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2000 News Releases


Williamsburg Naval Station Added to EPA Hazardous Site List

Release Date: 11/29/2000
Contact Information: Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will add the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown – Cheatham Annex facility to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of most hazardous waste sites tomorrow. The Cheatham Annex facility is located outside of Williamsburg, in York County, Va. Nationwide, EPA is adding eight sites and proposing to add 13 sites to the list.

Sites on the National Priorities List have hazardous contamination that has or could pose a risk to public health and/or the environment. NPL sites undergo a thorough investigation to determine the full nature and extent of the contamination. EPA or the parties responsible for the contamination then address whatever risks they pose. At federally owned properties, such as military facilities, the appropriate federal agency is responsible for the cleanup.

Cheatham Annex is a transfer site for packing and shipping materials to federal facilities on the East Coast and major distribution centers in Europe. During World War I, prior to Navy ownership, a portion of the current Navy property was occupied by DuPont’s Penniman Shell Loading Plant. Areas of concern at the site include waste sources associated both with DuPont’s and the Navy’s operations. Contaminants such as metals and semi-volatile organic compounds could spread into adjacent surface waters, some of which are used for recreational fishing.

The Cheatham Annex facility is affiliated with the adjacent Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, which is already an NPL site. The Cheatham Annex site will be addressed by the Navy under the current agreement for the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown site.

With the new site, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional office has now added a total of 196 sites to the National Priorities List since its inception in 1982. Of these 196 sites, 24 have been cleaned up and deleted from the list. An additional four mid-Atlantic sites are currently proposed and awaiting a final listing decision.