US ARMY Yakima Training Center

Facility Site ID: 105 Cleanup Site ID: 2301

Current Status

Out-of-date ammunition disposal at the Yakima Training Center
Out-of-date ammunition disposal at the Yakima Training Center
Last Updated October 2023

This site has confirmed contamination which could harm people and the environment. It is in the Washington state cleanup process under the Model Toxics Control Act.

See the documents in the Site Details section at left to learn more about the site.



A public comment period ran from February 6 - March 22, 2023 for an Enforcement Order, Corrective Action Permit and Public Participation Plan. While the Public Participation Plan was issued in draft form, the Enforcement Order and Corrective Action Permit were effective immediately upon issuance on February 1, 2023. We received 16 comments. After carefully considering all comments, we have chosen not to amend any of the documents at this time and they are now final. A Response to Comments Summary is now published and available in English and Spanish on this site in the "View Documents: Public Information" section below. 

When there are new documents about the site, we’ll notify you about additional public comment periods.


Why This Site Matters

Información en Español

Past military and maintenance activities resulted in multiple releases to soil and groundwater. These chemical and toxic waste products include:

- Petroleum-based fuels (gasoline, diesel, and Jet-A).
- Solvents such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).
- Lead-acid batteries from vehicles.
- Ordnance, explosives, and other pyrotechnics, including unused or outdated ammunition and weapons.
- Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used in fire-fighting foams.

A 1995 Facility Assessment report identified 115 known or potentially polluted areas within the YTC. Most of these contaminated areas are near the southwest border of the base, near East Selah. By 2013, all the areas had been investigated and over 80 percent had been cleaned up with Ecology oversight. However, there are still more areas to clean up at YTC. These areas do not meet soil or groundwater cleanup standards or have yet to be properly investigated.

From 2018 to 2019, regional Army staff and Ecology spent 18 months negotiating a site cleanup order, before PFAS were included as contaminants. PFAS are known as “emerging” contaminants. We’re learning more about this class of harmful chemicals. The cleanup order, Agreed Order #DE 18125, was available for public comment between August and October of 2020, but it wasn’t finalized because the Army refused to sign that order.

Beginning in 2020, the Army began testing drinking water wells on and around the YTC for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). On-base use of firefighting foams that contain PFAS has contaminated groundwater, including off-base drinking water wells west of the YTC.

The Enforcement Order and Corrective Action Permit will ensure that the public and Ecology have opportunities to review and comment on the Army’s investigation and cleanup activities.

The Statement of Basis written by Ecology provides technical details about the site contamination.

What Are Perfluoroalkyl Substances?

Discovery of PFAS Contamination in Groundwater at the Yakima Training Center (YTC) March, 2022

In 2021, the Army began contacting property owners to the west of the YTC to request permission to test the quality of drinking water in wells. We now know that many off-base wells  have been contaminated with toxic perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) due to on-base Army operations.

PFAS, a known human health hazard, are used in aqueous film forming foam, a critical firefighting agent used to quickly suppress petroleum fires at airports and military
installations and have been used at the YTC.

Multiple rounds of well testing have been completed by the Army and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Army has completed PFAS testing on private water wells and identified that 69 water wells had PFAS detection levels greater than the Federal EPA Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) (PFOS + PFOA), impacting 85 households. Additionally, more than 30 households have tested above the WA Department of Health (DOH) State Action Level for one or more listed PFAS compounds. Additional sampling and analysis is still needed by the Army to monitor for the health of the affected community and determine how on-base and off-base contamination is changing over time.

All residents impacted above the Federal standards for PFAS have been provided the option of receiving replacement bottled water for drinking and cooking by the Army at no cost. Water delivery will continue until a permanent safe water supply solution is identified and implemented. Residents above State standards for PFAS but not receiving assistance by the Army are offered in-home water filtration systems at no cost.

Ecology understands that the discovery of PFAS at the YTC may be concerning to residents living nearby. Ecology will be closely overseeing the Army’s cleanup activities to ensure the investigation and cleanup efforts are protective for both human health and the environment.

Ecology will continue to communicate with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense about cleanup investigations and actions at YTC going forward.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is PFAS?

A: PFAS are a group of industrial chemicals used in fire suppression foam used by fire departments on oil, gasoline, and diesel fires. Locations where firefighters practiced using fire suppression foam (such as airports) may have impacted soil and groundwater.

