EPA Moves Forward With Site Inspection of Camp Bonneville for Consideration to List as Superfund Site


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 10 Office has announced the results of its Preliminary Assessment of Camp Bonneville, the former US Military installation in Clark County, Washington.

In a letter dated March 1, 2010, EPA informed Camp Bonneville cleanup contractors and the Washington State Department of Ecology that based on the information gathered in the Preliminary Assessment Report, “additional investigation is warranted” of the Camp Bonneville Site under CERCLA [Superfund*].

According to the EPA’s report,

“the objectives of a Preliminary Assessment are:

  • To determine whether the site is releasing or has the potential to release hazardous constituents into the environment;
  • Identify potential public health and/or environmental threats posed by the site;
  • Assess the need for additional investigation and/or response action at the site; and
  • Determine the potential for placement of the site on the National Priorities List (NPL).”

The report states the Preliminary Assessment was conducted in response to a formal Preliminary Assessment Petition dated February 3, 2009, submitted by the Rosemere Neighborhood Association and Columbia Riverkeeper under Section 105(d) of CERCLA.

EPA is directing its own contractor, Ecology and Environment, Inc., of Seattle, Washington, to arrange the followup investigations, also known as Site Inspection:

From the EPA website:

“The Site Inspection program identifies potential cleanup sites that have a high probability of qualifying for the National Priorities List (Superfund), and provides the data needed for Hazard Ranking System scoring and documentation. Site Inspection investigators typically collect samples to determine what hazardous substances are present at a site, and whether they are being released into the environment.

EPA Preliminary Assessment Report of Camp Bonneville finds

“the sources that appear most likely to contribute current or future contamination at the site are the firing target area, the Central Impact Target Area, the OB/OD area and Landfill4.”

The firing target area is of concern because of “previous detections of heavy metals in the soil and because UXO [unexploded ordinance] has historically been present in these areas….there is still the possibility that people may wander outside of the cleared areas and encounter UXO.”  There is “confirmed presence of lead and RDX contaminated soil” in the Central Impact Target Area and “it is possible that contamination may migrate from this source through ground water or surface water runoff to Lacamas Creek….The OBD/OD area is of concern due to the presence of historic RDX and arsenic contaminated soil. Landfill 4 is of concern due to the continued presence of perchlorate in the ground water.”  Ground water sampling has found  “a perchlorate ground water plume is present at the site in the area surrounding Landfill4/Demolition Area 1.”

The report recommends more “robust” modeling and testing of groundwater flow and transport to determine the impact on the Troutdale Sole Source Aquifer.

You can view EPA’s Preliminary Assessment report by clicking on the following links (pdf format):

EPA Preliminary Assessment Report – Camp Bonneville

Tables & Maps for EPA Preliminary Assessment Report

You can view Rosemere Neighborhood Association’s  Preliminary Assessment Petition from February 3, 2009, by clicking on the following links (pdf format):

Preliminary Assessment Petition – Camp Bonneville

Tables & Maps for Preliminary Assessment Petition – Camp Bonneville

Here is a snapshot of the Summary and Conclusions, Section 4, (which can be found on Pages 79 & 80) from EPA Preliminary Assessment Report:



*CERCLA is The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), amended in 1986 by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, (SARA), commonly known as Superfund. For more information on CERCLA and Superfund designations go to the EPA website at http://epa.gov/superfund/policy/cercla.htm.

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