, 206-553-0247

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Public Meeting September 9

EPA and Cascade Natural Gas Corporation will provide an update about site-related activities. The Washington State Department of Health will also give an update on their ongoing public health assessment. A question and answer period will follow.

    When: September 9, 2014
    6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

    Where: Bremerton High School
    Commons/Multi-Media Room
    1500 13th Street
    Bremerton, WA 98337

Fact sheet: Public Meeting Fact Sheet (PDF) (4 pp, 1.3MB)

Questions? Contact Debra Sherbina (sherbina.debra@epa.gov), EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, 206-553-0247.

2013 Beach Cleanup Activities

In summer 2013, Cascade Natural Gas and its contractors, with the EPA’s oversight, collected samples on the beach north of the old Bremerton Gasworks. Results from that sampling effort are available in the Final Removal Evaluation Report (PDF) (76 page, 15MB). The key finding was areas of solid tar and oil containing polyaromatic hydrocarbons on the beach.  In fall 2013, Cascade Natural Gas removed the solid tar and capped the oily area on the beach with a clay mat covered with a foot of imported beach material.  You can find details about the cleanup in the Final Time-Critical Removal Action Report (PDF) (228 page, 8.5MB).

Site History

The Bremerton Gasworks is a former manufactured gas plant located about a mile and a half north of downtown Bremerton, Washington. It occupies land along the Port Washington Narrows in Puget Sound. The Puget Sound is designated an estuary of national significance under the Clean Water Act. Two species of federally listed endangered or threatened fish live near the site. The portion of the Puget Sound near the site is used as a sport and commercial fishery and as a subsistence fishery by the Suquamish Tribe.

The Bremerton Gasworks produced fuel gas by blending and heating various materials and air. The gas produced was used for multiple purposes, including lighting, heating and cooking. Byproducts of the gas manufacturing processes have contaminated soils, groundwater and sediments at the site.

The Gasworks produced gas using the carbureted water gas method from about 1930 to the mid-1950s. Between the mid-1950s and 1963, the facility produced gas by blending propane and air. By 1968, above-ground gasoline and oil tanks on the plant site had been removed. By the 1980s, the remaining above-ground gas plant features had been removed. Most of the former facility area is now vacant, although surrounding properties are used for commercial and industrial purposes.

Contamination

To date, various contaminants have been detected within upland soils, ground water beneath the former plant site, and within the Port Washington Narrows sediments. Contaminants include tars which are associated with the gas manufacturing processes used at the former facility. These tars contain volatile aromatics and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Heavy metals and benzene, among other contaminants, have also been found at the site. Upland soils contain contaminants with concentrations above the EPA Regional Screening Levels to about 30 feet below the ground. Ground water beneath the former plant site is also contaminated. Sediments in the Port Washington Narrows near the former plant site contain concentrations of contaminants above the Adverse Effects Levels established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Investigation and Cleanup Activities

The City of Bremerton, the Washington State Department of Ecology, EPA, Cascade Natural Gas, and the U.S. Coast Guard have been involved in a number of assessments at the site. In fall 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard issued an order to Cascade Natural Gas to remove a pipe that was releasing tars into the Port Washington Narrows. Forty feet of pipe was removed and the pipe was plugged. Contaminated sediments near the pipe were also removed. Visibly contaminated sediments were covered with organo-clay mats and clean beach materials to act as a temporary cap. The removal action addressed a limited area of contaminated sediments, but did not address upland soils or contaminated ground water.

Key Documents

You may request appendices or additional documents from either Bill Ryan (ryan.william@epa.gov), the Remedial Project Manager at 206-553-8561, or Debra Sherbina (sherbina.debra@epa.gov), the Community Involvement Coordinator at 206-553-0247.

Community Involvement Documents

Technical and Legal Documents


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