POLLUTION LOCATOR| Superfund | Site Description

Site Name:      PEARL HARBOR NAVAL COMPLEX
EPA ID:      HI4170090076


Conditions at Proposal (July 29, 1991): The Pearl Harbor Naval Complex occupies at least 6,300 acres in Pearl Harbor on the Island of Oahu, Honolulu County, Hawaii. Land around the complex supports agriculture, aquaculture, industry, urban, and commercial uses. The complex consists of these major facilities: Naval Shipyard, Naval Supply Center, Naval Station, Submarine Base, Public Works Center, Inactive Ships, and Navy Magazine Lualualei (Westlock Branch and Waipio Peninsula). The Pearl Harbor Naval Complex began operation in 1901 when the Navy received an appropriation to acquire land for a naval station. After the attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, industrial activity at the complex skyrocketed, reaching 24,000 civilians by mid-1943. After World War II, activity declined and has fluctuated with the Navy's requirements. In 1983, the Navy identified 30 potential hazardous waste sources within the six facilities. Subsequently, an additional source was identified. The 31 sources include unlined landfills, pesticide disposal pits, CHROMIC ACID disposal areas, PCB disposal areas, mercury-contaminated harbor sediments, leaking underground solvent tanks, waste OIL facilities, and numerous other types of sources resulting from industrial activities at the complex. Six of the sources were initially evaluated, based primarily on toxicity of contaminants present, availability of waste quantity information, sampling results, affected populations, and a documented release of a hazardous substance. Many investigations have found hazardous substances -- including MERCURY, CHROMIUM, PCBS, pesticides, TRICHLOROETHENE, TRANS-1,2-DICHLOROETHENE, and other VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS -- in soil in the six areas, thus exposing workers on the site (less than 100) to potential contamination. (Many of these chemicals have also been found at the remaining 25 areas identified to date.) TETRACHLOROETHENE was found 15.2 feet below ground surface in one area. Soils beneath the site are permeable, facilitating movement of contaminants into ground water. Approximately 110,700 people obtain drinking water from wells within 2 miles of the six sources. In 1988, the Navy detected BIS(2-ETHYLHEXYL)PHTHALATE in sediment samples taken from a National Wildlife Refuge that borders an abandoned Navy landfill. The refuge contains habitat for four Federally endangered species, as well as wetlands. Pearl Harbor and nearby portions of the Pacific Ocean contain recreational and commercial fisheries, habitat for endangered species, wetlands, and water-contact recreation areas. The VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS in on-site soil also create a potential for gases to be released to the atmosphere. Status (October 1992): EPA and the Navy are planning to negotiate a Federal Facilities Agreement under CERCLA Section 120 to cover future activities at the site. (The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was scored. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See FR 5600, February 11, 1991 or subsequent FR notices.)