The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially removed the Vancouver Water Stations #1 (WS1) and #4 (WS4) Superfund sites from the National Priorities List (NPL).
“The City of Vancouver stepped up, addressed the contamination at these two sites and made these deletions possible,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This is cooperative federalism at work. They are clearly our partner in the effort to clean up sites, shrink the National Priorities List and make more land available for redevelopment.”
EPA and the State of Washington have concluded that all appropriate responses under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act have been implemented and that no further cleanup is required. Sites can only be proposed for deletion once all remedies are successfully implemented and EPA and the State have determined that cleanup actions conducted at the sites to protect both public health and the environment have been completed.
The public comment period on the proposed deletion ended October 25, 2017. After adding the WS1 and WS4 to the NPL in 1994 and 1992 respectively, effective today February 6, 2018, these Superfund sites were removed from the list with the publication of official notices in the Federal Register.
Under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership, the Superfund program has reemerged as a top priority to advance the Agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment.
WS1 and WS4 are two of several well fields owned and operated by the City of Vancouver. Groundwater pumped from WS1 and WS4 is blended with water from other well fields to provide drinking water to approximately 230,000 people in the Vancouver area.
During routine monitoring in 1988, the City of Vancouver discovered the presence of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in the water at WS1 and WS4 and immediately modified pumping rates to protect public health. The City of Vancouver also installed an air stripping treatment system at WS4 in 1992 and five air stripping towers at WS1 in 1993 to further protect the public.
EPA’s cleanup plan called for the City of Vancouver, in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Health, to continue operating the air stripping treatment systems to remove PCE from the water prior to its distribution for drinking. They also closely monitor groundwater and treated water for PCE.
Data shows that the air stripping treatment systems at WS1 and WS4 have effectively removed PCE from the City of Vancouver’s water supply and that PCE in untreated groundwater is consistently below federal and state drinking water standards. The City of Vancouver intends to continue to use the treatment systems indefinitely due to the benefits provided.
For more about site history and cleanup actions at each site please visit the following links:
Vancouver Water Station #1: https://go.usa.gov/xnfPQ
Vancouver Water Station #4: https://go.usa.gov/xnfPy
Federal Register Notices: https://go.usa.gov/xnsx