EPA Region 5

08/16/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/16/2023 12:45

EPA Proposes to Remove Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Superfund Site in Kittery, Maine from Superfund List

EPA Proposes to Remove Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Superfund Site in Kittery, Maine from Superfund List

Public comments accepted until September 15

August 16, 2023

Contact Information
David Deegan ([email protected])
(617) 918-1017
BOSTON- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to remove the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, located in Kittery, Maine, from the National Priorities List (NPL), commonly referred to as Superfund. EPA has determined that the site cleanup is complete, and no further remedial action is required. Operation, maintenance, and monitoring activities will continue at the site as needed, as well as five-year reviews to ensure the remedies continue to protect human health and the environment. The agency will accept public comments on the proposed deletion until September 15, 2023.

Site Background:

The 278-acre Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is a restricted access military facility located on Seavey Island in the Piscataqua River at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbor between Kittery, Maine, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Shipbuilding activities in Portsmouth Harbor date back to 1690. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was established as a government facility in 1800. The first government-built submarine was designed and constructed there during World War I, and a large number of submarines have been designed, constructed, and repaired at this facility since 1917. Today, the shipyard employs approximately 5,000 civilians and approximately 200 active-duty military personnel with the primary mission being the conversion, overhaul, and repair of submarines for the US Navy.

Contamination at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard resulted from shipbuilding and submarine repair work, landfill operations, spills and leaks from industrial operations and piping, storage of batteries and other materials, filling of land, and outfalls to the river. Seven areas on and around the Shipyard have been identified for investigation. Contamination detected in groundwater, soils, and sediments include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), metals, and benzene. After the site was added to the NPL in 1994, extensive cleanup work was conducted over the following decades to address contamination issues, which have now been completed. The State of Maine has reviewed and commented on this action and concurs with EPA's proposed deletion of this site from the National Priorities List.

Proposed Deletion Information and How to Comment:

Long-term stewardship will be ongoing to maintain institutional controls, security and ensure future land use is consistent with the remediation. EPA will continue to assess the environmental remediation work performed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Superfund Site every five years to ensure the remedy continues to protect human health and the environment, as required by the Superfund law. A proposed or final deletion does not prevent future actions under the Superfund law.

The NPL tracks the nation's most contaminated sites that threaten human health or the environment. Sites on the list are eligible for cleanup under the Superfund program and once all the remedies are successfully implemented, EPA removes sites or parts of sites from the list.

EPA's 30-day public comment period on the proposed deletion will begin August 16, 2023, and will end on September 15, 2023. The public or other interested parties may submit comments by mail or email:

Mail:

Robert Lim

US EPA Region 1 Mail code: 07-1

5 Post Office Square, Suite 100

Boston, MA 02109-3912

Email:[email protected]The Administrative Record on the Proposed Deletion can be found here: https://www.navfac.navy.mil/Business-Lines/Environmental/Products-and-Services/Environmental-Restoration/Mid-Atlantic/Portsmouth-NSY/Administrative-Record/All Site related materials can be found on at: https://www.navfac.navy.mil/Business-Lines/Environmental/Products-and-Services/Environmental-Restoration/Mid-Atlantic/Portsmouth-NSY/

Materials can also be accessed at:

Rice Public Library

8 Wentworth Street

Kittery, ME 03904

(207) 439-1553

Portsmouth Public Library

175 Parrott Street

Portsmouth, NH 03801

(603) 427-1540

For more information or to have a hard copy sent to you, please contact: Charlotte Gray, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, [email protected], Office: 617-918-1243, Toll free: 1-888-372-7341 ext. 8-1243

Aerial view of Portsmouth Naval Station

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