Jun 02 2008
Asbestos Detected on Kodiak's USCG Base
Monday, 02 June 2008
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           Recent developments in the discovery of toxic chemicals on the U.S. Coast Guard base in Kodiak brought to light new health hazards in some of their buildings. Mary Donaldson has more.


            In late April, the U.S. Coast Guard relocated residents of Barracks One as a precautionary measure because of higher than normal traces of the chemical toxin PCE. This toxin came from waste that was dumped into the ground at an old dry cleaning site on the base for 56 years. The basement of Barracks One was determined to be unsafe because of vapors from the chemical leaching up through the groundwater. The first and second floors were determined to be safe to live in. The Coast Guard has been working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency to contain the toxic chemical.

            William Spoerer, the environmental section chief for ISC Kodiak says they are working to remove the chemicals from the soil and the groundwater.

            (Asbestos 2                 :38       “…replacing the water into the ground.”)

Base Commander Mark Carmel says there are about 30 monitoring wells that are checked quarterly by the Coast Guard and that they are continually working to contain the chemical.

            (Asbestos 1                 :24s     “…toward the bay.”)

            During recent work on the Galley and Pizza Parlor building asbestos dust was detected. Since this discovery, the construction has been halted while officials on base have been working to contain the asbestos dust. Carmel says that the asbestos was not detected before the construction began.

            (Asbestos 3                 :41s     “…let anyone back in the area.”)

            Testing for the chemical toxin PCE and asbestos dust will continue as Coast Guard officials keep working to contain and monitor these potential hazards. Carmel says that the levels of asbestos that have been found is very low, but since it is detectable they are treating it. He says they are taking a conservative and precautionary approach to contain the hazards as they continue to work closely with the EPA. 

            I’m Mary Donaldson.