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U.S. Navy agrees to consider more cleanup options at Kitsap County Superfund Site

Release Date: 11/23/2009
Contact Information: Harry Craig, EPA-Portland, OR 503-326-3689, craig.harry@epa.gov Mark MacIntyre, EPA-Seattle, WA 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

(Seattle, Wash. – November 23, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has required the U.S. Navy to consider more rigorous cleanup options for residential and shoreline property near the Jackson Park Housing Complex in Bremerton, Washington. The Navy is currently in the initial stages of a Superfund cleanup at the 232-acre property.

"We believe that in an area where people live and play, and the Suquamish Tribe has substantial interests, more removal options must be evaluated,” said Lori Cohen, acting Director of EPA’s Superfund cleanup program in Seattle. “With this agreement in place, we’re satisfied with the Navy's commitment to consider more removal alternatives for the subsurface munitions at the site.”

The Navy’s study is designed to evaluate a range of cleanup options for discarded military munitions remaining within the Jackson Park Housing Complex Superfund Site. The site became contaminated as a result of loss and mishandling of military munitions primarily during and after World Wars I and II. Based on the Remedial Investigation completed thus far, it is likely that some munitions still exist in the subsurface area. The Navy is currently relying on education and signage to protect local residents, the public and the Suquamish Tribe.

The former Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) Puget Sound operated on the site from 1904 to 1959, prior to the development of the housing complex in the early 1970's. The site was listed on the EPA's Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in 1994 due to contamination from past disposal practices from NAD Puget Sound operations. The listing required the Navy to begin the cleanup by studying the site and preparing cleanup plans, including site assessments and feasibility studies.

According to EPA officials, the original feasibility study submitted by the Navy did not meet federal Superfund requirements for considering the full and appropriate range of cleanup alternatives. EPA maintained that since both housing complex residents and the public have easy access to the area, the Navy must consider investigating a broader range of upland and intertidal area cleanup alternatives, including more munitions removal.

This disagreement led to a formal dispute resolution process that was recently concluded with the Navy agreeing to look at a broader range of alternatives. They have also submitted a revised plan, which is currently under review by EPA. As a result of the formal dispute, EPA assessed $45,000 in stipulated penalties.

For more about the Jackson Park Housing Complex Superfund site: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/Cleanup.nsf/sites/jacksonpark