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HEALTH CONSULTATION

BULLEN POINT RADAR INSTALLATION
(a/k/a USAF - DEWLINE SITE POW-3)
DEADHORSE, YUKON-KOYUKUK COUNTY, ALASKA


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The Bullen Point radar installation, also known as the United States Air Force (USAF) POW-3Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line Site is undergoing review by a mini-Regional Decision Teamto determine whether any changes have occurred at the site which would warrant a change in sitelisting. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked the Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to review existing site information to determine whatpublic health issues, if any, exist at the site. Of particular interest is whether polychlorinatedbiphenyls (PCBs) found at the site may be impacting area wildlife, which serve as a food sourcefor Arctic Circle native populations.

The Bullen Point radar installation was operated as an auxiliary DEW Line station from 1953 to1971 when it was deactivated. The installation is located at 70o10'N, 146050'W, Section 32Township 10N Range 21E, Umiat Meridian, on Mikkelson Bay on the east central shore of theBeaufort Sea (Figure 1). The installation occupies 620 acres of low lying tundra. The maximumelevation on Bullen Point is 18 feet (average 6 feet) above mean sea level, and drainage is radiallyaway from the high points. Due to permafrost 6 feet or less below ground surface and proximityto the coast, groundwater at the installation varies from brackish to saline. An unnamedfreshwater lake was located up gradient from the installation and was used as a drinking watersupply when the station was active. The dam constructed to create the unnamed freshwater lakewas breached when the station was deactivated.

Inactive structures at the installation now include a radome, four 30-foot communicationsantennae, a module train of 10 buildings attached to the radome, two pumphouses, a warehouse,seven diesel oil tanks, a 250,000-gallon water storage tank, two barge docks, roads, gravel pads,and a 3,500-foot airstrip. A technical services building and a short range radar tower haverecently been constructed. The short range radar will be operated as an unmanned system.

Bullen Point is in a remote and unpopulated area. The nearest populated area is Dead Horselocated approximately 40 miles to the west. Native residents of the North Slope, largely Inupiats,follow a lifestyle that includes a significant subsistence component; much of their food consists ofmammals (whales and caribou), aquatic life (arctic cisco and arctic char), and birds (ptarmiganand duck) that are abundant in this area of the Arctic. The climate is generally harsh (summertemperatures of 30oF to 46oF), and the soil and surface water are frozen for approximately ninemonths of the year. The site is occasionally used as shelter for transient native hunters andfishers, and as a drop-off point for fly-in hunting and fishing.

Five sites within the installation were investigated during a 1993 Remedial Investigation (RI). These are the Inside Transformer (OT04), POL (petroleum, oil, and lubricants) Tanks (ST05),Old Landfill/Dump Site East (LF06), Fuel Storage Area (ST09), and Drum Storage Area (SS10)(Figure 2). Sixty seven soil, water, and wipe samples were collected to determine the nature andextent of contamination at the five sites. Thirty five samples were analyzed for PCBs. Table 1lists the contaminants of concern along with their maximum concentration, as identified in theDraft Final Risk Assessment for each of the above five sites.

The Old Landfill/Dump Site East (LF06) is located on the shore of a lagoon that opens to the sea. The landfill has been covered with soil and graded; however, erosion by ocean waves has caused rusty metal debris (mostly flattened drums) to become exposed along approximately 500 feet of shoreline.

Table 1.

Contaminants of Concern* at Bullen Point Radar Installation
Site Media Chemical Maximum
Concentration
Units
Inside Transformer (OT04)SoilAroclor 1254 0.9Jmg/kg
wipe -floorAroclor 1254 391.1µg/100 cm2
POL Tanks (ST05)SoilDRPH 5,860mg/kg
GRPH 170 mg/kg
WaterDRPH 423,000µg/L
GRPH 723µg/L
Benzene 2µg/L
Old Landfill/Dump Site East(LF06)WaterDRPH 1,870µg/L
Fuel Storage Area (ST09)Soil/SedimentDRPH 3,830Jmg/kg
GRPH 406mg/kg
WaterDRPH 554µg/L
Drum Storage Area (SS10)SoilDRPH 775mg/kg
J - Result is an estimate
GRPH - Gasoline Range Petroleum Hydrocarbons
µg/100 cm2 - micrograms per 100 cubic centimeters
DRPH - Diesel Range Petroleum Hydrocarbons
mg/kg - milligrams per kilogram
µg/L - micrograms per liter
*Contaminants of concern were selected by comparing maximum concentrations to Risk Based Screening Levels (10-7 cancer risk; 0.1 hazard quotient)



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