PFAS are water soluble and highly mobile, meaning they can easily contaminate groundwater and can be hard to filter out. PFAS are also used in furniture, carpet, clothing, electronics, and building insulation. While people don’t eat these products, we breathe in tiny bits of them that have entered the air. PFAS are found in the blood or urine of over 90 percent of Americans.

Q: Why do we care about PFAS?   

A: Certain PFAS can transform into highly persistent perfluorinated chemicals that no natural processes can break down. Once in the environment, PFAS can contaminate water and wildlife. The drinking water supplies in Airway Heights, North Whidbey Island, Issaquah, and at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are contaminated with PFAS above the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) health advisory level. They are also costly to filter out.

Q: Why didn’t the Army or the regulatory/cleanup process find this concern
sooner?

A: PFAS are known as “emerging” contaminants. In other words, we’re just now learning more about this class of chemicals and setting health limits for them.

In 2019, The Department of Defense initiated preliminary assessments for PFAS at military bases across the country. At YTC, several drinking water wells were tested for PFAS\ chemicals at that time. PFAS was not detected in the drinking water supply wells.  

In 2020, the Army conducted a more detailed follow up called a “site investigation”. In addition to drinking water supply wells, many groundwater monitoring wells were also sampled. In May of 2021, the Army notified Ecology that PFAS were found above health advisory limits in some of the groundwater monitoring wells and one drinking water supply well at the Selah Airstrip. The Army has since closed the Selah Airstrip well.

Q: How can I protect my family or business from PFAS?

A: Ecology recently published a document: Keeping Your Home and Family Healthy: Reduce Your Exposure to PFAS  

Q: Who should I contact at the Army for more details?

A:Mark Mettler; phone: 253-966-8004; email: mark.a.mettler2.civ@army.mil

Antecedentes Del Sitio

YTC es una sub-instalación de Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM, por sus siglas en inglés). Está ubicada cerca de 100 millas aéreas al este de JBLM y cerca de 10 millas al norte de Yakima. YTC cubre 327,231 acres en los condados de Yakima y Kittitas. 

YTC es utilizada por soldados visitantes ejecutando maniobras y entrenamiento de armas. Se han estado entrenando soldados en YTC desde el 1941. El centro tiene inquilinos militares y del gobierno federal, incluyendo a los centros del Washington State Army National Guard and Marine y el Army Reserve. No hay residentes ni trabajadores viviendo en las inmediaciones del sitio. El Ejército es dueño y ha operado a YTC como una instalación para el manejo de desechos peligrosos desde el 1980 y la cual trata, almacena, dispone de, o recicla desechos peligrosos o aceite usado.

Contaminación

Antiguas actividades militares y de mantenimiento resultaron en múltiples escapes de contaminantes al suelo y el agua subterránea. Estas sustancias químicas y productos de desechos tóxicos incluyen:

• Combustibles en base de petróleo (gasolina, diésel, y Jet-A).
• Solventes como el tricloroetileno (TCE; por sus siglas en inglés) y ketona de metil etílico (MEK; por sus siglas en inglés).
• Baterías de vehículos de ácido de plomo.
• Artillería, explosivos, y otros pirotécnicos incluyendo munición anticuada o sin usar y armas.
• Sustancias de per- y polifluoroalquilos (PFAS; por sus siglas en inglés) usadas en espumas para el control de fuego.

Un reporte de evaluación de instalación del 1995 identificó 115 áreas contaminadas conocidas o potencialmente contaminadas dentro de YTC. La mayoría de estas áreas contaminadas están cerca del borde suroeste de la base, cerca de East Selah. Para el 2013, todas estas áreas habían sido investigadas y sobre el 80 por ciento habían sido
limpiadas con supervisión de Ecología. Sin embargo, todavía hay muchas áreas por limpiarse en YTC. Estas áreas no satisfacen los niveles de limpieza para el suelo y el agua subterránea o no han sido propiamente investigadas todavía.

Del 2018 al 2019, personal regional del Ejército y Ecología pasaron 18 meses negociando una orden de limpieza para el sitio, antes de que los PFAS fueran incluidos como contaminantes. A los PFAS se los conoce como contaminantes “emergentes.” Estamos aprendiendo más acerca de esta clase de sustancias químicas nocivas. La orden de limpieza, Orden Acordada #DE 18125, estuvo disponible para comentario público entre agosto y octubre del 2020, pero no fue finalizada porque el Ejército se rehusó a firmar esa orden.

A principios del 2020, el Ejército comenzó a hacer pruebas para PFAS en pozos de agua potable dentro y alrededor de YTC. El uso de espumas contra incendios que contienen PFAS en la base ha contaminado el agua subterránea; incluyendo pozos de agua potable fuera de la base y al oeste de YTC. Actualmente, el Ejército está conduciendo investigaciones y esfuerzos de mitigación de contaminación en el agua potable sin revisión del público o la supervisión de Ecología.

El Proceso De Limpieza

Figura 1: Proceso de Limpieza de Washington. Lea una versión de texto simple.
Figura 1: Proceso de Limpieza de Washington. Lea una versión de texto simple.
El Ejército deberá limpiar la contaminación. Nosotros aplicaremos ambos el reglamento federal del Acta de Conservación y Recuperación de Recursos (RCRA, por sus siglas en inglés) y el reglamento estatal de la Ley Modelo para el Control de Sustancias Tóxicas (MTCA, por sus siglas en inglés) para la limpieza de sitios con desechos Programa de Desechos Peligrosos y Reducción de Sustancias Tóxicas Publicación 23-04-004ES Febrero del 2023 Página 3
peligrosos (vea la Figura 1). La limpieza protege la salud humana y el ambiente de los desechos peligrosos y las sustancias químicas. Actualmente estamos en la etapa de investigación inicial de este proceso.

¿Que Son Los Pfas?

PFAS es la abreviatura para sustancias de per- y polifluoroalquilos, una clase de sustancias químicas tóxicas y de larga vida. Se encuentran en espumas contra incendios usadas para combatir fuegos de aceite, gasolina, y diésel, y que pueden contaminar fácilmente las aguas subterráneas. Se usan PFAS también en muebles, alfombras, ropa, equipos electrónicos, y en insulación de edificios. Aprenda más sobre ellos en ecology.wa.gov/YTC.

¿Qué Es Una Orden Ejecutoria?

