|Naval Station Newport, formerly the Naval Education and Training Center, is a military base located on the western shore of Aquidneck Island in the towns of Portsmouth, Middletown and Newport. Past operations and waste disposal practices carried out on the base have resulted in the release of contaminants into the environment. In 1983, an Initial Assessment Study was performed in an effort to identify and assess those areas of the base that had been contaminated. This limited study, which relied upon information obtained from historical records, photographs, personnel interviews, and on-site inspections, identified 16 potentially contaminated sites.
A subsequent study, the Confirmation/Verification Study, performed in 1986, entailed the collection and analysis of water, soil and mussel tissue samples at a selected number of the above sites. This study confirmed that releases had occurred on the base. In 1989, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) evaluated the site and determined that the levels of contamination and risk associated with these releases warranted placing the base on the US EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites. Sites on this list are commonly referred to as Superfund Sites.
The results of the Initial Assessment Study were used to determine which areas would be investigated under the US EPA's Superfund Program. This program focused on 10 of the 16 sites due to the fact that these sites were on Navy property when the base was placed on the NPL. The remaining sites are on land that the Navy excessed and therefore are considered to be Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS). The majority of the FUDS sites are undergoing investigation by the US Army Corp of Engineers (ACE) and by the State of Rhode Island's Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM). |