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Manchester Navy Fuel Depot

Located on the shores of Puget Sound, the Manchester Fuel Department's primary mission is to provide bulk fuel and lubricant support to area Navy afloat and shore activities. Support is also provided to Coast Guard ships and air stations, other Puget Sound Area U.S. military activities, and, on occasion, foreign navy ships. Customers are serviced via the fuel pier at Manchester, commercial, or Navy barge, and commercial or Navy truck. The Navy has 38 storage tanks with 60 million gallons of fuel and 11 miles of pipeline across Puget Sound from Seattle. The automated system cost the Navy $7 million when installed in 1997.

Manchester is fully capable of accommodating ships as large as AOE-class oilers. Pierside services include: potable water, telephone lines, CHT (sewage) hookup, oily waste water or bilge water offload, and bulk lube oil (2190 or 9250) delivery. Other accommodations such as prepositioning trash dumpsters on the pier can be arranged if given a minimum of 72 hours advance notice. Shore power and steam are not available at the pier. Emergency/operationally required overnight stays are possible but not advised due to the remote location of the terminal and labor reimbursement charges.

In order to defend the Bremerton Navy Yard, the property known as Old Navy Dump or Manchester Annex was acquired by the U.S. War Department in 1889, as part of the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound. During World War I, the site was used as a torpedo testing station and a storage depot for coal and oil. In the 1940s, the U.S. Navy established a fuel depot and a fire training school on the site. The Coast Guard Detachment of War Dogs and a gate vessel headquarters in charge of submarine nets were also located at Manchester Annex for a time. During the early 1950s, the Army established an antiaircraft artillery battery at the northeastern end of the property.

In 1960, some of the property was declared excess and is now owned by Washington State (Manchester State Park), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Navy still owns most of the site, which is now a Naval Supply Center.

The Old Navy Dump/Manchester Laboratory site is located approximately 1 mile north of Manchester, Washington, in Kitsap County. The 40-acre site is situated on the western shore of Clam Bay, an embayment off the west side of Rich Passage in Puget Sound. Clam Bay is typical of shallow sand-mud marine communities in Puget Sound, and supports a variety of marine resources. Commercial and experimental salmon farms also operate in the Bay.

The site was historically owned and operated by the U.S. Navy for submarine net maintenance, fire training, and waste disposal activities. Current site owners include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), both of which operate laboratory facilities at the site. Approximately 100 personnel work at the two laboratory facilities. Washington State Parks operates Manchester State Park, a seasonal park facility, on the extreme western portion of the site.

The EPA Manchester Laboratory is situated in the northern 17 1/2 acres of the site. The northernmost 5 acres of the EPA property includes the EPA laboratory and associated concrete parking pad and other facilities, and is also the location of the former Navy Net Depot. The remaining 12 1/2 acres, located in the central portion of the site, contains a landfill area. A small portion of the northwestern corner of the landfill area extends onto Manchester State Park property.

The southern 22 1/2 acres of the site was the location of a former Navy Fire Training School and is currently occupied by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The U.S. Naval Fuel Supply Center is located south of the site.Listed and candidate threatened and endangered species identified at the site include the great blue heron, bald eagle, and Steller's sea lion. There is a moderate probability for hunter-fisher-gatherer cultural deposits.

The site was originally established as part of a 385-acre military reservation in 1898, and subsequently transferred from the War Department to the Navy in 1919. During World War II, the Net Depot and Fire Fighting School were established at the site. From approximately 1940 to the early 1950s, the Manchester Net Depot functioned to construct, repair, and store submarine nets, made of steel cable and suspended from gate vessels across strategically important waterways. The Net Depot was comprised of a large concrete pad and various structures including storage facilities and a paint and sandblasting building. Activities performed within this area of the site included net and buoy maintenance, sandblasting, painting, and machining operation. The Net Depot appears to have been disestablished in the early 1950s, when the area became devoted to boat storage.

Formally established in 1942, the initial purpose of the Fire Fighting School was to train World War II Navy personnel to extinguish ship fires. The school included a number of features which enabled typical ship fires to be set and extinguished. Associated equipment included underground storage tanks (USTs) for gas, diesel, and waste oil; fuel lines; water lines; and pumps. Three steel USTs were removed in 1994; however, at least five concrete USTs and several concrete simulators remain in this area.

Between approximately 1946 and 1962, the Navy filled the tidal lagoon between the Net Depot and Fire Training Area. The majority of the landfilling appears to have occurred between 1946 and 1955. The bulk of the waste included building demolition debris and burnable garbage from the Puget Sound Naval Station, along with scrap metals, steel, old submarine nets, and other debris. The resulting landfill, which has an average thickness of 6 feet and covers about 6 acres, was subsequently covered with a 1-foot thickness of sand and gravel. The southeastern edge of the landfill (approximately 1,200 feet in length) is currently exposed along the Clam Bay shoreline, and landfill waste materials have eroded into the adjacent intertidal area.

The Navy surplused 150 acres of the Station (the former Naval Station property other than the fuel depot) to the General Services Administration (GSA) in 1960, though Navy use reportedly continued until about 1962. In 1967, GSA transferred the Net Depot and most of the Landfill Area to the Public Health Service, and the property subsequently fell under EPA control. The Fire Training Area was transferred in 1968 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and is now under the administration of NOAA/NMFS. The portion of the Station located north and northwest of the EPA and NMFS properties, including a small portion of the Landfill Area, was transferred to the State of Washington in 1970, becoming Manchester State Park.

Several investigations including preliminary assessments, site investigations, and UST removal and closure action were performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), EPA, and NOAA during the period from 1987 to 1994. Based on the findings of these investigations, the Manchester Annex Site was listed in 1994 on the National Priorities List (NPL).

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:52:24 ZULU