This incident was previously named "Bremerton Gasworks Beach" and "Bremerton MGP Waste Release". It started with the Kitsap Health District investigating reports of sheens between 8/20/2010 and 10/4/2010 and then finding a subsurface concrete pipe on the beach leaking creosote to beach sediment and marine waters. The pipe appears to come from the Old Bremerton Gasworks property at 1725 Pensylvania Avenue.
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The Old Bremerton Gasworks site has been under investigation by EPA first as a Brownfields site, and then when the site was determined to be too contaminated to clean-up under Brownsfield grants, it was referred back to the EPA Remedial Program for potential listing on the National Priorities List.
On Monday 10/4/2010, Kitsap Health District called the EPA Site Assessment Manager (SAM) when they dug into the beach surface and found a pipe leaking a black oily liquid. The EPA SAM contacted EPA OSC Parker who conducted a site visit on 10/5/2010, within 24 hours of receiving the report. The site visit immediately transitioned into a removal assessment and sampling, which later in the same day transitioned into an emergency response removal action (deployment of boom within 24 hours of receiving the report from Kitsap Health District).
As the incident was in the USCG Area of Responsibility, the USCG performed a removal assessment on 10/6/2010, followed two nights later by a USCG removal action (deployment of a two-level boom).
A combined USCG/EPA removal assessment and sampling event occurred the next night when the USCG Pacific Strike Team arrived in the area. The incident was addressed by both EPA and USCG. The agreement between the two agencies was that the USCG would address the release occuring on tidal lands and marine waters and EPA would assist with air monitoring, sampling and any other expertise needed to support USCG activities. EPA would address removal actions, if any, that needed to be taken inland of the high tide mark. Longer-term actions would be referred to the EPA Remedial Program.
Cascade Natural Gas contacted the USCG and volunteered to perform a limited investigation on 10/27/2010 to determine the best approach to securing the release. The work plan they developed described their plan to remove the pipe and temporarily cover visibly contaminated beach sediments. The plan was accepted by USCG, EPA, DNR and Kitsap Health. The work started the evening of 11/5/2010 and occur at night during low tides for three to five nights. Organo-clay mats placed on the visibly contaminated sediments were expected to be in place only temporarily until all the sources of contamination to the beach were identified and a comprehensive clean up plan developed.
In May 2013, Cascade Natural Gas and EPA signed an Administrative Order on Consent agreeing to have Cascade perform a removal evaluation, possible early action, and remedial investigation. Contractors to Cascade collected surface beach samples in July 2013 and beach corings in September 2013. Analytical results showed widespread carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbon contamination of the beach from the marina to the old cap at levels of immediate concern to human health and the environment. A small area of beach near the old Bremerton Gasworks winch house also was found to have visible black oily liquid in the beach sediment from just under the surface to about four feet below the surface.
Cascade Natural Gas and it's contractors completed a removal action on November 4, 2013 by placin another temporary cap over the area of beach with oily sediments and plugging the manhole to the pipe covered during the first removal action. The remedial investigation is now getting under way.
Further information on the remedial investigation can be found at: