HANFORD 300-AREA (USDOE)
WASHINGTON
EPA ID# WA2890090077
EPA Region 10
Benton County
Richland

4th Congressional District

Other Names: USDOE-Hanford Site-300 Area
Last Update: May, 2010

Hide details for Site DescriptionSite Description

The Hanford 300 Area is composed of a 0.52-square mile industrial complex and 1 square mile of surrounding areas used for solid and liquid waste disposal next to the Columbia River about 1 mile north of Richland, Washington. It is one of the three areas at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation on EPA's National Priorities List (NPL); the other two are the 100 and 200 Areas. These areas are part of a Department of Energy (DOE) complex that includes buildings, disposal sites, an environmental research park, and vacant land covering about 586 square miles. Hanford was established in the 1940s to make plutonium for nuclear weapons. The nearby Columbia River provided cooling waters for the reactors producing the nuclear materials.

The DOE fabricated fuel for nuclear reactors in the 300 Area and utilized other 300 Area facilities for research and development purposes. The disposal areas and plumes of contaminated groundwater cover approximately 1.6 square miles. DOE and its predecessor disposed of about 27 million cubic yards of solid and diluted liquid wastes mixed with radioactive and hazardous wastes in ponds, trenches, and landfills in the 300 Area. The areas used for liquid discharges had no outlets; therefore, liquids percolated through the soil into the groundwater and the Columbia River, which is located directly east and downgradient from the 300 Area. The shallow groundwater underlying this portion of Hanford consists of a sand and gravel aquifer which facilitates the movement of contaminants through water. The Columbia River is used for industrial process water, boating, fishing, hunting, and as a supply of drinking water three miles downstream of the 300 Area. The cities of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick, with a combined population of approximately 150,000 people, maintain water intakes in the Columbia River for the bulk of their municipal supply system, but occasionally mix it with groundwater from municipal wells drilled in the sand and gravel aquifer. Half a million people live within 50 miles of Hanford.


Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

NPL Listing HistoryDates
Proposed Date:06/24/1988
Removed Date:
Withdrawal Date:
Final Date:10/04/1989
Deleted Date:


Hide details for Threats and ContaminantsThreats and Contaminants

Media Affected: Groundwater, Soil & Sludges, Surface Water, Air
Groundwater is contaminated with uranium, volatile organic compounds, strontium-90, and tritium. Soils primarily contain uranium, cobalt-60, copper, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and chromium, but may also include other contaminants associated with research and development activities. DOE has detected uranium and TCE in groundwater adjacent to the Columbia River. People may be exposed to hazardous and radioactive substances through direct contact, accidental ingestion, and inhalation of contaminated particles, groundwater, soil, or surface water.


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Hide details for Regional ContactsRegional Contacts

SITE MANAGER(S):Larry Gadbois
E-MAIL ADDRESS:gadbois.larry@epa.gov
PHONE NUMBER:509-376-9884
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT COORDINATOR:Emerald Laija
E-MAIL ADDRESSlaija.emerald@epa.gov
PHONE NUMBER:509-376-4919
Information pertaining to this site is housed at the following location(s):
Public Access Room (Administrative Record)
2440 Stevens Center Place, Room 1101
Richland, Washington 99352