Naval Magazine Indian Island cutting air pollution
By TRISTAN BAURICK | The KitsapSun (Tribune News Service) | Published: February 17, 2017
PORT HADLOCK, Wash. — The Indian Island naval base is easing up on air pollution.
The small base near Port Hadlock — known officially as Naval Magazine Indian Island — is replacing big diesel generators with a new system linked to the local power grid. The generators are used to power visiting submarines and other vessels.
The nearly $5 million project will be finished in June. Drawing power from the Jefferson County Public Utility District will cost more, but noise and air pollution will be reduced.
“This will be a pretty significant reduction in what’s being put into the air,” said Dan Nelson, spokesman for the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA).
Most other Navy piers in the region, including ones at Bremerton, Bangor and Keyport, already rely on shore-based power.
Indian Island has a large munitions pier and serves as an ordnance storage and handling center. Used by the Navy since the 1940s, the 4-mile-long island underwent an extensive environmental cleanup from 1995 to 2005. Last year, the Navy replaced dozens of pipes and faucets after high lead levels were detected.
The base has relied on diesel generators to power subs since 2005.
“The generators had to run as long as a submarine was at the pier, which means 24/7,” said base facilities manager Gene King.
That amounted to about 18,000 gallons of diesel per visit.
The generators produced as much pollution as “several dozen” large diesel trucks, Nelson said.
“It would be like those trucks idling, but idling all day,” he said.
The generators required permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ORCAA. The ORCAA permit allowed the base to produce about 17 tons of nitrogen oxide and other pollutants per year. The actual output was typically about half that.
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