Harbor Island Site Fact Sheet - October 31, 1995 | Region 10 | US EPA

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Harbor Island Site Fact Sheet - October 31, 1995

Superfund Fact Sheet

October 31, 1995

Public Comment Period Begins

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites you to comment on its proposal to dredge and cover contaminated "hot spot" sediments near the Todd and Lockheed Martin Shipyards within the Harbor Island Superfund Site. Harbor Island is located about one mile southwest of downtown Seattle. This fact sheet summarizes the major elements of the Proposed Plan. You may request a copy of the entire EPA Proposed Plan by calling Krista Rave, EPA Community Relations Coordinator, in Seattle at 553-6686, or toll free at 1-800 424-4372. You are encouraged to review and comment on all of the cleanup alternatives being considered. Public input on the alternatives is important to the cleanup selection process. Based on new information or public comment, EPA may modify the recommended alternative or select another alternative. You may send written comments on the Proposed Plan, which should be postmarked by January 2, 1996, to:

Keith Rose, Project Manager,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ECL-111)
1200 6th Avenue, Suite 900
Seattle, Washington 98101

EPA also invites you to attend a public meeting to discuss all of the cleanup options. Verbal and written comments will be accepted at the meeting to be held:

December 6, 1995
7:00pm - 8:30 pm at
EPA Regional Offices
Park Place Building, 12th Floor
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900

Areas Proposed for Cleanup

This proposed plan deals only with two "hot spots" - areas that have the highest concentration of contamination found in Harbor Island sediments. Because of the elevated contaminant concentrations and the fact that the "hot spots" may be the source of contamination to sediments surrounding Harbor Island, EPA believes the "hot spots" should be cleaned up first. Further studies will be necessary to determine how best to clean up the remaining contaminated sediments at Harbor Island.

The Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study

The proposed cleanup options are based on information contained in two reports called the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS), conducted by EPA. The RI/FS determined the type and extent of contamination in marine sediments at the site and identified ways that cleanup might be accomplished. Four sediment areas of concern were identified (See Diagram). The four areas were the West Waterway, the Northwest Harbor Island sediment area, the Northeast Harbor Island sediment area, and the East Waterway. Two "hot spot" areas, one at the Todd Shipyard and one at the Lockheed Martin Shipyard were also identified in the RI/FS. A subsequent study, called a Supplementary Remedial Investigation (SRI), was conducted in February of this year by a group of nine Potentially Responsible Parties. This study generally confirmed the contaminant concentration found in the RI. The SRI also tested sediments, exclusive of the "hot spots", for adverse biological effects. The results indicated that there were no major biological effects at any of the locations tested.

Cleanup Alternatives

This section summarizes the major elements of EPA's Proposed Plan. For more detailed information, please refer to the Proposed Plan document. EPA has considered four cleanup alternatives for the two "hot spot" areas. These alternatives include no-action, covering the "hot spots" with clean sand, dredging all contamination above the cleanup goals, and a combination of dredging the most highly contaminated sediments and capping remaining contaminants. After considering all of the alternatives, EPA proposes the following:
1. Dredge an estimated 104,000 cubic yards at the Todd Shipyard.
2. Dredge an estimated 16,000 cubic yards at Lockheed Martin Shipyard.
3. Dispose of dredged sediments.
4. Cover remaining lower concentrations of contaminants with a 2 foot cap of clean sand. This proposed cleanup alternative would cost between 11.8 million and 19.1 million, depending on the type of disposal for the dredged sediments. This alternative would remove the most highly contaminated sediments. The cover would prevent marine organisms from being exposed to remaining contaminated sediments. This alternative is intended to be the final remedy for the two "hot spots". EPA believes that this alternative meets state and federal environmental standards to protect human health and the environment. The preferred alternative best meets EPA's objectives of long and short term effectiveness in the most cost effective manner. Sediment dredging and capping technology has been used successfully at numerous other Superfund sites.

The Next Step

EPA will consider public comments received during the public comment period before choosing a final remedy for the two "hot spots". The final action will be described in a document called a "Record of Decision or ROD". After an action is chosen, EPA will meet with the parties believed to be responsible for the site contamination and request that they conduct site cleanup activities. Following negotiations, the final action will be designed and implemented. If these parties are unable to negotiate an agreement with EPA, or unwilling to conduct the cleanup activities, Superfund money may be used to pay for the action. EPA may try to recover those costs from the responsible parties in federal court.

For More Information

The entire Proposed Plan and all other decision documents for this site are available for your review in the Information Repository and should be consulted for in-depth details on the alternatives considered. The Information Repository is located at the EPA Records Center, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle. Please arrange a time to look at the documents by calling the Records Center at (206) 553-4494. If you have questions about the Harbor Island Superfund site or if you would like a copy of the Proposed Plan, please contact:

Keith Rose, EPA Project Manager
Phone: (206) 553-7721;
Email: rose.keith@epamail.epa.gov

Krista Rave, EPA Community Relations Coordinator
Phone: (206) 553-6686;
Email: rave.krista@epamail.epa.gov

or call EPA toll-free 1-800-424-4EPA

People with impaired hearing or speech may contact EPA's telecommunications device for the hearing impaired (TDD) at (206) 553-1698. To ensure effective communication with everyone, additional services can be made available to persons with disabilities by contacting one of the numbers listed above.

Site Background

Harbor Island lies in an estuary at the mouth of the Duwamish River on the southern edge of Elliott Bay. The island was constructed between 1903 and 1905 from sediments dredged from the Duwamish River to create the East and West Waterways and the navigational channel of the upper Duwamish River. The island has been used for ship building and maintenance, lead smelting, and other industrial activities. Harbor Island was added to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 when hazardous substances were found in soils on the island and in sediments near the island. The NPL is a list of sites targeted for further investigation and possible cleanup under Superfund authority. Cleanup decisions were made in 1993 and 1994 for the soil and groundwater portions of the site, and for the Lockheed Shipyard facility. An initial investigation of marine sediments around Harbor Island completed in 1988 found high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc. Much of the waste in the sediments near the shipyards is believed to have come from the sandblasting of ship hulls to remove paint which contained toxic substances. Direct disposal of industrial waste to the Duwamish River, storm drain discharges, and surface runoff were also major sources of sediment contamination.

Modificaitons on January 3, 2003: change the Point of Contact information.

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