EPA ID# WA6170090058
EPA Region 10
Island County
Oak Harbor

2nd Congressional District

Last Update: May, 2010

Hide details for Site DescriptionSite Description

The Naval Air Station at Whidbey Island covers over 7,000 acres and consists of Ault Field and the Seaplane Base, which are five miles apart. The Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island (Ault Field) site is also on the National Priorities List (NPL) and is being addressed along with the Seaplane Base. The station was commissioned in 1942, and its mission is to maintain and operate facilities and provide services and materials in support of the Navy's aviation activities and units. The major waste-generating activities at the Seaplane Base involved aircraft and vehicle maintenance, painting and paint stripping, and machine and boat shop activities. Wastes generated included solvents, zinc chromate, lead-containing paint wastes, thinners, acid, and lead-based sealants. The Seaplane Base site consisted of five waste areas including a landfill, salvage yard, and three uncontained spills, which cover 7 acres. The waste areas had the potential to affect the aquifers. However, the aquifer is not potable due to salt water intrusion at this site. The city of Oak Harbor and the Seaplane Base import fresh water from the mainland via a pipeline as their primary source of water. Two backup wells exist for emergency purposes. Local surface water bodies are used for recreation. A coastal wetland is located within 200 feet of the site. The closest residence is located 1/2 mile away. The population of the adjacent city of Oak Harbor is approximately 20,000.

Site Responsibility: This site has been addressed through Federal actions.

NPL Listing HistoryDates
Proposed Date:09/18/1985
Removed Date:
Withdrawal Date:
Final Date:02/21/1990
Deleted Date:09/21/1995

Hide details for Threats and ContaminantsThreats and Contaminants

Media Affected: Surface Water, Soil & Sludges, Groundwater
Investigations at this site found heavy metals, including lead and arsenic, in the soil in the vicinity of an old auto repair shop and next to the old seaplane nose hanger/repair shop. There were also three soil "hot spots" of pesticide contamination near Building 25 and an area of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). All contaminated soil was removed allowing unlimited use of the Seaplane Base. The groundwater and surface water may have been contaminated with heavy metals; however, the groundwater is not potable. The sediments may contain heavy metals and PAHs, but there are no contaminant levels in the bioactive zone of the sediment that affect the flora and fauna. Multiple leaks and spills from fuel and oil tank storage areas may have affected the surface waters of Oak and Crescent Harbors. There was the potential for long-term exposure to the contaminated soil to result in adverse health effects.

Hide details for Cleanup ProgressCleanup Progress

In 1993, the Navy completed an investigation into the nature and extent of contamination at the landfill area, auto repair and paint shop, a disposal area, a nose Hangar, and a salvage yard. The cleanup remedy, selected in 1993, was to excavate the areas of contamination and dispose of the soils in an appropriate off-site landfill. Excavation began in the Summer of 1994, and was completed in early 1995. These actions resulted in the site being available for unrestricted use.

The site was deleted from the NPL on September 21, 1995.

Hide details for Regional ContactsRegional Contacts

SITE MANAGER(S):Nancy Harney
Information pertaining to this site is housed at the following location(s):
Engineering Field Activity Northwest (Administrative Record)
Naval Facilities Engineering Command
19917 7th Avenue NE
Poulsbo, Washington 98370-7570
(360) 396-0002

Oak Harbor Public Library
3075 300th Avenue West
Oak Harbor, WA 98277