Una orden ejecutoria (EO; por sus siglas en inglés) es una orden administrativa exigiendo actividades de limpieza. Ecología emite una cuando cree que una solución de limpieza no se puede acordar con negociaciones.
Legal 8
Map 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
YTC (off-post) PFAS Results - May 2023 9/11/2023 Map
Yakima Training Center PFAS Test Results (off-base) 2021-2022 4/6/2023 Map
Public Information 8
Technical Reports 41
Document Title Document Date Document Type
2022 Land Use Control Plan - JBLM and Yakima Training Center 3/1/2024 Site Specific Technical Document - other
2023 Annual Groundwater Monitoring Report - Fire Training Pit and Tracked Vehicle Repair/Old Mobilization and Training Equipment Site - Yakima Training Center 3/1/2024 Groundwater Monitoring Report
Preliminary Assessment / Site Inspection Addendum: Off-Post Private Well Investigation of PFAS 11/1/2023 Site Specific Technical Document - other
2022 QAPP Update - US Army Yakima Training Center - Fire Training Pit/TRV/Old MATES Site 9/1/2023 Site Specific Technical Document - other
2022 Annual Groundwater Monitoring Report 8/4/2023 Groundwater Monitoring Report
DRAFT - UFP-QAPP PFAS RI Yakima Training Center 7/1/2023 Site Specific Technical Document - other
PFAS RI Conceptual Site Model - Yakima Training Center 6/1/2023 Site Specific Technical Document - other
UFP - QAPP Addendum - Yakima Training Center Off-Installation PFAS Sampling 5/1/2023 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Boundary Investigation Work Plan - Yakima Training Center 3/1/2023 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
PFAS RI Baseline Sampling Work Plan - Yakima Training Center 1/1/2023 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
Final PA-SI for YTC - text-tables-figures 10/1/2021 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Draft Final_Decision Document for Selected Remedy 2/1/2021 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Draft Final 2020_YTC IRP GWM Report 2/1/2021 Groundwater Monitoring Report
Yakima Training Center - ECY Response to Army Comments on Draft Agreed Order DE 18125 12/17/2020 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Yakima Training Center - ECY Response to Yakama Nation Comments on Draft Agreed Order DE 18125 12/16/2020 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Yakima Training Center - ECY Response to Army 9/1/2020 Request on Agreed Order for RCRA Corrective Action 12/8/2020 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Yakima Training Center - ECY Approval of Annual 2019 GWM Report Fire Training Pit 7/21/2020 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
US Army Yakima Training Center Permit Lite 2020 DRAFT 6/3/2020 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Yakima Training Center - ECY Comments on Draft Final Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study at SWMU No. 57 12/20/2019 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
FINAL PFAS Preliminary Assessment - YTC 10/1/2019 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Yakima Training Center - ECY Approval of Annual 2018 GWM Report Fire Training Pit 6/9/2019 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
2018 GW Monitoring Plan: Fire Training Pit (FTP) and Tracked Vehicle Repair/Old Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (TVR/Old MATES) 2/28/2019 Groundwater Monitoring Report
Yakima Training Center - Agreed Order Invitation for RCRA Corrective Action 1/9/2019 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
Yakima Training Center - ECY Comments of Draft Final Work Plan for Remedial Investigation 10/31/2018 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
DRAFT FINAL SITE-SPECIFIC QUALITY ASSURANCE PROJECT PLAN FOR GROUNDWATER MONITORING AT THE FORMER FIRE TRAINING PIT AND TRACKED VEHICLE REPAIR/OLD MOBILIZATION AND TRAINING EQUIPMENT SITE 10/1/2018 Site Specific Technical Document - other
DRAFT FINAL WORK PLAN FOR REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION AT THE FORMER LANDFILL COMPLEX 10/1/2018 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
Yakima Training Center - ECY Correction Letter on YTC RCRA Corrective Action Completion Report 2/28/2018 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
2017 Comprehensive Land Use Controls Plan - JBLM 11/1/2017 Site Specific Technical Document - other
2016 GW Monitoring Report: Fire Training Pit (FTP) and Tracked Vehicle Repair/Old Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (TVR/Old MATES) 6/1/2017 Groundwater Monitoring Report
2017 GW Monitoring Report: Fire Training Pit (FTP) and Tracked Vehicle Repair/Old Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (TVR/Old MATES) 1/23/2017 Groundwater Monitoring Report
SITE INSPECTION FORMER LANDFILL COMPLEX 1/1/2017 Site Specific Technical Document - other
2017 GW Monitoring Plan: Fire Training Pit (FTP) and Tracked Vehicle Repair/Old Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (TVR/Old MATES) 1/1/2017 Performance/Confirmational Monitoring Plan or Report
2015 GW Monitoring Report: Fire Training Pit (FTP) and Tracked Vehicle Repair/Old Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (TVR/Old MATES) 8/1/2016 Groundwater Monitoring Report
2016 GW Monitoring Plan: Fire Training Pit (FTP) and Tracked Vehicle Repair/Old Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (TVR/Old MATES) 10/1/2015 Performance/Confirmational Monitoring Plan or Report
RCRA Corrective Action Completion Report 9/21/2015 Site Specific Technical Document - other
JBLM Installation Restoration Program - Regulator Meeting 6/15/2015 Site Specific Technical Document - other
2014 Fire Training Pit (FTP) and Tracked Vehicle Repair/Old Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (TVR/Old MATES) 6/1/2015 Groundwater Monitoring Report
2015 GW Monitoring Plan: Fire Training Pit (FTP) and Tracked Vehicle Repair/Old Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (TVR/Old MATES) 5/1/2015 Performance/Confirmational Monitoring Plan or Report
2014 Limited Purpose Landfill Annual GW Monitoring Report 5/1/2015 Groundwater Monitoring Report
Yakima Training Center Closure Aug 2003 8/1/2003 Site Specific Technical Document - other
RCRA Facility Assessment 9/1/1995 Site Specific Technical Document - other
There may be more documents related to this site. To obtain documents not available electronically, you will need to make a public records request.

Places to see print documents

  • Yakima Central Library
    102 N 3rd St
    Yakima, 98901
    This location may only have print documents available during open comment periods.

Contaminants 15

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Other Contaminant - Base/Neutral/Acid Organics S
Halogenated Organics - Halogenated Organics S C S
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants S C S
Metals - Metals - Other S S S
Halogenated Organics - Polychlorinated biPhenyls (PCB) S
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum Products-Unspecified C S S
Non-Halogenated Organics - Non-Halogenated Solvents S S S
Non-Halogenated Organics - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons S
Reactive Wastes - Corrosive Wastes S
Other Contaminant - Conventional Contaminants, Organic S S
Other Contaminant - Conventional Contaminants, Inorganic S
Other Contaminant - Asbestos S S
Reactive Wastes - Other Reactive Wastes C S S
Pesticides - Pesticides-Unspecified S
Halogenated Organics - Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) C
S
Suspected
C
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
B
Below Cleanup Levels
RA
Remediated-Above
RB
Remediated-Below
R
Remediated
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.