US Navy Station Sand Point
Final reconstruction of the south wall of Arena Sports after south shed (annex) removed.
WHAT'S NEW? - NOVEMBER 2016
Final After Action Report completed
The US Navy finished their report about the cleanup activities completed in May 2015 in Building 2 and the removal of the south shed of Building 27 (Arena Sports). The Washington Departments of Health and Ecology have reviewed this final After Action Report (AAR).
LOW-LEVEL RADIATION CLEANED UP
Contractors for the U.S. Navy completed the cleanup of low-level radiation in contaminated building materials at Warren G. Magnuson Park (former US Naval Air Station at Sand Point. The Navy repainted aircraft cockpit dials with glow-in-the-dark radium paint in the 1940's and 1950’s. The Navy owned and operated an air station at what is now Magnuson Park, and was responsible for cleanup of all contamination left from its operations.
The contaminated building materials and soils were removed from the former aircraft hangers, Buildings 2 and 27 (Arena Sports.) In January 2015, the Department of Health, Office of Radiation released Building 2 and the south walls, stair towers, and other associated areas of Building 27 for unrestricted use.
The former aircraft work areas were located in parts of Buildings 2 and 27, both former aircraft hangars. Building 2 now houses park maintenance shops and equipment. Building 27 houses Arena Sports, an indoor athletics facility. Repeated Navy and Health Department tests have confirmed that no radiation above background level present in the Arena Sports complex. The former work areas in Building 27 were in an annex, referred to as the South Shed, separate from the sports facility. The annex was dismantled and the outer wall restored in March-April, 2015. Contaminated materials were shipped to licensed facilities for disposal.
Cleanup work had been under way since June 2013. The Navy conducted the work under federal cleanup laws. Washington’s departments of Ecology and Health provided additional oversight. Health is the state’s radiation safety regulator. See FLIKR for more pictures of South Shed deconstruction.
SEATTLE PARKS AND RECREATION INDEPENDENT RADIATION SURVEY
Seattle Parks and Recreation Independent Radiation Survey
In 2015, Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks) contracted with Thomas Gray & Associates, Inc., a health physics consulting firm to do an independent radiation survey and sampling project in five areas of the park. The results released March 7, 2016 and can be found at Seattle Parks and Recreation. The areas include: the “Solid Ground” housing area, the off-leash dog park, the children’s play area, the amphitheater, “The Pea Patch” community vegetable gardens and the children’s garden. According to Parks the survey revealed no harmful levels at surveyed sites within Warren G. Magnuson Park.
CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN
Radium-226, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90
Map of Sand Point Buildings
WHERE WERE THE CONTAMINANTS FOUND?
The contamination has been found in building materials, and in piping, catch basins and soil near Buildings 2 and 27.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CLEANUP?
Project Roles and Responsibilities
The U.S. Navy is responsible for the cleanup of the low-level radiological contamination at Sand Point. In accordance with the Department of Navy’s Environmental Restoration Program, the U.S. Navy is required to follow the federal requirements of the:
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or “Superfund”.
- Time critical removal action (TCRA), under CERCLA.
- National Oil and Hazardous Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP).
State of Washington
The Washington State Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) and WAC 246 Radiation Protection are relevant state requirements. The state’s role is to provide technical review by conducting:
- Technical review of investigation results and cleanup plans.
- On-site air monitoring
- On-site visual observations of cleanup actions.
- On-site and park-wide pre-cleanup radiation surveys.
- Conduct confirmation sampling and radiation surveys to verify cleanup completion.
- Community outreach, including public meetings.
The state departments of Ecology and Health, and the City of Seattle have worked closely with the U.S. Navy and their contractors to ensure a thorough cleanup of the low-level radiological contamination at Magnuson Park.
PREVIOUS CLEANUP WORK
In 2010 the Navy removed some radiological contaminated piping and cleaned up a catch basin.
The former Naval Station Puget Sound at Sand Point (NS Puget Sound) was originally known as Naval Air Station (NAS) Sand Point and then later NAS Seattle. Acquired by the Navy in 1920, from King County, was developed slowly by the Navy as a reserve training command for Navy and Marine Corps aviators.
In 1998 and 2000, the Navy transferred portions of former NS Puget Sound to the Department of Interior for ultimate use by the City of Seattle for recreational purposes. The transfer of property included Buildings 2 and 27. The 1944 base map identified Building 2 as an Aircraft Assembly and Repair Shop and Building 27 as a Seaplane Hangar. Currently the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department manages use of the buildings. Building 2 was used as a recreation facility until recently. It is now used by Parks and Recreation Department personnel to store recreational equipment and materials. The City has leased Building 27 to Arena Sports who has remodeled the main hangar bays of the building into a multi-sport recreation center providing both profit and non-profit recreational services for the local community. During the process of retrofitting the space for Arena Sports, the City recovered as-built drawings indicating the presence of a “Radium Room” in the south shed of Building 27 that is not used by Arena Sports and an “Instrument Shop” on the second floor of Building 2. The City of Seattle conducted screening in 2009 and notified the Navy of the confirmed presence of radiological materials. Upon being notified, the Navy quickly took action to characterize the type and extent of residual radiological materials in both buildings.
The radiological characterization surveys identified areas of radiological contamination in previously mentioned areas in buildings 2 and 27, and associated catch basins, drain lines and outdoor areas immediately outside of the buildings. The primary type of radiological contamination identified is radium-226 (Ra-226) with some small amounts of cesium-137 (Cs-137) and strontium-90 (Sr-90) also identified. Radium-226 was commonly used by military and commercial entities from the early 1930s through the 1970s in radioluminescent (glow-in-the dark) items. These items were used in dials, gauges and markers on ships, aircraft, tanks, and motor vehicles. To keep these items glowing, the Navy established “radium paint shops” or “instrument repair shops” where personnel removed the original radioluminescent paint, then repainted the radioluminescent item. The use of radioluminescent paint was not regulated by a government agency at the time of the former NS Puget Sound; however, there were Navy regulations on health and safety requirements. Today, use of radium is controlled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and state radiation health departments.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a new environmental justice (EJ) mapping and screening tool called EJSCREEN. It is based on nationally consistent data and an approach that combines environmental and demographic indicators in maps and reports. See below for information about demographics in the area of the US Navy Station Sand Point, Magnusson Park.
EJSCREEN Census Block Map - This shows the Census Blocks used to generate the reports below.
EJSCREEN ACS Summary Report US Navy Sand Point – This shows the demographic information about the population of the area.
EJScreen Report US Navy Sand Point – This report shows the values for environmental and demographic indicators and EJSCREEN indexes. These percentiles provide perspective on how the selected block group or buffer area compares to the entire state, EPA region, or nation.
Check out What’s in My Neighborhood to find out about other cleanups in your area.
View Electronic Documents
Site Summary Report
Facility Site ID:
Cleanup Site ID:
Seattle, King County
No Further Action
Public Involvement Coordinator
Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Ave SE
Seattle Public Library - Northeast Branch
6801 35th Ave NE