Navy to hold meeting on testing of polluted site

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is holding a public information meeting Feb. 1 to discuss groundwater and drinking water sampling near a polluted area.

Area 6 is a 260-acre site located in the southeast corner of Ault Field on North Whidbey.

A 1993 “Superfund Record of Decision” describes the amount of chemicals that were dumped at the site from 1969 to 1988. That included 2.2 million gallons of liquids and sludge, between 300,000 and 700,000 gallons of acids and solvents, an estimated 100,000 to 600,000 gallons of oily sludge, and unknown quantities of oils, asbestos and other hazardous waste.

Neighboring homes had to abandon wells in the 1990s and the Navy paid for them to be connected to city water line. The Navy installed extraction wells to treat the groundwater beneath Area 6 through an air stripping system which has reduced the plume of volatile organic chemicals.

Now the Navy will be sampling wells in the area and testing for the presence of vinyl chloride, 1,4-dioxane, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS.

The Navy will be sending letters to people who live in the specified sampling area near Area 6.

The public meeting is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Chief Petty Officer’s Club at 1080 West Ault Field Road in Oak Harbor.

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