adak naval air station


The Naval Air Station (NAS) Adak, approximately 76,000 acres in size, is located on Adak Island, near the western end of the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Adak Island was designated part of the Aleutian Island Reservation by Executive Order 1733 on March 3, 1913. This withdrawn land was re-designated as a sub-unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act on December 2, 1980. Beginning in the early 1940s, Adak became a key operations and supply location for United States military forces after the Japanese occupation of Kiska and Attu Islands during World War II. The northern portion of Adak Island was designated for military use by the Navy on August 19, 1959 by Public Land Order 1949. In 1994, the base was re-designated NAF Adak, and was directed to close as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act of 1995. NAF Adak was on caretaker status since March 31, 1997 when it operationally closed until September 31, 2000 when caretaker funding ended. At this time Navy operations consist solely for long-term maintenance of Superfund cleanups and final clearance of ordnance items. Over a 40-year period, hazardous substances were disposed of in areas on the island, including landfills, storage areas, drum disposal areas, spill sites, and pits for waste oil and fire-fighting training. Petroleum, chlorinated solvents, batteries, and transformer oils containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are some of the hazardous materials present at the site. Primary releases include: PCBs (over 2,000 gallons), unexploded ordnance (70,000 items located, not including ranges and offshore disposal), petroleum (1,000,000 gallons), solvents, and pesticides. The island has high winds and frequent storms. The island is a federally designated wilderness area, and is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. A wide variety of marine mammals and birds inhabit the near-shore areas. Access to remote areas is allowed, but restrictions are necessary due to potential presence of unexploded ordnance. Approximately 50-100 people reside on the island and use the area for hunting, fishing, and recreational purposes. Commercial fish processing, tourism and a new radar facility bring additional people to the island. The U.S. transferred 71,171 acres of the former Base in March 2004 from the U.S. Navy to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) who then exchanged 47,000 acres of the property with The Aleut Corporation for other lands in the Aleutian Islands. The exchange provided a well developed city for the Aleuts for economic reuse in return for high quality marine bird habitat being transferred to USFWS for management within the refuge. The Adak Reuse Corporation is marketing the island to commercial fishing fleets and other businesses which operate in the area. The state of Alaska DOT received approximately 2000 acres that includes the air field and support buildings. They are responsible for airport operations. The Navy is preparing a Remedial Investigation Feasibility Study to address unexploded ordnance remaining on the northern part of the Island around Andrew Lake.

Hazardous Ranking Score

51 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 10
Phone: (800) 424-4372

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


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        within a 1 mile radius


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