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Record of Decision System (RODS)

COMMENCEMENT BAY, NEAR SHORE/TIDE FLATS

Abstract

Site Name:  COMMENCEMENT BAY, NEAR SHORE/TIDE FLATS
Address:  ADJ TO RUSTON WAY & TIDEFLATS IND. AREA 
City & State:  PIERCE COUNTY  WA  98421
County:  PIERCE
 
EPA ID:  WAD980726368
EPA Region:  10
 
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R10-91/027
ROD Date:  12/31/1990
Operable Unit(s):  21
 
Media:  DEBRIS SLUDGE SURFACE WATER
 
Contaminant:  METALS, ARSENIC, CHROMIUM, LEAD, INORGANICS, ASBESTOS
 
Abstract:  THE 10-12 SQUARE MILE COMMENCEMENT BAY-NEARSHORE/TIDEFLATS SITE ENCOMPASSES SHALLOW WATER, SHORELINE, WATERWAYS, AND ADJACENT LAND IN TACOMA, PIERCE COUNTY, WASHINGTON AT THE SOUTHERN END OF THE MAIN BASIN OF PUGET SOUND. SURROUNDING LAND USE IS PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AND RECREATIONAL. THIS SITE HAS BEEN DIVIDED INTO EIGHT DIFFERENT OPERABLE UNITS (OUS). PART OF THIS SITE IS ON THE 67-ACRE ASARCO TACOMA SMELTER AREA, AN INACTIVE COPPER SMELTER FACILITY ADJACENT TO PUGET SOUND, WHICH IS THE FOCUS OF THIS REMEDIAL ACTION. THIS AREA CONSISTS OF OVER 70 BUILDINGS AND OTHER STRUCTURES INCLUDING 3 PIERS, A 562-FOOT-HIGH STACK AND A POND USED FOR THE DISCHARGE OF PLANT COOLING WATER. FROM 1890 UNTIL 1986, THE PRIMARY USE OF THE SITE WAS FOR COPPER SMELTING, AS WELL AS LEAD SMELTING, AND SULFURIC ACID, SULFUR DIOXIDE, AND ARSENIC PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES. HISTORICALLY, MOLTEN SLAG WAS USED AS FILL, AND WAS POURED ONTO THE GROUND AT THE EDGE OF THE SHORELINE. SUBSEQUENTLY, MANY OF THE ONSITE STRUCTURES WERE CONSTRUCTED OVER THIS CONTAMINATED MATERIAL. IN 1987, ASARCO COMPLETED THE INITIAL STABILIZATION OF THE AREA WHICH INCLUDED THE DEMOLITION OF BUILDINGS NEAR THE STACK. A 1987 ROD ADDRESSED OU3-TACOMA TARPITS, AN HISTORICAL COAL GASIFICATION SITE. A 1989 ROD ADDRESSED OU1-CB/NT SEDIMENTS AND OU5-CB/NT SOURCES, BOTH ASSOCIATED WITH MARINE SEDIMENTS. THIS ROD PROVIDES AN INTERIM REMEDY FOR OU7, THE ASARCO DEMOLITION, AND ADDRESSES FURTHER CLEARING OF THE SITE TO PREVENT THE THREAT OF AN UNCONTROLLED COLLAPSE OF THE STACK AND TO MINIMIZE CONTAMINANT MIGRATION TO OFFSITE SURFACE WATER. THE PRIMARY CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN AFFECTING THE DEBRIS, SLUDGE, AND SURFACE WATER ARE METALS INCLUDING ARSENIC, CHROMIUM, AND LEAD; AND OTHER INORGANICS INCLUDING ASBESTOS.

THE SELECTED INTERIM REMEDIAL ACTION FOR THIS SITE INCLUDES DEMOLISHING AND DISMANTLING ONSITE BUILDINGS USING CONVENTIONAL TECHNIQUES AFTER CLEANING AND/OR DECONTAMINATING THESE STRUCTURES; REMOVING AND DISPOSING ASBESTOS MATERIALS OFFSITE; DEMOLISHING THE STACK BY IMPLOSION USING EXPLOSIVES, WITH DUST SUPPRESSION USING FOGGING AND MISTING AND/OR ENCAPSULATION OF THE STACK INTERNAL LINING; DISPOSING OF HAZARDOUS, DANGEROUS, AND SOLID DEMOLITION DEBRIS OFFSITE AND/OR TEMPORARILY STORING DEBRIS ONSITE; INCINERATING ONSITE UNCONTAMINATED WOOD AND OTHER COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS; CLEANING AND DECONTAMINATING BUILDINGS THAT WILL NOT BE DEMOLISHED; COLLECTING DUST SUPPRESSION WASTEWATER IN THE ONSITE POND, WHICH HAS BEEN CONVERTED TO A WASTEWATER EVAPORATION SYSTEM; REMOVING A SHIP TO SHORE OIL LINE, AND PREVENTING SPILLAGE OF ANY RESIDENTIAL OIL; DISPOSING OF EVAPORATION POND SLUDGE AND DUST OFFSITE IN A METAL RECOVERY FACILITY; DIVERTING OFFSITE SURFACE WATER AWAY FROM THE SITE, AND COLLECTING ONSITE SURFACE WATER IN THE WASTEWATER EVAPORATION SYSTEM; AND MONITORING AIR AND SURFACE WATER. THE ESTIMATED PRESENT WORTH COST FOR THIS REMEDIAL ACTION RANGES FROM $11,764,500 TO $38,686,000. O&M COSTS WERE NOT PROVIDED.

PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OR GOALS; AIR EMISSIONS AND DUST CONTROL MUST MEET THE SUBSTANTIVE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT (CAA) AND STATE REGULATIONS. FINAL PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR GROUND WATER AND SURFACE WATER WILL BE DETERMINED IN THE FINAL ROD. CHEMICAL-SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE STANDARDS WERE NOT PROVIDED.
 
Remedy:  THE DEMOLITION ACTIVITIES DESCRIBED IN THIS RECORD OF DECISION (ROD) ARE AN INTERIM REMEDY FOR THE ASARCO SITE. THE INTERIM MEASURES INCLUDE; DEMOLISHING CONTAMINATED STRUCTURES TO CLEAR THE SITE FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION AND FEASIBILITY STUDY (RI/FS); PREVENTING THE THREAT OF AN UNCONTROLLED SMELTER STACK COLLAPSE; AND PARTIALLY CONTROLLING SURFACE WATER ORIGINATING OFF THE ASARCO PROPERTY.

THE INTERIM REMEDY WILL;
* DEMOLISH AND DISMANTLE CERTAIN ON-SITE BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES OTHER THAN THE STACK, THAT ARE IDENTIFIED IN APPENDIX V (FOUND IN DECISION SUMMARY) USING CONVENTIONAL TRADE DEMOLITION TECHNIQUES AFTER CLEANING THE BUILDINGS AND REMOVING ALL ASBESTOS-CONTAINING MATERIALS;
* DEMOLISH THE SMELTER STACK BY IMPLOSION USING EXPLOSIVES;
* SUPPRESS DUST AND PARTICULATE EMISSIONS DURING DEMOLITION USING FOGGING AND MISTING TECHNIQUES AND TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, ENCAPSULATE THE INTERIOR LINING OF THE SMELTER STACK.
* COLLECT WASTEWATER FROM THE DUST SUPPRESSION MEASURES AT EACH DEMOLITION SITE AND ROUTE COLLECTED WASTEWATER TO AN ON-SITE WASTEWATER EVAPORATION SYSTEM;
* MONITOR AMBIENT AIR LEVELS DURING DEMOLITION ACTIVITIES;
* VACUUM, SAMPLE AND DECONTAMINATE BUILDINGS THAT ARE NOT DEMOLISHED OR DISMANTLED; * REMOVE THE SHIP TO SHORE OIL LINE AT THE CENTRAL DOCK AREA AND ENSURE ANY RESIDUAL OIL IS NOT RELEASED;
* DISPOSE OF UNCONTAMINATED WOOD AND COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS WHICH ARE NOT DANGEROUS OR HAZARDOUS WASTE, BY BURNING THEM IN AN INCINERATOR;
* DISPOSE OF STEEL, CONCRETE, CONTAMINATED WOOD, ASBESTOS, AND OTHER DEMOLITION DEBRIS IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING WAYS;
- TEMPORARY STORAGE OF DEBRIS IN THE FINE ORE BINS UNTIL SELECTION OF THE FINAL DISPOSAL REMEDY (ALL DEMOLITION DEBRIS THAT REMAINS ON SITE MUST BE STORED IN THE FINE ORE BINS);
- OFF-SITE DISPOSAL OF DEBRIS THAT IS HAZARDOUS, DANGEROUS, OR SOLID WASTE IN AN APPROPRIATE DISPOSAL FACILITY THAT IS OPERATING IN COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE FEDERAL AND STATE REQUIREMENTS;
- SALVAGE FOR REUSE OR RECYCLING OF DECONTAMINATED MATERIAL.
* DISPOSE OF SLUDGE FROM THE WASTEWATER EVAPORATION PROCESS AND DUST FROM VACUUMING THE ON-SITE STRUCTURES BY SHIPMENT TO A METAL RECOVERY FACILITY.
* TEMPORARILY STORE STACK BRICKS IN THE FINE ORE BINS BUILDING UNTIL SELECTION OF THE FINAL DISPOSAL REMEDY.
* IMPLEMENT MEASURES TO PREVENT SURFACE WATER FROM ENTERING THE SITE BY REROUTING THE WATER THROUGH DIVERSION DITCHES AND CONDUITS TO A PERMITTED OUTFALL.
* IMPLEMENT MEASURES TO MINIMIZE CONTACT OF ON-SITE SURFACE WATER WITH NEWLY EXPOSED SOILS AND COLLECT SURFACE WATER RUN-OFF IN THE WASTEWATER EVAPORATION SYSTEM.
 
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