Piper Peterson (email@example.com)
EPA Project Manager
Debra Sherbina (firstname.lastname@example.org)
EPA Community Involvement
Patricia Barros (email@example.com)
Makah Environmental Health
Warmhouse Beach Dump Superfund Site, Makah Reservation, Neah Bay, WA
Warmhouse Beach, down the bluff from dump site, is an important natural and cultural resource to the Makah Tribe
The Warmhouse Beach Dump site, an important natural and cultural resource on the Makah Indian Reservation, is located about three miles northwest of Neah Bay in Clallam County, WA. The site is an inactive dump that was used by the U.S. Air Force Station, on the Makah Reservation. The Indian Health Service, Cape Flattery’s School District, the U.S. Coast Guard, Makah tribal members, and other non-local residents from neighboring communities also used the dump. Municipal solid and hazardous wastes were disposed of at the dump from the early 1970s until 2012. In 2012, the Makah Tribe opened a solid waste transfer station.
The unlined and uncovered waste extends to the headwaters of two streams (West and East Creeks). West Creek discharges to Warmhouse Beach, which has been used as a summer fishing camp and for subsistence harvest of sea urchins, mussels, and clams. Warmhouse Beach is also used for camping, surfing, and other recreational activities.
Household wastes and hazardous materials, including batteries, used motor oil, tires, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and asbestos, have been disposed of at the site. Mussels at the beach also contain elevated concentrations of lead.
Superfund National Priorities Listing
The Makah Tribe referred the Warmhouse Beach Dump to EPA for Superfund cleanup due to concerns about hazardous substances leaching from the dump. The Tribe has been monitoring surface water, sediment, and groundwater around the dump since 2001.
The EPA added the Warmhouse Beach Dump Site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in December 2013.
Where is EPA in the Superfund process?
The EPA must first consolidate data previously collected from the site, determine if there are any data gaps, and collect any missing data. Next, the EPA will determine the best approach for cleaning up the contamination at the dump after evaluating a range of cleanup options. This process is called a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS).
The EPA develops human health and ecological risk assessments during the remedial investigation. These studies determine if people, animals, and plants are exposed to site-related contamination above EPA’s acceptable risk level.
Next, the EPA will propose a preferred cleanup approach to address contamination at the site, described in a Proposed Plan. We will hold a public comment period, and consider all comments received. Then, we will issue a Record of Decision, which will include responses to public comments and select the final cleanup.
Community participation is an important part of a Superfund cleanup. We invite your input and ideas throughout the process.
The EPA will develop a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) that will be based on interviews with Tribal and other community members. The plan will identify the community’s concerns and interests in the cleanup and record the most effective ways to distribute information and get input about ongoing cleanup studies and activities.
Community Involvement as Conflict Prevention
Throughout the project, the EPA’s goal is to work collaboratively and transparently, so that final cleanup decisions are understood. The Warmhouse Beach Dump project has been selected as one of five national pilot projects for an EPA Headquarters initiative called “Community Involvement as Conflict Prevention” that will help design and implement the CIP community interview process.
You can find hard copies of site documents at:
Makah Tribal Center
100 Resort Drive
Neah Bay, WA 98357
Attn: Meredith Parker, General Manager, 360-645-3122
Some site documents are also available below: