Nationally, an organized program for cleanup of contaminant
problems on refuges began in 1991 when the Service received funding
from Congress for the removal of leaking underground storage tanks.
Subsequently the program was expanded to more broadly encompass contaminant
remediation and resolution of environmental compliance issues on refuges.
The Division of Engineering has
the lead for internal compliance issues within the Service. Contaminant
specialists work with the Environmental Compliance Program (Division
of Engineering), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and individual
refuges to identify and delineate contaminated sites, conduct investigations,
and support cleanup efforts.
Due to the remote nature of Alaska's refuges, most contaminant issues
are discovered during biological studies, internal audits or through
the Contaminant Assessment Process.
The Environmental Contaminants Program also participates in planning
activities and oversight of contaminant remediation projects conducted
by various responsible parties on National Wildlife Refuges. For example,
Environmental Contaminant Specialists have worked closely with the Alaska
Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Department of Energy,
the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on an extensive
surface cleanup of Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.