Gary Riley from the National Park Service Pacific West Region will discuss contaminated site response on NPS-managed lands in the western United States. NPS uses delegated CERCLA and other authorities to respond to legacy sites ranging from underground storage tanks, landfills, former mining/mineral processing facilities, and prior industrial uses. NPS also responds using time-critical authority to releases from spills, wildfires, and other natural disasters.
While the sites themselves may have relatively straightforward releases of hazardous substances, their broader settings are often anything but. The presentation will discuss the NPS Contaminated Site Program, with examples of unique settings and resource protection challenges for site investigation and cleanup. Project examples will include abandonment in place of five fuel storage tanks at the historic Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley National Park. While underground storage tank closure is relatively commonplace, conducting such work inside a National Register listed historic structure, only feet from priceless museum items, and at a remote site required careful management to simultaneously meet project goals and resource protection requirements that also apply to CERCLA responses elsewhere in the park. Other examples will include planning and executing site investigation (PA/SI) and cleanup alternative selection (EE/CA or FS) at mining and landfill sites in Death Valley and other park units in a manner that reduces risks, protects natural and cultural resources, and complies with applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs). These requirements include the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Presenter: LCDR Gary Riley, Environmental Engineer, U.S. National Park Service