WYCKOFF CO./EAGLE HARBOR
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA
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The Wyckoff Eagle Harbor Superfund Site is on the east side of Bainbridge Island in Central Puget Sound, Washington. EPA added Eagle Harbor to the Superfund site list in 1987, when environmental investigations revealed extensive contamination in soils, groundwater, and in the sediment on the bottom of Eagle Harbor. EPA divided the site into cleanup areas:
- Eagle Harbor sediment – About 100 acres of sediment on the bottom of Eagle Harbor became contaminated with creosote and other wood preserving chemicals released from the former Wyckoff wood treating facility. Also called the East Harbor Operable Unit (OU1).
- Wyckoff wood treating facility soil and groundwater – located on the south side of Eagle Harbor, this area includes soil and groundwater that became contaminated during decades of wood treating operations. Also called the Soil and Groundwater Operable Units (OU2 and OU4).
- West Harbor soil and sediment – the site of a former shipyard, this area became contaminated with mercury and other metals. Also called the West Harbor Operable Unit (OU-3).
Extensive cleanup actions have been completed in all three areas. The remedy in West Harbor is functioning as designed. No further work is needed at this time.
Additional cleanup actions are needed in the soil and groundwater at the former Wyckoff wood treating facility, and in the adjacent beach sediments.
EPA issued a Record of Decision Amendment in May 2018, selecting additional cleanup actions for the beaches next to the former wood-treating facility. The May 2018 cleanup plan also includes improvements to the site access road and replacement of the metal sheet pile wall around the perimeter of the facility. EPA plans to issue a second decision, selecting a cleanup plan to address soil and groundwater contamination, before the end of 2018.
Proposed Plan for Additional Cleanup Actions
In April 2016, EPA released its Proposed Plan for additional cleanup actions at the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor site [Proposed Plan fact sheet: https://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/10/100010260]. EPA held a public meeting to present the plan and receive public comments, and held a 60-day public comment period. After the public comment period, EPA divided the cleanup work described in the Proposed Plan into two cleanup decisions, called Record of Decision Amendments (RODA):
- RODA 1 (issed May 2018) includes cleanup actions on the beaches, replacement of the perimeter wall around the former Wyckoff wood-treating facility, and improvements to the facility access road.
- RODA 2 (to be issed by the end of 2018) will include cleanup actions to address contamination remaining in soils and groundwater.
Together, these two agency decisions will address all the cleanup needs identified in the Proposed Plan. EPA includes the most critical cleanup needs in RODA 1, which will accelerate this work and allow it to be completed sooner.
What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?
EPA is the lead agency for the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund site. The Washington Department of Ecology is an important partner. The two agencies have been coordinating closely over the last several years to investigate areas of remaining contamination and evaluate cleanup options. EPA will design and construct any additional remedial actions that are needed in Operable Units 1, 2, and 4. Ecology will pay 10 percent of the construction costs and assume responsibility for long term operations and maintenance after the cleanup construction is complete.
The Washington Department of Ecology began operating the groundwater extraction and treatment system at the former Wyckoff facility in 2012. The system includes a network of wells to pump contaminated groundwater from the facility’s upper aquifer. Pumping draws groundwater away from the perimeter of the site, and prevents it from moving down into the drinking water aquifer below the site. In addition to this ongoing operation, EPA is working to implement three additional cleanup actions. These actions were selected by EPA in a May 2018 Record of Decision Amendment (PDF):
- Access Road Improvements: Improvements are needed on Creosote Place N.E., the road between Eagle Harbor Drive and the former wood-treating facility. The improvements, which will reduce the steep grade over a portion of the road and straighten a sharp curve, are needed to transport large construction equipment and materials to the work area.
- Perimeter Wall Replacement: The current perimeter wall was constructed of interlocking steel sheets, driven to a depth of 80 feet below ground. The above-ground portion of the wall is corroding, and a new wall is needed to contain contaminated soils and groundwater. The new wall will be designed to contain upland soils and groundwater, both now and after additional cleanup actions are carried out in the upland portion of the site. The new wall will also be designed to withstand saltwater corrosion, the erosive forces of tides and currents, and anticipated sea level rise. The conceptual design is a reinforced concrete wall, built on the outboard/seaward side of the existing wall.
- Dredging and capping contaminated beach sediments: Contaminated sediments from select areas of the beaches north and east of the former wood-treating facility will be dredged. The dredged sediments will be disposed offsite, in a landfill. Dredged areas will be covered with an oil-absorbing material, to prevent any contamination left below the beaches from migrating upward. Excavated areas will then be filled with clean, imported sand and gravels selected to match the surrounding beach.
What Is the Current Site Status?
Extensive cleanup work has been completed since Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor was added to the Superfund list in 1987.
- Eagle Harbor Sediment. More than 70 acres of sediment in Eagle Harbor have been capped with a thick layer of clean sand. The cap prevents fish and other marine organisms from coming into contact with the contamination. Special rules for boaters are in place to prevent activities like anchoring,which could damage the cap.
- Wyckoff wood treating facility soil and groundwater. Cleanup activities already completed include: demolishing buildings at the former Wyckoff wood treating facility, removing wood treating chemicals left in tanks and pipes, and hauling away contaminated soil and debris. EPA has also installed groundwater extraction wells, an onsite treatment plant, and a metal sheet pile wall around the upland area. Ecology operates the groundwater extraction and treatment system.
- West Harbor soil and sediment – Cleanup activities at the former shipyard included studying and controlling upland sources of contamination. Sediments contaminated with mercury were excavated and disposed upland, and a clean sediment cap placed over areas of concern. The cleanup included building a nearshore confined disposal facility (CDF) in intertidal areas next to the former shipyard property. The CDF was built on lands owned by the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and now serves as a work area at the WSDOT ferry maintenance facility. The remedy is functioning as designed and no further cleanup work is planned. Regular inspections and monitoring are performed to ensure the remedy remains protective of people and the environment.