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PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD XL/ENVVEST PROJECT, WASHINGTON
To develop a TMDL for Sinclair Inlet (and part of adjoining Dyes Inlet) of Puget Sound that employs ecological risk assessment tools and results in a much improved (both environmental and cost effective) strategy for managing pollutants to meet standards and protect resources.
Sinclair Inlet, Washington, is listed on the state's 303(d) list for several parameters in both the sediments and water column, which triggers the need for a TMDL. Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) is, by far, the largest industrial facility on Sinclair Inlet. It employs about 7,700 civilians and up to 3,000 military personnel in the repair, overhaul, refueling, decommissioning, dismantling, and recycling of Navy surface ships and submarines. Wastewater and stormwater discharges are tightly controlled through an NPDES permit. This TMDL will require very expanded technical work compared to most TMDLs. PSNS has agreed to conduct much of the up-front technical work needed, including aggregating all available water quality and sediment data into a single data base, collecting additional data to document the conditions and potential sources of pollution into Sinclair inlet, and modeling the inlet to predict the results of alternate pollution reduction strategies. EPA and the state Department of Ecology have agreed to work with PSNS during data collection, analysis and monitoring, and PSNS has agreed to establish a stakeholder workgroup to interact with during the project. PSNS hopes that the technical work and use of ecological risk assessment tools will open the door to an eventual "pollution trading" approach for Sinclair Inlet. EPA is excited about private entities undertaking expensive technical work to develop TMDLs, work that would normally be done by the state or EPA.