(Mission Pole)

EPA ID# WAD980833974
EPA Region 10
Whatcom County

2nd Congressional District

Other Names: Northwest Transformer - Salvage Yard
Last Update: August, 2007

Hide details for Site DescriptionSite Description

The Northwest Transformer (Mission/Pole) site covered 1.6 acres in Whatcom County, Washington. The property was agricultural farmland until 1958, when the Northwest Transformer Service Company began leasing the site. The Company used the site as a salvage yard and stored, repaired, and recycled electrical transformers and capacitors on site from 1958 to 1985. They also carried out other activities on site, including dismantling and reclaiming equipment, burning casings for transformers in an open concrete burn pit, burning waste oils in a space heater, and draining transformer oils into a seepage pit. Chemicals including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) spilled and leaked into site soil. The site is located in a rural/residential area and is bordered by low-density residential areas to the north and east, by an active gravel pit to the west, and by agricultural (grain) fields to the south. Approximately 700 acres of agricultural land are irrigated with groundwater located within three miles of the site. The nearest residence is located approximately 300 feet away, and about 27 private wells are located within -mile of the site. Approximately 200 people live within one-mile of the former salvage yard.

Site Responsibility: This site has been addressed through Federal and potentially responsible parties' actions.

NPL Listing HistoryDates
Proposed Date:10/15/1984
Removed Date:
Withdrawal Date:
Final Date:06/10/1986
Deleted Date:09/28/1999

Hide details for Threats and ContaminantsThreats and Contaminants

Media Affected: Soil & Sludges
PCBs and small quantities of solvents found in the soil once posed a potential threat to human health. As a result of the cleanup actions taken, this threat no longer exists.

Hide details for Cleanup ProgressCleanup Progress

Cleanup has been completed and the site has been deleted from the NPL.

Early Actions: EPA conducted an early action in 1985 that included building a fence, excavating and disposing of about 1,400 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil and debris, and removing over 6,500 gallons of PCB-contaminated liquid. Soil remaining on site was characterized during the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) completed in 1988, and during subsequent investigations.

Long-Term Actions: In 1988, EPA completed an investigation of the remaining on-site soil. The remedy selected in 1989 called for in-situ vitrification of PCB-contaminated soil. Subsequent problems with implementation of that technology and additional soil sampling on site by the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) led to an amendment of the remedy in 1991. The amended remedy called for excavation and off-site disposal, through incineration, of contaminated soil.

The PRPs performed the remedy under a Consent Decree with EPA between 1991 and 1994. The work performed included excavation and treatment/disposal of 4,700 tons of soil/debris and 50,000 gallons of contaminated liquids and wastewater. Over 267 tons of soils and 550 gallons of liquids exceeding 50 parts per million (ppm) PCBs were incinerated at the Aptus facility in Utah; 4,400 tons of soil and barn debris were landfilled at the Chemical Waste Management Landfill in Arlington, Oregon. Less contaminated liquids were disposed of at the city of Bellingham treatment facility. The PRPs completed all work at the site by June 30, 1994. The cleanup met all state and federal cleanup requirements for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure by removing all know contamination. The PRPs continued to monitor groundwater at the site for five years after cleanup was completed and no contaminants of concern were detected in perimeter or off-site wells. A Consent Decree with the owners executed prior to cleanup required a deed notice with requirements to notify Washington Ecology before excavating below 15 feet and to notify EPA before using groundwater at the site. A deed notice to that effect was recorded August 30, 1999.

EPA completed a periodic (five year) review in 1999 and concluded the site conditions remained unchanged and the site remained protective. Due to adjacent land use EPA decided that the deed notice should remain in place.

Hide details for Regional ContactsRegional Contacts

SITE MANAGER(S):Tim Brincefield
PHONE NUMBER:206-553-2100
Information pertaining to this site is housed at the following location(s):
Whatcom County Library (Administrative Records)
Public Reference Center
5205 Northwest Road
Bellingham, WA 98226

EPA Region 10 Superfund Records Center (Administrative Records)
1200 Sixth Avenue, ECL-076
Seattle, WA 98101