Fort Wainwright | Region 10 | US EPA

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Fort Wainwright


Sandra Halstead (
EPA Project Manager

The 900,000-acre Fort Wainwright is located on the eastern boundary of Fairbanks, Alaska. The federal government established the fort in 1938 to use for training soldiers and testing equipment in arctic conditions. Industrial mission support operations include maintenance of aircraft and vehicles, landfill activities and power generation. Fort Wainwright includes several areas, including a main post area of 4,473 acres (located partly within the city limits); 8,825 acres of ranges and over 898,000 acres of military maneuver areas. Past operations contaminated ground water, soil and sediments.

About 15,000 people live and work at Fort Wainwright. These residents get drinking water from wells that are near contaminated source areas. In addition, the Chena River runs through the contaminated area of Fort Wainwright. Area residents use this river for subsistence, recreation and sport fishing.

The U.S. Army began its investigation of contaminated areas at Fort Wainwright in 1989. EPA listed Fort Wainwright as a site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990. The U.S. Army signed a Federal Facilities Agreement with EPA and the state in 1992 to address site contamination. In 2002, the U.S. Army completed construction of all systems necessary for site cleanup. The U.S. Army continues to perform ground monitoring and consider possible additional cleanup options.

Construction of a housing project on Fort Wainwright led to the discovery of hazardous debris and drums buried on the construction site. An amendment to the Federal Facilities Agreement in 2007 added this area, known as the “Former Communication Site”, as an operable unit. The amendment also prevents use of the housing until approved by the EPA and the state. The U.S. Army, EPA, and the State of Alaska have approved a final decision regarding cleanup in 2013 2014.

Fort Wainwright Third Five Year Review (PDF) (382 pp, 33.5MB) - September 2011
Fort Wainwright Second Five Year Review (PDF) (171 pp. 2.1MB) - September 2006

Operable Unit 6, Former Communications Site Record of Decision (PDF) (263 pp, 13MB) - January 2014
Operable Unit 3 Explanation of Significant Differences ESD FY02 - September 2002
Record of Decision (ROD)

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